Tuesday, July 14, 2009

What Happened to the Content of His Character?

In his famous "I Have a Dream" Speech, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said we should be judged by the "content of our character" and not "by the color of our skin."

It's sad to think that in 2009 the patrons of the All-White Huntington Valley Swim Club don't appreciate that message.

I'm sure you've heard the story by now: two weeks ago outside Philadelphia, more than 60 children from a summer camp tried to go swimming at a club that their camp had a contract to use. They paid $1900 for the privilege, but apparently the people at the club didn't know that the group of kids was predominantly Black.

When the campers entered the pool, white parents allegedly took their kids out of the water, and the swimming club's staff asked the campers to leave. The next day, the club told the summer camp that their membership would be canceled and that their payment would be refunded.

The President of the Valley Swim Club, John G. Duesler, now says he and his family are receiving hate email and phone calls to his home. After the incident he commented that the reason the black campers were tossed was that they would “change the complexion of the club” and they couldn’t come back.

But the most telling comment Duesler made was that “this is a terrible misrepresentation of everything I stand for”. You know why he said that? Because he was one of President Barack Obama's staunchest supporters during the presidential campaign. He rallied the suburbanites to jump on the Obama bandwagon and that they did.

So how does Duesler go from supporting a black man to lead an entire nation to blocking access to little black children who just wanted to cool off and have a day of fun?

What is the true content of his character?

If you click on the title of this post, you can find Duesler's Twitter page.


Debra Stokes said...

I hate to say it, but I think this is just the first of many "recorded" incidents of its kind. People who managed to superficially set aside their racial prejudices simply for the sake of change will be "outed" when their true character is tested. Yet another reason Paul tells us to "pray without ceasing".

Eileen Williams said...

This is a horrifying example of how far we still have to come as a nation to truly bring our citizens together as one. Being white, I cannot speak to the black experience, but I am a human being and can just imagine how hurtful and humiliating this must have been for those innocent children.
An added bonus of being a member of the Baby Boomer Divas is that it is a multi-racial group with members from around the world. We are united by our common experience of being women who are growing older. And, thankfully, it is what we share that brings us close rather than our differences setting us apart. Hopefully, the country will follow our lead!

Tracy Lewis said...

I think things are changed to suit the times not necessarily to be what they ORIGINALLY are meant to be and its sad.

Pam Archer said...

What character? He sounds like a politician to me!

Discrimination in any shape, form, or COLOR is unacceptable at any age, children or adult. How those children must have felt when they were asked to leave the pool must have been disheartening. And, the example that the white parents set for their children by acting like something was wrong is abhorable.

I wouldn't want to be a member of any organization that was discriminatory. We are ALL created in God's image.

Karen O'Bannon said...

Still praying after all these years.