The Creative Steps camp in Northeast Philadelphia had contracted for 65 children at the day camp to go each Monday afternoon to The Valley Club in Huntingdon Valley, camp director Alethea Wright said Thursday. But shortly after they arrived June 29, she said, some black and Hispanic children reported hearing racial comments.
"A couple of the children ran down saying, 'Miss Wright, Miss Wright, they're up there saying, 'What are those black kids doing here?"'
Wright said she went to talk to a group of members at the top of the hill and heard one woman say she would see to it that the group, made of up of children in kindergarten through seventh grade, did not return.
"Some of the members began pulling their children out of the pool and were standing around with their arms folded," Wright said. "Only three members left their children in the pool with us."
Several days later, the club refunded the camp's $1,950 without explanation, said Wright, who added that some parents are "weighing their options" on legal action.
In case there is any doubt about the real motivation for the refund, in the immediate aftermath of this debacle, the club president, John Duesler, explained that
"There was concern that a lot of kids would change the complexion … and the atmosphere of the club."
(click here to see the original quote in this story)
Let me now direct you to two blogs and their insightful/outraged/thoughtful posts on this story:
And if you are feeling incensed--let me urge you to channel that anger into action. At the most minimal level, you can let people know about this issue. Feel free to forward this post to others or write your own mass email, and please do link to this site for ColorOfChange.org and sign their on-line petition to protest the actions of The Valley Club.
You can also go one step further and actually send a letter--a stamped-and-addressed-envelope-U.S. Postal Service-delivered letter to
The Valley Club
22 Tomlinson Rd
Huntingdon Vly, PA 19006
[You can, of course, call and register your protest, although I imagine they aren't answering their phone due to heavy call volume of angry Americans protesting their racist members, but check it out for yourself! Then there's the handy email address to register your distress, although I think snail-mail, in our digital/new media age, really sends a message that you are SO PISSED OFF at this incident you are actually spending time and money to MAIL something]
What you should know is that Senator Arlen Specter has asked for a Federal Civil Rights investigation against the club. Lets hope justice prevails.
Finally, here's a clip from "This Week in Blackness" that really says it all: