A racist flyer that made waves on social media today after a resident of an Irvine, Ca. apartment building found it hanging in an elevator is fraudulent, according to a spokesman for property company Equity Residential.
“This flyer is a fake. It wasn’t produced by us. It wasn’t posted by us. I don’t know where it came from,” Equity representative Marty McKenna said over the phone this morning. The flyer—a notice about noise complaints in Irvine’s Toscana apartment complex—included a bolded section directed specifically at African-American residents. It read:
We also would like to remind our African-American residents to keep conversation volume down and reduce music levels between 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.
Multiple complaints have been made regarding this issue.
The notice attracted attention after Toscana Apartments tenant and Instagram user @teyent_theequeenb posted a photo and video to her page. “This is what it means to be black in Irvine,” she says in the video. “Blatant racism,” another woman adds.
McKenna said that Equity, a national company which owns the Toscana Apartments, is investigating the origin of the flyer. He added that the company does not have a practice of posting flyers about noise complaints, preferring instead to contact residents by email. “It is not from us, and certainly we don’t condone that kind of messaging,” he said.
The Toscana Apartments are used as residences by some students of University of California, Irvine, but are not affiliated with the university. The school quickly disassociated itself from the apartments on social media, leaving Instagram comments and tweets in response to people who posted images of the flyer.
@_27kaday Toscana Apts are not affiliated w/ UC Irvine & we do not condone the flyer's message. UCI is addressing this w/ apt mgt & city.May 29, 2015
Irvine has a history of racial strife. In 2013, the school made headlines when a black student found a note in her backpack that read “Go back 2 Africa slave,” and in January, the university’s Black Student Union published a petition demanding “additional institutional resources for black students,” and greater “efforts to recruit and retain more black students, staff and faculty,” the campus newspaper New University reported.
McKenna said that he believes it is unlikely that a Toscana employee would post the notice without the knowledge or authorization of Equity Residential. That leaves one distinct possibility for its origin: a racist resident.