Tyler Perry treats racially victimized kids to DisneyWorld trip (update)

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On June 29, a group of 65 kids attending the Creative Steps camp went out for a preplanned field trip to The Valley Club in Philadelphia. The kids’ outing was to simply use the pool at The Valley Club, and the camp had paid $1,950 to bring the kids there for the day. Unfortunately, once the group of 65 kids arrived at The Valley Club, they were first allowed to change into their swimsuits, then when they started to go to the pool area, they turned away. The majority of the kids are African-American and Hispanic, and as they were being turned away, a few of the kids later told the Creative Steps director they heard racist comments coming from the white adults and children at the club.

One camper reported hearing a woman ask “‘Why’s there so many black kids here,’ cause she said she was afraid that we might do something to her child.” Another child said, “All the Caucasian people, they got treated nicely. They had lockers and everything. But we had to put our book bags on the table outside. I had to get changed in the bathroom.” Camp director Alethea Wright said, “A couple of the children ran down saying, ‘Miss Wright, Miss Wright, they’re up there saying, “What are those black kids doing here?’” Meanwhile, The Valley Club’s spokesperson told the press that the kids were denied access to the pool because of overcrowding issues, and the club refunded the camp’s fee.

This whole incident is causing a local furor within Philadelphia, and a war of words amongst black and Hispanic activists, spokespeople for The Valley Club and Creative Steps, and now the local and federal government. The Justice Department is now investigating The Valley Club for racial discrimination. As everyone stews in their own juices during the long, hot Philadelphia summer, writer/director Tyler Perry has stepped up to offer the 65 Philly kids a wonderful chance to do something fun during their summer holiday. Tyler is sending the kids (and presumably, their parents) on an all-expenses-paid three-day trip to DisneyWorld:

Tyler Perry is playing Santa to 65 Pennsylvania children from a largely minority day-care center whose outing was axed when they were turned away by a predominantly white swim club.

Instead of wading in the waters of the so-called exclusive Valley Swim Club in suburban Philly – whose members feared an influx of the black and Hispanic children, the adults were quoted as saying – these kids are going to Disney World, with Perry paying for the works: airfare, food, hotel and admissions for the three-day visit.

“He wanted to do something nice for them and let them know that for every negative experience, there are people out there who want them to succeed regardless of the color of their skin,” Keleigh Thomas, publicist for the producer and Madea Goes to Jail star, tells CNN.

“I am ecstatic for the children,” said Alethea Wright, the Creative Steps day-care center director, adding that the Perry offer came through on Friday.

As Perry said on his Web site about the actions of the Valley Swim Club, “This made me so angry. This is awful, and for anyone that has grown up in the inner-city, you know that one small act of kindness can change your life.”

He added about the children, “I want them to know that for every act of evil that a few people will throw at you, there are millions more who will do something kind for them. This is all about the kids.”

[From People]

It’s a real cool gesture for Tyler Perry, and it’s wonderful that there’s at least one African-American activist who was really thinking about the kids who were victimized, instead of just the usual peanut gallery of self-absorbed talking heads on the 24-hour news channels. I bet those kids will have a great time at DisneyWorld, and I hope the situation in Philadelphia calms down, and people come to some sort of general consensus about what’s appropriate and what is disrespectful and insensitive.

Update: Here is a local news report from Philadelphia about the kids being turned away. It was definitely about race. The swim club released a statement saying “”There was concern that a lot of kids would change the complexion … and the atmosphere of the club.” Thanks to Annie for commenting with this link.

View more news videos at: http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/video.

Tyler Perry is shown on 2/12/09 and 2/18/09. Credit: WENN.com

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82 Responses to “Tyler Perry treats racially victimized kids to DisneyWorld trip (update)”

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  1. michelle says:

    Amazing. He is pretty darn awesome.

  2. Oenix says:

    This is a very nice gesture from Mr. Perry’s part. Perhaps it will inspire native sons/daughters such as Will Smith to follow suit. Especially given that Mr. Smith is a father whereas Mr. Tyler has no kids.

  3. SW says:

    Eat THAT, you little valley brats!!

  4. princess pee says:

    It turns my stomach to read that those kids were treated so shamefully. Their camp had prepaid and booked the trip, so the excuse that the pool was overcrowded is an enormous pack of bull.
    I wish I believed that the 95% of Philadelphia residents who AREN’T racist bigots would boycott. I can only hope, I guess.

    Well done Tyler Perry. This is exactly the right way to respond.

  5. Nev says:

    Awww that’s sweet of Perry. I hope the Valley Swim Club rot in hell for the way they treated those little kids.

  6. Nebraska says:

    It is so nice for Tyler Perry to help these kids and too bad that people have to be ignorant racists in this world.

  7. the original kate says:

    WTF is wrong with those people? seriously…are they so sheltered that they’ve never encountered people of different backgrounds before? on a happier note, good for tyler.

  8. lisa says:

    What about white kids who are picked on because they are white? White people never get media attention like that when they are belittled,mugged, or gang beaten by blacks for the color of their skin.

  9. nj says:

    I love this man. I saw this story on the news and it didn’t really affect me at first; it was just a report. Then I picked my head up to see a little boy, maybe eight years old, in tears because he could not go swimming. It absolutely tore at me and haunted me for days. Thank you, Tyler Perry, who I have always admired and enjoyed, for doing this wonderful, beautiful thing. And SHAME on those awful, elitist, two-faced Valley Club members, who probably elected Obama, never miss Oprah, have Jay Z and Beyonce in their iPods, but GOD FORBID THEY SWIM FOR A DAY WITH UNDERPRIVELIGED BLACK CHILDREN!!!

  10. lisa says:

    By the way, I’m not racist, just sick of nobody sticking up for my race when something bad happens to them

  11. Whitney says:

    who called you racist lisa?

  12. KJ says:

    @lisa I understand that you don’t agree with media coverage of race-based issues, and I do think that often times people think that white people are some how impervious to racism, but I think you chose a very poor time to push the issue. Now should not be about finger pointing and “what about the white kids who experience the same thing.” The bottom line is, innocent children were victims of racism by people who are supposed to be adults. Not BLACK children, innocent children period and adults period. And the community around them should do everything in their power to make it right.

