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Why don't black Americans swim?
BBC News ^ | 7th April 2012 | Finlo Rohrer

Posted on 04/07/2012 2:43:19 PM PDT by the scotsman

'A month ago, six African-American teenagers drowned in a single incident in Louisiana, prompting soul-searching about why so many young black Americans can't swim.

When 15-year-old DeKendrix Warner accidentally stepped into deeper water while wading in the Red River in Shreveport, he panicked.

JaTavious Warner, 17, Takeitha Warner, 13, JaMarcus Warner, 14, Litrelle Stewart, 18, Latevin Stewart, 15, and LaDarius Stewart, 17, rushed to help him and each other.

None of them could swim. All six drowned. DeKendrix was rescued by a passer-by.

Maude Warner, mother of three of the victims, and the other adults present also couldn't swim.

The US has almost 3,500 accidental drownings every year, almost 10 a day. But according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the fatal drowning rate of African-American children aged five-14 is three times that of white children.

A recent study sponsored by USA Swimming uncovered equally stark statistics. Just under 70% of African-American children surveyed said they had no or low ability to swim. Low ability merely meant they were able to splash around in the shallow end. A further 12% said they could swim but had "taught themselves".

The study found 58% of Hispanic children had no or low swimming ability. For white children, the figure was only 42%.

"It is an epidemic that is almost going unnoticed," says Sue Anderson, director of programmes and services at USA Swimming.

The swimming body would like all children to be taught to swim.

"We would like it to be like seatbelts and bicycle helmets," says Ms Anderson.

But the situation in the US can vary hugely even within a single state.'

(Excerpt) Read more at bbc.co.uk ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; US: Louisiana; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: swimming
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To: the scotsman
Children know how to swim if their parents took the time to make sure they learned how to swim.

Next question?

41 posted on 04/07/2012 3:03:52 PM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum (Over half of U.S. murders are of black people, and 90% of them are committed by other black people.)
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To: Karliner
I suppose this has to do with not many blacks living near the ocean unless it’s Africa.

I dunno, at the L.A. beaches there were plenty of blacks, as they lived just inland and an easy drive.

That said, we used to laugh how they never went any deeper than up to the knees. Never actually saw swimming going on, though there must have been a few. Just a lot of splashing around.

42 posted on 04/07/2012 3:04:01 PM PDT by doorgunner69
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To: the scotsman

Why are muslim kenyans always off the deep end and way over their heads?


43 posted on 04/07/2012 3:04:30 PM PDT by Sirius Lee (Sofa King Mitt Odd Did Obamneycare)
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To: the scotsman

I thought I had recognized this story. At the link I see that my memory was correct.

“3 September 2010 Last updated at 02:41 ET Share this pageEmailPrint
9.8K”


44 posted on 04/07/2012 3:04:36 PM PDT by Gator113 (** President Newt Gingrich-"Our beloved republic deserves nothing less." ~Just livin' life, my way~)
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To: All
Every Black Shipmate I ever had could do this.
45 posted on 04/07/2012 3:05:20 PM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: the scotsman
I was a lifeguard and swim instructor for many years during high school and college, and taught many people, young and old, black and white.

Black people are just as capable of swimming as anyone else, there are just a few barriers and challenges to overcome.

First and foremost, black children typically did not and perhaps still do not have such a subcutaneous fat layer, that aids in buoyancy. Fat people in general find it much easier to float, and those with very low body fat tend to sink several feet below the surface before buoyancy is reached. This causes difficulty with a panic reaction among those who do not know how to either swim or float.

This is overcome with gentle, slow exercises, to teach how to deal with water. Inhaling above water, then slowly exhaling and relaxing the body introduces that buoyancy point, wherever it may be for any particular individual. This progresses to the”jellyfish float” or survival float as it's better known. Knowing that you're not going to sink link a rock is reassuring enough to progress further, for every learning swimmer. Black people in general are not quite as buoyant due to lower overall body fat percentages as a group. Please keep in mind that there are always exceptions to any generality.

Secondly, flexor muscle response, that aids so greatly in other athletic pursuits such as running and basketball, can be counterproductive when swimming, which rewards a more deliberate, smooth flow of motion. This comes more naturally to some, while others need to learn it. Rapid kicking and thrashing is not rewarded in the water, the turbulence and lack of directed motion actually makes flotation more difficult.

There are occasional cultural issues as well, with getting ones face and hair wet. This too can be overcome with patience and effort.

