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knelson
July 10th, 2009, 12:52 AM
Anyone else catch this story?
http://www.philly.com/philly/news/50346612.html

Hard to believe this kind of thing still happens. Disgusting!

ViveBene
July 10th, 2009, 06:37 AM
Anyone else catch this story?
http://www.philly.com/philly/news/50346612.html

Hard to believe this kind of thing still happens. Disgusting!

Yes - and my reaction was the same as yours. I feel for those kids.

chaos
July 10th, 2009, 08:04 AM
and yet.... many would argue that our country is color blind now. what a joke.

Bobinator
July 10th, 2009, 10:03 AM
Yes I saw that. How sad for those kids. :badday:

pwb
July 10th, 2009, 10:33 AM
Disgusting ... sounds like a near replay from that scene in Pride ...

qbrain
July 10th, 2009, 11:00 AM
I saw the article as well, and my first thought was "Is this real or just inflammatory reporting?"

If you take a look at their website, you will see the club's pool is small. If you read a few more articles about it, you will see another camp's money was refunded who only had 25 children because the noise level at the pool was too great for comfort.

It sucks that kids don't have a pool to swim in, but it looks like that has more to do with municipal fiances than racism.

knelson
July 10th, 2009, 12:57 PM
If you take a look at their website, you will see the club's pool is small. If you read a few more articles about it, you will see another camp's money was refunded who only had 25 children because the noise level at the pool was too great for comfort.

Honestly this seems like covering their tracks. They should know how many people the pool can accommodate and not let larger groups than this rent the pool. I'm not buying this excuse. Two bits they've someone managed to handle large groups of predominantly white kids.

qbrain
July 10th, 2009, 02:09 PM
Honestly this seems like covering their tracks. They should know how many people the pool can accommodate and not let larger groups than this rent the pool. I'm not buying this excuse. Two bits they've someone managed to handle large groups of predominantly white kids.

They are being investigated for discrimination, but I doubt the out come matters. The people have spoken, the country club is guilty and the loss of membership from this event should make sure this place shuts down.

Philadelphia has financial problems. Of their 73 public pools, 23 remained closed. The other 50 were opened not with public funds, but only with the aid of donations. Many private pools have made their facilities available to non members.

I am willing to withhold the accusation of discrimination until more than two paragraphs of hearsay is published. You may be right, racism is alive and well, but it seems it is used as the default conclusion at the exclusion of any other possibilities too often.

Spock
July 10th, 2009, 02:41 PM
Swimming is one of the least diverse sports on the planet.

I think it's really hard to imagine if you've grown up around pools and that's just the way it is.

Let's put it this way: when I go to any swim meet, everyone knows who I am.

lefty
July 10th, 2009, 02:45 PM
Let's put it this way: when I go to any swim meet, everyone knows who I am.

Well in fairness your ears are pretty rare.

trout
July 10th, 2009, 02:45 PM
I tend to be annoyed when busloads of children show up at my pool. It's not their race that is a problem- I just don't like kids!

Perhaps much of the member response is just from swimmers who don't want a large number of children taking over their quiet pool.

It doesn't necessarily have to be racism.

knelson
July 10th, 2009, 03:20 PM
When someone makes statements like this it's pretty hard to defend them, IMO:

Duesler, according to Gomez, said that the club "underestimated the impact" the campers would have on the club, that they "fundamentally changed the atmosphere." And he stressed that race "had nothing to do with the decision" to break the club's agreement with Creative Steps.

Yesterday, NBC 10 reported that the club had released a statement from Duesler saying that "there was concern that a lot of kids would change the complexion" and "the atmosphere."

qbrain
July 10th, 2009, 03:59 PM
When someone makes statements like this it's pretty hard to defend them, IMO:

How about this, there are two possibilities.

The club is racist, and didn't realize that leasing the pool to 3 summer camps from Philadelphia, whose population is only about 40% white, might include non-white kids, and kicked them out as soon as they realized that summer campers from Philly weren't white country club children.

Or the county club sold some space to summer camps, hoping to make a little extra profit without the club members noticing. The club members did notice, were offended that space had been sold to non members when they probably paid a high price to join their private club, and asked for the summer camps to be removed no matter if the kids were red, white or blue.

I think the club put money before their members. You think the club is racist. I may come to agree with you, but it will take more than one dumbass talking to the press to convince me.

knelson
July 10th, 2009, 04:06 PM
The club is racist, and didn't realize that leasing the pool to 3 summer camps from Philadelphia, whose population is only about 40% white, might include non-white kids, and kicked them out as soon as they realized that summer campers from Philly weren't white country club children.


Well, we can't assume everyone at the club is racist. The person who booked the groups may have thought nothing about it, but then when the group(s) showed up certain members voiced their displeasure. There's no way of really knowing whether this displeasure was racially motivated or not, but the fact is this group booked the pool and then were later told they weren't welcome anymore. It's a BS move.You rent the pool to a group, you let them use the pool unless they violate the rules and I see nothing to suggest that happened.