    One could argue that white kids who are abducted are covered way more than children of color in the same situation. Media coverage is skewed no matter what, which is never ethical, and in my experience, it’s skewed more in the favor of whites than it is toward anyone else. Racism is racism, but seriously, just let these kids be taken care of, and let them get on with their lives. There’s no need to turn this into even more of a racial issue when someone who has money is simply trying to help some kids who were traumatized for life by supposed “grown ups.”

  13. Rosalee says:

    One of the most important lesson these children could learn is there are people who will not stand by and accept this intolerable behaviour. They will learn racist beliefs and actions have no place in society and if it does happen, those who commit these offensive behaviours will be exposed. Lisa, racism is racism – despite the race/colour/culture of the hurt individual. Cheers to Tyler Perry, what a wonderful gift to give to these children..

  14. Roni says:

    Well said, KJ, and I agree with you 150%!!!!

  15. Enough says:

    Talk about beating a dead horse. They are turning these kids into martyrs. Funny how the media seems to ignore all the black on black crime in Philly.

  16. hatsumomogirly says:

    Its pretty unbelievable that something like this could still happen in thsis day and age. And that country club expected to get away with it? With the media Exposure the way it is in America? Now the whole country knows, bunch of twats.

    And those kids seem to be faring pretty well. After the incident was first reported, a hotel let them use their pool area for free and an Ice cream parlor let the kids have a free ice cream day there. And now Diseyworld. for free. Why didn’t this happen at the b&g club I was in?!

  17. vicsmith says:

    Don’t believe Lisa could turn this article into “more” of a racial issue. Most of this article is about race and racism including alleged quotes from “white adults and children.” The president of this club is white and also a big Obama supporter who felt the children might change the atmosphere and complexion of the club. I’m glad these children are being taken care of and it’s always sad when children are hurt, but don’t kid yourself. Lisa is right. Racism is alive and well from the black community also and they often get a pass, for the very reasons discussed by KJ. But that isn’t the fault of white children who are often expected to take it in stride but a media who is more concerned with attracting viewers than any real concern for missing children. If you think a white child going into an all or mostly black neighborhood is welcome you are deluded.

  18. michelle says:

    KJ you are completely right. Oh and Lisa it said that the MOST of the kids were black or hispanic, not all, so some white children were there too just in case that was the missing element for you to have some sympathy. Although KJ said it best with the innocent children, not black children, part.

  19. Neelyo says:

    Lisa, when your race has been the majority in Western culture for centuries, do you really need someone to stand up for you? I’d hope by now, you could do it yourself.

  20. vicsmith says:

    Neelyo proves my point perfectly. Whites are the majority so “should” take racism in stride. Lisa was talking about white children who don’t deserve it anymore than a minority child does, not herself. Keep teaching those kids to be victims. Squeaky wheels do get the grease or free trips or protest rallies. Enough makes an excellent point also. Lets talk about who’s really hurting the kids of Philly.

  21. Annie says:

    Thank you Neelyo.

    I was just about to say something similar.

    I’m sorry, I don’t feel for a culture/race that has subjugated and ruled over all others for centuries now. That has reaped the highest benefits (and still continues to do so) and even goes into other countries and takes over (Anyone remember when the Chinese were slaves to Europeans in their OWN COUNTRY!?) Our “poorest of the poor” appalachian mountain people are wealthier than most of Africa. You don’t know what it’s like to get turned away for a job because they assume you can’t speak english based on the name on your resume. You don’t know what it’s like to have someone point blank tell you “Wow, your english is pretty good” (P.S BAD Grammar there racist.)

    Does this mean I don’t have friends of every part of the spectrum? Of course not. But you will NOT garner my pity because you’re supposedly experiencing reverse discrimination. You’ve never had legal barriers placed against you for the color of your skin. And you don’t know what it’s like to be truly scared to step foot in 80% of the United States. You don’t have social institutions that are designed to have you fail. You don’t know what it’s like to get herded into the projects and given the lowest form of education and then expected to succeed with those who enjoy private schooling and tutors and then when you get into a school, you’re told that you’re not there on your merits and people use it as a way to abolish attempts at equalization.

    As one of my favorite artists says: Stop whining that affirmative action is reverse discrimination; it’s just a pathetic excuse for reparations.

    Oh, and it’s not about being a victim, it’s about being aware of the fact that you deserve better.

    -end rant-

    Oh. And I should note that, this does not imply and should not, everever imply that children of any color/race/whathaveyou, deserve to be treated poorly.

  22. Zoe (The Other One) says:

    What a nice man he is. Wouldn’t it be nice if more people did nice things like that for each other and there weren’t people who found room to actually criticise them for it. Oddness.

    Edit: hello, my name is Zoe, let’s see how many times I can use the word ‘nice’ in one comment. Sheesh.

  23. nj says:

    And I, for one, am renting “Madea Goes to Jail” on DirecTV right now. Tyler Perry deserves every dollar that goes into his pocket. He is now a millionaire and a mogul, and I salute him, as my redheaded 7-year old does his Madea routines.

  24. Annie says:

    Oh! And goodness, I went off on my rant and forgot to say the most important part:

    Tyler Perry did an amazing thing, and I’m quite glad that these children will get a chance to go to Disney world! I used to work for Disneyland and even I have yet to go there! Lucky ducks! :)

  25. jm says:

    It’s a very nice gesture by him.

    On the other hand, I ‘m not so sure this incident was as racial as the camp group – and, mostly, the media – is making it. The group was turned away, that’s a fact. I strongly suspect they are making up some of the details about what people said about them, however. Yes, some pool members may have given dirty looks or upset looks, but I saw on the news that other people who were at the pool insist they never heard the alleged racist comments.

    I took my kids to a kids’ museum yesterday. We were having a great time until a large group of campers came. I had my kids in an area marked 3 years and under only. About 20 kids (yes, minorities) who were from 6-9 or 10 years old suddenly burst into the area and turned it upside down. THey were swinging from things, knocking sand tables over, and behaving . . .exactly like kids that age do act. The problem was the teachers with them didn’t properly supervise. The museum staff had to come and shoo the big kids out, while the teachers paid no attention. I don’t blame the kids, but do blame the supervision.

    And that scenario has happened dozens of times when we’ve gone places. A large group of inadequately supervised kids is just annoying and unsafe – whatever their color. So I’m not convinced that the Philly pool was just acting racist.

    As far as not getting lockers – club members probably have lockers b/c they paid for them extra. At the pool we go to, camp groups always just put their bags on the ground in one place, to keep them together. That goes for kids of all colors, and seems to be a standard thing.