46 posted on 04/07/2012 3:05:20 PM PDT by RegulatorCountry
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To: the scotsman
.

.

.

Zimmerman's Fault

.

.

47 posted on 04/07/2012 3:06:45 PM PDT by Jeff Chandler (I tried to buy a hoodie today but the store manager said they had all been shoplifted.)
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To: the scotsman
One contributing factor may be that blacks have higher bone density than whites. It's harder to swim if you can't float as easily.
48 posted on 04/07/2012 3:07:02 PM PDT by PapaBear3625 (In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act. - George Orwell)
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To: MIchaelTArchangel
The call themselves “cats” and with few exceptions such as the Van, cats can’t swim.

Kudos to you on your cat knowledge! I only know about them because we adopted one, Fat Mike, and he's the greatest pet in the universe.

Sorry folks, but he is, case closed.

49 posted on 04/07/2012 3:07:41 PM PDT by South Hawthorne (In Memory of my dear Friend Henry Lee II)
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To: RegulatorCountry

Oprah should float like a cork!


50 posted on 04/07/2012 3:07:53 PM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: the scotsman

Ask Campanis?

Seriously, Mr. Campanis was instrumental for getting Jackie Robinson on his team and, in doing so, put himself in great peril.

For people 40 years later to us his awkward interview (he was probably in the latter stages of Alzheimer’s) was crap and an insult to his distinguished career.


51 posted on 04/07/2012 3:08:46 PM PDT by freedumb2003 ('RETRO' Abortions = performed on 84th trimester individuals who think killing babies is a "right.")
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To: the scotsman

Swimming pools are expensive and less likely to be found in poor neighborhoods. Swimming lessons aren’t cheap either.

My husband and I have invested thousands of dollars and thousands of hours so our children could participate in a swim club.

Personally, if I was ruler of the universe, I’d require all school systems to have an indoor pool and replace gym with swim. I think most of the sports taught in P.E. are a waste of time because almost none of them can be done to promote phyiscal fitness on a lifelong basis.

Swimming is the perfect exercise even when you’re an arthritic old fart.


52 posted on 04/07/2012 3:10:12 PM PDT by Valpal1
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To: fatrat
This is not news, it happened august of 2010 see link:

An agenda-driven rehash of an old racism story???? We'll probably see a host of these kinds of old articles dredged up by the "MSM" leading up to the election.

[[ Note: I've started putting "MSM" in quotes, because, you know....they AREN'T. ]]

53 posted on 04/07/2012 3:10:29 PM PDT by Scooter100 ("Now that the fog has lifted, I still can't find my pipe". --- S. Holmes)
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To: Valpal1

>>Personally, if I was ruler of the universe, I’d require all school systems to have an indoor pool and replace gym with swim. I think most of the sports taught in P.E. are a waste of time because almost none of them can be done to promote phyiscal fitness on a lifelong basis.<<

Wow, as ruler of the universe, your sights are rather low... ;)


54 posted on 04/07/2012 3:12:29 PM PDT by freedumb2003 ('RETRO' Abortions = performed on 84th trimester individuals who think killing babies is a "right.")
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To: the scotsman
Didn't learn to swim as a child; but when I became a twenty-seven year old "typical white woman", I took swimming lessons at the local public pool.
55 posted on 04/07/2012 3:12:59 PM PDT by LucyT
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To: MarineBrat

My step-grandfather lived by Lake Erie...his mother wouldn’t let him in the water until he knew how to swim!


56 posted on 04/07/2012 3:14:36 PM PDT by RightLady (Liberty above all)
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To: mylife

During one of her heavy stages, probably so, if she’s comfortable enough in water to relax and allow it.


57 posted on 04/07/2012 3:14:54 PM PDT by RegulatorCountry
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To: mylife
Any Black Man or Woman to ever join the USN will learn to swim

There was one black guy in my husband's boot camp class and he couldn't swim. He learned, but it was a tough road.

58 posted on 04/07/2012 3:15:33 PM PDT by Dianna
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To: Harold Shea
That is wonderful to be so civic minded.

Congratulations and thank you for all of you blood donations!

59 posted on 04/07/2012 3:16:26 PM PDT by mckenzie7 (Democrats = Trough Sloppers!)
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To: Harold Shea
That is wonderful to be so civic minded.

Congratulations and thank you for all of you blood donations!

60 posted on 04/07/2012 3:16:31 PM PDT by mckenzie7 (Democrats = Trough Sloppers!)
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