"Pool Boots Kids Who Might "Change the Complexion" - Call or email them! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 07-09-2009, 03:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Article is here...

Basically, a day camp in Philly paid almost $2000 to a private swim club so that the campers could swim there this summer. The first day they arrived at the pool, they were kicked out and told that they were not welcome because of their race.

The swim club president released a statement that said, in part;

Quote:
"There was concern that a lot of kids would change the complexion … and the atmosphere of the club,"
This is absolutely horrific to me. If you feel the same, here’s how to contact the club: info@thevalleyclub.com. Phone number: 215-947-0700

 
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#2 of 13 Old 07-09-2009, 05:10 PM
 
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Pool Boots Kids Who Might "Change the Complexion"

Quote:
"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."

United States Senator Arlen Specter (D-PA) has agreed to initiate an investigation of the campers’ discrimination claims.
To express outrage regarding the intolerable treatment of the children of Creative Steps Day Camp, letters and phone calls may be directed to:
The Valley Swim Club 22 Tomlinson Road, Huntingdon Valley, PA 19006
215-947-0700

To express support of Senator Specter’s investigation, find your United States Senator at http://www.senate.gov/ and register your opinion.

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#3 of 13 Old 07-09-2009, 05:11 PM
 
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At least they found a new pool.

But OMG that first pool. Makes you wonder how many people they turned away before this fiasco.
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#4 of 13 Old 07-09-2009, 10:56 PM
 
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That is just awful! I would be ready to spit fire if my child was one of the campers. I'm ready to spit fire anyway and I'm all the way in Wisconsin. Shameful.

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#5 of 13 Old 07-12-2009, 01:27 AM
 
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I'll be calling them on Monday morning.

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#6 of 13 Old 07-12-2009, 08:53 AM
 
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Something else you can do:

http://www.colorofchange.org/swim/?id=2182-263543

You can find me on Facebook. PM for info.
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#7 of 13 Old 07-12-2009, 09:06 AM
 
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They've been on CNN all weekend saying they're not racist, they just overbooked the pool . I wonder what the "complexion" of the pool comment was supposed to mean then? Then CNN showed this poor little boy in tears saying that he couldn't believe that people still think this way today. So sad that children have to go through this .

+ = and .
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#8 of 13 Old 07-12-2009, 12:54 PM
 
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uh that just makes me sick!

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#9 of 13 Old 07-12-2009, 08:17 PM
 
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Just to clarify: Technically, they were kicked out because the pool was "overwhelmed" and the children made the pool "overcrowded" ... technically.

This is repugnant isn't it? I thought about going down there and joining the protest but DP has/had to work and we only have to the one car. I don't know how much is being broadcasting on the national circuit, but apparently the pool booked another camp there who was just there a week or two weeks or something before these kids arrived. They had just as many, if not more, kids there and no one cared. Not surprisingly, those kids were mainly white kids.

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#10 of 13 Old 07-12-2009, 09:32 PM
 
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Well something worked, probably all that negative press. The club has now offered to allow the kids back in their pool. Check it out here.

I certainly they hope to bring them back for free, but either way, I wouldn't go back. How can they? Those children were kicked out bc they weren't white. People looked at them and said "Why are those black kids here?". They said they were afraid for their children ... because black children were there and might go in the pool, causing the blackness to bleed from their flesh and stain the skin of the precious white children? I mean seriously.

I wouldn't go back, but hey, who knows. They might choose to do so.

Just thought you might like the update!

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#11 of 13 Old 07-30-2009, 02:05 PM
 
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I live in the area, and have been to Valley Swim Club, and I wanted to respond to what's been going on.

I do believe that 'complexion' was an absolutely poor choice of words. I think what he really meant was that the look of the pool had changed - not because of skin color, but because the pool had gone from a family place, with only ten kids in the shallow end on average, where the moms could easily keep an eye on them, to having 60+ kids in the shallow end, most of whom do not know how to swim. It was crowded. The pool took on the sphere of a day-care. The ratio of life guards to kids-who-can't-swim dramatically changed. If I were a member at that pool, and I had paid to be there, I would be frustrated with the situation. I wouldn't be able to trust that the lifeguards would be able to help sufficiently if something went wrong. The overall volume of the place probably rose dramatically too, making it a much less restful place to be.

Have you ever tried to take your kids to the park, to find that a whole group of kids were there, and turned around because it was too crowded? I have three kids, I can't follow them all simultaneously, and if one were calling for me, I can't hear them if there's a large group already there. Unsafe.

Yes, some of the pool members said some racial remarks. But that doesn't mean that the establishment was basing it's decisions on race.

I think this is a situation that escalated based on poor communication and misunderstandings. I think it's all terribly unfortunate.

I'm sorry that the Philly pools closed for the summer because of budget cuts, overwhelming the nearby suburban pools.

I think it may also have been possible that the comment "Where did all these black kids come from" may not have meant black to be a derogatory term. They may have meant "Where did all those kids-wearing-orange-shirts come from?" Who knows. I am reluctant to assume the worst of people. Yes there are some bigots out there. But I have had my share of verbal blunders (not about race, but just in general), and I am reluctant to make quick accusations.

Quote:
Those children were kicked out bc they weren't white. People looked at them and said "Why are those black kids here?". They said they were afraid for their children ... because black children were there and might go in the pool, causing the blackness to bleed from their flesh and stain the skin of the precious white children? I mean seriously.
It sounds ridiculous because it is. I don't believe anyone there actually thought that. Unsafe because of crowding, not because of 'blackness.' Really.

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#12 of 13 Old 07-30-2009, 04:22 PM
 
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It's sad that something like this could happen, but living in the South, I've seen the racism card played many, many too many times when it really had nothing to do with race. It makes it hard for me to take allegations like this seriously.

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#13 of 13 Old 07-30-2009, 05:07 PM
 
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While I think it's sad that the kids were kicked out, and they don't have another pool to go to, I can imagine being on the other side of the issue. Mainly because I've BTDT. It's VERY annoying to be a member of a private pool and then have a large group of rambunctious campers crowd everyone else out. It sounds like poor planning on the part of the pool management, and it's too bad that they didn't have the foresight to know that. They could have closed the pool one day a week (or posted signs letting their members know that Tues and Thurs day campers would be there) and allowed the campers full rein (at discounted rates) and kept everyone happy.

I'm sad that the children feel like they were discriminated against, that must be so hurtful. But looking at the facts, I doubt very much that racism was involved, except perhaps on the parts of individuals, and not the club.

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