    It seems here that people are going out of their way to find things to condemn the pool about, and some of it is unfair. Stop blaming others and do a better job watching your kids.

  26. wizzle says:

    I come from a very white area and racism is alive and well. after living in NY for 15 years it is even more apparent now. i can’t imagine how the kids felt that day. i’m glad they are getting some special treatment now thanks to TP!

  27. cossie says:

    Great thing Tyler Perry did. That being said I live in a very black neighborhood where racism is not only alive and well but dangerous too. Annie, President Barack Hussein Obama did okay with his non-mainstream name and like he told the NAACP recently. No More Excuses! And believing people deserve racism because of what their ancestors did in Europe hundreds of years ago or here 50 years ago is ludicrous. Talk about Sins of the Father.

  28. KJ says:

    @jm
    It would have been understandable had there been any mention of the children being unruly or disruptive at the pool or had members complained to whoever was in charge. But there was no mention of unruly behavior and there were no complains made about the children outside of the fact that they were minorities, therefore your argument doesn’t apply. The only issue that the pool director could come up with (AFTER stating that the children changed the “complexion” of the pool, which is blatantly in regard to their skin color) was that it was a pool safety issue. Too many patrons, not enough life guards. But how can that be? It wasnt as if the children showed up uninvited and unannounced. The camp set aside specific days and times during which they could use the pool, and the swim club agreed to those days and times. If having that many children was an issue, they shouldn’t have agreed to it, or staffed more lifeguards for that day. There are two sides to every story, BUT you’re implying that the children made up the comments that they heard. If you follow the sequence of events, a child who was part of the day camp came up to an adult and mentioned the racist remark made, and THEN they were kicked out. Had the children been made aware that they were kicked out, I could understand that maybe one of them made up that they overheard something, but since it’s the other way around, its highly unlikely that these are fibs.

    I think you’re trying to see the good where there is none. This is a cold, hard case of racism. It’s hard to believe in this day and age people would take out their prejudices on innocent kids, but let’s face it. We don’t live in a post racial society. Racism is alive and well and happening all the time.

  29. princess pee says:

    Hey jm,

    That group of horrible kids who interrupted your perfecty-perfect day at the museum? They paid to be there. They booked the time with the museum. No camp or school goes around just ‘showing up’ and causing a ruckus. However much you might not want to share space, that’s something you would need to address with the location, not the other guests. You’re right; the trouble is the supervision but that’s still besides the point. If the group will be disruptive to the atmosphere and ‘complexion’ of a place, that place shouldn’t agree to have them in the first place. Once they’ve agreed, they should NOT be allowed to turn them away at the door. Maybe, just maybe, it wasn’t about race. It’s still wrong, though.

  30. Annie says:

    Ugh. I had this whole thing typed and my shit glitched.

    So I’m gonna go for the non-fat version of my response.

    You’re right that President Obama definitely has a controversial name and won despite that. But that doesn’t mean there weren’t people who used it against him. And it doesn’t mean that discrimination based on simply a name doesn’t happen.

    I’ve been there. I’ve felt it. And frankly, my intent isn’t that ALL people with “foreign” names are discriminated, but that it DOES happen and if you want to say that “Oh Hey! But look at Obama” that’s fine and dandy. But I will be damned if I let someone point blank ask me if I speak English just because my last name is Vietnamese. I’ll also be damned if I let them accuse me of being a communist because of that fact too.

    You’re right, no more excuses, but frankly. Sins of the father? I’m not punishing caucasians! Based on the color of all of our presidents prior to Obama, or the color of most members of the Board on massive corporations or CEOS, I don’t think it’s being held against them THAT badly.

    I don’t hold non-racists responsible for their racist parents, but I sure hold the racists responsible.

    Example? Good friend of mine, very typical southern California white male. Family? So racist that when he brought his adorable Latina girlfriend home, their jaws literally dropped and his dad asked if she came here legally. First impression. No one holds him responsible for his father’s comment. Do I think differently of him because of his dad? Heck no! The only person responsible for a racist act is the one committing it.

  31. Neelyo says:

    Vicsmith, point taken. I wasn’t condoning the victimization of any culture and I’m sorry I wasn’t clearer. I wasn’t responding to the story of the children as much as I was the seemingly ‘when is it my turn?’ attitude of the poster Lisa.

    No one deserves to be discriminated against but it seems like more and more caucasians think that discrimination ended with slavery, forgetting that the civil rights movement is barely 40 years old. That’s not a century or even a lifetime. The wounds are still fresh.

  32. tinmo says:

    I work at a YMCA and a large group of Asian (non-members) came in the other night and were denied access to the pool because the lifeguard was one person away from his maximum ratio. Had we been accused of racism because of this I would’ve been outraged. A large group of people coming in unexpectedly, regardless of race, is going to cause an issue especially where safety is concerned. That being said, since this was a prepaid booking, I’d like to know if this is possibly more of an administrative issue than one of racism. Was this a scheduled time? Did the group come in when they were supposed to? If so, then someone fell down on the job and should be reprimanded for poor management. But that is a far cry from racism. As far as the “no locker” thing, we do not let large groups of children get lockers at our facility, either. It would be a shame if the club actually did discriminate against these children, but it would also be a shame if they were falsely accused of racism.

  33. Annie says:

    I don’t think you can compare your experience and this with the point you made yourself, that this was a prepaid, preplanned event that the pool knew about.

  34. jm says:

    To Princess Pee -
    First, your name fits you perfecty-perfect. Eye roll.

    I didn’t say in my case a group showed up unexpectedly. And I’m not saying the kids were horrible. I said they acted like normal kids. The problem was the adults who took them there didn’t supervise well enough. They let big kids run crazy in a toddler area and it wasn’t safe. I’ve seen that happen a lot with kids of all colors. Kids will be kids and that’s natural. You just can’t show up with a large group somewhere and expect the pool, the museum or wherever to do ALL the supervising for you. I don’t take my kids to the pool and expect others to babysit them. That’s all I meant about that. Pee-Pee you probably don’t have kids so it’s easy for you to talk.

    To KJ – I quite possibly am wrong in how I view the whole Philly thing. You and I weren’t there. So probably neither one of us is completely right. We can’t know the whole truth. Not sure if ANY of us should be jumping in with opinions, I guess, myself included.

