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May-21-2010 15:05printcomments

Philadelphia Swim Club (Are they the only one?)

62 years after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier line,
We’re supposed have racial harmony, things should be fine...

Phitadelphia Swim Club
Courtesy: projectnewera.wordpress.com

(LOS ANGELES) - Discrimination lawsuits recently had a serious impact on a swim club in historic Philadelphia. The 'Valley Club as things turn out, had rejected 56 mostly black and Hispanic youngsters, claiming that the move was based on a lack of swimming ability.

The business was recently sold off at a bankruptcy auction.

Located in the Huntingdon Valley-based, the Valley Club was sold for $1.46 million Thursday. This came after a bankruptcy filing last November.

It was the same month that a critical state report was issued regarding racial discrimination.

According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, the club is gated and situated on a hillside in a town or 'village, surrounded on two sides by what are described as overwhelmingly white townships.

The club in its own defense, claimed that the revocation of almost 60 kids was not tied to racism. They said there were too many children and many couldn't swim, and claimed that the decision was made out of safety considerations. They said race had nothing to do with it.

In the reported that funds gained from the sale of the club will be paid out to the claimants.

_____________________________________________

Philadelphia Swim Club (Are they the only one?)

Ugly racism, ouch! What could be more cruel?
Whites @ Huntingdon Valley swim club rules,
Refusing to allow black children in their pool,
This is not the United States in the year 1802.

Minority kids from a day camp, Creative Steps,
Had a birds eye view & they won’t soon forget,
July 2009, how segregation reared its ugly head,
And how many thought racism had long been dead.

Well, too bad that’s the way it is so what the heck?
At least they had the courtesy to return the check,
Yeah, not for free that would be too much like right,
I’m wondering how much they charge other whites?

Especially since members words reacted through fear,
As many were asking, “what are black kids doing here?”
Members comments? The club doesn’t share those views,
Is that like only Hitler, not his henchmen despised Jews?

Let’s hear an excuse of why these kids were turned away,
A safety issue, over crowded, officials were heard to say,
However, it was pre planned and if that’s really the case,
Why agree to terms and accept money in the first place?

They’ve seen blacks before, Donovan McNabb, why the panic?
Are you kidding, like the rest of America when seeing Hispanics,
No, not all of the USA, maybe it’s a cable news anchor majority,
Whatever, wherever, however, this is about Caucasian priority.

Hey, I’m not being a hater since others have rules like that,
Neighborhoods or restaurants you cannot go if you are black,
Every single person reading this poem knows that I am right,
This is not an isolated incident, to the world’s end is the fight.

62 years after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier line,
We’re supposed have racial harmony, things should be fine,
Oh no! Not according to the Philadelphia Swim Club plan,
This membership policy echo’s the infamous Klu Klux Klan.

Yeah, the uncontaminated race like Adolph Hitler had tried to fix,
But a problem was Jesse Owens at the Berlin Olympics in 1936,
We thought four gold medals would put an end to that kind of crap,
Ah still very little has changed after Rip Van Winkles 70+ year nap.

The club president said the kid’s color would change the complexion,
Cool! Now I get it, brown pool water is the reason for their rejection,
Cousin LaQuita was baptized with Japanese women at Holy Trinity,
Very next day she traded her new Ford Focus for a used G37 Infinity.

Certainly they were right also about the “atmosphere” of the Blacks,
Headlines: “New Mercedes, BMW’s, traded in for used Cadillac’s,”
Do not forget about the fine dining menu change this is how it goes,
Surf & turf no longer available but try our new spicy wings & tacos.

Think! Rosa Parks, Montgomery Alabama, December 1,1955,
What choice words would the seamstress say were she still alive?
Image the treatment received had minorities showed up after dark,
Cheer up kids, probably safer swimming in the ocean with sharks.

News Flash: The club has repented and invited them back,
A change of heart or hateful emails, constant media attack?
Or, maybe Philly’s swimmers decided to retreat and regroup,
Simply to head off, several Racial Discrimination Law suits.

Well, this sounds a lot like the old adage, too little too late,
Should have thought about that before they closed the gate,
This happens when instead of love actions are ruled by hate,
Thankfully in court not the streets minorities chose to retaliate.

