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The Valley Swim Club Philadelphia!

Posted: July 8th, 2009 in Nation by LALATE

The Valley Swim Club Philadelphia

MAP! Outrage is growing against The Valley Swim Club of Philadelphia (map below). The Valley Swim Club (thevalleyclub.com) of Huntingdon Valley, near Philadelphia made African American kids who wanted to swim feel unwelcomed, claims reports.

Here is the latest.

Creative Steps Day Camp is a day camp that paid $1900 to the Valley Swim Club, a private club, to bring their campers to their pool. The Valley Swim Club is a private club with alleged “open memberships” available.

But when the camp showed up to the pool, reportedly filled with White kids, with their non White campers, the pool attendants allegedly told the kids to get lost claims parents.

Horace Gibson claims the following to NBC in a statement:

“When the minority children got in the pool all of the Caucasian children immediately exited the pool. 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.”

And it didn’t allegedly stop there. Creative Steps reportedly then got a message the next day – their contract was revoked by The Valley Swim Club, reportedly.

And as if this story couldn’t get worse, John Duesler, President of The Valley Swim Club said in a statement the following:

“There was concern that a lot of kids would change the complexion … and the atmosphere of the club.”

Below is a map of the facility.


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55 Responses to 'The Valley Swim Club Philadelphia!'

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  1. Sam said,

    on July 8th, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    Let them know how you feel! Here’s the info for the Valley Swim Club:

    Mailing Address:

    P.O. Box 134, Huntingdon Valley, PA 19006

    Club Phone Number:

    215-947-0700

    Club E-mail:

    info@thevalleyclub.com

  2. Fuzzball said,

    on July 8th, 2009 at 5:24 pm

    Before we get all excited…did anyone notice that the ‘Creative Steps Camp’ was ALL BLACK? What, do they not allow any other race in their little camp? This might be a case of the pot calling the kettle…well, you get the picture.

  3. Patriot said,

    on July 8th, 2009 at 5:53 pm

    Before you jump to conclusions, there is no evidence of that. Despite the appearance of the day camp, there is no concrete evidence that suggests that the day camp was in any way, shape, or form preventing or discouraging campers of other elasticities from joining. There was a flagrant disregard for civil rights by the action of the Valley Swim Club. Simply beacuse of the supposed racist tendencies of their guests, they do not have the right to exclude them on the basis of “changing the complexion of the pool”. Furthermore, fearing for a child’s safety based simply on the presence of African-American CHILDREN is unacceptable. Its not against the law for a person to be racist, but it is absoluetly illegal and un-American for a business establishment to be.

  4. TO said,

    on July 8th, 2009 at 5:55 pm

    Fuzzball, your an idiot…..
    Secondly there were definetely mutliple races of kids, there were some Hispanic kids in the video..your comment is just stupid…most of these kids are from low income areas…its not selective -__-

  5. lori leary said,

    on July 8th, 2009 at 6:12 pm

    Unbelievable. I did not realize that there were still racists like you folks left. You should be ashamed.

  6. PocaUna said,

    on July 8th, 2009 at 6:33 pm

    Cough it up fuzzball, watch the video and do some reading. Low income communities are mostly what? There is No excuse for treating children this way. EVER.

  7. GEE DAWG said,

    on July 8th, 2009 at 6:39 pm

    Actually, believe it or not, a PRIVATE clubs can do what ever they want with regard to discrimination based on race, *, religion, or sexual orientation. For example, the Boy Scouts of America can not let in homosexuals if they want to. It is our FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION.

    Public places, however, can not discriminate in the same way.

    I might not like it very much, but they are within their rights to do so.

    That being said. That group has a good cause of action for breach of contract and those kids have a GREAT cause of action for intentional infliction of emotional distress. THIS IS ABSURD.

  8. alice rutkowski said,

    on July 8th, 2009 at 7:18 pm

    You should be ashamed of yourself! Your kind are fading…and none to soon. I hope you are closed down!!

  9. Isn't this America? said,

    on July 8th, 2009 at 7:35 pm

    Yep, this is indeed a breach of contract. So, they can be sued, and unfortunately be closed down as a result of their pervasive ignorance. One has to go waaay out of their way and have blinders on to truly believe this in the 21st century. Not only that, if these people really believe this, then they are ripe for the picking by unscrupulous people who prey on other people who have these beliefs. The next thing you know, they get sucked into gangs – violent hate groups, and their impressionable kids end up being bootycalls at State Prisons. The decent people of this area will do the right thing. But either way, the Valley Swim Club will now be listed as a hate group worth monitoring by over seven national and international agencies, and will be approached by people who only want their money and to use them. I have personally known several former hard-core racists, one of whom was an actual assassin, who later found out that they were being exploited simply to finance a lifestyle of drugs, forced child prostitution, wife swapping and high living for only the people at the top. Dear Swim Club members, you may have thought you were keeping the real world at bay, but now you are being thrust into the spotlight of cyberworld, which is far scarier and faceless than the black people you fear. I will pray that common sense, and fairness, compassion and justice prevails, and most of all, for the healing in the hearts of the young children who have just had a heartbreakingly tragic lesson that racism is very much alive in parts of America. I can only imagine the sadness in the eyes of the First Lady of the United States of America when she has to explain to her daughters, who ask the question, “Mommy, why wouldn’t they let the kids swim in their pool?”