Swimming is one of the least diverse sports on the planet.

It really is. I went to a high school where whites were in the minority, but I'm struggling to think of a single non-white kid on the swim team during my four years there. I don't think racism was the primary reason for this, but when kids who want to swim are turned away, it sure ain't helping the matter any.

nkfrench
July 10th, 2009, 05:17 PM
This is kind of a tough one. I tend to think it's just having kids, not a race discrimination issue. "Atmosphere" can be a serene relaxing atmosphere or a chaotic high-energy atmosphere.

A swim team usually isn't very noisy during the practices and the kids aren't running amok especially if the kids are a bit older. The coaching staff should be able to keep the group under control although sometimes the parents don't cooperate about leaving the kids unsupervised before/after practice.

A kids camp where the kids are just swimming to cool off and have fun will be more running around, shrieking, and horseplay.

Kid behavior can also extend to the restroom facilities with water fights, clogging toilets and such. It only takes a few disruptive kids to cause a huge problem.

I am not particularly fond of small shrieking kids and do my best to avoid them. If I were paying for a pricey membership and kids showed up during Adult Lap Swim hours, I would not be happy.

Local legend is that a swim team was kicked out of a pool in my area effective until the end of all time. And every other youth group in town was banned also. Supposedly a sibling (not a swimmer) got bored, wandered off, and purposely urinated on a basketball court adjacent to the pool area.

BillS
July 10th, 2009, 05:21 PM
How about this, there are two possibilities.

The club is racist, and didn't realize that leasing the pool to 3 summer camps from Philadelphia, whose population is only about 40% white, might include non-white kids, and kicked them out as soon as they realized that summer campers from Philly weren't white country club children.

Or the county club sold some space to summer camps, hoping to make a little extra profit without the club members noticing. The club members did notice, were offended that space had been sold to non members when they probably paid a high price to join their private club, and asked for the summer camps to be removed no matter if the kids were red, white or blue.

I think the club put money before their members. You think the club is racist. I may come to agree with you, but it will take more than one dumbass talking to the press to convince me.

But the article makes clear that named witnesses reported members making racist comments:


Trouble began immediately, says Wright, when she heard several white members make disparaging racial remarks about the campers, who are black and Hispanic. Wright says that Valley Club president John Duesler, who was on the premises, seemed surprised and embarrassed by the behavior but assured her that all would work out.




According to 14-year-old camper Dymir Baylor, with whom I spoke yesterday, some of the comments were heartless.

"I heard a white lady say, 'What are all these black kids doing here? They might do something to my child,' " recalled Dymir, who says he lives in a neighborhood so diverse, he'd never heard anyone speak like that before. "It was rude and ignorant."



It seems noteworthy that Duesler didn't deny that the club's members made racist comments. Instead, the statement he issued seemed to all but admit that the member vote had a racial component:


Yesterday, NBC 10 reported that the club had released a statement from Duesler saying that "there was concern that a lot of kids would change the complexion" and "the atmosphere."



Certainly not all members should be tarred by the racist comments of a few, and certainly there may have been mixed or non-racial motives in the member vote, and certainly a journalist may be stirring the pot a little to sell papers -- but I can't deny that there is a racial component when two named sources go on record as having heard racist statements which are not then immediately and unequivocally denied by the manager.

nkfrench
July 10th, 2009, 05:53 PM
Guess I neglected to speak on the other side, if indeed racism is occurring it disgusts me that people still think and act in that manner.

I think our society has a lot more difficulty with cultural differences than with race.

sydneybrown
July 10th, 2009, 06:19 PM
My opinion? The kids showed up, some of the families were displeased and made remarks that were interpreted as racist, and which might in fact have been. These families then complained to the management who terminated the agreement with the camps.

The owners of the club may or may not be racist, but it would be surprising to me if there weren't at least a few members who thought some less than PC things about the campers who perhaps vocalized these thoughts within earshot of a camper.

It's disgusting, but I can't say I'm at all surprised.

Bobinator
July 11th, 2009, 01:18 PM
I feel for these kids! The experience of being kick out of an establishment based on your ethnicity is a harsh introduction to the real world.
We wonder why people walk around with chips on their shoulders. I know how I would feel if I had to experience something like that!

orca1946
July 11th, 2009, 02:21 PM
They could have handled it in a much different way. It's not right to hurt kids !!

Redbird Alum
July 16th, 2009, 03:38 PM
I thought it would be interesting to hear your collective thoughts about the latest twist in this story...


