The news that 65 black and hispanic youth campers were denied entrance to Valley Club’s pool, which is used by whites, even though they had already paid for membership, has spread quite a bit already.
I have only two things to add.
First, if you read the story, it seems pretty cut and dried. The Club sold the camp memberships unaware that they were for (gasp!) black children (the horror!), the Club quickly realized upon the children’s first vist that they were black (and hispanic), and the Club revoked their membership.
Then add this:
“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.”
“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.
“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.
And the Valley Club website, which used to be here but seems to have been removed in the last couple days, previously showed a variety of photos of happy white people and white children enjoying the Club’s facilities, including the swimming pool. I was unable to find a single person of color in any photo.
Well, over at NBC they aren’t so sure. They inserted this statement into their story on the matter: “Campers remain unsure why they’re no longer welcome.”
What The Hell. Is it too political to name racism when it is found? Using even the most basic and simplistic definition of racism, this incident would still fit the term. The children were denied entrance because of their race. Racism. How could that possibly be so controversial that NBC wouldn’t even feel comfortable printing the word? Oh, because some whites may be offended. Well excuse me.
So there’s that. And then there’s how you can take action. You can sign the petition at Color of Change! Or write your own note and send it to P.O. Box 134, Huntingdon Valley, PA 19006 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tell ’em what’s UP. Without making threats or terroristic statements. Duh.