  10. vito carisso said,

    on July 8th, 2009 at 7:37 pm

    GET REAL…

    this was a whole ENTIRE summer CAMP FULL OF KIDS, who wanted (and admittedly paid) to use this pool as their ‘CAMP’ pool for the summer…

    The greedy club manager sold them access without CONSULTING the actual club members who are full time members..

    This pool can comfortably hold MAYBE 30-50 people, providing their is NO GOOFING AROUND or Horseplay..

    The black summer camp was SIXTY FIVE KIDS alone, before even ONE actual club members kid got into the pool. They went crazy as soon as they got to the pool, and the horseplay was out of control!

    The club manager, who should be fired for selling a pool-only access to the facility to A ENTIRE SUMMER CAMP FULL OF KIDS, thus deprived the actual camp members of access to the facilites they bought memberships to use..

    how is a club member supposed to get into the pool WITH 65 KIDS already spplahing around in pool that can hold approx 50 people TOPS, at one time?..

    to try to turn this into racism is rediculous, as if this was a JACK AND JILL (black families only club) facility and the pool could only hold 50 kids, the actual jack and jill members would rightly BLOW THEIR TOPS at the management for leasing out access to massive groups of people not part of the actual club.

    Screaming ‘racism’ here is lame.. if 5-10 kids of any race showed up NO ONE WOULD HAVE CARED..

    PUT 65 KIDS OF ANY RACE in a pool meant for no more than 50, and all the folks who already paid a $1000 aq family to use the join / use the facility are rightly mad NOT AT THE KIDS CAMP, but at the manager for trying to lease out the same facilities to two groups of paying members AT THE SAME TIME..

    the kids got kicked out because all those 1000 dollar club memebers DO PLAN to use the pool this summer, and if you are going to let a ENTIRE SUMMMER CAMP FULL OF KIDS USE IT DAILY, for 1900 bucks, then you can give back the 1000 bucks to each family of four who also intended to use it..

    the adults in charge of this camp ARE TO BLAME also, as turning this into a racial issue shows what they are really about.

    It does not take a genius to figure that if you are running a summer camp for kids, and 65 of them on your hands.. you cannot get exclusive access to a pool facility for only 1900 bucks, and all the other SMALL GROUPS of families who paid to sue it, NOT MONOPOLIZE IT AS A GROUP FACILITY, are not going to welcome you bringing 65 kids in every day at one time– to figure that out, and realize that it is not a racial complaint does not take a genius, but it does TAKE COMMON SENSE, which the club and camp managers both seem to be missing…

  11. Justice said,

    on July 8th, 2009 at 8:03 pm

    Uhh.. the kids were only contracted to use the pool on MONDAYS!!! One day a week, not every day. Nice try at justifying the obvious racism here though.

  12. Justice said,

    on July 8th, 2009 at 8:06 pm

    To vito carrisso:

    On Mondays for a total of 90 minutes by the way.

  13. Jennie said,

    on July 8th, 2009 at 8:49 pm

    Vito, well done, identifying yourself as a racist. Duesler clearly stated that the “complexion” of the pool was the issue. And these kids range from 5 – 12 years old. Oooooh, really scary.
    Everyone else– call every lawyer you know and get them to sue on behalf of the kids for emotional suffering. This club should go under for what they did.

  14. kdawg said,

    on July 8th, 2009 at 8:50 pm

    vito is a troll. he’s been posting the same misinformed b.s. response to every blog entry or news story on the situation. boycott this swim club, and let your friends and neighbors know that being member of this club is supporting segregation. disgusting story.

  15. Shannon said,

    on July 8th, 2009 at 9:30 pm

    Just to clarify, this swim club is NOT in Northeast Philadelphia. I run an online magazine for the Northeast, and this had become a huge talking point. It’s a shame the Northeast is getting this kind of attention, and all because a news station was too careless to find the true location.

    It was originally mislabeled as Northeast Philly, but in fact, is not even in Philadelphia, but a neighboring county.

    That being said, the Northeast has several private swim clubs, open to all.

