I have been following the scuttlebutt surrounding the Huntingdon Valley Swim Club controversy with some interest. I am sure that you have heard the basic story. Sixty five mostly black inner city youths were tossed out of the suburban Philadelphia club for changing the "complexion" of the club. The money that they had paid the club prior to their visit was refunded.
The club has denied racial motives. Taking them at their word, I still find some of the opinions voiced both in the Philadelphia newspapers and online somewhat salient and thought provoking and I reprint a few of them here. I think they are a more accurate reflection on the state of race relations in this country than the pundits and talking heads.
Rated 4.0 out of 5.0 destroying a community - bob - Jul 13, 2009
to all the people that are criticizing the club or it's members,can you really blame them, just take a look at sections of the city of philadelphia that black people have ruined.kensington,juiniata,frankford and now a lot of parts of mayfair.when you turn on the news what it's blacks that are responsible for crimes,what was the color of skin that murdered all of those police officers in the past few years.who makes up a great majority of the prison population?. i know they've ruined the block that i have lived on for over 30 years,by not taking care of there houses.one of them puts sheets & newspapers on there windows for a house they been in for years now & even one of the family has committed a murder.it's a shame the club didn't go about banning them right from the beginning.ALETHA WRIGHT, needs to look at what blacks do to some communities,or does she already know & she wants to ruin another one.
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 Listen to BOTH sides PLEASE - Cindy - Jul 10, 2009
I'ma mother of four at this swim club and have to defend our club. African American children are bigger and louder and can be very dangerous IF something were to go wrong. African American children are also more boisterous and this can be frightening to Caucasian children. Is this so hard to understand? I'm scared for my children. What if something were to go wrong? Could one or two chaperones really stop an attack on one of my children? It's the potential SEVERITY that African American children pose rather than racism. This is not the 1950's. There is no racism anymore. Most of if not all the parents were not even born then! Also, we even have an African American president! This is really an attack on conservative values like civilty and politeness. The African American children were just too noisy, loud and borderline obnoxious.
Rated 3.0 out of 5.0 All the races should "own"... - Jake - Jul 12, 2009
I am NOT IN ANY WAY JUSTIFYING the attitudes of any club members - or anyone for that matter - who object to african americans purely on the basis of skin color. But I think we all have to "own" that small percentage of the bigotry that has a real basis. Whatever race you are. You know the stereotype that african americans are loud? Well I never believed it but then a couple african american families moved on to my block. One right next door. This one family, who was initially embraced by the neighborhood, has had the LOUDEST parties during all the warm weather months, disturbing even people blocks away for several years now. A number of neighbors have asked them to turn down the music, ask guests to be more quiet and observe an "end time" but nothing has worked. So at this point, the whites, Asians and Hispanics in the neighborhood have concluded that this family is - at best - very inconsiderate - and at worst doesn't care about being good neighbors to the rest of us. Frankly, it even feels like maybe the family dislikes us. Is the family racist? Are the rest of the neighbors racist? I don't think so. African American kids also have the reputation of being the most unruly at school. If the camp kids were acting wild - and I don't know that they were; just saying IF they were - is it so surprising that some club members, who are used to things being very quiet at their swim club, freaked out? Does that mean they're racists? Racism is judging all people of a race by the worst behavior of a few. Objecting to actual bad behavior - like my neighbors and their loud parties - is not racism. I think we have yet to find out which this actually is. By the way, I'm white and there are plenty of white people I wouldn't want to share a swim club with - because they're inconsiderate and the kids are very rough and I would worry about my kids getting hurt. There just are cultural differences, even within races, in how kids grow up and how they behave. So the issue is not race but behavior.
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 What part of "private" don'... - Patrick - Jul 10, 2009
Get a grip liberals and find something better to be upset about, like how Cap N Tax and Obamacare is going down in flames. If this were black people turning away whites there would be no story at all....please remember this is a private entity and can do whatever they please. Don't like it, find another pool..its that simple.
