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.
|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.