  35. michelle says:

    Annie,

    You make great points but I have some issues with some of the stuff you have to say that could make for good conversation.

    “I’m sorry, I don’t feel for a culture/race that has subjugated and ruled over all others for centuries now.”
    I am a 26 year old white female, who to the naked eye has had many of the benefits of life so if something happens to be that is not right, oh well, screw me? My family never owned slaves, never. My family came to america as indentured servents who had to work for seven years to gain their freedom/pay back the trip over. I never went to a private school, my family struggled for years. Just because of my skin color does that mean that I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth? Believe it or not there are way more PEOPLE (white/black/latino/a) that don’t have than that do.

    “You don’t know what it’s like to get turned away for a job because they assume you can’t speak english based on the name on your resume.” Ok, I understand what you are saying to a degree, but that is something every parent has to think of when they are naming a child. Giving a very ethnic name can have that effect. In this period of time, especially where I live if someone sees the name Jose they automatically think it must be “some beaner, who probably doesn’t speak english.” How fair is that?

    You don’t know what it’s like to have someone point blank tell you “Wow, your english is pretty good” (P.S BAD Grammar there racist.)

    If anyone has ever said this than that is just ignorant. I once took a course in college African American Literature (which was totally awesome), in which I was only one of 3 white students. One of my classmates (a black man) said he had been told before how well he spoke. Now I understand how this could be taken out of context, or how quite possibly the person who said this could have been an a$$hat, but I really took it a different way. I figured that there really aren’t that many people (white/black/whatever) who speak well anymore. Bottom line. If I said to anyone that they speak well it is because I think they speak well compared to all of the rest of us who have a hard time putting thoughts and feelings into words, you know what I mean?

  36. nj says:

    Mr. Perry is an obviously intelligent, creative and hard-working artist who has chosen to perform a kind act, one that should have only positive results. He is not teaching those kids to be victims. Mr. Perry is setting an example and using his now massive wealth to give some joy to a bunch of children who were hurt by the UNKINDNESS of others. And yes, there are others of their race who have or may do harm to the children of urban Philly; and more serious harm at that. But that does not excuse what happened at that swimming club at the hands of people who should have known better.

  37. michelle says:

    Continued…

    You’ve never had legal barriers placed against you for the color of your skin. And you don’t know what it’s like to be truly scared to step foot in 80% of the United States. You don’t have social institutions that are designed to have you fail. You don’t know what it’s like to get herded into the projects and given the lowest form of education and then expected to succeed with those who enjoy private schooling and tutors and then when you get into a school, you’re told that you’re not there on your merits and people use it as a way to abolish attempts at equalization.

    I know when my father took a test to become a police officer in Philadelphia years ago he had to score in the 90th percentile or above to qualify for the same job that an African American person had to score a 75 percentile or better at. So your first comment is not entirely true. Although, there may have been good reason for that. I understand that standardized tests are written by certain people for certain people. Although I believe that what was it Asian girls do the best on the SATs.

    Where is this 80% of the country that black people are afraid to go? Cause any of the places you mention are probably places that white women don’t want to go either. Aside from West Virginia I was not aware of specific places that black people (or normal people for that matter) aren’t supposed to be.

    Let’s be real, NOT ALL WHITE PEOPLE GET TO GO TO PRIVATE SCHOOLS AND HAVE TUTORS! Not even half! Probably not even 1/10th! SUCH a friggin steroetype!

    Finally, my brother goes to a (public) bacceloreate school located in the hood! It is one of the best schools in my town. It is in the hood so that all of these kids that have been herded into the hood (I won’t argue there) have the same access to good schools. I went to a school that was at least 40% aftrican american. We all had access to the same education.

    I don’t argue that you make good points, but generalization on any level, no matter who it is against is a bad thing.

  38. DeE says:

    WE really are intelligent and more of us are becoming aware that we are all one from another Adam and Eve…..I applaud how intelligent this whole read has been. Thank you HUMANITY for insightful words and thoughts. This goes to show we are uniting under truth and equality. No one religion or race is superior. The unadulterated way the Lord, however each person perceives the Lord to be, intended/intends for things to be is a building block and unification. The sects and separation comes when man puts his hand and self-serving opinions into the pure way things were originally. Different races were given different Prophets/Books for their times. When we began taking these humans, who through the leave of their Lord were allowed to do miracles and made clear it was from the Lord, were made into something to be worshiped and when the devil also incited others to claim superiority based on something as simple as different colors as in different color flowers different color trees if you get my drift, that is where all this division and divisiveness came from. Truth is the Truth is the Truth…People, the Books and words sent to different people, in the pure form, would all culminate and build upon one another but man has contaminated things so the truth is no longer distinct and the gaps don’t allow it to be clear to humanity that there really is no division. Kudos to all of us, regardless of religion or race, who are guided by what is right and stop ourselves when the devil incites us to do/think wrong. Cause the devil is actively trying to get us to be his intimate companion in this world and in Hell. Kind of all over the place, but I feel at the core, none of this division was ever meant to be. All devil’s work..no way the Lord would have put us here to claim superiority over anything except the Devil’s urgings.

  39. adamantia claus says:

