20 August 2012

Financial settlement in swim club racism case

Three years ago, I wrote about an incident at a Philadelphia area swim club: A group of young day care students, who had a pre-arranged and pre-paid agreement to use the pool, were subjected to hateful and racially charged comments and then were ordered to leave the club. Most of the children, if not all, were black or brown. The Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission investigated the case and issued a finding that racism was indeed a factor.

Now, finally, the Valley Swim Club is paying a price for its bigotry. Last week, the U.S. Justice Department announced that it has reached a settlement agreement with the club for as much as $1.1 million.

All the money in the world cannot heal the emotional wounds that the incident inflicted on its young victims three years ago. But at least this demonstrates that racist behavior could come with a hefty price tag. Hopefully this will be somewhat of a deterrent where the human conscience fails.

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