  16. JayTheOrc said,

    on July 8th, 2009 at 9:47 pm

    In reading the rules of operation for this, now presumed to be, Pennsylvania pool for racists, there is absolutely NOTHING that indicates “complexion” to be a disqualifying factor for attending.

    http://www.thevalleyclub.com/downloads/2009_Rules_of_Operation.pdf

    Clearly an investigation is warranted not only into the pool management, but into its’ members and funding as well.

    This camp that was turned away, can find solace, for now, in the fact that they probably didn’t want to swim in a pool, that apparently serves as a wading ground for an as yet, undetermined number, of a hoggery of racist pigs, anyway.

    All those who were there, who got out, should be ashamed. All those who weren’t there, should get out of this club. All those who remain, should be investigated.

    The hammer needs to be brought down upon this racially discriminatory, “private club,” or award them the “private club” status, like that awarded to the KKK.

  17. Janet said,

    on July 8th, 2009 at 10:23 pm

    A membership for a family of four costs $615, not a $1,000. And a summer Mon-Thurs membership costs $330 for a family of four. (These look like total or annual prices, not monthly prices.) Kids are cheaper than adults. You can get your kid a Mon-Thurs summer membership for $30.

    How much did the camp kids pay? Their price also works out to $30 each. Only they don’t get unlimited Mon-Thurs use. They get 90 minutes on Monday.

    So the camp kids paid more than the white kids — (even if the white kids’ fee is monthly, the camp kids fee is more expensive for each hour of pool use!).

    The pool is 110,000 gallons, L-shaped, plus a separate wading pool for small children. They also have 10 acres of other facilities. So, yeah, 65 kids in the pool for 90 minutes once a week doesn’t seem that tough for the other members to deal with.

    That said, I’d be a bit annoyed with the club for not letting me know there was a camp swim on Mondays, so if I wanted to come at a less crowded time I could. But is that what the club and its members are saying? No.

    The big problem is no one at the club said “we made a mistake and overbooked the pool — too many people at once.” Instead they’re talking about “complexion” and “atmosphere” and how “minorities are not allowed.” And their guests are wondering aloud why black kids are there. (Even racism aside, you gotta have disgust for any adult who would make hurtful comments directed at a kid.)

    Their stated reasons for not letting the kids swim *. And if their real reason is overbooking, they should’ve thought of that before they took the camp’s money. Although, seeing as how they’ll have to find six families of four (24 people) to replace the income from the camp, and they’ll have to let those families use the pool for about 20 times longer for the same income…they’d do better to * up to the campers than the racists. Maybe they should take a business course?

  18. frank stein said,

    on July 9th, 2009 at 7:50 am

    i wouldnt want the little animals in the pool either.

  19. scott said,

    on July 9th, 2009 at 9:23 am

    I grew up going to this swim club, and I held every level of employment there until I graduated college. I’m going to start by saying that this was indeed handled poorly by the President, staff and members, assuming everything stated in the news articles is accurate. And I truly feel that is why this story is getting so much coverage.

    Now it’s been about 10 years since I worked there, so I’m not as well versed in membership options as some of you appear to be. But I can speak about the daily operations of this club or any other private swim club of a similar nature. If you are going to allow 60 MORE children in a pool for 90 minutes (remember, these children are being added to the members already swimming in the pool) you are going to create an uncontrollable situation in the pool. We never had a lifeguard watching more than 50 people at one time. That pool can “safely” accomodate 150 people, but the pool hasn’t been busy enough to see that volume in years. So the club doesn’t schedule enough lifeguards for that many people. This should have been thought of ahead of time.

    In addition, it’s not a mix of 60 different aged people, some swimming laps, some going off the diving board, etc. It’s 60 more kids in the shallow end where thay can stand. The result is now an overcrowded 1/3 of the pool (only 1/3 of pool is less than 4′ deep).

    I guess the biggest issue is respect for members and the rules of the club. Contrary to what is being said here, the Valley Club isn’t a racism-breeding machine. It’s a private recreational club, similar to a VFW, or a summer camp. There are rules in place for both the protection and the enjoyment of the paying members. The articles don’t state if the camp kids even knew what the rules of behavior were, or if they were misbehaving. But I know how even 3-4 kids would behave when they got dropped off at the pool, versus days when there parents were there to watch them. Can you imagine how the atmosphere changed when 60 kids with only a few counselors as chaperones jumped in the pool and began to “horseplay”? If you’ve ever seen the “Caddy Day” scene in Caddyshack, you get the picture. While I wasn’t there, I would bet that’s the problem that arose on that 1st day. And if I were a member today, and my kids were in the pool, I would pull them out due to the overcrowding, not because of anyone’s skin color.

    While this was probably a case of “kids being kids”, the club was unprepared for the kids in the camp. I would guess membership is down and business is hurting, just like any other business in current times, and the President saw a way to make a few bucks for the club. Someone should have done a better job of thinking this through.