    I grew up in the projects in NYC in the 60 and 70s and I remember that there were kids with us who DELIBERATELY acted ugly when we were on field trips, the feeling being “F&*K these white people” so can minority kids act ugly when out in public – Hell yeah. The teachers in those days were different and THEY disciplined. I remember one kid who was so disruptive that he was made to STAY behind when we went places because he had caused us to be ejected from museums. But he was the EXCEPTION in those days, nowadays his parents would sue to MAKE the school take him even though he was a fun “killer”. I’ve seen, heard the rationale behind it. My own parents were WELL AWARE of that, and ALWAYS cautioned and insisted that my sisters ACT LIKE YOU WERE RAISED RIGHT IN PUBLIC! And it wasnt about kowtowing to whites, it was PROVING their fears, prejuidices and assumptions wrong, I figured out what my parents were saying, my father used to tell us before we went out, “…remember that’s MY LAST NAME you’re wearing when you’re interacting with people, so dont act a fool. Dont act like people EXPECT you to act as a Black person” And unfortunately, nowadays no matter WHAT RACE kids are, I often find them ill mannered and out of control, parents today are too indulgent. And that cuts across the board, I’m just as appalled as anyone would be when uncouth, out of control children are around, I’ve just found that COLOR hasnt as much to do with it as people are too busy to raise their kids these days so its left up to teachers and such. I’ve seen many a Caucasian mother struggling to control her screaming, cursing, temper tantrum having child without actually trying to discipline, and felt as a Black woman, MY CHILD WOULDNT DARE TO ACT THAT LIKE in public because culturally I was raised that wasnt acceptable and would result in a spanking. Amongst many Black folks I know we talk about how OVER INDULGED, AND DISRESPECTFUL white children can seem to us. White people wonder why we allow so many of Black and Latino kids to embrace sociopathic and misogynistic behavior. Black folks counter with if Whites cultural ways are so better why so many pedophiles and serial killers seem to come mostly from that culture. And we say these things amongst ourselves, the trouble starting when the thoughts are shared OUTSIDE our own groups. So its mostly the times not so much the race. I find many children nowadays to be amazingly out of control and lacking manners compared to how WE were expected to act in public in my day. I use those manners to this day and always try to make sure that I rep MYSELF and my father’s name carefully. I was ALWAYS VERY AWARE as a Black child that my behavior was being scrutinized more carefully and that how I was perceived would effect how the NEXT Black kid would be treated. SO I tended to be VERY well behaved, mostly to confound those who didnt expect me act like I had any sense. The fact is most of what people call RACISM is actually CULTURAL BIAS and CULTURAL INTOLERANCE, when I’m saying something foul about another group of people (and we ALL do from time to time) its really about HOW their cultural ways effect how I see and interact with them. I’m not reacting to physical features or skin color. Some behaviors that are culturally acceptable to you and others like you can be very upsetting or off putting to other races/cultures. And THERE is where most of our problems are with each other. Xenophobia is genetic to some extent, it makes you stay and interact predominately with our own. But as we advance, evolve and mature as a species, we more and more SEEK to explore each others differences, we have a duty to FREE YOUR MIND so your ass can follow. we EACH have a duty to raise responsible, well behaved adults capable of interacting with each other without acting ugly. Because we have to grow old in a world RUN by THEM we’re were old and gray.
    SO for those of you who still think in terms of racism as a COLOR thing, maybe evolution is a state of mind for you, for the rest of us grab a club and join the chorus, as we sing AS A GROUP OF HUMANS, “we ARE the world”.
    Stick THAT between your intellectual cheek and gum.

  40. Jen says:

    There were other groups turned away that day, too, for overcrowding. That point seems to have gotten lost in the “black children are being discriminated against” story.

  41. HashBrowns says:

    @tinmo: You seem like a nice person who is trying to find the good in these people and this swim club but it’s pretty clear that this was a case of the club being racist.

    “Changing the complexion” of the club is what the club director said. About a group of children.

    The camp director said that there were children running to her (before the media storm) saying that there were people saying “why are all these black kids here?”

    If it had been an administrative issue, the swim club would have said so. That seems like a plausible reason. But since that clearly isn’t on their records (and they know the media would have gone digging if they lied), they couldn’t lie about it and had to tell the truth. Which is essentially that they don’t want a bunch of black kids there.

  42. HashBrowns says:

    @Jen: Where did you read that? I’ve been following the story pretty closely and I haven’t come across that bit of information.

    Sources please.

  43. Shay says:

    I’ll start with staying on topic. I applaud Tyler for doing this. I can only imagine what could fester in these kids if the situation wasn’t diverted. I wish that some sort of program can be started to help the kids in the area around the club bridge the gap between the kids from the inner city.

    Now on to the “reverse racism” issue. I know some of you are “tired” of hearing about this story but look at it this way. Often (most times from my experience) times racism from black people comes as a response from perceived or actual racism from whites. I don’t think I need to do a history lesson on the past or the present so I’ll leave it at that. So let’s say we ignore this story and let these kids continue to believe that white people hate them. These will be the kids who might turn their anger about what happened against them on white people. Also this isn’t a black only issue some of the kids were Hispanic and some of them looked white to me. He’s sending all of the kids to Disney World regardless of color.

  44. princess pee says:

    Put aside the race part for a minute. The point that I keep making is that the group arranged IN ADVANCE to be there. They paid. They booked it into the calendar. The club, therefore, KNEW THEY WERE COMING. They did NOT “just show up”. Whether the other groups were sent home or not is not very relevant. They had probably booked, and paid, in advance TOO. My point is that the club is in the wrong, and the fact that they haven’t put up any further explanation… well, it’s pretty damning.

  45. vicsmith says:

    DeE, I believe you are right, this has been a pretty intelligent read for the most part. Not sure about the devil stuff. Adamantia Claus, (sp??) loved your comment about cultural rather than racial differences. But you have to win the top prize for “Free your mind, so your ass can follow.” I love it. Wiser words…

  46. JaundiceMachine says:

    Tyler Perry did a very kind thing for children who were treated very unkindly.

  47. leigh says:

    If the skin colors were reversed, there would be no media frenzy, and there would be no Tyler Perry-funded Disney trip. Sorry, as much as it might suck, I think a private pool owner should be allowed to do as he wishes. It doesn’t matter why he thought this group didn’t work out for HIS pool, even if his actions were indeed based on skin tone. Hispanic and black people can run businesses, schools, youth centers, private pools, whatever, and PROUDLY turn people away based on their skin color without anyone saying boo about it. It is only because of this pool owners pigmentation that his right to do the same – a right many people believe he did not even seek to exercise – is cause for “media frenzy”. This whole situation has gone from sad to absolutely absurd.

  48. TaylorB says:

    Annie wrote: “this was a prepaid, preplanned event that the pool knew about.”

    That is the most salient observation, that group, regardless of race, color or creed had prepaid and it was planned in advance, the pool staff should have honored that. The chose not to honor their obligation, possibly based on racism, possibly poor management, but either way the pool was in the wrong.

    As for racism, it is certainly alive and kicking. People who can not see that it exists, tend to live in homogeneous areas, yet they will not admit so to themselves ‘but, but, but one of my BFFs is black/brown/white/green/etc’; it doesn’t mean they are necessarily racist themselves, they are simply looking at certain things through somewhat rose colored glasses and a perspective that is perhaps a bit skewed in the grand scheme of things.

    Oh, and as for the folks who choose to push the idea that the ‘real victims’ of racism these days are the white, christian, men… Ummm, no, they aren’t. They are just whining because the playing field is evening out a bit.