The club apologizes (admittedly poorly) and invites the summer kids back to use the pool.
The People in charge of the camp refuse the invitation, saying too little too late.
The People in charge of the camp plan to sue the Swim Club, calling for the firing of the Board and punitive damages. They cite irreparable harm to the kids.
Is anyone served well by sueing the Swim Club into non-existance? Are the kids served well? Do they learn that apologies are not enough?

Thoughts?

aquageek
July 16th, 2009, 03:47 PM
It is unlikely that insurance will defend this lawsuit so the end result of all of this is everyone loses.

knelson
July 16th, 2009, 03:53 PM
Yeah, this "show me the money" attitude seems almost as repugnant as the original racism was.

BillS
July 16th, 2009, 06:36 PM
Would you prefer that the campers and supporters storm the place with lit torches and pitchforks? The court system is supposed to be the appropriate place to redress grievances in a civil way.

The follow up story sheds little light on any additional reasons for litigation beyond what we learned in the initial story: http://www.philly.com/philly/news/breaking/20090713_Camp_to_file_suit_against_swim_club.html

But I am not advocating a rush to litigation. A resolution I would like to see is for the kids and camp leaders to return to the pool and face the folks who made the comments, with a skilled mediator/dispute resolution moderator present to help guide the discussion. I'm thinking of the meeting Don Imus had with the Rutgers women's basketball team after referring to them as "nappy-headed hos." The campers and leaders could explain how hurtful the comments were to them. The folks who made the comments could explain the comments if they were misunderstood or out of context, or try and justify them, or simply apologize. If South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission was able to successfully provide redress for some of the most egregious apartheid-era wrongs, it seems like a dispute resolution model worth pursuing.

And then, in an echo of Rosa Parks, Linda Brown, and the Little Rock 9, I'd like to see the kids swim there all summer.

aquageek
July 16th, 2009, 06:54 PM
Yeah, this "show me the money" attitude seems almost as repugnant as the original racism was.

I was afraid to say it and give you credit for doing so, word!

Big Jim the finger
July 16th, 2009, 07:13 PM
Some on this forum are happy to take the white guilt stance and think that someone at the club did or said something totally unprovoked.

Remember what group of youth were in attendance and be honest about imagining their (a)vocal emanations, (b)volume, and (c)comportment. It is not at all difficult to think that some, if not all of the members present at the time were either shocked or disgusted by the displays of the campers' lack of self control. Inner city kids have a reputation that is well deserved and Philadelphia is one of several metropolises that is well known for their "rough" street kids.

Private swim clubs are more than a pool and cabana boy with some lounges around. They sell an atmosphere of ease and recreation, not chaos and noise. The agreement with the camp was obviously handled poorly on an epic scale; neither the club members being properly warned, nor the campers being properly educated about the club they were to visit.

This is a sad story with no likely good outcome for either party. The campers will be damaged by the experience and the club may very well be history, depending on the amount of social engineering the judge may have in mind.

Oh yeah, whoever thought it would be a good idea for the two parties to get together to make nice, get over it. That is a failed hope of a weak leader. The two, separately, must educate themselves, or be educated, to deal with others in a socially acceptable manner.

Last point. This is a PRIVATE club. It can, or it's members can do whatever is not illegal or contrary to the bylaws of the club. If racist remarks were uttered, so what? It isn't anyone's business but the club's. And it is not illegal to be a a racist.

Bobinator
July 16th, 2009, 11:28 PM
It sounds to me like the "private" club sold the daycare center privleges to the pool without consulting the "members".
I still am saddened that these children had to experience racism and public disrespect at such a tender age. On the same note I can appreciate the fact that club members might have paid large membership fees to be able to swim in a quiet/tranquil type pool. The arrival of a bus full of noisy, hot, and excited kids sans parents could upset the peacefulness and family orientation of a private pool.
I liked Billc's idea.

knelson
July 16th, 2009, 11:56 PM
Some on this forum are happy to take the white guilt stance and think that someone at the club did or said something totally unprovoked.

I'm happy to do so based on the evidence as presented. Several people claimed to have heard racist comments and there's no question the group was told not to return. Also the club director's statements about the group changing the "complexion" of the club is a little hard to ignore. Meanwhile, the only comments I've seen about the behavior of the kids in the pool is that they were well behaved. Yeah, any large group of kids going to a pool is going to make somewhat of a ruckus. In my opinion the ethic makeup of the group isn't going to make much difference. Don't you think it's possible the club reacted more to the perceived threat these kids represented then to what actually happened?

If it's white guilt, so be it. I'll admit it offends me as a white person that other white people would behave like this.

Nathan
July 17th, 2009, 12:15 AM
It's disappointing that they are taking it to the courts for monetary damages. I can see out of principal taking action against those who uttered racial remarks, but going after money is simply going to put the club/pool out of business and doesn't make what happened any better or make it go away. This is just a saddening situation.

