If you live in the Philly, PA area then chances are that you've probably heard of this story in the news. Black kids were turned away from a swim club due to the color of their skin. This story obviously got around because here is Tyler Perry giving a very generous gift to lift up and support these children who have witnessed racism first hand in the year 2009.
When you get a chance please go to his website and sign up to receive his newsletter. They are a very nice read and always full of information. Here's the latest newsletter I received from Tyler Perry. he is truly one awesome man.
This made me so angry.
Since Michael Jackson died I have not watched the news. I have just been
so disgusted at how the mainstream media has riddled this family with
disrespect, and no matter what anyone, you or I included, might have
thought of him, the truth of the matter is this - the man was still a
human being and his kids and family deserve some privacy and space. And I
know that I'm not the only one that feels this way, so I purposely kept
the TV off. Anyway, I was walking through the house, and I don't know how
this TV was on, but I saw a little boy on the news crying his eyes out.
So I turned it up. Here is this kid talking about being kicked out of the
Valley Swim Club outside Philadelphia because he was black. Did you hear
me? I said, "No way, this can't be! It's 2009. I don't believe this!" But,
I know it happens even in this year of Obama.
As I listened to the story the anchorperson went on to talk about a woman
named Althea Wright. This young lady started a non-profit called Creative
Steps to help inner-city children. And apparently she had booked the
Valley Swim Club's pool and paid for it to be used by the children through
the summer. As we all know, this is such a great thing. During the summer
our kids can get into a lot of trouble if they don't have something
creative to do. Anyway, as the story went on I was shocked to find out
that it wasn't just him but 65 children in all, black and Hispanic kids,
that were kicked out of the pool. You should Google this story and read it
online for yourself. It's crazy! I went from being mad to being furious.
The news reporter went on to say that the president of the club and its
members said, and I quote, "We don't want to change the complexion of our
club." The president refunded the money of the children and asked them not
to come back. WHAT?! I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I said I
have to do something for these children. I can't let them think that they
are inferior because of the color of their skin. Then that night I saw
the president of the Valley Swim Club on the news again saying that he
misspoke and that it was a safety issue and the club wasn't able to
accommodate so many children. But the children themselves reportedly said
that members were taking their kids out of the pool, and that they were
saying things like, "Why are they here?" and "They're black", even
insinuating that these kids would steal or maybe hurt their children.
Now get this. A few days later I catch the story again on CNN. This time
the club was inviting the kids to come and swim. WHAT?! I'm confused. If
you refunded the money because there was not enough room in the pool and
it was a safety issue then why are you asking the same 65 kids to come
This is awful, and for anyone that has grown up in the inner-city, you
know that one small act of kindness can change your life. These kids see
the images of President Obama on TV and then they see the drug dealers and
thugs on the corner. Which do you think is more their reality? One act of
kindness, one person telling them that they are special, one moment of
encouragement can make them move mountains. I know it to be true because I
was one of them. They don't need to be called names and be told that they
are less than, because of the color of their skin or because of where they
I was told that one of these children, a seven year old, asked her mother
if she was "to black to be in a pool." How do you answer that? How do you
get a seven year old past that? Again, it broke my heart and I wanted to
do something, and I feel like you all would want to do something, too.
That's why I'm telling you this. Since you all have put me in the position
to be able to do something I feel like by me doing this we are all doing
it together. So what I did was on Aug 1st thru 3rd I'm sending these kids
to Disney World, and then to a Disney water park. I want them to know that
for every act of evil that a few people will throw at you, there are
millions more who will do something kind for them. This is all about the
kids. So, thank you for letting me do this. Thank you so much. And do me
a favor please. When you see these kids coming through the airport, (I'm
sure you won't be able to miss them. I imagine they are going to be super
excited) when you see them in the park and in the hotel, let's show them a
whole lot of love and respect. Show them that they are just as good as
anyone else. And show them that they can do or be anything they want to
be no matter what any one says!