Pool Charged With Racism Decides to Ask Black Campers to Return

July 13, 2009

(ChattahBox)—A private swim club in suburban Philadelphia, besieged with charges of racism and national negative media attention, has decided to reinstate the membership of a group of minority campers who were refunded their money and told not to return, after swimming at the pool on the first day of their membership.

The Creative Steps day camp in Northeastern Philadelphia, contracted with the Valley Swim Club in Huntingdon Valley for its 65 minority campers to use the club’s pool for 90 minutes every Monday afternoon throughout the summer.

However, once the minority children arrived to swim at the mostly white pool, the children overhead racial slurs directed towards them and the white parents removed their children from the pool. Days later, club president, John Duesler returned the money to Creative Steps day camp and asked them not to return.

National outrage ensued over the Valley Swim Club’s actions, after Duesler issued a statement indicating racism was at play in booting minority children from the pool. “There was concern that a lot of kids would change the complexion … and the atmosphere of the club,” said Duesler.

Community organizers formed protests at the club deriding its racism and the state Human Relations Commission is conducting an investigation into the pool’s actions. U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter, D-Pa., asked the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate into the matter.

Amid the harsh media attention and upcoming investigation into unlawful racism, pool members called a meeting on Sunday and voted unanimously to reinstate the memberships of the Creative Steps day camp and two other camps.

Amy Goldman, a member of the pool club for two-years, rejected claims made by the Valley Swim Club that it had a diverse and multi-ethnic membership, commenting that she has not seen a black member at the pool this year.

Creative Steps day camp director Alethea Wright was not available to comment on Sunday evening, but previously announced that Girard College, a private Philadelphia boarding school, had offered the use of its outdoor pool to the campers, after being kicked out by the Valley Swim Club.

Meanwhile, parents of the minority campers may be unwilling to return their children to a facility that humiliated and hurt the campers with insensitive racial remarks.



One Response to “Pool Charged With Racism Decides to Ask Black Campers to Return”

  1. Bob on July 15th, 2009 3:08 pm

    Now I see
    Independently why racism
    Goes to deep in our country
    Given that we as people
    Even evolved as a society
    Remains a mystery

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