ViveBene
July 17th, 2009, 12:18 AM
I too like Bill S's idea, but it's the hardest path. People actually have to get together in a room and talk to each other, and listen. Unlikely, but the audacity of hope could still play a role.

knelson
July 17th, 2009, 12:28 AM
It's disappointing that they are taking it to the courts for monetary damages.

Yeah, that's what bothers me. I could see them trying to get the Valley Club to pay the money it would cost for the camp to rent out another pool, but punitive damages? How is this going to help? The damage has already been done to these kids. The idea that money can heal this is lame, IMO.

Big Jim the finger
July 17th, 2009, 01:50 AM
You read that into my post? Where did I say anything at all about race of the campers? I spoke to the socio-economic and cultural mix that would be represented by the campers. Race is irrelevant to my argument. Color is far less important than behavior. I never said the club was guiltless, just that the blame could be spread around and the likely result will be that everyone will get hurt in the long run.

The fact that racial slurs were reported is relevant to the story, but seeing the photo of people waiting for a call to protest is more telling about the intent of the camp. The hope for a payday is more important to them than social justice. If they wanted justice they would call for a meeting, not the lawyers.

Ripple
July 17th, 2009, 08:38 AM
You read that into my post? Where did I say anything at all about race of the campers? I spoke to the socio-economic and cultural mix that would be represented by the campers. Race is irrelevant to my argument. Color is far less important than behavior...
What, you think middle class kids would be any different? The YWCA that I swim at rented lanes to a synchro club last fall and winter. These are little middle class princesses, the sort who take flute lessons and do math homework between engagements. I only once made the mistake of being in the locker room at the same time as this shrieking flock of parrots. No doubt they behave perfectly when their parents and coaches are around, but somehow they can't read simple instructions such as "Please dry off before re-entering the locker room" when it's just them. The decibel level was unbelievable - I'm surprised I still have eardrums.
Still it was a smart move on the part of the YWCA. Those of us who went thrifty and bought facility memberships will now consider upgrading to "club" just to have a locker room with no kids in it.

some_girl
July 17th, 2009, 08:43 AM
Yeah, that's what bothers me. I could see them trying to get the Valley Club to pay the money it would cost for the camp to rent out another pool, but punitive damages? How is this going to help? The damage has already been done to these kids. The idea that money can heal this is lame, IMO.

It's punitive damages. I am pretty sure the point is not to help the kids but to punish the club. Which, frankly, I am all for. Behavior like this is not acceptable—is in fact more unacceptable than rambunctious kids—and unless you use a big stick people will continue to take slaps on the wrist and continue to behave poorly. I hope their club closes and they taste their own medicine when other clubs deny them membership.

Bobinator
July 17th, 2009, 09:55 AM
In comparing my teaching experiences (IPS-intercity schools and Carmel-Clay upper class suburban schools) I would have to say that noise and rowdy behaviour in large groups of children is classless.....they all do it.
Furthermore any public swimming pool in the summer that is filled with kids is very LOUD! Public swimming pools are places where it is appropriate for kids to let loose, play, talk loud, yell, kick, splash, mess with each other, and wear themselves out.
I think the person who sold this daycare center the rights to swim in this pool had probably never been to a pool full of kids and didn't understand what was going to happen, or they were on drugs.
I don't know the solution to this problem. Awarding the offended kids parents some money for their discomfort is going to do nothing except teach them to take advantage of an already bad situation.
I guess if the private club apoligized sincerely and offered them their swim time again they have probably done all they can do. The reaction of the members present that day may not reflect the attitude of the total membership of this pool.
Perhaps the "rented-out" times could be made known to the members, then they could choose to swim at other times or go ahead and deal with the noise/rowdiness of more kids.

Maui Mike
July 17th, 2009, 10:54 AM
I've often thought that in lawsuit situations like the one being discussed that, should the plaintiffs prevail, perhaps the compensation should take some form other than a direct cash payout. Perhaps put the payout into a scholarship fund? Or pay it to some inner city Boys and Girls Cub?

Maui Mike
July 17th, 2009, 10:55 AM
"Club" would make more sense than "cub".:blush:

Chris Stevenson
July 17th, 2009, 11:27 AM
I don't know the solution to this problem. Awarding the offended kids parents some money for their discomfort is going to do nothing except teach them to take advantage of an already bad situation.
I guess if the private club apoligized sincerely and offered them their swim time again they have probably done all they can do.

IMO, I rather doubt the apology would have happened if the story hadn't broke the way it did.

I tend to think the negative publicity was probably the appropriate level of punishment, but having never experienced this kind of thing personally, what do I know. And if it had been my child on the receiving end, I would be pretty pissed too.

Bobinator
July 17th, 2009, 12:15 PM
I would be pissed too!

