Perhaps you’ve heard about the incident in suburban Philadelphia where a group of minority children from a daycare center were refused admission to a swimming pool alledgedly based on their skin color. The daycare center, Creative Steps, had originally paid to use the Valley Swim Club during the summer, but their check was returned without explanation after the children began using the facilities. Later, club director John Duesler claimed that the children, some of whom had been exposed to racial epithets during their time at the pool, changed the “complexion” and “atmosphere” of the club, a statement which brought protests outside the club as well as national attention.
I think for most of us, this incident is chillingly reminiscent of the old Jim Crow days and yet, we feel powerless beyond what we teach in our own homes to do anything about it. Well producer Tyler Perry felt the same way, and he wanted to make it up to the kids, so he is sending all of them on an all-expense paid vacation to Disney World. As a spokesman for Perry noted Disney is “better than the pool.” I have to agree.
This trip won’t change what happened and it certainly doesn’t change the fact that there are still adults out there who think it’s okay to judge someone, a child no less, on the basis of their skin, but it also shows these kids that there are good people out there. After an incident like this, I think concrete proof in the form of a stranger’s gift will go a long way. I’m certainly rooting for these kids and hope they have the time of their lives.