    None of us know how the contract was worded. None of us heard or saw the behavior of the members, so I dont think it’s fair to try to shut the place down. And I don’t think it’s anyone’s business to get a lawyer unless it’s the camp, the club, or the parents of the kids involved.

    So again, I state that mistakes were made by the President of the board, the staff, and certainly any members if racial statements were truly made.

    I enjoy open forums such as this site, and can appreciate both sides of a discussion. I hope I shed some light on the other side of this discussion, and that this can be resolved amicably by the parties involved.

  20. DM said,

    on July 9th, 2009 at 9:55 am

    For the individual who commented above by saying “I did not realize there was still racism”, are you serious? Racism is rampant here in Philadelphia (since that is where I have grown up, live & work I can only speak of the town I know) Racism abounds here. Honestly, when racism lives in the hearts of adults and they want to hate on one another for no reason other than skin color, that is their problem, their ignorance can not be helped no matter how much we try, but when innocent children are targeted and hurt and jaded in this way, by adults, there is no excuse. I am apalled and discusted by the behavior of this swim club and its ignorant members. Shame on you. I can only home that the childrem of these club members grow up to have more commom sense and intelligence than their parents.

  21. Truth said,

    on July 9th, 2009 at 10:13 am

    @Scott,
    They was a great explanation and in a perferct world that would be true. Obviously you are not an African American who has faced racism in America. If you honestly believe that 65 carcasion kids coming into the pool would have been treated the same, then you are decieved. I’m sure there would have been concern, but the racist comments those kids witnessed were not about numbers. Nobody said anything about there being too many for our lifeguards. Obviously they want more business so if the numbers increased they would get another lifeguard on duty. But this was a different circumstance than just too many swimmers. This was about race and social class. Obviously you have your blinders on as most of Americans love to. But for those of us who don’t have that luxury, we witness it every day. (BTW Don’t I just love automatically being a Michael Jackson fan at my job. :) ) Keep it real. America aint fully healed!!

  22. antwan said,

    on July 9th, 2009 at 10:43 am

    what’s sad is “frank stein” above is using a time like this to get a rise out of people. please no one react, then he’ll have to go elsewhere.

  23. Cristina said,

    on July 9th, 2009 at 10:57 am

    I just called them and left a voice mail (for some reason, they are not answering calls ) and told them I want a membership but, wait I am a dark-skinned latina, but maybe having a half white kid might help me get in. I experience racism almost everyday I live in upstate NY in a predominantly white place, and sadly racism is alive every where, even with a mix-raced President, grow up America.

  24. Melissa said,

    on July 9th, 2009 at 11:15 am

    I heard about this story thanks to the great sports radio station I listen to on the to and at work – in Milwaukee, WI. Living here it is easy to realize that America still has racist people that, in my opinion, taint any atmosphere they become a part of. I am outraged about this story. To think of how those kids felt when they were told to leave without an explanation? And if space and lifeguards were an issue, I tend to think the President of the company would have just said that. I’m actually surprised at his honesty. He might as well have said “look we just don’t want black kids in our pool.” Digusting and disheartening to say the least. I do hope that the community over reacts appropriately and I do hope those kids are compensated in some way.

  25. Melissa said,

    on July 9th, 2009 at 11:16 am

    I meant to say “community over there” reacts … since being from the midwest I’m far removed. I didn’t mean to say over reacts!

  26. Justice said,

    on July 9th, 2009 at 12:47 pm

    Scott

    You are assuming a perfect world that is contradicted by the actions of the pool’s representatives. Even if everything occurred as you described (which it obviously did not) how do you explain the statement by the President of the club that the children “change the complexion and atmosphere” of the pool? Also, why are you assuming that all the children were in the shallow end of the pool at the same time, as a child I swam in the deep end all the time. Further, why were the minority children only allowed limited access to the pool in the first place (Mondays for 90 mins only) while other non-minorities were allowed unrestricted access mon-thurs? 60 children are 60 children and they are the same when they signed up for the membership and told the President that they would be at the pool on Mondays for 90 mins as they were when they showed up as black children to exercise their membership privileges. The point is that management knew what 60 children in a pool would entail when it took the money from the camp and should have and prabably did prepare accordingly. What management did not know is that the children were black. WAKE UP!

  27. scott said,

    on July 9th, 2009 at 2:08 pm

    Justice said – I only shared what I knew about the club to help the readers understand some possible explanations. Anything can be taken out of context, and emphasis can be placed any way you want to on a sentence when you read it. Again, none of us was there to hear it, but if you read the beginning of the statement made by the President, he says “a Lot Of Kids would change the complexion”. I don’t disagree that “complexion” was a poor choice of words, but it’s not a racist remark. The club still has as many old-timer lap swimmers as it does kids. Old people don’t like being splashed, and maybe that’s what he meant.