I tend to think the negative publicity was probably the appropriate level of punishment, but having never experienced this kind of thing personally, what do I know. And if it had been my child on the receiving end, I would be pretty pissed too.[/quote]

Bobinator
July 17th, 2009, 12:19 PM
I've often thought that in lawsuit situations like the one being discussed that, should the plaintiffs prevail, perhaps the compensation should take some form other than a direct cash payout. Perhaps put the payout into a scholarship fund? Or pay it to some inner city Boys and Girls Cub?

I like that idea! Chances are though a payout like that would put the private club totally out of business.

selkie
July 17th, 2009, 02:07 PM
My private club has sold pool time to the summer day camp set for years. Yes, it's annoying when 30 kids of assorted and random ethnic, racial and religous heritage just show up when you don't expect it, but fortunately we've got a couple different facilities and I can move over to another pool if I don't want to deal with generic screaming 10 year olds encroaching on my lane.

And hey, since it keeps my membership costs down I'm all for it.

lefty
July 17th, 2009, 02:29 PM
Some on this forum are happy to take the white guilt stance and think that someone at the club did or said something totally unprovoked.

Remember what group of youth were in attendance and be honest about imagining their (a)vocal emanations, (b)volume, and (c)comportment. It is not at all difficult to think that some, if not all of the members present at the time were either shocked or disgusted by the displays of the campers' lack of self control. Inner city kids have a reputation that is well deserved and Philadelphia is one of several metropolises that is well known for their "rough" street kids.

Worth pointing this out one more time as this is what a racist-rant looks like now adays.

BillS
July 17th, 2009, 02:55 PM
Inner city kids have a reputation that is well deserved and Philadelphia is one of several metropolises that is well known for their "rough" street kids.


Oh yeah, whoever thought it would be a good idea for the two parties to get together to make nice, get over it. That is a failed hope of a weak leader. The two, separately, must educate themselves, or be educated, to deal with others in a socially acceptable manner.



While I agree that you didn't specifically mention race, this is at the very least stereotyping. And most readers will read "inner city kids" as referring to minorities.

My intent in getting the parties to talk directly to one another was not to encourage them to "make nice." To the contrary, I would hope that it would be a heated, emotional exchange. As I recall, the women of the Rutgers basketball team were not shy about telling Don Imus exactly how hurtful his words were to them, and I'd like to think he learned something from it. He seemed genuinely remorseful.

Finally, the purpose of punitive damages is to deter and punish, not compensate. Punitive damages are not recoverable in Pennsylvania unless and until compensatory damages are awarded. Depending on the nature of the claim for liability, there can be insurance coverage for punitive damages under some circumstances, and may well be here.

By the way, here in Oregon, a statute requires that 60% of any punitive damage award be paid to the state Crime Victims' Assistance Program. Attorney fees are limited to 20% of the punitive damage portion of the recovery, and must be paid out of the prevailing party's 40% share. Pennsylvania does not appear to have a similar requirement.

Mswimming
July 17th, 2009, 03:11 PM
Worth pointing this out one more time as this is what a racist-rant looks like now adays.

No kidding.

I was the head lifeguard at private club in college and we rented the club out to various youth groups and schools. It was never a big deal. We'd talk to all the kids before hand to go over the rules and I'd have an extra lifeguard on deck to deal with the higher percentage of non swimmers. It was never big deal and the kids always had a great time.

To hear the valley club say they were not prepared is pretty funny to me. Unless they have never rented the club out before to any group of kids there is no excuse.

aquageek
July 17th, 2009, 04:29 PM
Worth pointing this out one more time as this is what a racist-rant looks like now adays.

Self-righteousness still looks exactly the same. Big Jim doesn't deserve to be called racist for expressing his views.

knelson
July 17th, 2009, 05:38 PM
Finally, the purpose of punitive damages is to deter and punish, not compensate. Punitive damages are not recoverable in Pennsylvania unless and until compensatory damages are awarded.

Thanks for pointing this out. I didn't know that's how it works.

gull
July 17th, 2009, 05:46 PM
My private club has sold pool time to the summer day camp set for years. Yes, it's annoying when 30 kids of assorted and random ethnic, racial and religous heritage just show up when you don't expect it...

See, there's the rub. If you had just left it at "30 kids," I would have had no problem with this statement.

lefty
July 17th, 2009, 09:09 PM
Self-righteousness still looks exactly the same. Big Jim doesn't deserve to be called racist for expressing his views.

Call it what you want, Big Jim is a racist as is anyone who attributes the children's behavior to their race or SES. And I'll gladly point it out eveytime to your great annoyance; not because it annoys you but because people like Jim make me puke. Ironically, while you defend people like Jim, you would never behave like him.

Big Jim the finger
July 17th, 2009, 10:32 PM
Call it what you want, Big Jim is a racist as is anyone who attributes the children's behavior to their race or SES. And I'll gladly point it out eveytime to your great annoyance; not because it annoys you but because people like Jim make me puke. Ironically, while you defend people like Jim, you would never behave like him.

