September 23, 2009
Written by C.N.
This is an update to the incident this past July at the The Valley Club outside of Philadelphia, where a summer camp of predominantly Black and Latino children were kicked out of the club’s swimming pools after White club members complained about their presence.
As MSNBC reports, the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission has completed its report on the incident and has found that despite its denials, the club is guilty of racial discrimination in its actions:
The club has maintained that there were too many children for the number of lifeguards on duty and that many of the children who were at the club couldn’t swim. . . .
[Email] messages quoted in the report include one from club board member George Whitehill to the rest of the board that said in part, “Race is an issue since every email of complaint mentioned race.” . . . The state report also noted that other large groups that came to the swim club did not generate the same reaction.
For example, a plumbing company has held an annual party at the club that draws about 100 to 125 people each year, about five to 10 of them black, the report said. It found that far more children were in the pool for those parties, yet no club members threatened to quit and guests did not report “inappropriate or rude comments” from club members.
Club lawyer Joe Tucker said Tuesday night that the decision “has nothing to do with the actual facts” and would be appealed. “The die was cast by the media firestorm. They had no choice but to reach the decision they did,” Tucker said.
Apparently almost everybody except the club itself can see that it was painfully obvious that race was a significant, and probably only factor in how the children of color were treated.
The saddest part is that, in the face of overwhelming evidence against them, the club continues to deny that race played any part and instead, chooses to blame the entire incident on the media. This is just another unfortunate example of colorblindness to the extreme and racial ignorance.
Or, as many would probably sum it up, it’s racism, plain and simple.
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Suggested reference: Le, C.N. . "Update: Philadelphia Swimming Pool Segregation" Asian-Nation: The Landscape of Asian America. <http://www.asian-nation.org/headlines/2009/09/update-philadelphia-swimming-pool-segregation/> ().
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