Why don’t black people surf? That can be answered with another race-based generalization: Black people don’t swim. Consider the numbers: A 2010 study by US Swimming, America’s governing body of competitive swimming, found that nearly half of White children (42 percent) had low or no swimming ability. That number was topped by Hispanic American children; 58 percent of whom reported no or low swimming ability. Black children had the highest non-swimming rates at just under than 70 percent.
I suspect that the white numbers are slightly inflated based on the fact many that my Caucasian, land-lubbing friends define “swimming” as walking into a pool up to their waist, getting out, then applying more coconut oil. But that doesn’t change the fact that swimming rates among Black children are abysmal. Infinitely more worrisome is that Black children are around three times more likely to drown than White children, based on another study by US swimming, which is apparently the only organization who studies these sorts of things.
There is one problem with these studies: although the numbers are correct, the conclusion that we causally draw from them is utterly corrupt. The numbers tell us that many black people don’t swim; Our interpretation, however, is that black people are not swimmers, which is wrong. The truth is that American blacks have a long and well-documented history of loving to swim. In order to understand why African American culture does not currently enjoy a well established culture of recreational swimming, we need to delve under the stereotypes and generalizations and look at the history of exclusion that has accompanied their efforts to access the water.” —
Loving this piece by Tetsuhiko Endo throwing down some serious history to debunk the myth that Black people don’t swim (or surf) on the R today. (via racialicious)
Seriously. Many American Blacks are from the Caribbean. You think them nuccas don’t swim? Of course they do. But it’s EASY to get on a beach there. Here, beaches are a commodity, pools are a commodity, sold to the highest bidder…white people.
This is actually somewhat amusing to me on a personal level. My white Mother can not swim but my Black father can. As a matter of fact, most Black folks I know can swim….but I’m sure that is somehow abnormal, right?(via racismschool)
Jon Stewart, on Fox News’ refusal to acknowledge the economy’s rise and instead discussing how it’s actually not that great “if you don’t feel great about it.”
Haters gonna hate.