Wow. A pool in philadelphia kicked out 60 African-American campers whose camp had paid $1900 for them to swim there once a week.
The swim club, The Valley, explained in a prepared statement that the kids were kicked out because:
“There was concern that a lot of kids would change the complexion … and the atmosphere of the club,” John Duesler, President of The Valley Swim Club said in a statement.
That was a prepared statement, not off the cuff. I guess we can give Mr. Duesler props for being honest?
NBC Philadelphia reports:
“I heard this lady, she was like, ‘Uh, what are all these black kids doing here?’ She’s like, ‘I’m scared they might do something to my child,'” said camper Dymire Baylo
“When the minority children got in the pool all of the Caucasian children immediately exited the pool,” Horace Gibson, parent of a day camp child, wrote in an email. “The pool attendants came and told the black children that they did not allow minorities in the club and needed the children to leave immediately.”
This does not sound like a story that belongs in the year 2009. It’s incredible that children, parents, and club attendants all acted in such a racist manner. I guess they should add something about preserving their “complexion and atmosphere” to their rules.
This makes me wonder if today racism is worse in the suburbs, which remain mostly white, or in the inner city where racism is often masked by concerns about “delinquents” and “criminals.”
Gives you something to think about.
In a later report club president Deusler claims that the decision had “nothing to do with race.” But refused to be interviewed and the club didn’t allow media on their property. I’m guessing they’re having an emergency board meeting tonight.
You can view that report here:
Luckily, a local boarding school for children of low-income and single family homes has stepped in and offered the use of their pool for the campers.
Additionally, Senator Arlen Specter has spoken out about this and is speaking with the parties involved:
“The allegations against the swim club as they are reported are extremely disturbing,” Specter said in a statement. “I am reaching out to the parties involved to ascertain the facts. Racial discrimination has no place in America today.”