That Philly Swim Club Story: We’re NOT Post-Racial by a Long Shot

First, they said “it would change the complexion” of their facilities if these black children were allowed to use them.

Then, they said it was about “overcrowding.”

Next, it was a question about “security.”

These people from the Valley Swim Club have got to be out of their flipping minds. And no, these weren’t Main Line Philadelphians ticked off at black day campers spoiling their pool. I’ll bet you that they would have more sense. These were white escapees from the colored city who refused to integrate, who couldn’t fathom that some black kids just want to have fun, and not attack or beat up white kids at all.

The Field Negro, who lives in and blogs from what he calls “Killadelphia”–for the propensity of blacks to kill other blacks or cops to fire recklessly on other blacks–had a few choice words about who and what was there:

1. These children were from Oxford Circle (my description: a mixed community–also called Summerdale–of blacks, Asians, Mexicans and Latinos, along with whites who stayed) and it is fairly close to the club. So it was quite reasonable for the camp to call this particular club as it was probably the closest to them. The children were not all black, there were some Hispanic children with the group as well.

2. The members of the club overruled the board and told them to cancel the agreement and give the camp their money back. The folks from the board claim that they [the board members] did not want to do it.

3. I know for a fact (unless kids are lying to their parents) that the children were subject to disparaging remarks when they went into the pool, and that some of the white members started taking their own children out. One woman said that she had her six year old grandson there, but she took him out, not because of race, but because the pool was getting too crowded.

4. The people who were there (including the lifeguards) all say that the children were well behaved.

5. It’s true, Senator Arlen Specter has gotten involved and wants an investigation into claims of discrimination.

6. Girard College (a Philadelphia private boarding school) did step up and offer the kids their pool free of charge throughout the summer. The irony is that the founder of Girard College, Stephen A. Girard, specifically wanted blacks excluded from his school when he founded it. And a Main Line ice cream store, Gumdrops & Sprinkles, also stepped up and gave the kids freebies. (Nothing like some freebies to soothe where racism hurts.)

7. This club is not made up of wealthy folks from Huntingdon Valley where the club happens to be located. It is made up of mostly of working class ethnic whites from Northeast Philadelphia, which is just a few miles from the club. (The membership fee is about $400 so that ought to tell you something.) This is not a country club, so we can’t even blame the country club set for this one. They are much smarter and classier with their racism.

8. Yes, we can blame the children not having a pool on budget cuts in the Parks & Recreation Department here in the city. (You can thank the frat boy (Bush) and his accomplished mission for that one).

9. Some of the families of the children are considering some type of legal action.

So are the NAACP and James Rucker’s Color of Change organization as well. Apparently, What About Our Daughters, has also found out that the private club is a non-profit, and therefore is subject to other Federal laws that would rule out discrimination.

Add to this, according to a USA Today article quoted by What About Our Daughters?, the fact that 60% of black children do not know how to swim. Therefore, summer programs for low-income or inner-city children that include swimming instruction or learning how to float or to feel comfortable in pools are very important. It would definitely lower the incidence of drowning among black and Latino children.

See…when Obama was elected president, some people were saying that racism was finally over. That we were living in a post-racial America. Hell, I knew that even while Obama was being inaugurated, New York City taxicab drivers were still stiffing black men and women on waving at street corners for a ride. I knew Latinos were still being scapegoated for bringing the country down. And I knew that the country had just witnessed one of the most racist presidential campaign since the early 20th century.

No, racism is NOT over, especially when we still have these pockets of intolerance, not only in Philly, but all over the country. And people think we yell too loudly now that Obama is in? That Obama is in just to keep us placated and quiet?

Damn. Again, I want to ask, what century are we living in?

~ by blksista on July 12, 2009.

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