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Why Don't Black Americans Swim


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#1 pl1

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 02:10 PM

http://www.bbc.co.uk...canada-11172054

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.


I really don't get this story, is it that difficult to swim. I always thought swimming was like whistling insofar as you put your lips together and blow i.e. just push your arms forward and kick your legs. Clearly not, swimming really is something you need to be taught?


#2 Bossybabe

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 02:14 PM

Bone density too great?
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#3 MrPin

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 02:46 PM

Yes, you would think Americans would learn to swim, given that they all have heated swimming pools in the garden of their mansions! :blink:
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#4 Redcellar

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 02:56 PM

It's all in the genes apparently http://www.prospectm...k-men-can-swim/

If you wore these, you wouldn't be able to swim either.

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#5 chronyx

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 02:57 PM

rushed to help him and each other.


Sorry but the 'old lady who swallowed a fly' aspect is hilarious.

#6 Redcellar

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 03:11 PM

Sorry but the 'old lady who swallowed a fly' aspect is hilarious.


It's really sad. People go to help each other all the time and end up drowning. Yet the number of times the original victim is later rescued is incredible. Happened in this story too. Happens with dogs all the time, particularly when they fall through ice. The moral dilemma must be horrendous.
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#7 cica

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 03:13 PM

swimming really is something you need to be taught?

Absolutely 100%. Well at least learn, as you can teach yourself like I did. Took a few hours.

#8 MrPin

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 03:15 PM

I'm pretty sure the parents or grandparents of these people would have been denied entry to a "Whites Only" public swimming pool at some time! Parts of the USA were like that! :o
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#9 Bob Loblaw

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 04:28 PM

What a terrible tragedy
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#10 The Masked Tulip

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 04:35 PM

Yes, a terrible tragedy.

Lots of people in Africa, Asia, South America do not learn to swim because the places where they can learn to swim are full of things that like to eat people - so they never learn.

I think you are asking the wider question about why people of African-American heritage do not swim?

I have several African American friends, and also Brits of African/Caribbean heritage, and all want to run a mile when I mention going swimming or, worse, going for a surf or bodyboard.

I recall a BBC documentary in the 1980s which actualyl put forward the agument that slight differents in the lower back, and ensuing different in muscles, made it difficult for people of African American heritage to compete as swimmers. However, what stopped them being fantastic swimmers made them superb runners, especially sprinters. Likewise, in reverse, what made caucasians great swimmers made us not so great at sprinting.

How or why this stops ordinary African Americans in the US from being able to actually be able to swim enough to stay alive is a big leap though.

Perhaps it is just poor poverty - a lack of free places to learn to swim? If you come from 2 or 3 generations of people who have never swimmed then you will probably have never been taught.
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#11 MrPin

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 04:36 PM

What a terrible tragedy


It is a tragedy! And an accident! They do happen!! :o

Not sure how fast the water was going, or how cold it might be! maybe the ability to swim might not have been enough! :(
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#12 Russe11

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 05:53 PM

how many coloured/black (never sure what term to use so delete which ever least offends you) swimmers do you get compeating at the olympics?

#13 Redcellar

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 06:05 PM

Yes, a terrible tragedy.

Lots of people in Africa, Asia, South America do not learn to swim because the places where they can learn to swim are full of things that like to eat people - so they never learn.

I think you are asking the wider question about why people of African-American heritage do not swim?

I have several African American friends, and also Brits of African/Caribbean heritage, and all want to run a mile when I mention going swimming or, worse, going for a surf or bodyboard.

I recall a BBC documentary in the 1980s which actualyl put forward the agument that slight differents in the lower back, and ensuing different in muscles, made it difficult for people of African American heritage to compete as swimmers. However, what stopped them being fantastic swimmers made them superb runners, especially sprinters. Likewise, in reverse, what made caucasians great swimmers made us not so great at sprinting.

How or why this stops ordinary African Americans in the US from being able to actually be able to swim enough to stay alive is a big leap though.

Perhaps it is just poor poverty - a lack of free places to learn to swim? If you come from 2 or 3 generations of people who have never swimmed then you will probably have never been taught.


The link I posted explains its not because of build or anything like that. Black people CAN swim. Apparently they were excellent swimmers before the slave trade. Then because of fear of escape the kids were banned from learning. After that I guess it's lack of interest and focus. Things like Basket Ball in the USA earn money. Swimming doesn't. Unless you are the worlds no1.

For example "African-American world and Olympic champion and 100m freestyle record-holder - Cullen Jones."

Genetics and bone density / build are just urban myths.
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#14 Executive Sadman

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 06:07 PM

Diane Abbott mode ON/

Water is racist. White people to blame.

/Diane Abbott mode OFF.
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#15 interestrateripoff

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 07:13 PM

how many coloured/black (never sure what term to use so delete which ever least offends you) swimmers do you get compeating at the olympics?


Not sure if it's still the case but they did change the rules to get rid of the qualifying times so black swimmers could enter.



http://en.wikipedia....ric_Moussambani

Eric Moussambani Malonga (born May 31, 1978) is a swimmer from Equatorial Guinea. Nicknamed "Eric the Eel" by the media after the name first appeared in an article by Craig Lord in The Times newspaper in London, Moussambani won brief international fame at the 2000 Summer Olympics when he swam his heat of the 100 m freestyle in 1:52.72.[1] His time was more than twice that of his faster competitors, and outside even the 200 m world record. However, he set a new personal best and Equatoguinean national record.


However the Olympics do appear to have a bias. Eddie the Eagle Edwards wasn't very good so they changed the rules to ensure he no longer qualified.

http://en.wikipedia...._Eagle"_Edwards

The widespread attention that Edwards received in Calgary turned into a large embarrassment for the ski jumping establishment. Many athletes and officials felt that he was "making a mockery" of the sport[citation needed]. Shortly after the Olympics finished, the entry requirements were greatly toughened, making it next to impossible for anyone to follow his example[citation needed].

At the closing ceremony, the president of the Organizing Committee, Frank King, seemed to single out Edwards for his contribution: "At this Games, some competitors have won gold, some have broken records, and some of you have even soared like an eagle." [9]

The Eddie "The Eagle" Rule

In response to the Edwards phenomenon, in 1990, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) instituted what became known as the Eddie the Eagle Rule, which requires Olympic hopefuls to compete in international events and place in the top 30 percent or the top 50 competitors, whichever is fewer.

Edwards consequently failed to qualify for the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, France and the 1994 Games in Lillehammer, Norway. He managed to get a 5-year sponsorship from Eagle Airlines, a small British charter company, to fund his attempt to reach the 1998 Games in Nagano, Japan but failed to qualify for those as well.[7]


It seems the Olympics suffer from a dose of double standards.

Although I'm sure black swimmers would easily be able to make the grade if given the opportunity.

How many swimming pools exist in Africa for swimmers to train in?

Edited by interestrateripoff, 07 April 2012 - 07:14 PM.

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