Sixty Percent of Blacks Can’t Swim

I’m on the mailing list for the Poynter Institute, and they cited this report from The Associated Press:

The study found that 31 percent of the white respondents could not swim safely, compared to 58 percent of the blacks. The non-swimming rate for Hispanic children was almost as high — 56 percent — although more than twice as many Hispanics as blacks are now USA Swimming members.

Sounds like Indians! Some of my Indian friends took swimming classes growing up, but many don’t know how to swim and didn’t grow up going to the pool every summer. Others I know learned by being thrown in the water and figuring it out themselves. Every Indian dad claims he learned that way, by being thrown in a river. My brother and I would go to the beach or pool with our family during vacations, but not on a regular basis. I finally learned to somewhat swim by taking some lessons at UH for two weeks.

Something else this article makes me think of — growing up I would wonder why South Asians are never mentioned in the polls I see. Of course, now I can see it’s because we’ve been a rather small fraction of the population. But on TV shows when people would talk about how to take care of different kinds of hair, they would mention blondes, brunettes and redheads but forget people with black hair. You’d never hear what South Asians think about politics or see ads on TV that understood our lifestyles. But now the landscape is different, and South Asians are more visible and even targeted.

In the past, South Asians have rarely been in the news. The good thing is no one’s telling me what do or what’s wrong with me. I do what I do and go along my happy way because no one’s nagging or pigeonholing me.

On the other hand, maybe weeks or years from now I’ll complain that the history of people like me in the United States or the people I come from has been underreported or that we’re suffering because our diseases weren’t taken seriously or we’re drowning too much because we or our children don’t know how to swim or we’re hurting because our spouses are physically abusive or our family friends are sexually abusive but no one ever said anything.

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One thought on “Sixty Percent of Blacks Can’t Swim

  1. Sixty or more per cent of us don’t know how to defend ourselves from sinking in life, laughing at our own fallacies, pardoning ourselves, sticking to resolutions, taking life less seriously, believing in the power of the sense of wonder, and so on.

    Not knowing to swim is one handicap we can do without I guess.

    Well, you guessed right why I wrote this comment. I chucked my swimming classes ;-)) Who among the archangels of you will laugh with me?

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