Six Flags settles Magic Mountain discrimination suit

Posted Friday, May 14, 2004 7:55 AM | Contributed by supermandl

A group of minority parkgoers sued Six Flags in 2001 after they claimed Six Flags Magic Mountain security guards improperly searched them and engaged in racial profiling. The company has set up a $5.6 million fund to settle the class-action discrimination lawsuit but did not include an admission of wrongdoing.

Read more from AP via KOCO/Oklahoma City.

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Friday, May 14, 2004 8:06 AM
Todays young people dress and act like drug dealers, junkies and thugs...

Then they complain when they're thought of as such.

My parents taught me that if I didn't want to be treated like a _____ don't act or look like one.

Some of these folks bring it on themselves, like wearing a big huge oversized coat into a department store, security is bound to suspect you may be shoplifting, REGARDLESS of your skin tone...........

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Friday, May 14, 2004 8:18 AM
"Today's young people?" You've got a pretty narrow view of young people.
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Friday, May 14, 2004 9:32 AM
Sam.

Sorry to say that your response just screams ignorance.

I didn't know drug dealers , junkies , and thugs had a special way of dressing.

I have long hair, earrings, and wear baggy clothing. Should I be stopped for suspicion everywhere I go?

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Friday, May 14, 2004 11:11 AM
I know you, Chitown...I'd say yes! ;) LOL
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Friday, May 14, 2004 11:48 AM
Agh--the insensitive police are at it again!

Never mind that Magic Mountain has a terrible image problem that involves thugs (of all colors). I've talks with no less than 3 families in the last 2-3 months who are refusing to go to Magic Mountain because of the "riff raff" that run around that park with no regard to rules, and certainly no regards to the language used. On my last major visit to the park about 15 months ago I was able to observe two fights, a seat switching on Goldrusher mid-ride (of which I confronted the kids about risking MY safety by doing this right in front of my seat---told the operator---kids ran off---don’t know what came of it), and a full fledge arrest in the line of Goliath. This says nothing of the inappropriate clothing (F word on the shirts) and language heard throughout the day. I can tell you that the kids that behaved like thugs on the day I was there all had a certain “ganglike” look to them. And yes, I’m loathe to say it for fear of what the “insensitive” police will say, the trouble I saw that day was being committed by members of a specific age group. My wife's junior high school (she is an assistant principal) used to take their school to SFMM every year as a reward to those students who have good grades. They've gone to KBF the last 2 years due to their observation of the potential safety and flat out trouble issues that SFMM presents. I’m certain that SFMM is aware that they are not viewed as a family friendly park.

I’m not sure what the park can do to clean up the image problem (well deserved image problem in my opinion) it has. However, it seems reasonable that they should be able to “profile” those who look like gang members IF those persons have shown a consistent pattern in disrupting guest experience. This certainly was the case on the one Saturday I went. When you have families and whole schools refusing to patronize your business, I think it is fair that you do something to alleviate the problem. I can only imagine that the park knows demographics of the people who cause the majority of trouble for them. Certainly, not every kid who looks like a thug is a thug, but what choice does the park have? Should SFMM hold/question/search EVERY person at the park and thus create an inhospitable experience for everybody when there is a specific group of people (young thugs) that cause the vast majority of the park’s troubles and image problems? I’m not sure Grandma and Grandpa need to be stopped and searched at the gate.

Correct me if I’m wrong on this---but doesn’t Cedar Point have some sort of rule about offensive clothing. I thought they’ve made people turn their shirts inside out for violating the family friendly atmosphere? SFMM could start by simply enforcing a rule like this. However, they would most likely find themselves dragged down in another lawsuit for daring to enforce rules. They’ll be called racist, etc at the first incident that involved any discipline of a minority group member. The “insensitive” police have created at atmosphere of lawsuits and name calling that may make it impossible for SFMM to EVER clean up their park. They’re damned if they don’t and certainly damned if they do. I find this very sad.

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Friday, May 14, 2004 12:25 PM

Todays young people dress and act like drug dealers, junkies and thugs...

Pretty much every drug dealer I know dresses very well and in many cases wears a suit. They also drive cars I could only dream about and live in homes I'll never be able to afford.

Damn those kids in their three piece suits driving around in their Benz SL's on their way to the park from their 6 bedroom estate!

Maybe I just frequent the high class dealers ;)

Most drug addicts I know hold highly regarded jobs that are among the best paying professional postions available. That's how they feed their habits.

Most "thugs" I know wear nicer clothes than me and have more diamonds on their body than every lame jewelery store in the mall combined. Thug is an image at best.

I didn't see any of that on my lone visit to SFMM. I did see many kids expressing themselves in the embarassing and stupid ways most of us do growing up (and in my case, long after growing up).

My suggestion is to get over yourself and realize that not everyone lives by your morals and standards. Granted, some behavior is just flat out unacceptable, but it's still a big grey area. I happen to be offend by uppity, moralist guys who think they can't take their family to an amusement park because some kids are enjoying themselves as best they can.

Weird the way that works, huh?

