"Whites only" pool in 2009?: Alleged discrimination at the Valley Club in Philly

by Jesse Muhammad

On July 10, 2009, I received the following email from the group Color of Change:

"Two weeks ago outside Philadelphia, 65 children from a summer camp tried to go swimming at a club their camp had a contract to use. Seems like the club didn't know the kids were largely Black.

When the campers entered the pool, White parents allegedly took their kids out of the water, and the swimming club's staff asked the campers to leave. The next day, the club told the summer camp that their membership would be canceled and that their payment would be refunded. When asked why, the club's leader said that a lot of kids "would change the complexion ... and the atmosphere of the club."(1)

A "Whites only" pool in 2009 should not be tolerated. The club's actions appear to be a violation of section 1981 of the Civil Rights Act. (2) Whether or not any laws were violated, a "Whites only" pool should be something every American condemns."

Watch a FOX Philadelphia report:

The Color of Change has launched an online petition at: http://www.colorofchange.org/swim/

References found in the email:

1. "'Pool Boots Kids Who Might "Change the Complexion,'" NBC Philadelphia, 07-08-09

2. "Section 1981 Summary," Employment Law Information Network

More Resources related to this incident provided by Color of Change:

"60 Black Kids Booted from Philly Pool For Being Black -- Speak Out," Jill Tubman at Jack and Jill Politics, 07-08-09

VIDEO: "Please Don't Change the Complexion of our Pool," This Week in Blackness, 07-08-09

"Swim Club Accused of Discrimination," FOX 29 Philadelphia, 07-08-09

"Valley Swim Club: Day Two," Adam B at Daily Kos, 07-08-09

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