    Here’s a real world example, and why I mentioned all the kids were probably in 1/3 of the pool. There used to be an adult swim every hour for 20 minutes, and on opposite hours it was 30 minutes. This allowed the older swimmers, the people who originally created the club and paid for the amenities to do laps. Granted most of the original members have died off, but people still go there to do laps. On extremely hot days, kids would beg to be allowed to stay in the pool in the shallow end during the adult swim. The lifeguards and the manager would discuss (avg. people mind you) and usually obliged. But on some days there were so many kids crammed in that end of the pool, they would turn around and whistle us all out. It just wasn’t safe for that many people to be in a confined area of pool, no matter how many lifeguards there were.

    Look, I’m not saying that it was handled properly. I’m not going to stand and defend a place I belonged to and worked at 10 years ago. And I think everyone is entitled to their interpretation of what happened based upon your average 2 paragraph news story meant to sell newspapers. What I have a problem with is if everyone, based upon this article, tries to shut down a place that allows children the benefit to better themselves as athletes, grow friendships, etc..

    The president is a volunteer position with no benefits – just your average guy working his normal job during the day, who’s wife probably brings the kids to the pool for 4-5 hours each day. He has to show up to board meetings once a week at a picnic table with the other volunteer board members. They’re not thinking up sinister plans to keep minorities out. In this case they probably weren’t thinking at all. And as someone said earlier, the members were probably most pissed at the President because the agreement with the camp is something that was voted on by the board, club members should have had a chance to voice their opinion.

    I’m not blind to the fact that racism exists in this country, in our backyards. I’m sure some ignorant parent at the club made a comment, but the rest of the members shouldn’t be made into animals because of the actions of one or two.

    Lastly, to address your comment about the kids being limited to 90 minutes, you have no idea why that happened. I will say for a fact it wasn’t due to skin color or background. Do you think that maybe the camp and the club came to an agreement on what would be an acceptable amount of time for the kids to be in the pool? Maybe it was transportation related? Related to other activities their camp had scheduled? Maybe the club game them a better rate for shorter visits? Maybe it was a time of day that typically isn’t very busy but they misjudged?

    At the end of the day, I feel the entire situation was mishandled. However it’s unfair to state the Valley Club is an exclusive club for whites. The reason for membership fees is to keep members happy, and provide a consistent atmosphere. It has nothing to do with color. Gyms work the same way. If I spend a lot of money and join LA Fitness, I have the comfort of knowing I will see a lot of the same faces everyday, and I can get in a routine of working out on certain machines. If I go to the pay-as-you go gym for $2 per visit, one day I’m the only person working out, the next I can’t get on a machine. I’d get frustrated and stop going.

    I’m sorry if I’m long winded. I’ve never posted on ANY website before today, but I feel strongly about this one. We all have a right to our opinions, and maybe I do have blinders on, but if this place shuts down, what good comes of it? About 25 people will be out of work, friends will lose touch because they decide to go to separate swim clubs or day camps. Because a few blue-collar parents who volunteer their time to run the club made a poor decision that may or may not be considered a racist act.

    As of this post, the camp already has a new pool to swim in at Girard College. See? All works out in the end. Girard got great publicity (as did the candy store that treated the kids to treats because they felt like jumping on the good publicity bandwagon) and the Valley Club got it’s bad press. If you don’t believe in what the place did, just don’t go. Or send letters, and call them, but move on with your lives. There will always be 2 sides to a story. I just hate when it’s the racist side, and the other side.

  28. Chaz said,

    on July 9th, 2009 at 3:07 pm

    Have you ever seen a group of black adults get together? They are loud, obnoxious, and have no common decency for anyone else around them especially in public places. And those are adults. Imagine a group of black kids together, who have less moral values than their already obnoxious elders. If the shoe fits. A few times even in a movie theater where common courtesy is to be silent (there are even messages asking you to), African American would yell comments just to spark a few snickers or claps from their other friends. I mean what for? Public acknowledgment? While I think what this pool did was legally wrong. To tell you the truth, if I was part of this private pool, and suddenly such behavior (and don’t tell me it doesn’t happen) has joined the club, I’d leave. No offense, but the truth hurts.

  29. JLN said,

    on July 9th, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    Scott has made some of the smartest comments that I’ve seen about this situation so far. If 65 kids came to my local pool with only a handle of chaperons, I’d be frustrated too, and would pull my kids out fast if the pool looked dangerously overcrowded. I live in a predominantly black city, and nothing seems to hold people down more than using racism as an excuse for everything that happens. It is an insult to those who fought for equal rights, and also to the vast majority of people of all races who really could care less about skin color.

  30. Vanessa said,

    on July 9th, 2009 at 4:13 pm

    John Duesler, your comments were absurd!