...and I consider myself generally republican - imagine if I were liberal! ;)

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Friday, May 14, 2004 12:35 PM
I myself am fairly centrist. I am of the mind that they (the guards) should not hassle anybody (so-called thugs) unless they are hassling other guests (or commiting crimes). Then, by all means, throw them out.

I think I'm with Gonch on this one, even though I don't consider myself generally republican. ;)*** This post was edited by janfrederick 5/14/2004 12:35:45 PM ***

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Friday, May 14, 2004 1:51 PM
In my job i do deal with thugs/gang bangers/drug dealers on a daily basis and for the most part they do dress in a particular manner. But what does make it hard to deal with people soley on there clothing is that alot of surburbanites/yuppies think it is cool to dress in the same manner or what they see in video's on tv/movies and paly act the part.

I think parks should have very strict rules of what clothing is allowed or not allowed and then strictly enforce it on all guests no matter race/ethnic/sexual status etc.

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Friday, May 14, 2004 2:13 PM
Get over it.

Any establishment has the right to refuse service to anyone, whether it be a restaurant, casino, or amusement park.

I highly doubt that those who were stopped and questioned at the gates were that upset; unitl someone looking for some easy cash in law suit happy America found a reason and filed a suit.

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Friday, May 14, 2004 3:36 PM
If I have to wear a uniform to go to an amusement park, I can guarentee you I would probably move away from Pittsburgh just to get out of amusement park central. Why sell clothes that aren't khakis and button-down plain color shirts if you're not allowed to wear anything but anywhere else? (ok, extreme, but still - a dress code at an amusement park?!?)
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Friday, May 14, 2004 3:53 PM
Sure a business has the right to refuse service, but there are limits. Otherwise, we'd be able to open up whites only lunch counters again.

The point about the lawyers looking for quick cash is probably true though. My question is how did they find all these people?*** This post was edited by janfrederick 5/14/2004 4:43:02 PM ***

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Friday, May 14, 2004 6:00 PM
Sam,

If you don't want to be called a racist, don't say racist things!

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Friday, May 14, 2004 9:35 PM
Most parks have some type of dress code, be it torn/ripped clothing or not allowing clothes to be worn that have vulgar sayings etc. As long as the policy is properly posted at the gate and enforced fairly on ALL people there shouldnt be any problem.
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Friday, May 14, 2004 11:27 PM

Danimales wrote:

<<Get over it.

Any establishment has the right to refuse service to anyone, whether it be a restaurant, casino, or amusement park.

I highly doubt that those who were stopped and questioned at the gates were that upset; unitl someone looking for some easy cash in law suit happy America found a reason and filed a suit.>>

I have to agree with Danimales on this one --GET OVER IT! Far too many people cry "discrimination" in this country and try to make an easy buck in the process. I, for one, am sick and tired of it.

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Sunday, May 16, 2004 5:54 AM
I guess nobody can really understand unless it happens to you for no reason. I see people everyday at the airport going through security and if they just so happen to buzz going through and have to be searched, (good reason) most are HIGHLY upset and shocked. Just so happen a lot of them who do the complaining are white. (No offense) Most can't wait to complian and sue because they don't fit the discription of any wrong doing. So please don't just blame minorities "looking for an easy buck."
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Sunday, May 16, 2004 9:44 AM
I'm not a racist, and if you REALLY read my comments, they're NOT ignorant in anyway. They are based on Urban Fashion.

I often see kids dressed the same as their hip hop / rap heros dress, and they act like them too, it's (if you will) todays "Macho".

I'd say 99% of those folks are harmless, but the other 1% are dangerous lawless thugs/drugdealers/criminals whom dress identically to those who wear their expensive threads as a fashion statement. It can be tough to determine whom is or isn't a troublemaker.

Parks try to weed out the bad element, and sometimes they step too far over the line and get burned, this is one of those cases.

I live in a urban environment, not snorezville ohio, i'm speaking from what I see here, and not there. Also Six Flags America has had this problem, and they seem to have done a fairly good job of weeding out the bad element. But crossing that line into profiling can happen, and it doesn't always mean racism, it's more of a MISTAKE.

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Sunday, May 16, 2004 12:14 PM
megazeph wrote: <<Most can't wait to complian and sue because they don't fit the discription of any wrong doing. So please don't just blame minorities "looking for an easy buck." >>

Where did I mention anything about minorities or single out minorities in my statement? I don't care what group people belong to, I'm just weary of hearing people cry discrimination left and right and try to suck money out of the situation - the issues could be anything... gender, race, religion, the list goes on and on... Just one of my pet peeves!

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Sunday, May 16, 2004 2:40 PM
I have been going to Magic Mountain monthly (recently weekly) for 18 years. In almost every instance I have ever seen of park visitors cutting line or otherwise breaking rules they have always been of african-american or mexican decent. The park's "racial profiling" was not discriminatory but was simply reflective of the race of those deserving of reprimand.
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Sunday, May 16, 2004 9:59 PM
If you say so NathanR. Hello Sam marks how are you?
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