Monday, July 13, 2009

Culture Shock

Culture Shock

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A private suburban swim club accused of racism after it canceled the memberships of dozens of minority children says it will seek a meeting with the kids' camps to work out an agreement for them to return.

Amy Goldman, a member of The Valley Club, said those able to attend a hastily called meeting Sunday afternoon voted unanimously in support of reinstating the memberships of the Creative Steps day camp and two other camps as long as safety issues, times and terms can be agreed upon.

The Creative Steps camp had arranged for 65 mostly black and Hispanic children to swim each Monday afternoon at the gated Huntingdon Valley club, which is on a leafy hillside in a village straddling two overwhelmingly white townships. But after the group arrived June 29, camp director Alethea Wright said, several children reported hearing racial comments and some swim club members pulled their children out of the pool.

The camp's $1,950 was refunded a few days later.

The president of the swim club's board of directors, John Duesler, has said the decision was made out of safety considerations, not racial concerns.

--------- I don't believe that Duesler, club president and Obama fundraiser, is a bigot or racist - he's your typical white liberal who sincerely believes blacks are equal to whites, but his exposure has been predominantly to educated blacks, those in the same income bracket as himself. Like most white people in leafy hillside villages, he doesn't hang around with folks from the 'hood.

While Duesler has put foot in his mouth trying to explain the club's reason for cancelling the kids, with the din and roar of 65 kids freed from an inner city basement still ringing in his ears - it was nothing more than culture shock. Duesler and his fellow ghetto-shocked villagers are pathetically struggling to be politically correct. I've seen it happen to liberal white folks before ... when thrown into certain integrated settings, many of the racial stereotypes they refused to believe, are suddenly right there slapping them in the face. It's one thing for white leafy villagers to see inner city kids actin' a fool on TV or in a movie - quite another when up close and personal.

And after watching the camp director, Alethea Wright, in this interview , and having a similar situation here at our local Y -- I would bet my bippy that the simple facts are 65 kids descended upon the leafy valley village pool screaming, swearing, grabassing and speaking in Ebonics.

The kids have not been properly coached on what to say either: The young man in the video says "I heard this lady ... she said what is all these black kids doing here, I'm scared they might do something to my child." The young girl on the video says "... she said she don't want any black kids there swimming ____ " ... I cannot understand the last part of her sentence.

First of all, if you've ever been a member of a private club you know exactly what days and what hours are set aside for nonmembers, especially those from outside the neighborhood who might be an unruly crowd. Anyone who pays several hundred dollars a year to swim is kept aware of the agenda, such as "renting" the pool to nonmembers. Not only does "renting" out the club to the "disadvantaged and underprivileged" bring in funds, it also makes the more affluent members feel good about themselves and their charitableness.

Secondly, if for some reason the club member overlooked the newsletter informing him of nonmember hours and days, 99.9% of affluent country clubby politically correct white folks would not verbalize ignorant comments in public, for the simple fact they are much too polite and too afraid - of both the immediate potential asskicking and/or the legal repercussion of a racist accusation, but mostly the legal one.

Ms. Wright knows this, which is why those 2 kids interviewed said what they did - i.e. the woman "scared" over physical safety, and the other not wanting the "black kids there swimming", segregation, discrimination, illegal. Alethea, looking around the chip on her shoulder, sees white villagers as dumb and easily intimidated, many in the 'hood do, because highfalutin white liberals will practically kiss your ass in public to avoid being called racist.

I can just hear Ms. Wright and friends sitting around chewing on this situation when their check and swimming cancellation arrived. Who do those honky mofo's think they are not wantin' us in they pool, sue, call the NAACP - an organization that now has to hunt harder and longer for victims to justify their existence.

Of course there's racism and bigotry out there - so what? You're going to beat every white person over the head until you're respected when you don't even respect yourself? Crying racism has become an industry - led by lawyers and preachers who need racism to survive.

At our local Y we have a "free day" for those not able to pay for membership, and certain days/hours rented to day camp groups. On "free day" or rented days busloads from around the county show up, always black children. And every time it is a serious accident waiting to happen. Pool lights are broken, kids are bullied, theft, trash left behind, safety rules constantly ignored ... the lifeguards blowing their whistles nonstop. Sane people (black and white) pick up their towels and leave.

The problem is not whether the kids are black or poor - but you have to admit they always seem to be black and poor, the problem is not racism - the problem is the kids have no social etiquette, no sense of personal space, no respect. And as adults, most will be like the adults around them now - crying racism when their behavior doesn't serve them well. Eventually the race card is not going to work, even on the liberals, and then what is your heathen badass gonna do?


Anonymous said...

One of the few things I qualified for sometimes was free summer camp for my child while I sat typing away for a country club fellow. Your observations are right on target from both sides.

One I noted is that the leaders of these groups/camps can train the children to act responsibly (leave the pool early and leave it cleaned up) or they can blame the parents for the wild indians they can't seem to manage while sitting on their rearends sipping diet refreshments. Unfortunately there's more of the latter than the former from my view.


Anonymous said...

Kate I loved the last two paragraphs. What is to be done about "the problem is the kids have no social etiquette, no sense of personal space, no respect. And as adults, most will be like the adults around them now - crying racism when their behavior doesn't serve them well."

It truly is an embarrassment.

Kate-A said...

There are a lot of diet sipping rearends out there, aren't there? The politically correct crowd would think the term "wild indians" is racist or bigotted.

Yes, it's embarrassing. What is to be done? When I have the chance - I'm honest about people's behavior, to their face, instead of making excuses for them. Not the popular tactic but who cares about being popular?


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