Tag Archives: Philadelphia

Two steps forward, one step back?

I’m all for nostalgia. I admit, I think music really died in the ’90s after MTV forgot what the “M” in their name stood for. I go to Renaissance Faires where I can indulge in the fantasy of being Ragnar the Smelly, Viking chieftain or some such.

Some flashbacks we can do without, however. Recently, we got a really nasty trip in the WABAC, back to the bad old days of Jim Crow:

In Philadelphia, a group of black schoolchildren were taken to the Valley Swim Club, an exclusive (but allegeldy “open membership”) pool. These were inner city youths, whose parent organization had ponied up nearly $2000 for access to the club. The moment the children got into the pool, all the caucasian kids were yanked from the pool by their parents. Then, an attendant, according to the local NBC affiliate, told the children they had to leave — explicitly telling them the pool was whites-only.

Mind that I mentioned this happened in July of 2009. Almost 50 years after legislation and court cases put an end to the farcical “seperate but equal clause” mandated by the Plessy case. Some 44 years after “I have a dream.” Some 40 since meaningful steps were made in civil rights. A bare  9 months after a majority of Americans, black and white, elected the first black president in this nation’s history. This was unAmerican. Pure and simple. This is the antithesis of the sacrifices made by hundreds of thousands over the course of this nation’s history. 

Of course, going to the other extreme, the racism industry led by Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson are now going to come out of the woodwork and pontificate on how this proves that all caucasians are nothing but sub rosa members of the Klan, and how this proves that blacks still need preferential treatment in all walks of life. Does racism exist? I think this disgusting incident proves that it does. Is the country as a whole racist? Ask Barack Obama, who would not have been elected if not for a large number of caucasian voters (and asian, and hispanic…). If Sharpton, or Jackson, or whoever drops by to coattail on this ugly incident is smart, they would tell Valley Swim Club to get a life (and I hope the trogolodyte WASPs there are protested into the Stone Age for this), but remember that we’re not all horrific racist bastards, and not turn this into another chorus of “oh woe is me, give me money.”


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