  49. Rachel says:

    Tyler Perry is teaching these kids that being a victim gets you something. As a black person, in the real world you are called a n—– and get squat for it. I refuse to give a movie director who refuses to allow film critics to watch his movies during their openings (because he’s afraid of criticism) credit. I think this is just pr and those kids have already received lots of sympathy and support

    I’ve been called the n-word and lived in the ghetto. I’ve been rejected from jobs because of my race. I don’t see anyone giving me a trip anywhere because I had some racist idiots treat me badly. I kept on keeping on. These kids will have to learn that too.

    And I do agree with the few folks who questioned the sudden race claims over this incident. This is not some Rodney King incident where we had video.

  50. Shay says:

    @leigh

    What black and hispanic businesses turn away white people? Examples please.

    But to help with the list whites go to black colleges and universities and there are even white people in the Nation of Islam. Also white members and workers in the NAACP. Elanore Roosevelt was on the board of directors during her lifetime. White people bank at “black banks”. We recently had a Black Expo in my city and white people were welcomed publicly and they were at all of the events too. I’m just curious as to where the exclusion is happening.

    I’m not saying the possibility of it happening isn’t there. Some random business owner could block anybody from his business but could the fact that we don’t hear about it that often or at all have to do with how often it doesn’t happen?

    He could have easily researched the day camp and realized they were majority black before they came. *I think the owners caved into complaints by racist patrons instead of sticking to their original plans.* If it’s his right to refuse black people then I guess he could have avoided the whole problem by denying their contract before they came.

  51. Annie says:

    There are exceptions to every rule and I don’t think that ALL of one race go here or there, but that if you look at the make up on average at a private school or a school in an urban area, the demographic is what we’d expect it to be and it would be a disservice to flat out deny that.

    I’m not saying racism in any way is acceptable but in a society that inherently favors one race over others, it would be a disservice to think the world has gone colorblind.

    In my family, my aunts have married non-Asian and I myself am dating non-asian because frankly, for us, it’s a non-issue. But I’d be stupid to think that is true for others.

    And given that I got stared at in New York, which, one could easily argue, is quite diverse and I also got the same stares and looks of disgust in Minnesota and South Carolina. I think it’s safe to say, that yea, there are a lot of places that I would feel very uncomfortable and unsafe in.

  52. lena says:

    The owner of the club said to the MEDIA that he didn’t want to “CHANGE THE COMPLEXION” of the pool when questioned about why the children were turned away. How is this comment not racist?

    As others have pointed out, it was booked in advance, so the kids didn’t just show up unannounced.

  53. Annie says:

    Good point Lena.

    To back up what she said:

    http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Pool-Boots-Kids-Who-Might-Change-the-Complexion.html

    Oh yea guys, it totally wasn’t about race…..

  54. tasteT says:

    @Itty bitty

    stay itty bitty cause you’re an idiot.

  55. tasteT says:

    @Shay,

    Very good points!!!

  56. jane says:

    Feel bad for those KIDS who were turned away for the color of their skin. Question is how do we educate young children about racism and how wrong it is? I am Asian and I live among many blacks. I actually get more racist remarks from blacks than whites, mostly from kids and teens. If it was an adult, it’d be a different story. I went to see an open house with my husband and these two kids (younger than 10) who were mixed black and white started calling us chinks while their white mom and black dad just stood there. I didn’t say anything, but now I really wished I would’ve. Where does this all begin? Should the parents be blamed for these children’s attitudes?

  57. michelle says:

    Annie, there are lots of a$$hats in New York, who the hell is in Minnesota besides Buffalo, and South Carolina? Yeah, I wouldn’t want to go there either! That explains it. I do not disagree with what you say, but you really should understand that although there are many priviledged white people, there are way more that are not. The majority of of the country is white, although that is changing, so it would make sense that the majority of people in public schools are white. Why should I possibly be looked at as the “elite” because a bunch of people who look like me get to go to private school. I think that is the same thing as a few african american people committing crimes and white people thinking, “Well all black people are like that!”

    There most certainly is racism in this day and age, no denying that. Although how many friggin ignorant people are in the world. Sometimes I think there are more ignorant people than not.

    Adamantia Claus you are completely awesome and wise:)

  58. nj says:

    Rachel, you talk tough and I like your point about how you “kept on keeping on”. But if you could have looked into that little boy’s face that I saw on tv, who was in tears because he couldn’t go swimming and be so nonchalant, you don’t have much heart. I for one am glad he is going to Disney- guess I’m just a softie. It is astounding that this caliber of discussion is occuring on a gossip website! This is clearly an issue that touches us all and that very fact speaks volumes. The opinions posted have been extremely insightful and well written. As far as I can tell, many races are represented here, and everyone has contributed their honest and heartfelt beliefs and experiences. I think these posts should be fowarded to Mr. Tyler Perry himself. I bet it would thrill him to see such content on a gossip site, and all because of him…

  59. ella james says:

    As much as everyone wants to talk about the “incident”–
    What I want to know is WHO is Tyler Perry. !?! All the article above says is he is a writer. Maybe I live in a cave but I don’t know him. And now I’d like to. And support his work. Can someone give me a little 411 on HIM?

  60. me says:

    I am black and I would never go to Vidor, Texas. CNN did a story on it. Racist town. I wanted some Sunday shoes for my child and a clerk told me the only store that had the right size was the vidor location. we both looked at each other and i told her thats okay.

  61. I Choose Me says:

    I applaud Tyler Perry for what he did for those kids.

    Also most of the comments here were intelligent and insightful but I must single out Adamantia Claus for her thought provoking comment about cultural bias and cultural intolerance. Well said!

  62. Jenna Storey says:

    Yes, it was a “nice” gesture – however with the money he makes and has, lets not go overboard in worship.

  63. Annie says:

    who the hell is in Minnesota besides Buffalo, and South Carolina?

    LOL. My boyfriend’s sister is in MN and my friends were stationed in South Carolina for the Navy :) And man did I stick out like a sore thumb!

