JIM CROW SWIMS HERE: Valley Swim Club Discrimination Becomes National Embarrassment


[Photo via A RUBBER DOOR]

THE FORTY-NINE PERCENTER: I arrived at the Valley Swim Club (22 Tomlinson Road – Huntingdon Vly, PA 19006 (215) 947-0700) around 11:00am. When I got there, CNN, NBC-10 and ABC-6 were already there. In fact, Channel 10 had a helicopter circling overhead. A patrol-car was parked across the street to make sure nothing got out-of-hand. […] A member of the club, Jim Flynn, pulled up to the padlocked gates of the club and walked over to us. He said he wanted to make a statement. So, the press readied their microphones and cameras. A five year member of the club, Flynn said he was present the day the children were asked to leave (June 29th). He said he voiced his concern to because, “…the pool was too crowded, not because the children were black.” He went on to say that if anyone made comments about the children being black, “…shame on them”. Flynn said that he would be asking for the resignation of the club’s president. MORE

swim-club-news-graph.jpgRELATED: The club issued this statement late Thursday, responding to the allegations of racism: The Valley Club is deeply troubled by the recent allegations of racism, which are completely untrue. We had originally agreed to invite the camps to use our facility, knowing full well that the children from the camps were from multi-ethnic backgrounds. Unfortunately, we quickly learned that we underestimated the capacity of our facilities and realized that we could not accommodate the number of children from these camps. All funds were returned to the camps and we will re-evaluate the issue at a later date to determine whether it can be feasible in the future. Our Valley Club deplores discrimination in any form, as is evidenced by our multi-ethnic and diverse membership. Whatever comments may or may not have been made by an individual member is an opinion not shared by The Valley Club Board. MORE

UPDATE: Homer Floyd, executive director of the state Human Relations Commission, said the civil-rights agency began its investigation after receiving requests from the NAACP and other groups. “We thought that with issues like this – swim clubs and so forth – we had crossed that hurdle, but clearly we have not,” Floyd said. In a letter to the club, U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter (D., Pa.) suggested that the day-campers be allowed to return. MORE

duesler.jpgTPM CAFE: But the [Valley Swim Club President Dr. John G. Duesler, Jr.] wasn’t so inviting when he was asked about the banning of the black kids, saying, “There was concern that a lot of kids would change the complexion … and the atmosphere of the club.” The complexion of the club?! Wow. This John Duesler [pictured left] guy sounds like Bull Connor. Who the hell is he?  Why, he is a die hard liberal democrat and organizer of President Obama. MORE

DAILY KOS:  This one, I take personally. I grew up in the Somerton section of Northeast Philadelphia, a mile and a half from the just-over-the-county-border Valley Swim Club, so this is a community I know intimately well. And I am not surprised. Huntingdon Valley is an exceedingly white and wealthy suburb with a significant Jewish population, though three separate people have mentioned to me in the past 12 hours that they remember hearing this club also had a problem admitting us Hebrews as members in the 1980s. Just over that border line is Philmont Heights, a Philadelphia neighborhood of brick duplexes increasingly inhabited by Philadelphia’s growing Russian immigrant population, and itself predominately Jewish. MORE

RELATED: “Stop your race card playing, I lived in Somerton since 1972, there is a reason why Philly has white neighborhoods where people keep their homes nice and streets crime free with neighborhood crime watch. People live there because it is a rich white section. I lived in back of GWHS and everyday because they bus the thugs from thee black sections police storm up Northeast Ave to babysit dismissal. Sometimes helicopters are circling the school because of some violence caused by then. They stay in our neighborhood, robbing people, selling drugs . It is the black people .The white who chose to work for a living to live in such a great part of Philly deserve a place to enjoy without being subjected to the children being raised in thug families. Now get off your anti white crap  or paint your face black, we the white people with the white pride are proud of our skin color, if you are not, paint your face black. No problem.” MORE

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