Race as a Cultural Divider

By | 2017-01-13T13:42:26+00:00 July 15th, 2009|Categories: Respectful Workplace|Tags: , |Comments Off on Race as a Cultural Divider

I realize it has not even been a year since we here in the US elected the first African-American president and that change is slow. But the recent incident at the Hunt Valley Swim Club in suburban Philadelphia  makes me wonder if we are making progress at all. Earlier this year, I questioned the future of diversity training, but now I see that we still have a long way to go in resolving race relations.

This incident at the Hunt Valley Swim Club is the latest to spark a race-related debate. Earlier this month the club rescinded the invitation as well as refunded the money of an inner city summer camp prohibiting them from swimming at the pool for the remainder of the summer. Many of the children from the camp are African American or Latino.

Although the club has denied this was a case of racism, insisting instead, it was a space issue in the pool, the comments made on television by John Duesler the swim club president seem to prove otherwise:

“There is a lot of concern that a lot of kids would change the complexion . . . and the atmosphere of the club.”

Whether you think this was an act of racism, as the camp alleges or not, as the swim club asserts, I hope we can all appreciate the wisdom and insight spoken from one of the kids involved:

“I didn’t understand because we’re all the same. We’re just a different color,” said 9-year-old camper Kevina Day Morris.

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About the Author:

Melanie Sklarz

Melanie Sklarz was the the web content and social media coordinator as well as the lead blog writer for the RespectfulWorkplace.com website. She has a MA in Women’s Studies from the Ohio State University. For more information, visit melaniesklarz.com.