It’s popular among the conservative set to proclaim that racism is dead in Post-racial America. Even Uncle Tommie Clarence utilized that excuse when ruling in the recent Ricci case…
It, like almost everything conservatives have to say…
Is a lie.
As a child, right here in what now is considered the most urbane and liberal part of Virginia – I recall a time when there were no public pools which allowed black kids to swim in the counties of Fairfax and Arlington. If you wanted to swim, your parents had to haul you all the way to Alexandria – or one of the segregated black beaches or resort areas. One included a beach on the Maryland side of the Potomac River, from which you could see the Virginia Shore rising to Mt. Vernon.
More than 60 campers from Northeast Philadelphia were turned away from a private swim club and left to wonder if their race was the reason.
Kids at Creative Steps Day Camp were thrilled to go swimming once a week at the Valley Swim Club. But after only one trip to the private club, they were…
“I heard this lady, she was like, ‘Uh, what are all these black kids doing here?’ She’s like, ‘I’m scared they might do something to my child,'” said camper Dymire Baylor.
The Creative Steps Day Camp paid more than $1900 to The Valley Swim Club. The Valley Swim Club is a private club that advertises open membership. But the campers’ first visit to the pool suggested otherwise.
“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.
Campers remain unsure why they’re no longer welcome.
“They just kicked us out. And we were about to go. Had our swim things and everything,” said camper Simer Burwell.
The explanation they got was either dishearteningly honest or poorly worded.
“There was concern that a lot of kids would change the complexion … and the atmosphere of the club,” John Duesler, President of The Valley Swim Club said in a statement.
Fortunately, Girard College stepped up to provide facilities for the kids after hearing of the situation.