Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Black Kids Change The Complexion Of A Pool

I should really start naming these sorts of posts dispatches from a post racial world.   Blacks are continually being told that we should focus on how far we have come as though whiteness does not continue with undeserved privilege, which they have a tendency to invoke on a daily basis.

image The Creative Steps Day Camp paid more than nineteen hundred dollars for their kids to swim at The Valley Swim Club.  The children got their swimming gear on and were ready for some summertime fun when they were assaulted by racist commentary.

"I heard this lady, she was like, 'Uh, what are all these black kids doing here?' She's like, 'I'm scared they might do something to my child,'" said camper Dymire Baylor.

Scared of what exactly?  How are children swimming and playing in a pool threatening, unless you are a raving bigot?  It could be that this woman had internalized many of the negative stereotypes that media regularly portrays about bodies of color, but hey; we’re all post racial right?

When the minority children got in the pool all of the Caucasian children immediately exited the pool," Horace Gibson, parent of a day camp child, wrote in an email. "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."

Yep,…now we can clearly see why racism continues to be a problem…WE TEACH IT TO OUR CHILDREN.   The adults in the club reacted with racism and the children responded appropriately.  So much for the election of a Black president changing the way the world views bodies of color.  People may want Sasha and Malia dolls but they don’t want their perfect white babies associating with the darkies. 

The club made sure to make their position clear should we mistake the intent behind their actions.

"There was concern that a lot of kids would change the complexion … and the atmosphere of the club," John Duesler, President of The Valley Swim Club said in a statement.

Gee…what if all that scary Blackness rubs off?  What if the white children should learn that all of the privilege that the world is intent on offering them based in the constructed idea that Blacks are inferior, is a steaming pile of bullshit?  The world certainly could not survive children learning from one another and sharing experiences; that might lead to equality and we cannot possibly have that. 

The club has yet to offer an apology though they have refunded the money spent by The Creative Steps Day Camp.   Even if they were to apologize to the parents and the children; they could never undo the harm that their racist actions have caused.   Actions like this are exactly why children of color learn to see Whiteness as good and Blackness as bad.  This can have lifelong effects, and is extremely emotionally damaging. 

Whiteness has created many myths to sustain its undeserved privilege and often when confronted with its racist behaviour, it will act defensively.  With whiteness comes the ability to deny the ways in which individual actions support and maintain a white supremacist state.  It is not enough to say that not all white people are racist, when all white people continue to benefit from the devaluation of people of color. 

The kind of degradation suffered by these children is not unique.  People of color continue to be assaulted daily and yet it is Whiteness that claims to live a life of fear.  When we examine the history of violence between the races it is POC how have a legitimate right to fear and not Whiteness.  If they experience any real fear at all;  it can only be from the awareness that at some point there will be a reckoning.  Such an imbalance cannot continue indefinitely and we shall have our justice at some point.