    And of course I know that not every white person has access to private school and that for the most part, they stay within middle class range. Many of my friends were like this and in fact, still are. I’ve had friends who’ve point blank told me that for her, camping was the only kind of vacation they could have because her family couldn’t afford more and that she never got to go to private school like I did. I still love her. I think of her no differently and I adore her mom and dad because sometimes, that’s just the hand you get dealt. But at the same time, maybe my perception is due to everything I’ve been exposed to. Because my mom came over here with NOTHING. Couldn’t speak the language, she got treated awful in school and honestly, it makes me cry thinking about what she endured over here because of the color of her skin and the inability to speak English. But you know what? That didn’t stop her. It made her stronger and my mother now has a Master’s in Accounting and was able to send my brother and 2 sisters to private school (Catholic School k-8) And she worked damnfuckinghard. So I always think, if she can do it with the barrier of language in her way, than everyone else can find a way too.

  64. TaylorB says:

    Hey now! Quit picking on Minnesotans! Ya big meanies. Now, those cheese eating, beer swilling, Packer fans in Wisconsin on the other hand are fair game. ;-)

  65. csw says:

    It breaks my heart to see people arguing back and forth over race. There are good and bad people in every race. Color is only skin deep. It is true that the white race had the upper hand for centuries, and it is also true that we are now treated badly by other cultures due to our past ancestors. The white community today cannot change the past and many of us have gone above and beyond to try to show acceptance and respect for other cultures. This, of course, doesn’t speak for everyone in the white race, but for the majority. Remember, the white race of today didn’t do any of the things that our ancestors did to the black race. We shouldn’t have to pay for it. Also in the days of Moses, I recall that the Egyptians (black race) held our people captive first. Each generation should be good enough to leave the past behind and move forward with love and respect for each other, regardless of race, gender or any other thing that causes hate and envy. If people were to see through the eyes of God, they would see that the body (no matter what color) is actually just a clothing for your spirit man. It is no different than a person having a closet full of different color clothes. A woman can wear a red dress, but it doesn’t make her a different person by wearing a blue one. We are all the same. We may have different cultures, but if we love one another, in spite of our differences, we will be able to produce world peace. God didn’t give every good thing to one race alone. This is why he made many, because each one compliments the other by their differences.

  66. Hieronymus Grex says:

    No one people of any nationality is entitled to the belief that their kind suffered first foremost and greater than any other. We have all been universally crappy to each other mostly for economic or religious excuses for millenia. It’s a brutal planet we’re stuck on.

  67. AllIKnowis says:

    Too bad we live in a country where people are stuck on something as insignifigant as skin color. Good for Tyler Perry for doing something for those kids, but it is too bad that he had to. Nobody should be treated bad because of the color of their skin. Everyone should feel safe abd accepeted regardless of their race, but that is not the way life is. Too bad for the white people that are treated bad because that are white and too bad for the blacks that are treated bad for being black. One of those kids may now grow up to have issues with white people because of this. He or she may then victimize a white person and then that white person may start to have issues with black people. As you can see it is a dangerous cycle.

  68. Annie says:

    Hey now! Quit picking on Minnesotans! Ya big meanies.

    LOL. Sorry Taylor! But I won’t lie, when we visit, we’re excited for like 2 days and then we realize “Oh no…what is there to do?”

    But, both my boyfriend and I agree that we are quite happy that our niece is going to grow up in a well-grounded, down-to-earth and kind place (Eagon! :D ). As opposed to LA or Orange County, where she would end up stuck up as all get out and craving designer things. (GUILTY :( . LOL.)

  69. JaundiceMachine says:

    TaylorB – OMG STFU Goldie Gopher!!! Them’s fightin’ words. ;)

  70. JaundiceMachine says:

    (Crap, I went to edit, and now I’m locked out. Sorry for the double post.)

    (Continued follow-up to TaylorB)
    To be fair though, the small(minded) town I grew up in was a culture shock, having moved from the outskirts of Detroit where I was one of a handful of “white kids”. (I’m actually a quarter Native American.) I never went to a school where I was not only part of a “majority” – there were no other kids of color to speak of! It was really offputting, but the locals were thrilled to have a god-fearing, homogeneous population.

    It wasn’t till I moved to the big city and got mah edumacation (F*ck em, Bucky!) that I realized the more educated, open-minded individuals hung out in larger population centers. And that’s where I prefer to live – in large cities with a “melting pot/stew” dynamic.

    Annie – If you can’t find some nightlife in the Twin Cities (or my beloved Madison) you’re not looking hard enough. ;) Then again, at 25 I still beg my Grandma to take me to the Natural History and Science Museum, so what do I know?

  71. Annie says:

    Lol Jaundice!

    I must admit that I am a spoiled Los Angeles/Orange County/San Diego native and the nightlife in MN is practically nonexistent comparatively! I mean, I got to see the outside of Diddy’s car a month ago! And we’re almost sure we may have seen Ne-Yo. (ROFL) But we definitely met Kobe at this lounge in Orange County. Mesa or something like that. Not sure the name, I was drunk. :X

  72. HashBrowns says:

    @csw: “Remember, the white race of today didn’t do any of the things that our ancestors did to the black race.”

    The “white race” of today would do everything they did in the past if they could get away with it. The reason why they can’t anymore isn’t because THEY chose not to. It’s because minorities finally stood up for themselves and demanded equal treatment. There were some white people who participated in helping minorities towards the shaky equality we have now but the vast majority of whites were against allowing slaves to be free. Against allowing blacks to eat at their restaurants and, appropriately for this story, swim in their pools.

    White people are still denying blacks and minorities equal treatment. It isn’t an ancestral thing. If you want to believe that, believe that.

    But you weren’t called a n*gger when you were four years old at Disneyland and having that father push his little white child in front of you in line. You weren’t called a monkey when you were 12 in Las Vegas. You weren’t called a dirty n*gger in Berkeley, CA when you were 21 and asking someone for directions. You didn’t witness black girls getting turned away from a frat party because they were “ugly black bitches”.

    Racism is alive and well, just more insidious. Some white people are still doing exactly what their ancestors did.

  73. st says:

    @Hashbrowns:
    Every race has its good and bad people. Would you want to suffer from your ancestors or anyone else just because you are black? Most white people don’t want to suffer from their ancestors or anyone else just because they are white. The whole issue here is that people don’t want to let go of racism. I believe in helping anyone of any race that needs it. We have more races in our church than just white people. If we don’t operate in forgiveness of our ancestors or of anyone else then we are spreading this disease into every generation and it is killing us. God made us who we are no matter what color we are. He had a purpose for it and we don’t need to listen to ugly words from other people because they are not better than anyone else.

