This has already made the rounds, but it’s worth posting, if only because it’s so ridiculous:
More than 60 campers from Northeast Philadelphia were turned away from a private swim club and left to wonder if their race was the reason.”I heard this lady, she was like, ‘Uh, what are all these black kids doing here?’ She’s like, ‘I’m scared they might do something to my child,’” said camper Dymire Baylor.
The Creative Steps Day Camp paid more than $1900 to The Valley Swim Club. The Valley Swim Club is a private club that advertises open membership. But the campers’ first visit to the pool suggested otherwise.”When the minority children got in the pool all of the Caucasian children immediately exited the pool,” Horace Gibson, parent of a day camp child, wrote in an email. “The pool attendants came and told the black children that they did not allow minorities in the club and needed the children to leave immediately.”
I don’t have anything particularly insightful to say, so I’ll defer to Jeremy:
A new political culture has effectively barred the acceptance of 1960s era Jim Crow racism—a racist ideology grounded in biological explanations of black inferiority. However the fall of Jim Crow was accompanied by a more passive, yet equally problematic ideology of black disadvantage. The general public now accepts cultural explanations of black inferiority, citing blacks’ collective lack of mainstream values, norms, and behaviors as the source of their deprivation. This is exactly the rhetoric adopted by Duesler and The Valley Swim Club—a rhetoric rooted in the unfounded fear that these black kids simply won’t know how to act right.
I would also add that the widespread acceptance of “cultural explanations of black inferiority” aren’t merely a social inconvenience, they have a real and lasting impact on social and economic opportunity. In 2003, researchers at the Cambridge-based National Bureau of Economic Research published a paper suggesting that the mere presence of a “black-sounding name” on a resume was a detriment in the hiring process. The researchers found that “resumes with White names have a 10.08 percent chance of receiving a callback. Equivalent resumes with African American names have a 6.70 percent chance of being called back. This represents a difference in callback rates of 3.35 percentage points, or 50 percent, that can solely be attributed to the name manipulation… Put in other words, these results imply that a White applicant should expect on average one callback for every 10 ads she or he applies to; on the other hand, an African American applicant would need to apply to 15 different ads to achieve the same result.” The reasoning for employers – the solid majority of whom are white – is pretty straightforward: “black-sounding” names are indicative of “black culture” which in turn is an unconscious signal that the person in question might not “fit in” or “meet the standards” of the employer.
This, if you’re wondering, is why race-based affirmative action is still necessary; the glow of our glorious post-racial president – strong as it is – isn’t nearly strong enough to dispel the negative, ingrained cultural attitudes towards African-Americans. And more importantly, isn’t strong enough to erase the effect those attitudes have on depressing economic opportunity for African-Americans and other historically disenfranchised minorities.