Aw gee, Lefty. I thought your moniker was because you were a southpaw. Instead, it seems to be a shortcut to intolerance of freely given and (for the time being) constitutionally protected views by thoughtful persons. Get ready to puke away.

I will repeat my challenge. Where did I ever use race as a basis for my argument? I did refer to white guilt one time to point out what some of the posters were saying.

Inner city children by popular definition are handicapped by their physical surroundings and yes, socio-economic status. This puts them at risk of perpetuating the same set of bad choices and behaviors generation after generation if something is not done to intercede. The camps in question are one of these attempts, and success is tough to achieve even with the best of intentions all around.

You would like to put me in a box labeled, "racist" simply for saying this. Why? I am not calling you any names.

I fully understand that the perception of inner city children is racial first in most minds in order to put a "face" on the subject. I did not refer to race in my comments because it is not relevant. Behavior by the children and by extension, their parents, is. This also applies to the club members, who generally enjoy a higher amount of freedom and liberty because of their wealth. That does not excuse their behavior, either. Both groups need more education, but not by each other in a heated environment. That just gets people hurt or killed.

Some Girl in the Bronx would like to see the club closed for the bad behavior of a few members. To what end? Remove yet another pool from anyone's use and enjoyment? Really. It is still a private club, perhaps there is a code of conduct (most clubs have them) that would eject the offending members. But that isn't good enough, is it? Everyone needs to pay. Even the campers who would no longer even have that club as a possible place to swim. Great thinking.

This is a very good thread with a lot of well intentioned posts. The fire-breathers just need attention, or a harder main set at the next practice.

ddl
July 17th, 2009, 11:45 PM
it's annoying when 30 kids of assorted and random ethnic, racial and religous heritage just show up when you don't expect it,

Hmmm, if a survey is conducted here about the forum members' ethnicity/race/religious heirtage, an "assorted and random" picture may emerge "when you don't expect it". :cool:

Maui Mike
July 18th, 2009, 01:13 AM
This thread doesn't really have much to do with swimming, but it has been worthwhile, intelligent, and a good read.

chaos
July 18th, 2009, 07:26 AM
Some Girl in the Bronx

some girl is from brooklyn....... another inexcusable faux pas big jim!

Allen Stark
July 18th, 2009, 12:48 PM
I think the behavior of these club members was wrong and that each of them needs to take sensitivity training and issue a personal apology.That said I was stunned at the statement that these children are "permanently scarred."I am expert in dealing with PTSD and such and this event is not "permanently scarring." It can become so however by the process of justifying a lawsuit.While I have seen many times people who were wronged gain a sense of satisfaction and closure from a suit,I have also seen situations where the perceived trauma grew as the need to justify damages grew.Needing to prove these kids are "permanently scarred" by this in order to win more money may end up causing just that.

sydned
July 18th, 2009, 05:26 PM
I think the question of whether this is permanently scarring is more an issue of the collected incidents of racism children and families of color have over the course of their lives. It really depends upon how families and communities choose to work with each of their individual children. As a multi-racial family, my husband, son, and I encounter racism and ignorance on an almost daily basis. What we've chosen to do is make sure that we process every episode with our son so that he is equipped with the tools he needs as he grows up. We're not going to be able to change all of the jerks out there, but at the very least least, we can work as a family to point out their ignorance and help our son learn to manage it in his own way, since we won't always be with him as things happen.

In our particular situation, our son is ethnically asian and my husband and I are white. This also means many white people seem to feel "safe" saying things to us that they may not have said to us if we were also asian. It's the "oh, you'll understand" mentality. We've heard it all--and have practiced our responses as a family, making choices about how to deal with the myriad ways people express their ignorance. We don't always get it right, of course, but we try our best to help our son grow up feeling confident, self-assured, and proud of who he is.

We also try to make space for our son to talk with people who share his experience, since there are certainly things my husband and I will never be able to understand.

It sucks that there are so many ignorant idiots out there--at least some of them make themselves obvious so that we know who to avoid...

In addition to club members and management needing to undergo some sensitivity and diversity training, families of the kids need to be given the tools and opportunity to process this. If there is money to be given in this particular case, let it be given to those kind of programs.

thewookiee
July 18th, 2009, 08:07 PM
Self-righteousness still looks exactly the same. Big Jim doesn't deserve to be called racist for expressing his views.

Last time I checked, expressing one's opinion doesn't make a person racist.

stillwater
July 18th, 2009, 08:46 PM
Last time I checked, expressing one's opinion doesn't make a person racist.

If your opinion is racist it would.

thewookiee
July 18th, 2009, 09:32 PM
If your opinion is racist it would.

Big Jim's is expressing his opinion on this event that has transpired. People are are calling him racist. His opinions on why this event occurred does not make him racist.

His opinion on why this has occured does not make him a racist.

some_girl
July 18th, 2009, 10:39 PM
some girl is from brooklyn....... another inexcusable faux pas big jim!

You, sir, are a prince among men.

Maybe it's just because I'm not white and maybe it's just because swimming was the highlight of my daycamp years (in California, where our camps owned our pools, btw) but the behavior of these folks is just so far beyond excusable my mind ... Well, vengeance is not a solution to anything but my better impulses are finding it very difficult to win out.

sydned
July 18th, 2009, 10:45 PM
Here, here Some Girl.

cheakamus
July 19th, 2009, 12:12 AM
Some on this forum are happy to take the white guilt stance and think that someone at the club did or said something totally unprovoked.

Remember what group of youth were in attendance and be honest about imagining their (a)vocal emanations, (b)volume, and (c)comportment. It is not at all difficult to think that some, if not all of the members present at the time were either shocked or disgusted by the displays of the campers' lack of self control. Inner city kids have a reputation that is well deserved and Philadelphia is one of several metropolises that is well known for their "rough" street kids.

Private swim clubs are more than a pool and cabana boy with some lounges around. They sell an atmosphere of ease and recreation, not chaos and noise. The agreement with the camp was obviously handled poorly on an epic scale; neither the club members being properly warned, nor the campers being properly educated about the club they were to visit.


This is a sad story with no likely good outcome for either party. The campers will be damaged by the experience and the club may very well be history, depending on the amount of social engineering the judge may have in mind.

Oh yeah, whoever thought it would be a good idea for the two parties to get together to make nice, get over it. That is a failed hope of a weak leader. The two, separately, must educate themselves, or be educated, to deal with others in a socially acceptable manner.

Last point. This is a PRIVATE club. It can, or it's members can do whatever is not illegal or contrary to the bylaws of the club. If racist remarks were uttered, so what? It isn't anyone's business but the club's. And it is not illegal to be a a racist.

I don't know where Big Jim is getting his information. I only know what's written in the newspaper article referenced by the original poster. Let's take a look at some of the assertions in Jim's post.

"Some on this forum are happy to take the white guilt stance." How is defending the rights of a group of children to swim in a pool which has contractually obligated itself to accommodate them "white guilt?" Why "white" specifically?

"Remember what group of youth were in attendance." Yes, what group? All we're told in the article is that they are a bunch of black and hispanic kids enrolled in a day camp. Granted, an address for the day camp is given, but never having been to Philadelphia, I can't comment on that. Big Jim presumably knows more.

"Be honest about imagining their (a)vocal emanations, (b)volume, and (c) comportment." Since there is nothing—zero, nada, niente—in the article that gives us a clue as to (a), (b), or (c), I guess I will just have to "imagine" the scene the way Jim does.

"It is not at all difficult to think that some, if not all of the members present at the time were either shocked or disgusted by the displays of the campers' lack of self control." What lack of self control? Jim's earlier "imaginings" are now presented as fact. Even if true, are "some, if not all" club members likely to be "shocked or disgusted" by the alleged boisterousness of (minority) children? If so, they really need to get out more.

"Inner city kids have a reputation that is well deserved and Philadelphia is one of several metropolises that is well known for their "rough" street kids." Again, I can't comment on the location of the day camp, but there's nothing in the article that indicates the campers are necessarily "inner city kids." (One kid mentions his coming from a particularly "diverse" neighborhood.) Has Jim never heard of parents bringing their kids in from the suburbs so they'll be closer to the parents' workplace? Funnily enough, in my city, inner city kids are no worse (or better) than kids from the outlying areas. But apparently, Philadelphia has a problem.

Racist or not? You decide.

For me, the subsequent behavior of club president John Duesler (reported second-hand) speak volumes: he "seemed surprised and embarrassed by the behavior (of club members who allegedly made disparaging comments)" and "he seemed sincerely sorry." Unfortunately, he was unable to convince his members to reverse their decision to expel the group.

Finally, "this is a PRIVATE club. It can, or it's (sic) members can do whatever is not illegal or contrary to the bylaws of the club. If racist remarks were uttered, so what? It isn't anyone's business but the club's." Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your point of view), the club ceases to be "PRIVATE" when it seeks to offer an accommodation (for money) to a public entity such as this day camp. It is no more able to circumvent the existing laws against discrimination than, say, a "private" hotel that refuses to rent rooms to "colored" people. (I use that word advisedly.)

knelson
July 19th, 2009, 12:33 AM
His opinion on why this has occurred does not make him a racist.

My opinion is that it does.

aquageek
July 19th, 2009, 09:04 AM
My opinion is that it does.

I accuse you of swimmism and being a swimmist.

FindingMyInnerFish
July 19th, 2009, 09:06 AM
Our local public radio station, WHYY, aired an interview/call-in show on this issue, with Deusler as one of the guests.