  74. csw says:

    @ Hashbrown: When you say that white people would do the same thing now as back then, you are just making a shallow speculation of a whole group of people that you don’t even know. I, for one, have never been a rascist person. I grew up with all different nationalities in my school and neighborhood. I have even had black people for my best friends at certain points of my life. I surround myself with wholesome and positive people who are objective; therefore I know that there are many good and unbiased people of all races. I love my Black, Hispanic, Puerto Rican, and White freinds just the same. The real issue here is that no matter what one says to try to bring peace to some people, they thrive on being a rascist. They don’t want things to get better because they thrive on the drama that only ends in hate and then death. The statements that you made to me were very rascist and no different than what you say about the way that white people “supposedly” are. You can make a choice to thrive on this racial hate in the world and die miserably with it or you can do like your ancestors did and stand up for what is “right”. They were very different from many black people today. They weren’t standing up for their race with hate in their hearts. They did it with love, repect and dignity! They wanted equality, love and respect between ALL races, and they also trusted in GOD to deliver them. As you can see, He did! I very much repect them, and those Black and White, who have died to progress in making this world a place of peace and love and goodwill for all men. That will happen, because GOD SAID IN HIS WORD THAT IT WILL! I am sorry that you see thing in such a single minded way. If you cut off any race by such shallow thinking, then you are cutting off a part of this world that God created special in its own way. You have to see the good in people by their spirit, not by the color of their skin, and there is GOOD in ALL RACES!!!! People should be grouped as warm hearted or cold hearted, not black or white! We can’t change the color of our skin, but a cold hearted person can be changed, with love and compassion!

  75. Aspie says:

    Nice gesture from Tyler Perry.

    I’m still not a huge fan of his films but at least it’s good to know that he is using his earned money for generous causes, as in this instance.

  76. Trashaddict says:

    Thank you Tyler Perry. Yes, those kids needed to have a nice time. Yes, people are racist. In all flavors and colors. I’ve had to try to sort out my own biases and I have had my ass kicked because I was white.
    I think I got the most valuable lesson from my parents. They worked really hard to make sure their kids treated everybody, and I mean EVERYBODY, with respect. We all carry a lot of baggage. We don’t have to like everybody. But if you start from the beginning with respect, civilization can go a long way.

  77. Annie says:

    Rofl. My favorite is the whole “I”m not racist because I have a black friend” comment…. So many people make it…

    Reminds me of the numerous ethnic studies classes I took in college with the smattering’s of Caucasian people who would make that claim and then soon after, reveal their racist mindset. It wasn’t so crazy as lynch status, but mild or extreme, racism is not ok.

    As for what Hashbrowns said. She’s right. Those of you who are NOT ethnic, will never know what it’s like. That’s just a fact. Racism is alive and well, just more insidious. Some white people are still doing exactly what their ancestors did.

    And that’s fabulous that some of you choose not to act that way. No sarcasm at all. I mean it, I’m glad that not everyone chooses to think this way.

    But there are still those who choose to do so and they do it with absolutely no remorse. And whether you like it or not, that too, is a fact. Does this mean that Hashbrowns and I and any other minority run around thinking all are racist? No.

    But we’re not dumb enough to think that they’re all the type that thinks everyone’s equal.

    I mean, of course there are those who truly understood….how else would the civil rights movement have gone so far? How else would slavery have been abolished in the first place?

    But frankly, if someone hadn’t called the South out on their enslaving ways, they would have gladly ceded from the Union and gone on their merry way. I mean shit, maybe it’s a cultural thing. I’m not sure, but I always think of several things, one being that the Chinese had gunpowder for centuries and didn’t use it for violence and subjugation….and it wasn’t because we weren’t smart enough to figure it out. And that Europeans came over to China and made the Chinese their slaves in their own country, or that they imported Asians over like cattle to build the railroads. And of course, everything else that’s been done throughout the centuries.

    /shrugs. Truth hurts. But again, you won’t ever really understand until you walk a mile in our shoes.

  78. lena says:

    Thank you Annie for posting the link, I hope everyone watches it. Tyler Perry is treating all of the kids…black, hispanic, and white to a nice little trip.

  79. Mary Jane says:

    I ne’er really cared for TP’s movies (LOVE House of Payne though) but I’m gonna rent one tonight so he can keep on doing stuff like this. Disneyland is alot better than swimming in some raggedy old pool. I have also made a donation to the Creative Steps Preschool to help their programmes. (Creative Steps
    1100 Devereaux Ave
    Philadelphia, PA 19111)

    I know kids can say hurtful things to other kids but they’re usually just spewing the same crap they hear their parents say. I am appalled that “adults” would say these things in front of a child to hear (and they were pre-schoolers for f*ck’s sake!). I was racially bullied as a child and e’en as a child, couldn’t believe some of the crap I heard from ADULTS!

    WAY to go TP and I bet those Valley kids are wishing they went to Creative Steps now…

  80. peacemaker says:

    The director of the camp is a friend of mine.
    She has major influence with people of various “skin tones”. She is of excellence and is a very ambitious woman that is always looking for opportunities to help people. That is her- period! She is NOT and opportunist though. My point is she did not expect to receive the attention that the situation is receiving and she still is not really concerned with all the hype. She just wants truth in the matter and would like to just continue her life of public service. (Please note: she has no idea that I am posting this, but it is the ABSOLUTE TRUTH! IF you knew her, you’d agree if you have concern for people- period!

    Also, we are one race—the human race. Yes, racism is real, but I just highly encourage those of us that love people as people to push for the phrase- “Human Race”. I do agree that NO child should feel the negative and emotionally damaging effects of the ignorance that has plagued generations and causes all sorts of death- whether it be physically death, as it has or death of compassion for all people.

    I truly love you all!

  81. peacemaker says:

    I forgot to share.

    Though I now live in Atlanta, I am originally from Philadelphia and was educated there. I am an accomplished musician, educator and in the process of developing my music production company. My point for sharing that is because I know the social temperature of Philadelphia and the surrounding counties very well and have lived in others states. I have learned that there may be those of us that look to tear down generational habits, curses, mindsets, etc… but some people from different social and economic backgrounds and all tones of skin color chose to still keep their mental and spiritual bondages and strongholds and if we are not careful, we could be perpetuating these words and thoughts. Stay strong great people!

    Love you all.

  82. Dave Manning says:

    Good thing san antonio is diverse enough that victimization isn’t really a problem.