Shall we bring out the tiny violin? (

Racial-discrimination lawsuits against a private Montgomery County swimming club over its revoked contract with a Philadelphia day camp could cost enough to threaten the Valley Club's existence.

Attorneys, club members, and tax records indicated that a pair of federal-court lawsuits - one filed, one promised - could cost the club more money than it has and possibly leave board members liable for civil-rights verdicts.

"The only asset we have is the land, which housing developers have been trying to buy for years," said Bonnie Bacich, a Valley Club member for 30 years.

"The outrage of having to go through this, with an African American president in 2009 - we don't take this kind of stuff lightly in America anymore," said Montgomery County civil-rights lawyer Brian Wiley, who is not involved in the case lawsuit.

Wiley said fighting the issue in court could prove a fiscal challenge to the tax-exempt, nonprofit club, which listed $210,193 in assets in its most recent federal filing. "That club's got to settle that case," he said.

The best solution for this matter is for the club to go belly up and have some rich black person  -- how about Bill Cosby, who hails from Philly -- buy up the land and open up a club where anyone can take a dip in the purity pool.

A commenter at my pad said:

I think the best solution is for the plaintiffs to settle and keep the club in operation. And part of the settlement is an iron-clad diversity policy at The Valley Club, starting with free, permanent memberships for everyone in Creative Steps. I'd much rather have the membership of The Valley Club have no choice but to mingle with people of color than have them stay in their gated, racist fantasyland blaming those same people for not having any place to swim anymore. Creative Steps shouldn't want to destroy a great place for them to swim, they should want to make sure it's open to them and everybody else. Why use the upper hand to destroy the enemy when you can use it to actually make things better for everyone, including future generations on both sides?

My response:

The members of the Valley Club do have a choice; to not return to the club under new rules, which many of the racist members would choose to do. They can't be forced to swim with minority children. No, this is one of those instances where punishment does have to be meted out, and if they can find some way to settle, then they will. Of course I'm sure any terms of settlement will be a public admission that race was indeed the factor that made management eject the children from that pool -- anything less would not be justice, because that cannot and should not be papered over, even if they only have to shell out 10 cents to Creative Steps and the families of those kids.