    This situation was handled very, very poorly.

    Was the day care center advised of the pool restrictions? Probably not.

    I’m sure their payment changed the complexion of your bank account; especially when you returned it.

    Poor, poor management!

    It’s too bad that these children had to experience this. But it’s a good way for them to learn that while times have changed, some things remain the same.

    I have friends and family that live in this area who plan to cancel their memberships and encourage others to do the same.

    Perhaps this should be litigated.

    If a black man who was elected by mostly white people can run this country, shouldn’t cash paying black children be good enough to go to a private white swim club.

    You should be ashamed!

  31. Rosemary said,

    on July 9th, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    Chaz,

    I can tell by your comments that you’re not African American.

    Have you ever seen a group of white adults get together? Especially in the South.
    They are loud, obnoxious, and have no common decency for themselves or anyone else around them especially in public places. And these adults had less moral values than their already obnoxious elders. (Their parents who were racists and bigots and taught this ignorance to their white children).

    Yeah, Chaz, this happened in the not too distant past in the South, on a daily basis, to black people, who were simply trying to go about their daily lives. The only exception is that some of them didn’t make it home to their loved ones because they were killed, just for being black.

    As far as you comments about the movie theater, non blacks, do the same thing.

    No offense, but the truth hurts.

  32. NickyDrake said,

    on July 9th, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    I was horrified and so disgusted to hear this story. But it does confirm what I’ve thought about America – we are NOT in a post-racial society and its delusional to push that idea when incidents like this can happen in this day and age, and especially when the swim club manager there didn’t seem to think there was anything wrong with his actions and public statements. It’s a disgrace, its a crime, and unfortunately, It Is America.

    Furthermore, I can’t believe the racist comments here. I mean, I don’t want to, but you are helping me to teach my child that we haven’t come as far as we would like to believe. Not that far at all.

  33. Justice said,

    on July 9th, 2009 at 4:39 pm

    Scott,

    How many black children swam at the pool when you worked there?

    It sounds like you are making excuses for racism and exclusion in order to maintain the status quo. You also seem to protest a bit too much. If these people are discriminating against minorities, in my opinion, they need to go out of business. Taking your lead, perhaps black folks should not have engaged in the Civil Rights Movement? After all everything was separate but equal at the time right?. Why create a fuss?

    Yes “complexion” is a poor choice of word. In fact it does not make sense in the context that it was used unless it was deliberately used to send a message. What message do you suppose the club was trying to send huh? It does not even make sense in the context in which you explained it.

    Scott said:
    “The club still has as many old-timer lap swimmers as it does kids. Old people don’t like being splashed, and maybe that’s what he meant.” ???????

    Give me a break. How exactly does the word “complexion” fit in your explanation?

    Scott said:
    “If I spend a lot of money and join LA Fitness, I have the comfort of knowing I will see a lot of the same faces everyday.”

    I’m not sure what to say about the above statement.

    Further, the minority children paid the exact same price, $30 per membership, as the non-minority children but received less access….why is that? I have no idea but I do believe that it needs to be investigated. Sorry but your explanation for the discrepancy is not acceptable nor is it being offered by the swim club. So you will forgive me if I disagree with your suggestion that everyone should just forget about this now that the children have another place to swim. This needs to be investigated and if I were in your shoes, as someone who has worked for the club, I would be a bit more curious about ascertaining the truth about the situation. That is unless I already know the truth.

    Comment by CHAZ is just too ignorant to warrant comment.

  34. NickyDrake said,

    on July 9th, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    Hear, hear, Justice! Preach on, though these folks aren’t likely to hear you.

    Oops! Your ignorance is showing Scott, Vito, Chaz and JLN too. You need to check it!

  35. imominous said,

    on July 9th, 2009 at 4:59 pm

    Wow, Chaz…generalize much?

    And the rest of you who are scrabbling to find justification for this revolting incident; don’t you think the pool manager would have blocked out the time when these campers came to use the pool so it *wouldn’t* be overcrowded? Seriously, what kind of idiot would arrange for 65 kids to use the pool without making sure it wouldn’t be overcrowded?

    This was racism, pure and simple bigotry. The camp paid for pool time and the kids should have been accommodated, not subjected to the humiliation of being ejected for their skin color.

    So they got another pool. That’s good news, but it in no way gets Valley Swim off the hook. Their website is down, with some self serving tripe about “alleged” racism and how they so very deeply disapprove of discrimination.

    Their phone goes to voice mail, and messages are disabled. I hope they do crash and burn. There is no room for this sort of behavior in the 21st century.

  36. donnie said,

    on July 9th, 2009 at 5:35 pm

    What went down was awful. I belong to another swim club in the neighborhood and we HATE it when the camp kids get in the pool. Just too many bodies at once. Maybe if Nutter in his infinite wisdom had not chosen to close most of the public pools, kids would not have to pay to keep cool and just be a kid in the summer. There are pools closed from this neighborhood to downtown: fire hydrants anyone?

