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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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1 posted on 04/07/2012 2:43:21 PM PDT by the scotsman
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To: the scotsman

This is often considered a racist question and should not be. It is easily observable and should be addressed. It is nothing but tragic that such a large percentage of blacks (at least American blacks) don’t swim - it is horrible how many more drownings they endure, and I don’t understand the reason for it.

It seems to me it can’t be helped until it is acknowledged, and there is nothing racist about it.


2 posted on 04/07/2012 2:45:40 PM PDT by Persevero (Homeschooling for Excellence since 1992)
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To: the scotsman

If there is a racial disparity that puts a minority on the disfavorable side of the disparity, there is only one answer: White racism.


3 posted on 04/07/2012 2:46:05 PM PDT by SampleMan (Feral Humans are the refuse of socialism.)
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To: the scotsman

With all of the public pools out there, I never imagined it would ever be a problem.


4 posted on 04/07/2012 2:47:17 PM PDT by Thorliveshere
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To: the scotsman

Or..White folks are evolving back into fish../s


5 posted on 04/07/2012 2:47:44 PM PDT by Dallas59 (President Robert Gibbs 2009-2011)
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To: the scotsman
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%.

OK, you're not getting me this time!!! It's satire right???
They're not equating lack of interest in learning to swim with racism are they?

6 posted on 04/07/2012 2:47:49 PM PDT by YankeeReb
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To: the scotsman

Same reason they can’t read; they’re too cool to be bothered learning anything.


7 posted on 04/07/2012 2:47:58 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: the scotsman

Teach kids how to cross the street and teach them to swim. With mine, I was more concerned that they learn to swim than almost anything. It only takes a minute or so and it’s over.


8 posted on 04/07/2012 2:48:29 PM PDT by always vigilant
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To: the scotsman

Maybe because, uh, they don’t know how to?!


9 posted on 04/07/2012 2:48:29 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Let us prey!)
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To: the scotsman

Dunno about this. Percentages might be right but I surfed with and competed with black guys , even had a guy shape me a board. One guy was 6’-7” and used to be on the Lakers bench back in the 60’s. Couldn’t surf all that well but he sure loved the ocean. I suppose this has to do with not many blacks living near the ocean unless it’s Africa.


10 posted on 04/07/2012 2:50:01 PM PDT by Karliner ( Jeremiah 29:11, Romans 8:28, Romans 8:38"...this is the end of the beginning."WC)
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To: the scotsman

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?


11 posted on 04/07/2012 2:50:26 PM PDT by YankeeReb
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To: the scotsman

No webbed toes?


12 posted on 04/07/2012 2:50:41 PM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: the scotsman

The answer is simple. Every kid and every parent I’ve ever known learned to swim from their parents or their parent’s appointee. We learned as small children because we were taught. It’s not rocket science, but parents must treat it as a rite of parenthood to teach their children to swim, or to have someone else teach them.

If a culture other than mine doesn’t feel that way then let them reap the results like men. Take the good with the bad. It is what it is and that’s all there is to it.


13 posted on 04/07/2012 2:50:46 PM PDT by MarineBrat (Better dead than red!)
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To: the scotsman
I had to check to see if it was The Onion.

I don't know why that is, but it's true. My girlfriend isn't even African American - she's Ethiopian and she grew up in a very wealthy family who had a pool and lived right on the beach and still can't swim for squat.

We swamp yankees learned by being launched off thirty feed of rope swing and being given the choice of drowning or swimming back to shore. It's probably considered a crime nowadays.

14 posted on 04/07/2012 2:51:00 PM PDT by Sirius Lee (Sofa King Mitt Odd Did Obamneycare)
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To: the scotsman

The call themselves “cats” and with few exceptions such as the Van, cats can’t swim.

Next question!


15 posted on 04/07/2012 2:51:31 PM PDT by MIchaelTArchangel (Romney ruined Massachusetts. Now he wants to ruin the nation.)
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To: the scotsman

I’m sure Sharpton, Jackson and co. will find an answer that can be linked to racism.


16 posted on 04/07/2012 2:51:48 PM PDT by citizencon
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To: the scotsman

My daughter swam competitively for five years at a Y in Queens. It was a very integrated community, as was the Y, but out of 45 team members there was only one black Many of the black kids and teens in the Y would marvel at the swim team, particularly the young one’s ability to stay up in the deep end during a break, have conversations, and act as matter of factly as if they were standing in the park.


17 posted on 04/07/2012 2:51:56 PM PDT by xkaydet65
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To: E. Pluribus Unum
Same reason they can’t read; they’re too cool to be bothered learning anything.

Lobsters in the pot. I've seen it too many times to ignore and its a terrible waste of humanity.
18 posted on 04/07/2012 2:52:28 PM PDT by cripplecreek (What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?)
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To: the scotsman

I think they don’t want to be bothered with swimming. Do Africans swim in Africa? It seems they run well and jump but don’t loiter in the water much, or maybe they do and it’s not reported?


19 posted on 04/07/2012 2:52:57 PM PDT by GreatRoad (O < 0)
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To: GreatRoad

“Do Africans swim in Africa?”

All the time.


20 posted on 04/07/2012 2:54:41 PM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: the scotsman

Bush’s fault.


21 posted on 04/07/2012 2:54:49 PM PDT by tumblindice (our new, happy lives)
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To: the scotsman
Why don't black Americans swim?

As DemoRat voters they will vote more often when dead, so it is not necessary for them to swim.

Black Republicans all swim just fine.

