Did you, uh, *read* the article?
I think there are certainly a mix of factors causing that statistic, but that doesn't mean the statistic isn't "correct". The statistic itself doesn't make any assertions about cause. You don't know if it's 60% of inner city kids or not. Could well be. Could be a mix of things. The article suggests it's possible a legacy of the jim crow laws that kept blacks out of pools so that parents are less likely to teach their kids to swim because they themselves don't know how. it points out there are few black competitive swimming athletes to be role models. There's a whole bunch of stuff going on.
A program like "Swimming for inner city minorities" is only stupid if it displaces other programs, or further segregates kids by creating classes that are not mixed race. *shrug* a mixed race set of classes that is free to some if not all would be great. I personally believe scholarships should be based on economic need, but outreach and promotion does need to be targeted to certain types of people to be effective. Basic marketing principles.
I don't think anyone should go boating without knowing how to swim, or at least float. Otherwise if the boat should capsize or you should fall off you're putting an unfair burden on the other people in the boat. Of course, so long as you always have proper safety gear (wear flotation vests, etc), that's less the case.
Yes I read the article.
And it reads as sloppy science. Too many unaccounted for variables to reach the conclusion they did. It's like if I went around and asked 1000 people if they like eggplant. Of that... 60% of the respondents with red hair didn't like eggplant... so wow... 60% of redheads don't like eggplant. Because we know hair color is an influencing factor in food choices.
What I'm trying to get across and believe needs changing is focusing on the wrong things. I think the most important part of that article was not 60% of "black" kids... but that there appeared to be a correlation between parents ability to swim and their kids. That seems to be a much better result with more importance than the color of ones skin.
And I didn't say I don't know HOW to swim. :)