  37. netizen said,

    on July 9th, 2009 at 5:50 pm

    Here, here for The Valley swim club member who voiced their personal opinion or remark. It’s about time. Why do White people in America continually have to feel guilty about Black people, and walk on eggshells constantly; particularly in the Philadelphia area. If American Blacks would shed their “entitlement” culture, maybe White people wouldn’t be so “upity”.

  38. belle 4 said,

    on July 9th, 2009 at 6:07 pm

    I belong to a swim club that has multicultural campers swimming everyday for 60 minutes. This is the time I take my children out of the pool and go eat lunch or play at the playground. It has nothing to do with racism. It due to the simple fact that at this time the pool becomes too overcrowded with energetic kids.
    I do feel that the swim club handled things poorly. Maybe it was racism; maybe not. There are three sides to a story: the two opposing sides and the truth.
    One more thing: racism is not one-sided!

  39. Outraged said,

    on July 9th, 2009 at 6:24 pm

    I am an avid swimmer and water polo player and an African-American who grew up in a large city. So, this is why there are very few African-Americans on the USA swim team. The pool is located in an area known not to want to many brown, chocolate or even mocha skinned people. I hope these kids learn to swim and one day in competition kick the pants off Valley Swim Club kids!!!

  40. calicomment said,

    on July 9th, 2009 at 6:30 pm

    They shouldn’t have signed a CONTRACT with them if they weren’t wanted OR exceeded the pool capacity.

    DUH!

  41. thatblackguy said,

    on July 9th, 2009 at 6:30 pm

    wat stupid people!! this shows how many racist a**h**** there are in america……..

  42. Sue there ass said,

    on July 9th, 2009 at 6:39 pm

    Why will these kids lie that said they saw those black kids cause white folks are now the ones that are scared and think they are still entiled to something

  43. GG said,

    on July 9th, 2009 at 7:39 pm

    This was poor planning and poor management for sure, but not racism. I feel sorry for this club. This story has been reported very one-sidedly from the beginning.

  44. PG said,

    on July 9th, 2009 at 10:56 pm

    People need to stop eating up themselves about this , Racism is still alive and always will be until Jesus comes ,All those who want to be racist let them be because when all is said and done none of us shall escape the judgment , we all shall stand before the judgment seat of God and give an account for our actions . Done worry about ignorant people,they don’t have to answer to us , but they can be very sure that they have to answer to God.Don’t let stupid people get you all work up. Nothing that people do are say can ever disturb my peace of mind.

  45. AJB said,

    on July 10th, 2009 at 7:05 am

    Chaz and Fuzzball (the names fit),

    Your parents must have dropped you on your heads at birth. Do a little research before posting idiotic comments.

    “It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.”

    -Abraham Lincoln

  46. Melissa said,

    on July 10th, 2009 at 8:18 am

    I went to find the website for this place, and this is what I found on it.. It does not even bring up the website, just this explanation. I thought it was quite amusing how they all of a sudden did not do anything wrong but realized they did not have room to accommodate the children… Read the article below. This just shows how ignorant and small minded people really are. I would like to find some of these parents that are teaching their children to be racists and teach them a lesson in reality… I want to ask those parents if their children were hurt and needed medical attention and the only doctor/nurse/fireman available was not white, but black hispanic asian etc..etc,, would they turn them down because of their skin color? This is what angers me the most, racists people seem to forget that we have a multi-cultured society and they may one day need someone that is not white. So grow up all of you racists and think about what may happen when you or your family need help and the only one to turn to is someone that you call names, degrade, and think is the low life of society..

    Article:
    The Valley Club is deeply troubled by the recent allegations of racism which are completely untrue.

    We had originally agreed to invite the camps to use our facility, knowing full well that the children from the camps were from multi-ethnic backgrounds. Unfortunately, we quickly learned that we underestimated the capacity of our facilities and realized that we could not accommodate the number of children from these camps. All funds were returned to the camps and we will re-evaluate the issue at a later date to determine whether it can be feasible in the future.

    Our Valley Club deplores discrimination in any form, as is evidenced by our multi-ethnic and diverse membership. Whatever comments may or may not have been made by an individual member is an opinion not shared by The Valley Club Board.

