Skip to comments.Why don't black Americans swim?
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 ...
Post of the day!
“Does anyone else read stories like this and feel like they fell down a rabbit hole, and the country has turned into an insane asylum?”
Even more interestingly, we learn about our “failings” from the BBC, while their $hitthole country goes down the tubes faster than ours is. Our news is bad, theirs is off the charts!
The water molecule is obviously racist.
The same reason they dont ski,ice skate(there are a few).
Not many in baseball anymore.
“Oprah should float like a cork!”
I heard early in her career she was arrested for “carrying 50# of crack!”
Is it true that they have slightly higher bone/muscle density making them float less well and ruining the whole experience?
This meme comes up every few years in the MSM.
The agenda is for taxpayers to provide more swimming pools in black neighborhoods.
Thats a joke, I say thats a joke son.
No pools by basketball courts?
....My late father told me his first swimming lesson was his uncle taking him to the deep end and throwing him in, while he shouted, SWIM!
As it happens, my father taught me to ride a bike by putting me on one, pushed me down the drive and yelled PEDAL!......
We may be related....lol...
actually I was given lessons in swimming and floating before I got tossed into the deep end- the old sink or swim- now the bike thing I can really relate to....by the time I made it around the block (without training wheels) with dad following/pushing I could ride a bike and knew what bruises and abrasions were.
Now, I wouldn't want to leap to conclusions, but it's hard not to draw some inferences about the parental support available to DeKendrix, JaTavious, Takeitha, JaMarcus, Litrelle, Latevin, and LaDarius.
Forgot to put the [/s] tag on my post.
I learned to swim in school.
Not even with full lungs.
Fear of shrinkage?
No problem, I got it.
While we’re at it, we should pause to note that this is a class multiple drowning case. One kid got into trouble. His friends all tried to help. Sad.
Hard to believe, considering where it is, but there it is.
With muscular black individuals, there is the added complication of body mass and distribution not being consistent with flotation possibilities.
Why all that is, I do not know, but it is what it is.
Because the majority of blacks live in areas where swimming facilities are not available to them.....The same question could be asked about why there are no blacks on the U.S. Ski team......
I grew up on a lake in northern Michigan and learned how to both swim and ski as a youngster. When I moved to Detroit for my junior and senior year of high school, I easily made the senior swim team which not surprising, only had one black on the team.
No big paydays in those sports.
>>Could you add a little more rain in Phoenix, please?<<
We are talking the ruler of the universe, not some miracle worker!
I think there may be some truth to that.
When I was in college I was a sprinter and hurdler. Often I would be the only White person in a race. I also was never a very good swimmer despite spending a good deal of time in the water.
The last White person to win the Olympic 100 meters was Alan Wells of Scotland in 1980, the same year we boycotted the Olympics. Of course all the sprinters from Trinidad etc. were competing so he still had tough competition. My ancestors were nearly 100% Scottish with only one GGGrandmother who was Irish.
I am sure that I and most Blacks could have been taught to swim at least pretty well but I also wonder if there is some physiological reason for our poor swimming ability.
We had had a kid from NY stay summers with us in the Fresh Air program. We taught him to swim and do water rescues! It is crazy that so American children don’t know how to swim or at least to tread water.
All of my kids learned to swim as pre-schoolers, well before their training wheels came off.
Plus, not every child lives in a water blessed environment. Where I grew up in Montana, there was no water deeper than 10 inches that wasn’t infested with leeches, snapping turtles and very tasty catfish with really nasty spines on their fins.
Thus my parents parted with coin to send my sibs and I to a summer camp at a lake to be taught.
Exactly. Perhaps it is cultural, perhaps financial. Whatever the reason, it’s important for all children to learn to swim, and there’s nothing physical about black americans not knowing how. It’s a matter of life and death, with a few weeks of training (at most!) making all the difference.
Now, that's a problem.
It is a skill and it could save your life.
It could become a great competitive outlet or a great source of relaxation and pleasure, but its a life saving skill at its core and ANY able bodied person can do it!
I’ll never forget the article that was in a local street paper
about a “white” do gooder who took black children under her wing and was teaching them to swim.
About a week later there was a letter to the editor about the article and it went like this:”You keep your white hands off of our black kids.We don’t need you teaching our kids how to swim or anything else”.I’m being kind in to how it was worded.
Passing a formal drownproofing class used to be a requirement for graduation at Georgia Tech.
They dropped it in the mid 80s, several years after I graduated.
There were people who just didn’t float very well using the technique.
See #104, LOL.
The boy kept his head in class IV whitewater on the Youghioghenny river.
Rivers, lakes, and the ocean all have some pretty nasty critters inhabiting the waters in and around the continent of Africa ... excepting the Med to the north. Not much incentive to be frolicking in those waters.
Now we can’t even drown in peace. What’s next?
Public pools usually aren’t free. City kids can’t always afford it. The nearest small town to my home, has a public pool. Ten dollars to get in for one afternoon.
While in the Army I attended the water safety classes 2 times. The first time was in basic training, the second was while stationed at Ft. Lewis. In basic training I didn’t particularly notice the lack of swimming by blacks, but they were only about 10% of the participants.
At Ft. Lewis because my unit was about 60% black, it was blatantly obvious. Out of over 50 blacks, one older E-6 from the South could swim. The rest panicked and would have been drowning victims. For an example of exactly how it looked, watch this video.
Myself and a couple other young white enlisted guys took turns retrieving the rubber dummy M-16 that was immediately dropped by the blacks upon entering the water.
My thoughts on why blacks don’t swim:
1: Lack of pools in the inner cities. Many reasons for this including parks and recreation funds funneled off for corruption, welfare, HHS, section 8, food stamps, etc...
2: Lack of Fathers
3: School districts not teaching “Outdoor” or “Swimming” programs to concentrate on social justice issues.
If you read the comments at the article, a person from Zimbabwe makes that very point.
It seems this non swimming habit is both cultural and global in nature, judging from the comments.
This is similar to what I was taught in the Navy.
I dont recall if they bound our hands, but the did bind our feet..
Not really. Most black folks are urban, and there are plenty of pools around. On hot days, they're packed.
The problem is that learning to swim takes practice, and that usually means a parent who can teach you, or a parent who gets you to lessons regularly. If the parents grew up swimming themselves, they will take that in stride. If they didn't, it's another story.
Then subtract dad from the equation, and add a couple of siblings to occupy the time of a single mom, who as a non-swimmer herself doesn't see it as a priority. The kids don't learn because they're not taught.
The lack of parental support is glaring. We see it in soccer. I live in a gentrifying but still quite diverse neighborhood. There is no particular reason youth soccer should be a white sport, but it is. In the early years, it's a cattle call. The fields are convenient (that changes when the kids get a little older and actually need a regular field and real goals) and the cost is low. But the black kids are few and far between. A lot show up initially, but they don't stay. The reason is simply the logistical burden on single moms.
I know the reason after spending my time teaching black youth at school and asking them this very question.
1. Public pools and their programs are nearly unattended by most black families. This was not so in the 80’s, but lately many black families have shunned the community pool.
2. Many blacks perpetuate the myth that they cannot swim.
3. Remember the Olympics that our beloved media mocked that one African participant in the Olympics? Yeah, that too.
Is this racist? No. I asked my students, and the mentioned each of these answers to me as reasons. One of my kids said “Black folks aren’t made to swim like white folks aren’t made to jump.” I laughed.
I’m 35 and arthritic so don’t feel bad.
We're gonna force you to swim! ☺