Martin Luther King Jr. said, “I have seen the promise land,”
Why are so many in this country doing the very best they can,
To make sure minorities as did MLK, only see it in a dream?
Yes sir, the USA, Chevrolet, apple pie and vanilla ice cream.

Pre-Civil War Southern style justice in the U.S. Eastern states,
Does anyone have a clue, how much longer we have to wait?
Unless you hit a home run, catch a pass, make a 3-point shot,
Or, some type of entertainment, equality you might have not.

No evidence, numerous trials, Scottsboro Boys are guilty still,
Hiding discrimination can’t make it go away but exposing it will,
Wait a minute that lie started in 1931 and we are living in 2009,
Well, at least the kids weren’t charged with a trespassing crime.

Like the others this happening will calm down, vanquish and die,
While yet another one just like it will soon come about. Ok why?
History makes me wonder what institutions, organizations, where?
Surely the Philadelphia Swim Club is not the only one out there.

I’m reminded of Mr. Alonzo F. Herndon in 1904, proprietor Extraordinaire,
Owned 3 barber shops at 66 Peachtree St. couldn’t get his haircut there,
Black barbers served politicians, businessmen, exclusive white clientele,
Time to get his haircut in Atlanta it was like being told, you can go to hell.

Richmond Va. all the way to Mobile Ala. as the best barbers in the south,
Before commercials, advertising or cell phones simply by word of mouth,
His wife’s an accomplished actress they found out her race, no more plays,
No longer welcomed because she’s well it’s like the Philly Swim Club today.

I’m reminded of Mr. Alonzo F. Herndon in 1904, proprietor Extraordinaire,
Owned 3 barber shops at 66 Peachtree St. couldn’t get his haircut there,
Black barbers served politicians, businessmen, exclusive white clientele,
Time to get his haircut in Atlanta it was like being told, you can go to hell.

Richmond Va. all the way to Mobile Ala. as the best barbers in the south,
Before commercials, advertising or cell phones simply by word of mouth,
His wife’s an accomplished actress they found out her race, no more plays,
No longer welcomed because she’s well it’s like the Philly Swim Club today.

The Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission would convict,
This club crying out their innocence for their dirty little nasty trick,
An award is issued in a civil complaint but the kids are out of luck,
11/13/2009, the swim club yeah you guessed it, they’re bankrupt.

by Luke Easter

=============================================

Luke Easter is a poet who writes about things that are very close to the heart of Salem-News.com. Another former U.S. Marine, Luke heals the world with an approach that reaches people on a different level, one known for centuries, yet too often forgotten in the one we live in.

We live in a world of social & economic injustice. The main reason for founding America in the first place was to relieve the oppression of the King of England. Patrick Henry said it best, “give me liberty or give me death.” And yet, all too often death seems to be the only way out. Why is there such a high suicide rate especially among teens, in the land of the free & the home of the brave? What makes headlines? Good news? Ha! More depressing stories than anything else. I feel poetry takes an edge off the hurt of bad news while still delivering it but in a, “glitzy” sort of way. Giving a different perspective. Kind of like slap in the face as opposed to a knife in the back. At least with the slap you’ll live to see another day and you will know whom it’s from. I wasn’t here for the beginning of the world but at 59, I just might be here for the end.

Even though it’s still a knife, rhyme poetry helps to dull the blade. And that’s my job. You can write to Luke Easter at: lyricsfromlucas@aol.com




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philly girl May 24, 2010 9:24 am (Pacific time)

Funny how people as far away as California have an opinion on something that they really know nothing about. Were you there when this happened? Well I was. You heard really only one side of this story on the news. Funny how the lady that filed the lawsuit also broke her end of the contract by busing in twice as many kids most of whom could not swim. She came with 65 children and only 2 chaperones, this overwhelmed the staff at this small pool. Funny how that wasn't mentioned on the news. The members paid a hell of alot more for their memberships and now they lose their club. But thats fair because most of the members are white and white people are all supposedly racist. I know more black racists than I do white. Also funny how she owes the city of Philadelphia over $110,000.00 in back taxes for that day care she runs - sounds like a reason to file a frivilous lawsuit. The city was threatening to shut her down because of the back taxes. This is completely true and is public record in Philadelphia - look it up! Of course that was never mentioned on the news either. I for one am sick of the race card. Living in Philadelphia I see it all the time, pull the race card - get money!

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