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BBC - Why don't black Americans swim

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posted on Sep, 4 2010 @ 08:22 PM
reply to post by Aggie Man

Well that is completely wrong. The YMCA did a 5 star swimming course back in the 70s and I learnt to swim under that scheme. I got up to the 4th star and went on to be a scuba diver.

I think it is poverty. The kind of poverty that means that you get your priorities all mixed up as well as having no money.

posted on Sep, 4 2010 @ 10:29 PM
reply to post by ladyinwaiting

There is more of a biological factor than skin color and hair texture ('
'). For example, forensic pathologist can tell the race of an individual, when all that's left is skeletal remains by looking at the femur bone, among other characteristics. Blacks on average have %3-%18 more testosterone than whites, blacks physically mature at a younger age than whites on average. The femur bone is straight in blacks and in whites it has a slight bow to it. This has almost nothing to do with diet, it's all genetics because blacks across the board (from everywhere) have all that I've stated and than some other differences than whites so you can't honestly say that blacks and whites have the same diet no matter what part of the planet they live on. ('
') You can find all this information by using the numerous search engines on the web. I'm assuming since you have access to ATS via the web you also have access to do some homework by using the many search engines that are inevitably available to you. So in essence blacks not being able to swim as well as whites on average does have something to do with physical characteristics. Another example, blacks have more fast twitch (or is it slow twitch) muscle fibers than whites and this is why blacks, on average, are faster runners and higher jumpers than whites. And Remember, google is your friend.

[edit on 4-9-2010 by kimish]

[edit on 4-9-2010 by kimish]

posted on Sep, 4 2010 @ 11:39 PM
reply to post by Starbug3MY

You kidding me? Go to Wildwood, New Jersey. Nothing but blacks in the ocean swimming.

posted on Sep, 4 2010 @ 11:52 PM
weird, I never considered this before...I hardly ever see black people swimming. They do usually just wade or stay on shore. I have seen it, but not that often. you will see all races out here in washington at popular swimming holes, but for the most part the people who are black dont go in the water, I can even remember trying to encourage a guy to swim with us once and he seemed scared and didnt want to go in past his knees, and he was otherwise a big tuff guy...weird.

posted on Sep, 5 2010 @ 03:27 AM
I remember when I went to boot camp in Great Lakes, IL for Navy. After being there a few weeks, I noticed alots of groups of black people walking by themselves somewhere. Towards middle of boot camp we had basic swimming lessons. We had to drop off 15 foot high board, swim xx amount feet with any stroke, and do a float test using are clothes.

Well when the driving instructors asked who can't swim move to the kiddie pool. Who mostly went over there? Black people. After they got a quick run down of how to swim and float. We were all herded into 2 single file lines to jump off a 15-20ft. driving board.

I'll never forget this whole part here. The guy next to me was a black guy 19/20ish of age from Alabama. As we got closer to jumping next, he started to freak out. He told me he was scared. I told him, don't worry, SEAL's and I think SWICs (what they call them I think) are in the water with scuba gear, you'll be fine. He kept saying to me "please don't let me drown."

Finally we jumped off together. Since we had to keep our hands and feet together, we pretty much torpedoed into the water and went pretty deep. We weren't supposed to go up until the SEAL gave us the okay. I remember opening my eyes underwater and the SEAL telling me to go up. I looked over at my partner and he was panicking and sank like a rock. We were like 20-30 feet down if I remember. I went to go after him but the SEAL pulled me away and a second SEAL went down and got him. We all had to get out of the water and face the wall. I couldn't see what happened after that.

Day or two later, he came back to the division and he joked how I almost let him die. He tells me in the panic he dislocated his shoulder when he was trying to swim up. He started sinking and remembers me swimming to him and then SEAL pulling me away which made him panic even more. He said his life flashed before his eyes and he thought me and SEAL had abandoned him to die. From that he swallowed tons of water and he blacked out before the other SEAL grabbed him. They had to preform CPR on him for a few seconds but he was fine.

After that and until I graduated from boot-camp, everyday, whoever didn't pass the swim exam in my division had to go back and try it again. That's why I always saw black people walking around base. They were on their way to try it again and again.

posted on Sep, 5 2010 @ 03:59 AM

Originally posted by MrSmith
My guess is because 3 times more black Americans in that age group live in areas that are inner city and far away from swimming sources in compared. Pretty logical if you think about it. You dont learn to swim if you never leave the inner-city or can't afford swimming lessons.

Myself, I was lucky enough to be born in a town on a lake. Plus, its typical here to enroll your children in swimming lessons when they are very young. Again, lucky enough to afford it.

[edit on 3-9-2010 by MrSmith]

I live in Florida on the east coast and I hardly ever saw black people on the beach and if they were they weren't usually in the water. I had a few friends tell me they didn't know how to swim because they don't spend a lot of time in the sun so they don't see a need to go to the beach or a pool. They all mentioned something having to do with the sun and the color of their skin and how too much sun can cause some sort of skin condition. I don't remember what they called it. I never really questioned it after that because this is what my friends told me.

As for swimming lessons. The area I grew up in had free swimming lessons at various places in multiple counties and cities.

I never had swimming lessons because I learned to swim in my grandparents pool when I was little.

posted on Sep, 5 2010 @ 04:12 AM

Originally posted by pazcat
Don't take this the wrong way because of the commentary but it actually reminded me of this. From about 1:30min in.
The Eric Moussambani story is one of those more inspirational ones.

That was a highlight of the games. I still have all The Dream's on video tape. Old Eric the Eel eh!

