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 ...
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.
If there is a racial disparity that puts a minority on the disfavorable side of the disparity, there is only one answer: White racism.
With all of the public pools out there, I never imagined it would ever be a problem.
Or..White folks are evolving back into fish../s
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?
Same reason they can’t read; they’re too cool to be bothered learning anything.
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.
Maybe because, uh, they don’t know how to?!
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.
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?
No webbed toes?
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.
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.
The call themselves “cats” and with few exceptions such as the Van, cats can’t swim.
I’m sure Sharpton, Jackson and co. will find an answer that can be linked to racism.
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.
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?
“Do Africans swim in Africa?”
All the time.
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.
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.
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.
Maybe the reason black men can’t swim, is the same reason white men can’t jump. /S
Obviously, there is RACISM at work here. And lets not even talk about why African Americans don’t ski.
What about the Eskimo-Americans? Transgender-Americans? Wetback-Americans?
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.
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.
Any Black Man or Woman to ever join the USN will learn to swim
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.
This is not news, it happened august of 2010 see link:
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.
All kids should learn to swim.
I used to hear why blacks don`t swim is they don`t float
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
I learned to swim from a friend who could. In turn, I helped another to learn. All at a public (cheap) pool.
Perhaps on the coast, but inland there are croc’s to consider....
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.
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.
Why are muslim kenyans always off the deep end and way over their heads?
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
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.
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.
Oprah should float like a cork!