Two Incidents, Two Races, One Country
The two stories are cleverly played one over the other on the Drudge Report inviting comparison. Let's compare.
In the first, a camp for inner-city kids called Creative Steps Inc. made a deal with the Valley Swim Club of Huntington Valley, for their kids to use swim the club for 90 minutes, one day a week.
On the first day of camp's use, 65 kids were brought out to the pool. Soon after their arrival, one or two or more of the campers heard comments from one or two or more of the swim club members. One older, (white?) woman member allegedly said "What are all these black kids doing here?"
The kid, or kids, reported hearing the comment (or comments) to their counselors. The counselor reported the comments to the president of the club, who apologized. The kids stayed and swam without incident but a couple of days later, the club cancelled it's deal with the camp, citing overcrowding issues, and refunded the group's money.
The club was quickly denounced and is now being investigated for illegal racial discrimination. The story made front page news in the city papers. The state Human Relations Commission has announced it has opened a probe. Sen. Arlen Specter has even weighed in.
Several of the club's members said the club is being unfairly depicted at racist. The decision to revoke the camp's deal was based solely on complaints of overcrowding. Other club members said if the pool is going to be rented out to day camps with large numbers of kids using the pool, they want their own money back.
Is the club's defense believable? I think so.
The club has no recent history of preventing minorities families from joining it. And its invitation to the camp, knowing full well its racial make-up, suggests a level of innocence when it comes to politically incorrect racial attitudes. Add in the fact, that the sudden arrival of 65 youngsters to scene would be understandably disconcerting to the club members, especially those who didn't know they were coming.
The whole thing sounds poorly planned out by the club's president, who despite his good intentions to provide a place for inner city kids to swim this summer underestimated the affect of such a large number of kids at one time would have on the club's atmosphere. That many kids (white, black or green) are going noisy and disruptive. Kids are kids.
It seems it would be quite appropriate for the club's president to resign for his part in creating the whole mess in the first place.
The camp and some of the campers parents are threatening to sue. It seems to me they have a decent case that has nothing to do with race. They made a deal. They paid their money and the club renegged on the deal. Unless the camp misrepresented the number of kids they would be bringing or something like that, it's club's fault, specifically the leadership's fault, for this mess.
Now, for the second story.
A white family returning home from a 4th of July celebration, is attacked on the street of their neighborhood by large gang of black teenagers allegedly yelling things like "This is our world. This is a black world, now."
Members of a white family were knocked down and kicked in the ribs, arms and head.
From the story:
They said it started when one teen, without any words or warning, blindsided and assaulted Marshall's friend as he stood outside with the others.Question: Which incident is more appalling? Which incident is more worthy of investigation and concern by those worried about the state of race relations in America?
When Marshall, 39, jumped in, he found himself being attacked by the growing group of teens.
His daughter, Rachel, 15, who weighs about 90 pounds, tried to come to his rescue. The teens pushed her to the ground.
His wife, Yvonne, pushed their son, Donald, 14, into bushes to keep him protected.
''My thing is,'' Marshall said, ''I didn't want this, but I was in fear for my wife, my kids and my friends. I felt I had to stay out there to protect them, because those guys were just jumping, swinging fists and everything.
''I'm lucky. They didn't break my ribs or bruise my ribs. I thank God, they concentrated on my thick head because I do have one. They were trying to take my head off my spine, basically.''
Of course, it is possible the Marshall family made the whole thing up. White people have blamed anonymous black people before for crimes they didn't commit. So all this should be investigated.
But if this attack really did take place, it's far more serious and worrisome than what appears to be a misunderstanding at a swim club.