At the end of the day I think blacks are better runners and whites are better swimmers. Of course there are always exceptions to the rule - but they don't represent the majority and really carry no weight in a debate. We all excel at different things. We all have genetic dispositions toward different things. No need to look any deeper than that.


posted on Sep, 5 2010 @ 04:29 AM
reply to post by TheBandit795

Yes this is all true. There is also a film on Nigerian in lagos diving for sand for building.

I believe that it is cultural as the physiological differences are to me quite minor.

posted on Sep, 5 2010 @ 04:44 AM
The reason why blacks can´t swim is obvious, their bums stick out too much holding their heads under the water. That´s also the reason why there are NO decent olympic swimmer who are black, I remember one I think a couple of years ago who came last and got lapped a few times and nearly drowned.

posted on Sep, 5 2010 @ 04:51 AM
I never understood how people don't know how to swim... seriously, have they never seen a fish before? Be a fish... move your arms and legs...

I wonder what the average IQ is for people who don't know how to swim.

posted on Sep, 5 2010 @ 04:53 AM
I think this sounds ridiculous, but I do not know the statistics of black versus any other nationality. I do know that blacks in north ga love to swim, at the city pool, the beach at Rocky Mt., the hotel pool, ect.

I think that this family of non swimmers is most likely the result of something similar to why my mother and her sisters and brothers never could swim. They were terrified of the water, put into their minds by their mother who saw her brother drown, and would not allow the kids to swim when they were little. The fear of water lasted,and still lasts, for all of their lives.

posted on Sep, 5 2010 @ 08:48 AM
reply to post by Starbug3MY

I have wondered about this myself...

watching the Olympics i never see any black people swimming from USA or Britain... i wonder if it's just lack of interest in the sport...

posted on Sep, 5 2010 @ 09:26 AM
Hey guys, I have always lived in the deep south, in the most racist portion of the lower Appalachians, and I have always heard that, "Blacks just dont swim as well as whites".
In college we read a book "The Water is Wide" a book by Pat Conroy that details a teacher braving Daufuskie Island off the coast of South Carolina which at the time was completely uncivilized and shut off from the rest of the nation. The Author states that (im paraphrasing here) "Possibly blacks shy away from the water in general, cause the water is what took their children away" - referring to particularly bad storms and raging current between the island and mainland S.C. , but also seeming trying to relate it to the East coast of Africa, and the slave ships taking people away on the water.
I suppose the author was hinting on some kind of genetic memory here... I dont know, and i dont personally subscribe to Pat Conroys' interpretation. The book is based on a true story and it took almost two years to convince the islanders mothers to let the school teacher take their children across the sound to Charleston for fear of "The water taking their children away" I wanted to add though, i see black guys/gals in the water at my local swimming pool all the time.

posted on Sep, 5 2010 @ 09:35 AM
I think the point is that Americans of African ancestory are less likely to learn to swim than Americans of European ancestry. This may have something to do with the fact that the former are more likely to live in poorer, inner city, areas with lower income and less opportunity?

Wouldn't be surprised to find the same is true in Britain.

[edit on 5-9-2010 by Essan]

posted on Sep, 5 2010 @ 10:16 AM
reply to post by Essan

Do Rich African Americans have Pools in there Back Yard? just wondering....

posted on Sep, 5 2010 @ 10:22 AM
I grew up in an era of segregation so I have heard literally all of the comments about why or what, with all races.

I heard that blacks had more muscle mass and this caused less buoyancy which affected their swimming ability. Whites had a natural higher fat content which created better buoyancy.

My whole life, in watching collegian and Olympic sports, there just seems to be sports that blacks prevail in as well as sports that whites prevail in. A racist person would quickly point out these differences. The explanation maybe as simple as how the body is built and not environmental factors such as poverty. It may be a combination of factors.

Swimming may be poverty driven, as a thought processes, and it is a good thought. There doesn't seem to be a plethora of tracks in the inner city either. BUT, a person doesn't need a track to run so the human races should be on a equal footing, so to speak, with each other. You would never know this when looking at records and top competitors in track events.

This may be one of those very few times where political correctness has overcome a natural difference built within humans, but society will not talk about these sensitive issues. Humans are one people, with differences within the different races.

posted on Sep, 6 2010 @ 10:08 AM
why did all those kids die neglegent homicide. yes its sad that these kids and grown ups couldn't swim but didn't all these adults think to make a human chain or look for some rope or anything that floats hell a football is enough to keep you afloat a volleball soccer ball and basketball too.

posted on Sep, 6 2010 @ 04:07 PM
reply to post by dbloch7986

I'll give you credit because at least you quoted the poster in context, but to the poster's credit, he/she did say this was likely a myth. The poster also never inferred this tidbit was in the article so I'm not sure why you had to mention that is wasn't. Anyone reading what this poster said would know this was not in the article because, a you said yourself, he/she used the old "well I heard..." opening line.

posted on Sep, 6 2010 @ 04:47 PM

Originally posted by ManBehindTheMask
reply to post by Aggie Man

A southern stereotypical myth? Are you kidding? My family has been in Texas since the early 1800s

I grew up in Texas, West Texas, and South Texas, and around the border and Ive NEVER heard ANYONE say that.....

I think youre making it up lol

I have been in Texas for a long time. i know how racist Texans can be. I can believe that 'myth' by southern Texans. Sadly, Texas is ran by rednecks and racists.

posted on Sep, 6 2010 @ 07:12 PM
post removed for serious violation of ATS Terms & Conditions

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