22 posted on 04/07/2012 2:55:58 PM PDT by Navy Patriot (Join the Democrats, it's not Fascism when WE do it and the law is what WE say it is.)
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To: the scotsman
From the article:
Theories for low black American swimming rates

Propagation of incorrect scientific theories such as black people being much less buoyant
Historic factors going as far back as slaves not being allowed to learn to swim
Denial of access to pools in 1920s and 30s causing ripple effect to present day
Lack of municipal pools in predominantly black neighbourhoods in 1960s onwards
Perception of swimming as elitist or white sport


Wow. Just, wow. None of these would have ever occurred to me.
23 posted on 04/07/2012 2:56:07 PM PDT by ChocChipCookie
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To: the scotsman

It takes caring parents with the time and desire to take their kids to the YMCA or other pool for lessons.

You have none of this in the black community anymore. Their mothers are sitting around watching TV while their 5 kids by different men are running wild in the streets.

We made sure to spend the time and money making sure our 3 boys knew how to swim. It is time consuming but caring parents do it.


24 posted on 04/07/2012 2:57:09 PM PDT by dewawi
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To: the scotsman

All blacks, or just the ones in poverty? Swimming lessons cost money. I wouldn’t say too much, or everyone else will be picking up the tab for this as well.


25 posted on 04/07/2012 2:57:26 PM PDT by JudyinCanada
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To: the scotsman

Maybe the reason black men can’t swim, is the same reason white men can’t jump. /S


26 posted on 04/07/2012 2:58:48 PM PDT by PoloSec ( Believe the Gospel: how that Christ died for our sins, was buried and rose again)
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To: the scotsman

Obviously, there is RACISM at work here. And lets not even talk about why African Americans don’t ski.


27 posted on 04/07/2012 2:59:50 PM PDT by rbg81
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To: the scotsman; a fool in paradise

What about the Eskimo-Americans? Transgender-Americans? Wetback-Americans?


28 posted on 04/07/2012 2:59:50 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Let us prey!)
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To: YankeeReb

Yes.


29 posted on 04/07/2012 3:00:08 PM PDT by Gator113 (** President Newt Gingrich-"Our beloved republic deserves nothing less." ~Just livin' life, my way~)
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To: the scotsman

Because parents who are really interested in their child’s ability to survive the real world will teach the child to survive or have someone equally qualified to teach the child. I learned to swim in the Mississippi River, (MN/WI) and being able to swim against that current would tire you out. Now however, people who live on government handouts for generations have no clue how to survive or even what basic survival skills are needed.


30 posted on 04/07/2012 3:00:10 PM PDT by Traveler59 ( Truth is a journey, not a destination.)
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To: GreatRoad

A swimming instructor once told me that blacks have denser bones making them sinkers thus having more trouble learning to swim. Don’t know if it’s true but in my experience most blacks do not swim well, if at all.


31 posted on 04/07/2012 3:00:15 PM PDT by Josa
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To: rbg81

Any Black Man or Woman to ever join the USN will learn to swim


32 posted on 04/07/2012 3:01:13 PM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: the scotsman
I think most Americans who can swim, learn it in organized groups....high school, YMCA, Rec Centers, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, etc. Not sure what the real statistics are for White, Black, Hispanic, Asian re: swimming lessons and affiliation with groups who teach them.

As for me, it was the Boy Scouts....Swimming & Lifesaving Merit Badges, plus the Mile Swim Patch. Very worthwhile, as I now love boating/yachting and knowing how makes it a little more enjoyable. Besides, learning how, you know, "It's one less thing", as Forrest Gump said.

33 posted on 04/07/2012 3:01:42 PM PDT by Scooter100 ("Now that the fog has lifted, I still can't find my pipe". --- S. Holmes)
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To: the scotsman

This is not news, it happened august of 2010 see link:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2563575/posts?page=57


34 posted on 04/07/2012 3:01:42 PM PDT by fatrat (extremely extreme right-wing radicalized veteran)
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To: the scotsman

Cuz white people own the swimming pools? Dunno but it’s gotta be racism somehow.

For reparations we should probably give each black person a Jet Ski.


35 posted on 04/07/2012 3:01:55 PM PDT by bigbob
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To: the scotsman

All kids should learn to swim.


36 posted on 04/07/2012 3:02:09 PM PDT by freekitty (Give me back my conservative vote; then find me a real conservative to vote for)
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To: Persevero

I used to hear why blacks don`t swim is they don`t float

very well....whatever

Been donating blood for 30 years or so,Seen about 5 blacks

donating in that time span.Never saw a black doing Apheresis

25 gallon donor here


37 posted on 04/07/2012 3:02:09 PM PDT by Harold Shea (RVN `70 - `71)
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To: JudyinCanada
Swimming lessons cost money.

I learned to swim from a friend who could. In turn, I helped another to learn. All at a public (cheap) pool.

38 posted on 04/07/2012 3:02:39 PM PDT by Roccus
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To: GreatRoad

Perhaps on the coast, but inland there are croc’s to consider....


39 posted on 04/07/2012 3:02:56 PM PDT by Amberdawn
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To: Persevero

When I was in my teens I worked as a lifeguard on an Army base. Part of our job was to do “drown proofing” with the soldiers. Almost every black guy would go straight to the bottom like a rock and end up trying to crawl up on your head when you brought them back up LOL!! In general they seem to have very little body fat so part of the problem was they had zero buoyancy. I think a lot of it comes from exposure and being comfortable in water. What a tragedy for the mom to lose 3 children. Can’t imagine.


40 posted on 04/07/2012 3:03:28 PM PDT by happyhomemaker (That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children)
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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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