Adventures on the high-seas, surfing, kayaking, wake boarding, boating, sailing, and of course swimming are events activities that lack Black participation. Water that has been subjugated to extremely cold temperatures, turning it into a crystalline, ice form also brings much shock and revulsion to Black people.
Peculiar then, that the Super Soaker - the zenith of Black inventiveness - would harness this element in weaponized form, when water brings such torment and angst to Black people.
Swimming pools more often than not have a paucity of Black people frolicking in either the shallow or deep end, while both beaches and lakes seem equally devoid of Black families enjoying the sun and surf together.
It has been reported that upwards to 60 -70 percent of Black people cannot swim: that Black people drown at three times the rate of white people; that white people are better swimmers and Black people better at sprinting; and all of these stories are corroborated by tragic nautical incidents involving Black people:
It’s a parent’s worst nightmare: Watching as your child dies just a few feet away while you stand by, helpless.
Maude Warner lived that agony this week when what was supposed to be a fun family outing devolved into tragedy. She, her kids, and some friends were picnicking on the bank of the Red River near their home in Shreveport, Louisiana. One of her sons, 15-year-old DeKendrix Warner, who could not swim, was playing in the shallows when he accidentally stepped off a submerged ledge into the deep. DeKendrix survived, but not before six of his siblings and friends drowned while trying to save him. Maude Warner lost three of her children that day: a 13-year-old daughter, and 14- and 17-year-old sons. Three of their friends also perished, brothers who were 18, 17, and 15 years old.
None of them could swim.
Because of the victims’ race, the gruesome incident has swelled interest in an obscure yet startling statistic: Some 70 percent of African-American youth can’t swim, and drowning rates for young blacks are far higher than for whites. Every summer, the grim news reports roll out like clockwork. Two weeks ago, a 12-year-old boy drowned in a neighbor’s pool in Maryland; his uncle then drowned trying to save him. The week before that, a pair of teenage boys were found at the bottom of a swimming pool in Iowa. And a month prior to that, an 11-year-old boy drowned in a swimming pool on Long Island. In every case, the young victim was African American and did not know how to swim….
During the 20th century, racial segregation again conspired to drive blacks further from the water. Public swimming facilities that were built across the country in the early and mid-1900s were often for whites only. As Jeff Wiltse, author of Contested Waters: A Social History of Swimming Pools in America, told NPR, even in cities that did not have an official policy of segregation, “Whites set up, essentially, sentinel guards at the entrance to the pool, and when black swimmers tried to come in and access them, they were beaten up, sometimes with clubs.”
Perhaps because of these factors, even today, blacks appear to be more prone to hydrophobia than whites. Dr. Carol C. Irwin, assistant professor of health and sport sciences at the University of Memphis, is one of the authors of the latest study on swimming abilities among minorities, which surveyed more than 2,000 minority children and parents in Atlanta, Boston, Denver, Memphis, San Diego, and Minneapolis-St. Paul. “The parents and the kids fear drowning and injury when they are near the water,” she says. “We found this over and over again.”
Perhaps the reason Black people were denied entry into swimming pools is due to the fact that nearly three-fourths of Black people can’t swim, which puts a strain on the insurance policies of private swimming pools.
Of course, swimming is an activity that one should never undertake alone (a solitary swimmer is 100 percent more likely to drown) and is usually an endeavor pursued by families. The percentage of out-of-wedlock births in the Black community equals roughly 70 percent, the exact same percentage of Black people incapable of swimming. Coincidence?
Black women don’t swim because of the vast amount of time it takes to perfect their hair and introduce foreign extensions into their artificial locks. This is of course a reason cited for the high obesity rates among Black women, which conversely, corresponds with the rule of never swimming 30 minutes after a meal.
However, scientists have attempted to qualify why Black people view bodies of water with such disdain and dread:
African-American children with parents who themselves do not know how to swim are less likely to know or to be encouraged to learn how. And, as for why African-Americans show less of a proclivity for swimming, several reasons are apparently to blame.
African-Americans say that a lack of access to pools, the expense of swimming lessons and the idea that recreational swimming is a culturally white activity are factors that inhibit them from learning how to swim, according to the study, which was commissioned by the national governing body of competitive swimming USA Swimming and released last month.
The most common reason cited by African-Americans for not knowing how to swim, however, was a fear of drowning.
NPR and Disingenuous White Liberals blame the high rates of Black people drowning on the obvious bogeyman that haunts Black people wherever they fail: white racism. If a Black person ever fails, the logical assailant and impediment to success is omnipresent white racism or the legacy of this eternal stain that torments Black people in every endeavor they undertake, even a dip in a body of water.
In the eyes of the DWL, every Black who fears the water owes the origin of this trepidation to the legacy of segregation. However, an alternative view should be obvious.
Absolutely no record of Black seamanship exists in the history of Africa. A seafaring culture never materialized, perhaps because a great fear of the rivers, lakes, ponds and bodies of water emerged in Africa. All matters of terrifying creatures inhabit the murky of waters there and since all knowledge was passed down (instead of written) orally, Black people developed an intrinsic fear of the water for death could quickly follow a plunge into any body of water there.
This great fear of water was passed down orally (remember, Black people never wrote their history down) until it became ingrained in the DNA of Black people, a learned trait that shows no Blank Slate exists. This fear of water that started long ago in Africa for Black people became a biological and micro-evolutionary inherited trait.
Regardless, the easy culprit in the continued case of Black failure in confronting their fear of water will be white racism. The CDC lists all Black people as an at-risk group for drowning, but Black people have a penchant for not listening to the CDC.
Yet for some reason, water parks around the nation seem to attract Black people with great intensity.
Beaches, ski resorts, lakes, pools all contain one essential element that is included in the Stuff Black People Don’t Like: water.