UPDATE: PA state investigation finds Valley Club did discriminate against minority kids at its pool
(By the way, brace yourself if you venture into the comments of the linked news article. It’s another reality check about post-racial America…)
After all the protestation that the club wasn’t run by bigots, the state found the Valley Club in Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania was run by bigots. The report is damning and I have some screenshots in the post.
You’ll recall that the Creative Steps Day Camp paid $1900 to swim in the camp’s pool during the summer and when they showed up, this was the reaction.
“When the minority children got in the pool all of the Caucasian children immediately exited the pool,” Horace Gibson, parent of a day camp child, wrote in an email. “The pool attendants came and told the black children that they did not allow minorities in the club and needed the children to leave immediately.”
…”There was concern that a lot of kids would change the complexion … and the atmosphere of the club,” John Duesler, President of The Valley Swim Club said in a statement.
That didn’t go over well, and it only got worse when the next defense is that there weren’t enough lifeguards assigned to watch that large a group of kids. Unfortunately that was a big whopper of a lie, because in the report findings, there is example after example of parties that size or larger with few restrictions, certainly none of them turned away. Also, the Human Relations Commission report stated the Valley Club had 155 paid membership in 2009 and 179 in 2008, none held by an African-American. A few screenshots to peruse of the reactions of some Valley Clubbers:
Nice. And this:
Valley Club tried in 2009 to expand its membership by recruiting in areas outside its township – Lower Moreland, which has a 0.8 percent black population – mailouts were “mainly directed at areas with overwhelmingly Caucasian populations” including Rhawnhurst, Fox Chase and Churchville.
The more-diverse townships of Cheltenham and Abington, like other nearby areas with “significant African-American populations,” the report says, were passed over.
What a surprise! So this was the fine levied…
The commission ordered the club to pay a $50,000 civil penalty for the club’s discrimation again one child, whose parents filed the complaint with the commission.
The report also orders Valley Club to pay other damages, including reimbursing the parent who filed the complaint for all related expenses. If there is no settlement made between the parent, the club and the commission, either party can request a public hearing before the commission and can after that be challenged in court.
The $50,000 civil penalty is to be paid to state government, under terms of the finding.