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The problem is still here. - Zer Netmouse
July 9th, 2009
11:20 pm

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The problem is still here.
From yesterday's news: Summer camp kids get expelled from a private club their camp paid for membership in because club members and owners concerned minority kids will "change the complexion … and the atmosphere of the club."

"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."

The next day the club told the camp director that the camp's membership was being suspended and their money would be refunded.

"I said, 'The parents don't want the refund. They want a place for their children to swim,'" camp director Aetha Wright said.


Go to the article and watch the video linked to on the left. Those kids are so articulate, and so bewildered at the same time, by comments made by club members.

Then consider watching this video here:



Happily another place stepped up and offered the campers a place to swim. The club is now claiming the reason was really that the pool couldn't accommodate so many children in addition to the private members. That's obviously not the whole story, and in any case that doesn't take away the experience of these kids hearing racist comments and being told they had to leave.

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Comments
 
From:nicegeek
Date:July 10th, 2009 05:48 am (UTC)
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Whether or not one accepts the club's explanation, I think it's worth noting that fifty years ago, this wouldn't have even made the news. Now, the club is falling all over itself out of fear of being labeled racist. That says something about how society has progressed.
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From:novapsyche
Date:July 10th, 2009 06:20 am (UTC)
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I beg to differ. It might have been seen as progress in 1990. Not so much in the wake of electing a black president.

I also wouldn't say that the club is "falling all over itself". Its initial statement was revealing in itself as to how sensitive the club is to how words and actions reflect racism. Change the freaking complexion? Also, the best it could do was refund the money? Not specifically allow the daycare to come back, perhaps with reserved hours? Not even apologize for what a patron might have said, in order to distance the club from said remarks?

My heart goes out to the students, some of whom suffered a deep psychological scar due to this stupid and entirely unnecessary incident.
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From:custardfairy
Date:July 10th, 2009 12:00 pm (UTC)
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This. Yes.

It's ridiculous that the behind the scenes process seems to have been something like, "What? You mean this isn't OK anymore? Great, I guess we have to apologize now so we don't look like assholes."

Not because what they did wasn't right and they recognize that, or because they just really hurt a bunch of kids. That's not progress - it's getting caught being an asshole.
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From:netmouse
Date:July 10th, 2009 12:07 pm (UTC)
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Yes, as in RaceFail '09, the people are reacting to being labeled racist and insisting they are not (Just because we are afraid of black kids doesn't mean we are racist! Look: we have hispanic members!) rather than trying their best to do right by the people they wronged and examine themselves and their members and how to address their prejudices.

That is, in fact, exactly where we are as a society and I'm not pleased to see it, I have to say.
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From:rileybear67
Date:July 10th, 2009 05:03 pm (UTC)
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How sad that there are still so many people in this world that have their blinders shut tight to the outside....

We fear what we cannot change and we cannot change a person't skin color.

I actually feel a good bit of pity for the members of that club. They will never know the joys of getting to know a person for who they are and not what they look like.
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From:popelizbet
Date:July 10th, 2009 05:59 pm (UTC)
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That club is going to get sued, and I'm going to laugh and laugh.
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From:netmouse
Date:July 10th, 2009 06:02 pm (UTC)
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I guess, but to me, the positive way forward would not be to close the club down by sueing them for every penny but rather maybe to order their members into community service in the black neighborhoods of Philly or something. Those people need exposure, man. And to be pushed out of their box.

Some sort of antiracist training could be good too.
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From:popelizbet
Date:July 10th, 2009 06:14 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, but none of that is legally enforceable, and I'd be happy enough to just see all of them lose their very nice facilities that they paid out the nose for.
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From:netmouse
Date:July 10th, 2009 06:15 pm (UTC)
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yeah but, but, isn't that going to just make them bitter and more racist as they reach for some easy way to blame someone other than themselves?
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From:popelizbet
Date:July 10th, 2009 06:21 pm (UTC)
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I'm not really concerned about them. Court-ordered anti-racist training isn't going to make them open to learning, and I wouldn't ask people known to make nasty comments to Black children to volunteer in the inner city for fear they'd do it again. Let's hit them in what they care about: their pockets. Let the individual patrons turn around and sue their lily-white little club for breach of all their contracts when it goes bankrupt from punitive damages. If it makes them more bitter, fuck it; the kids they fucked over with their ugly little petty racist bullshit will have money for college, and they'll be that many more blood pressure spikes closer to death.
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From:netmouse
Date:July 10th, 2009 06:43 pm (UTC)
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Well, if you want to condemn the Valley Swim Club's actions and encourage the Department of Justice to consider suing them for a violation of Federal law, ColorofChange has provided a form for you to do so.
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From:popelizbet
Date:July 10th, 2009 06:45 pm (UTC)
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Thanks for the info, I'll spread it around.
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