He seemed not so much racist as unprepared for the consequences of a swim club hosting a group of kids from a day camp--although he might well have been trying to cover his derriere.

I heard only part of the program--but the interviewer doesn't give him an easy out but does try to be fair and let him give his side of the issue.

Seems to me, though, the club seriously dropped the ball. At my Y, which has a kids' day camp, people pretty much know when there will be day camp kids using the pool--not during lap swim periods--and can plan accordingly. Lots of kids running around in a locker room are simply going to be noisy whatever their race. This is the nature of large humbers of children. The counselors, of course, do try to keep some order, but one can't expect kids to be monklike. I think the problem then is that if the kids are of a different race/ethnic group, the too easy assumption is that their race/ethnic group is the reason for their behavior. No doubt some members jumped to that conclusion in the hearing of the children.

I honestly would rather have an adults-only locker room for that reason, but facilities that have such locker rooms are more distant and generally more expensive. The kids camp is an income producer, and that sometimes means coexistence with noise and crowding--and just dealing. Here's the link to the program if anyone cares to have a listen.

http://www.whyy.org/cgi-bin/newwebRTsearcher.cgi

What I do remember, though, is that at least the radio program seems very much like the kind of dialogue a poster here suggested--a chance for different parties to express their opinions and get feedback.

Leonard Jansen
July 19th, 2009, 11:26 AM
Everyone involved with this, except the kids, are frickin' idiots.

Club management didn't think that throwing 30+ kids into a relatively small space wouldn't add exponential noise and chaos and responsibilty? On what planet does that happen?

People (possibly, since it yet to be proven) making racist remarks? How utterly 1950's and moronic. Chances are their kids will grow up to be idiots also. Besides, those people have enough material wealth that than can afford a private pool membership, so can't they just suck it up a bit and share with people that aren't as fortunate?

What's wrong with having some kids running around, making noise and acting like, well, kids? As long as they follow the rules and aren't affecting anyone's else saftey, no harm, no foul. It's fun to see kids having a good time, chaos or not.

People suing over alleged remarks?t-whooping, I can see suing for the right to use the pool and I can see pool management getting a butt-whooping, I don't see how money redresses anything.

Idiots all.

-LBJ

thewookiee
July 19th, 2009, 04:27 PM
My opinion is that it does.

Which you are entitled to think that....just like he is entitled to express his opinion on the subject.

And mine is that expressing his views on why the kids got booted does not make one a racist.

gull
July 19th, 2009, 04:56 PM
A racist believes that one race is superior to another. I don't think we can conclude that Big Jim is a racist solely on the basis of his posts (which I disagree with), although he does seem to be guilty of stereotyping and generalizations.

Dr. Stark, have you had occasion to treat individuals with PTSD after witnessing Paul Smith blowing out one or more of his suits? If so, can you comment on their prognosis?

slknight
July 21st, 2009, 12:55 PM
The kids are now going to Disney World:

http://www.cnn.com/2009/SHOWBIZ/07/20/tyler.perry.pool.children/index.html

BillS
July 21st, 2009, 01:50 PM
The kids are now going to Disney World:

http://www.cnn.com/2009/SHOWBIZ/07/20/tyler.perry.pool.children/index.html

I would rather have seen Mr. Perry find them a nice facility, rent it for a month or two, and pay for some quality swim instruction for the group. The lack of swimming ability of minority kids is well documented (for example, see the Make a Splash With Cullen Jones learn to swim program), but the problem is by no means limited to minorities. Too many of my kids' friends claim to be able to swim, but scare the life out of me when I see them at the pool or the river. A trip to Disneyworld is a one-shot benefit that bears no relationship to the original wrong; learning to swim well lasts a lifetime.

geochuck
July 21st, 2009, 01:53 PM
It is a shame that there are so many intolerant people.

My brother closed a swimming pool management company that he operated in Washington DC Virginia and Maryland. There were White Swim Clubs who would not allow him to use Black employees to work in their swim pools. He hired the Lifeguards and Maintenance personnel.

Also on the otherside there were two Black Swim Clubs that would not allow whites.

My brother moved back to Canada in 1978 fed up with the racial problems in the USA.

gull
July 21st, 2009, 02:25 PM
My brother moved back to Canada in 1978 fed up with the racial problems in the USA.

You need racial diversity to have racial problems.

geochuck
July 21st, 2009, 02:47 PM
Canada has a very diverse society. We have a total population of just over 33,000,000. We have over 1,200,000 blacks, and at least 200,000 mixed bloods.
Many Chinese, Japanese, Native Canadians Indians and Eskimos (1.3 million) etc stc etc.

cheakamus
September 23rd, 2009, 11:14 AM
http://www.seattlepi.com/national/1110ap_us_swim_club_minorities.html