Rated 1.0 out of 5.0 I worked here - Ken - Jul 10, 2009
I worked here for about a month and I really liked the people and the place was always clean and organized, but I can tell you that the surrounding community is generally racist. The management of the club was surely under pressure from the majority of their customers, and no, I'm not excusing them at all. This is not uncommon is this particular community... you will find the same thing in local bars and stores. African Americans followed, neglected or otherwise harassed until they leave). I wish I could give them a higher rating, but there's no excuse for racism in these supposedly enlightened times.
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 Way to go swim club - John - Jul 9, 2009
Way to go swim club. Let Them swim in there own back yard Don`t let the media tell you what to do.
Rated 1.0 out of 5.0 No recommendations. Poor Customer Service - p0lo9 - Jul 10, 2009
Some of white's kids father gave a Nazi salute and some of them said go back to the south. This offended me and to my entire race. And I thought things would improve in 2009 and we wouldn't have these problems but I was clearly wrong. And the way the kids' parents LOOK at us as if we did something wrong. I meant we only wanted to go for a swim. Now the website is down. Its clearly that they are going to change some photos in the website to MAKE IT ETHNIC DIVERSE instead of only having white people having fun in the pool.
Rated 4.0 out of 5.0 Hasn't society learned, yet? - Charlie - Jul 10, 2009
I am so tired of hearing racism issues! Give the pool a chance to explain. For everyone's informaton - the "whites" are the minority now - hello! Right away everyone is ready to sue! I am a professional and work with many ethnic backgrounds. In case anyone did not notice, there is a war going on where many of our US soldiers are being killed every day, the flu pandemic, the economy where people are losing their houses - THERE ARE BIGGER FISH TO FRY!!!!! PS If everyone would just reflect back to Sept. 11 - do you remember the unity developed that day? Come on people - Stop and think! PS On one other note, let me propose this question - - It is ok to have an African American College - right? No one ever said that is discrimminating to other ethnic backgrounds. Right or wrong? God Bless the USA
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 IM SO SICK OF THIS STORY - gusa - Jul 13, 2009
A pool club has the ability to choose who can and cannot swim in there club. Its simple! Plus all you hear in this story are "I heard a lady say..." or "I saw....." there is no cold hard facts in this. And there all coming from the people incorporated with the camp. Also if I brought my camp of all white kids to a black pool and got treated the same way as this camp, yeah i'd be a little irritated, but not so pissed to go call all the media and protest for days!!! LET IT GO and MOVE ON WITH YOUR LIFE I believe the club made a perfectly legal move... Im still waiting for the NAACP or Sharpton to get involved. If you want racism to end then how is keeping this story alive going to do to stop it?????
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 Racism???? - Christina - Jul 10, 2009
It's a private club they can do what they want. I didn't see anybody give a darn when 19 whites and 1 hispanic were denied job promotions because they WEREN'T black. Google New Haven Connecticut Fire Department, and Racist Sotomayor's ruling. Black people need to shut the hell up about all this racism crap, they are the biggest racists of them all!
Posted by spyfreak 10:46 AM, 07/21/2009 ...black kids in this country are not the only ones that have financial difficulties or live in poor neighborhoods. Every time something goes wrong or someone that is black gets offended the race card is used. I for one am sick of it. This country needs to quit catering to these situations because every generation of this race will continue to expect hand outs and continue to use the race card every time things don't go their way. If the tables had been turned and this group was not all black and had mostly white kids and had been denied access the country would have said oh well deal with it. I am sick of the double standard. I am sick of affirmative action I mean we have a black president for goodness sake. You can all think what you want but you don't see a National Association for the Advancement of White People or you don't see United White College Fund or any colleges that are strictly for white people. The rest of the country has had to conform to black people and accept all the things that they have. I think it is about time they start conforming to the rest of us for a change. Every time someone hurts their feelings or upsets them they use the race card. We are in 2009 not 1809. You have got a black man in the white house so what more do you want. Quit catering to them and maybe for a change they won't be standing in line for hand outs at your local food stamp office. Make them stand on their own two feet like the rest of this country.
Posted by Comrade Xi back from reeducation 07:34 AM, 07/21/2009
ALLEGE racism, go to Disneyworld. Jackpot! Another generation of race opportunists is Confirmed.
Something tells me that America still has some work to do. In the words of Rodney King, can't we all just get along? Apparently not.