Surely You Jest:Valley Swim Club to Black Children... Drop Dead

We combine a casual, friendly atmosphere with an emphasis on family. With ten spacious acres of land, there is room for everyone[except Black children] to relax and enjoy themselves at the club. Valley Swim Club
Did you know that the group of children most likely to drown are African American children?
Nearly 60% of African-American children can't swim, almost twice the figure for white children, according to a first-of-its-kind survey which USA Swimming hopes will strengthen its efforts to lower minority drowning rates and draw more blacks into the sport.

Stark statistics underlie the initiative by the national governing body for swimming. Black children drown at a rate almost three times the overall rate. And less than 2% of USA Swimming's nearly 252,000 members who swim competitively year-round are black. USA Today

I wonder why?
The Creative Steps Day Camp paid more than $1900 to The Valley Swim Club. The Valley Swim Club is a private club that advertises open membership. But the campers’ first visit to the pool suggested otherwise. “When the minority children got in the pool all of the Caucasian children immediately exited the pool,Horace Gibson, parent of a day camp child, wrote in an email. “The pool attendants came and told the black children that they did not allow minorities in the club and needed the children to leave immediately.” The next day the club told the camp director that the camp’s membership was being suspended and their money would be refunded.[...] “There was concern that a lot of kids would change the complexion … and the atmosphere of the club,John Duesler, President of The Valley Swim Club said in a statement.
The folks over at Jack and Jill Politics are not amused:
If you’re mad as hell like I am, you can email, call or just go on ahead and “change the complexion” of the Valley Swim Club by showing up with picket signs. I am picking up the phone after I finish this post, y’all. Do it for the kids. Physical Address: Club Phone Number:
Club E-mail:
Hmm I wonder if this "club" has non-profit status? Yep, they do :) This could be a problem with the revenue department if there is any pesky non-discrimination requirement. I suspect a well worded apology letter shall be issued any moment now.  The lawyers are just figuring out who to throw under the bus. I'm going to make another prediction that we'll also have a tearful press conference as well thrown in to boot. In any event, another school has stepped up to the plate.

So the staff at Girard College, a private Philadelphia boarding school for children who live in low-income and single parent homes, stepped in and offered their pool.

"We had to help," said Girard College director of Admissions Tamara Leclair. "Every child deserves an incredible summer camp experience."

The school already serves 500 campers of its own, but felt they could squeeze in 65 more – especially since the pool is vacant on the day the Creative Steps had originally planned to swim at Valley Swim Club.

"I'm so excited," camp director Alethea Wright exclaimed. There are still a few logistical nuisances -- like insurance -- the organizations have to work out, but it seems the campers will not stay dry for long. Source

As someone newly acquainted with a pool following learning how to swim as a child, forgetting, nearly drowning as an adult, and relearning how to swim in addition to treading water (yay!), there is no better workout, I even chopped off my hair to spend more time in the pool. Chlorine and relaxers don't play well together. .

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Why YOU Can't "Boycott" BET - A Letter from the Battle Scarred

