Thursday, July 9, 2009

Swimming While Black

Apparently, a Pennsylvania swim club kicked out kids from a day camp because they were black. In a poorly worded, but perhaps revealing, statement, officials said they feared the black kids would change the "complexion" of the environment.

Here's the story. Also, see video posted below.

View more news videos at: http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/video.

12 comments:

FLRN said...

It appears ignorance is alive and well...tell me Darren how do they mark the bathrooms and water fountains in this city???

Decidere said...

That's just gross. I'm pretty speechless, which doesn't seem to happen often.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Hutchinson: The only possible defense is that the 65 children would have overloaded the pool, but the story you've linked to casts doubt on that, and the digging I've done makes it almost surely impossible. What is worst is that the folks quoted in the story likely believe that they are unprejudiced, right up to the point where reality hit them. Sad for most of us but particularly the 65 kids who shouldn't have had to pay this price.

Sincerely yours,
Gregory Koster

Decidere said...

Well certainly when they signed up a camp they asked how many kids would come. Guess they forgot to ask what "complexion" - changes pool capacity and seating arrangements a lot.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

It seems highly unlikely that the kids made up the stories about adults mentioning their race. The kids appeared very credible. So, I agree with all of you - this is a situation of racism, and the people are denying it (and might even be in denial). Even if we take their "overcrowding" argument at face value, would the operators have turned away white children for the same reason?

PS: When I was a visiting professor at the University of Pennsylvania, I accepted a rental of a sublet over the phone (in suburban Philly). Once I arrived (from Texas) and the owner finally met "Professor Hutchinson," suddenly, the house was unavailable and would not be ready for months.....This occurred before law schools began placing photos of faculty online.

Decidere said...

Reminds of a funny/irritating incident in a certain poor somewhat corrupt country, and was out to dinner at a hotel with my girlfriend, a native. We were speaking English, and she heard the waiters discussing how they were going to screw us. When the brought the check for 3 times the right amount, she started contesting everything in her language. Instead of feeling ashamed, they scolded her, "Why didn't you tell us you were from here?" Bastards everywhere.

Decidere said...

Didn't want to leave my funny/irritating incident as somehow equated with having your housing pulled because they discovered you're black. One time we had some temp housing lined up for my wife in New York so she could take a class for a few months, and I showed up with her to get her few things settled in, we went out to a wonderful Ethiopian dinner and got rather smashed, and came back to find all of her stuff in the hallway and her locked out because they were suspicious I was going to stay with her. Man that was inconvenient, midnight Friday Manhattan go find another place for class starting Monday, and that's without the racial insult and you likely having a lot more belongings on the way than we did.

Aspasia said...

Huh. My calender must be a year-long typo. It says 2009, but obviously supposed to read 1959.

Aspasia said...

Speaking of typos, that should read, "calendar".

Brandon said...

Dear Darren,
I would love to have your thoughts on this piece I wrote on this subject--as well as Sotomayor. http://juliusspeaks.blogspot.com/2009/07/racism-in-age-of-obama.html

liberal dissent said...

One curious thing I've noticed on more than one occasion is where the genteel, closet racists--especially females--feel that their racism can be completely excused if they phrase it in terms of protecting their children.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

Liberal Dissent: The NAACP decided to litigate segregation in primary education LAST exactly for that reason. The organization challenged segregation in graduate and professional schools and in colleges and universities before litigating Brown. They feared the "what about our children" argument (which, nonetheless, was still utilized to stonewall on integration).

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