  47. HBREAL said,

    on July 10th, 2009 at 10:00 am

    THIS IS ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF HOW NOTHING CHANGES.EVEN WITH A MINORITY PRESIDENT,THAT THESE POOR KIDS HAD TO BE APART OF THE ONGOING STEREOTYPING OF PEOPLE OF COLOR.I AM SICK THAT ADULTS MADE RACIAL COMMENTS IN FRONT OF THE CAMPERS AND THIER OWN CHILDREN.THIS PRIVATE CLUB SHOULD JUST CLOSE THIER DOORS TILL THIS GOES AWAY.IF THE VALLEY CLUB REOPENS,HAVE FUN WIELDING THE PROTESTS.THEY WILL NEVER END.KEEP IN MIND FOLKS,THESE ARE CHILDREN THAT LEFT FOR A DAY OF FUN,AND CAME BACK SCARRED FOR LIFE.

  48. penny said,

    on July 10th, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    Why are there these types of ignorant people still in the world!!
    Promoting hatred!! Makes me sad that my skin is white!!
    People like you are the ones that foster this hatred… I am appauled!

  49. zoevivre said,

    on July 13th, 2009 at 3:52 am

    Ok first of all, I am tired of white folks acting like they are victims when things like this come up. The very fact that the kids are minorities and come from the inner city shows what a racist country the US still happens to be. The reason why there were no white kids in the group is exactly because they don’t probably live in the same neighborhood. Get it? So stop looking for reasons why white people were injurred here.
    No worries…go back to your white churches and continue to promote gun buying, hate against anyone who is different, and killing abortion doctors…god bless America!

  50. Teresa said,

    on July 15th, 2009 at 11:13 am

    Would the Obama girls been allowed to swim? Is there another number their mail box is full. Go figure. lol

  51. Keith Walker said,

    on July 21st, 2009 at 1:06 am

    I come form a very diverse family and count my blessings everyday for this. My sone just made Rookie Scholar athlete, all league back stroke and breast stroke at a Beaumont high school. Despite the many things that are done to bring us together as a people it is horrific to hear about these sotries, and more horrifying to hear about the hatred that man still has for one another. And not surprisingly is that many of these individuals probably attend church and should know better. How can any of us look to ask God for forgiveness and blessings and treat our brothers and sisters this way far less children- for they are the ones that is kingdom are made of. Shame to those that committed this deed and may they be forgiven, and shame to those that would attempt to fan the winds of hatred for they are the fans of the devil.

  52. Randall Johnson said,

    on July 21st, 2009 at 11:49 am

    The fact that the “whites” even showed concern about sharing a pool with the “blacks” just goes to show that some of us just simply have not matured enough to realize that this discriminating and IGNORANT type of behavior was voted out somewhere along the ride from 1960 to 2009. Perhaps they should re-name that swim club the “Ignoramous Valley Swim Club for Whites Only.” That name would obviously be more appropriate considering the swim club’s choice of “preferred clientele.”

  53. Mr. Henry Lanier said,

    on July 21st, 2009 at 7:44 pm

    The swim club did something that is dumb and foolish. They created a public publicity nightmare, that will hopefully cause the swim club to be shut down. If you think it was ignorant, racist, poor lack of judgement, it dows not matter at this point. The Creative Steps day camp kids are going to florida, and they have the Valley Swim Club to thank. So the score is racist swim club ZERO and CREATIVE STEPS DAY CARE, ON THEIR WAY!!!! Alot of white people share hidden racist feelings toward people who have dark skin. Unfortunately, we still have these people around and just to think that alot of white people still think less of a person because of skin color. And they call people uninformed, I call these people ignorant and IDIOTS.

    And there are still white people who say that racism does not exist. If they were to experience it for themselves or their families, they would change their tone very very quickly..

  54. Amy said,

    on July 31st, 2009 at 2:42 pm

    I think the whole thing is getting out of hand. My family belongs to another private swim club and before this year our team swam against the Valley Club. We have children on the team who are African amercian, they never had a problem.
    I think part of the problem was that the membership was not given the chance to be notified about this. Any private club has the right to decide on who they let join.
    It was a shame for the children of the camp that the city has no pools for their use. Maybe all the people who owe back taxes should pay up. It is also interesting that now the children and their parents where given a free trip to disney. Maybe both side shold have gotton this so they could learn how to get a long better with each other.
    I also know that people have been out picketing the club everyday. What about those children who are inocent bystanders, who to you think they feel. Was it racial maybe, is it time to put it to rest. I think so. I love the women who said her child is scared for life. Please, there are worst things in life then that. Maybe if she would stop bringing it up her child would get over it. In the long run I am sorry to say there is just to many people who are prejudice in the world. I know this and I am not black. Try being called a dirty Jew. and see how you would feel. Jews have also been kicked out of many places and you do not see them crying over it.They hold their heads up high and try to make it better, law suit do not help!!!!

  55. paul said,

    on November 2nd, 2009 at 10:39 pm

    are you sure this is a question of race ? or is it a question of class ? for a nation that prides itself on being classless ,there is a huge amount of snobbery in the Us is this an example of such snobbery ????

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