Sorry folks, this looks to be a BET-themed week of posts. So yet ANOTHER wave of "Boycott BET" mania has beset certain quarters of the Black community after their wretched BET Awards show was falsely advertised as a tribute to Michael Jackson. Someone wanted me to promote this petition to boycott BET.  Okay, here it is followed by my analysis of why this is futile. Here we are again, we've come full circle and this blog finds itself back where it started. People are once again calling for boycotts of BET and it seems I have been a complete and utter failure on my quest to help people figure out that you CAN'T "boycott" BET! To those Michael Jackson fans who are outraged that BET was doing what BET does, which is to attempt to devour the Black community every day of their existence. Welcome to our happy home. We hold the distinction of being one of the few entities (by no means the only) that have been able to inflict economic sanctions and impose temporary behavior modification on the sociopaths that run Black Entertainment Television. You are right when you say they have no remorse. They have no conscience so demonstrating remorse is an impossibility. Because I was once like you, and fear that you are repeating the mistakes of the past, I have gone through the trouble of looking through my archives in hopes of inspiring you to direct your focus in a direction that will actually impose effective economic sanctions on BET that you appear to be seeking. Will you be sucessful? I don't know. Now according to sources, former BET employees,  who don't hesitate to run up and tell me whenever we meet, WAOD and its early readers cost BET several million dollars in advertising back in 2007. That lead to a period of time where they were under siege and eventually the largest advertiser in the world went so far as to open up a 1-800 number to ask people if they should continue to advertise "in the same manner." So when I speak, I speak with some authority on how to alter the behavior of BET executives... at least temporarily. The first thing anyone seeking to alter BET's behavior needs to know is... YOU CAN'T BOYCOTT BET. If by "boycott" you mean to impose some type of economic sanctions on BET. Why you Can't "Boycott" BET Due to current regulations, most cable customers pay for BET whether you watch or not. So just "not watching" doesn't work. You pay for BET anyway because Viacom makes BET a part of the bundle it provides to cable carriers. This means even if you haven't watched BET in years, each month that you pay your cable bill, you pay Debra Lee. So your "boycott" is in name only because Debra Lee gets your money anyway. Until we get a la carte cable where you can pick and choose which stations you want in your package, you can't "boycott" any basic cable channel. That's why  Debra Lee actually wants you to air your anger and rage in her direction, because her worst nightmare is that you will get a clue and aim your anger and rage at someone who could actually inflict massive economic sanctions on BET. If you want an a la carte option, it will be a while, but the first step would be to contact the person who currently serves as your representative in the US House of Representatives and the two people who currently represent you in the United States Senate and demand cable a la carte. Who You Can "Boycott", but Probably Shouldn't Until You've had a Dialog Those people would be the "family friendly" companies that underwrite Debra Lee's ANTI-family programming by purchasing advertising on BET. For example, one reader identified the people who sale Organic Root Stimulator as a sponsor affiliated with the BET Awards. Did the Organic Root Stimulator folks know BET planned to close the show with "I wish I could F#$& Ever Girl in the World?" Ask them. They may not pull out from BET completely, but they will segregate their ad purchases to certain time periods or forbid advertising on certain shows ie the rebroadcast of the Michael Jackson "tribute" that ended up being a vortex of coonery (TM Acts of Faith Blog). Attach the BRAND to BET's coonery and they will do their best to sever that tie swiftly. So if you are going to complain about BET in YouTube Videos, make sure you include the sponsors. 50,000,000 people can watch the BET Awards, but the show will be a commercial FAILURE if they can't get anyone to advertise on the show. You could certainly get promises not to support any rebroadcast of the BET Awards and you could likely get guarantees that these companies will review the artist and song choices for next year's award's show prior to purchasing advertising.You need to figure out what you want first, make a rational and reasoned analysis regarding whether your demands can be met and articulate those demands in the form of requests. So in review:

  • Consumers can't directly "boycott" BET
  • Consumers CAN directly boycott BET's advertisers,
  • However, angry consumers would be better off opening up a dialog with  executives at these major consumer goods companies.  Show them the video taped evidence of what BET has done and go to them with concrete requests in how you think they can be of assistance.
Your BEST FRIEND is the CONSUMER GOODS EXECUTIVE In EVERY interaction I have had with executives in these companies, they have been attentive and I think legitimately concerned and have acted on that concern. By executives, I don't mean the marketing people. I mean the operations people.  They might not go to bat for YOU, but they will fight for the BRANDS they spend their lives building. A thoughtful well reasoned request from you will likely be met with a thoughtful well-reasoned response. Their goal is to get their product in front of a Black audience, not offend you. No one, not even BET is bigger than their BRAND and they won't hesitate to protect it from Debra Lee's vortex of coonery, HOWEVER, they won't object if you don't object. They think we love this crap. I would caution that entertainment and vice companies (liquor, sex, etc) are immune to your concerns, but consumer goods and products companies tend to be more responsive. Go straight to the top of the company and the "executive care" team folks will direct you in the right direction. Be polite and know what you are going to say before you pick up the phone. You have 30 seconds with the gatekeeper to make an impression. My first fateful words two years ago to the CEO's receptionist at one of BET's sponsors was "Do you know that your company is sponsoring a website with a Blackface cartoon supporting a show called ________" and then I took her to a web page where she could view a screen shot of her company's logo next to BET's coonery on That was all it took. I didn't have to say another word. BET spoke for itself. So figure out who BET's top sponsors are and begin a dialog. The easiest way to figure out who sponsored the Travesty that was the BET Awards is to pull out some DVRs and fast forward through the show. Every time you reach a commercial break, instead of skipping it, write down the name of the product, figure out who the parent company is, and type in "Office of CEO {parent company name}" into Google. Chances are some other group has protested the same company in the past and will provide emails and contact info for executives. If all else fails, the 1-800 customer service numbers are pretty affective as well. On your first attempt, you will be brushed off. But eventually, you just need ONE advertiser to break ranks and the rest will follow because they don't want to be left OUT THERE like McDonalds.
McDonald's said late last week that it had asked BET to remove ads from a part of the network's Web site that featured women in seductive poses, clad in bikinis and lingerie. The complaint appears to have played a key role in BET opting to remove the "B-Girls" section from move that took place around Jan. 16. The acknowledgment by McDonald's that it protested the ads contrasts sharply with a statement given by BET last Monday commenting on why it pulled down "B-Girls." The network said it had long planned to remove the section and the action was "unrelated" to "any advertiser feedback of which there was none." McDonald's appears to have become aware that its banner ads were running on "B-Girls" after a blog that seeks to combat negative images of African-American women--launched a campaign targeting advertisers on Jan. 10. . . . . For its part, McDonald's did not comment on its protest at first. In an initial statement, the company stood by its "B-Girls" ads, arguing that targets young adults and provides an "appropriate, relevant" environment for the company's initiatives to reach them. Media Post
Granted this was after General Mills did a hasty retreat and issued a public statement rebuking BET. Use the internet to organize and find a dedicated group of people who will do the research necessary to figure out who these folks are. Get in contact with other media activists such as the Parent's Television Council and Industry Ears. But I caution you, if you achieve any amount of success groups and individuals will come out of the wood work to "ally" with you. At least some of these people will be sent by Debra Lee herself to undermine you. Be wary of anyone who is a member of the Black Elite Establishment. They all know and socialize with each other and they all dream of being on BET even if they public state otherwise. They will attempt to hijack your cause, direct you towards "compromise," use you to do their dirty work and raise hell while they make backroom deals that advances their private agenda while you take the bows and arrows publicly. They will instigate controversy and leak information to you and then attempt to broker a compromise to a controversy they started in the first place. KNOW THIS. You are going up against one of the most powerful media conglomerates in the world AND all those who depend on that conglomerate for their lifestyles. If you are in anyway successful, you will be attacked, you will be threatened, and they will make every attempt to destroy you. If they can't get you dead on, they'll send emissaries to do it for them be on guard and have an agenda. Having a clear set of reasonable demands is the best way to guarantee that you are not taken off course. I make light of some of my hijinks on this blog, but make no mistake that you will pay a heavy price for speaking out. So before you open up your mouth, be willing to take the blow back. Trust me, its coming. Why Aren't You Doing This? First, I have never believed in a charismatic leadership model where one person ends up doing everything. This technology allows for multiple people to lead multiple fights on multiple fronts. Open source activism if you will. I got "open source activism "from the comments over at Muslim Bushido BTW. You have the ability to do the same things I do.  I've just told you where to aim. Whether you choose to aim in the right direction is up to you.   People petitioned BET for years to no avail. The first time a White executive picks up a phone, they will scramble. BELIEVE ME. Second, I have made a decision to focus on long term strategic objectives that do not involve getting into running battles every time BET does what BET does. They love these temporary outbursts because they know in about two weeks this will all die down and they'll be able to skulk back to their vortex of coonery ways. However, the only long range solution to toppling BET once and for all is to compete with them in the marketplace to give advertisers and consumers an alternative.  Protesting is relatively easy. Producing content is not. Always remember:

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

That's classic BET. So when their publicist makes ridiculous public statements that they aren't being affected by your campaign, know that she's a LIAR and you're winning. When they send their interns and lackeys to slander and attack you online , know that you are winning. When it seems as if you are literally fighting for your life, know that you've already won. Ignore the people in the comments sections that will tell you what needs to be done or how X,Y,Z won't work. These people are irrelevant. They see what needs to be done, but won't do it. They won't even do a simple Google search to look up a company's contact information. The difference between you and them is in the "doing." Go with God. Live Long and Prosper. May the force be with you. I guess I need to sit down and write a book or something huh. Previous Posts (Re-Live The Adventure): Viacom Uses "blackface" Cartoon to Promote New Show. Screen Captures Showing Advertisers for "Hot Ghetto Mess" Page on BET.Com Contact These Companies and Let Them Know What BET is doing to Their Brand Advertisers Flee Website Promoting Latest BET Show, " HGM" State Farm/ The Home Depot Remove Ads from BET’s Website HGM = BET’s Hottentot Venus 2007 Hate BET? - Think About Supporting "Cable Choice" BREAKING NEWS! - BET Changes "HGM" to "We Got to Do Better" DL Hughley FINALLY Admitting to Feeling the Heat My Campaign Against " HGM" - In MY OWN WORDS! Our 100th Post- Open Letter To Corporate America- Just Pull Your Ads from " Hot Ghetto Mess" Already. What About Our Daughters Wins Battle!!! Comments are disabled- Yes, I turned off the comments because the blogosphere is  just retreading the same ground- people hate BET. blah, blah, blah, but aren't prepared to do a single thing about it other than complain. I'm tired of listening to it. They do what they do because you let them do it.

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