I am amazed by this BBC News report….

Why don’t black Americans swim?

The drownings shocked the community and sparked a campaign

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.

Maude Warner, mother of three of the victims, and the other adults present also couldn’t swim.

The US has almost 3,500 accidental drownings every year, almost 10 a day.

But according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the fatal drowning rate of African-American children aged five-14 is three times that of white children.

Unlike the UK, where learning to swim is enshrined in the national curriculum except in Scotland, the ultimate responsibility in the US often lies with parents.

“I would love to make it a rule like they have in the UK,” says Cullen Jones, a gold medallist in the freestyle 100m relay in Beijing, and a spokesman for USA Swimming’s Make a Splash campaign.

“It isn’t a requirement, it isn’t a priority in the US.”

Source: BBC News Read more

Opinion:

When I was a kid swimming was a part of the PE curriculum. Every kid passing through primary school at least had survival skills in water, floating or dog paddle; the majority had overarm (crawl), breaststroke and underwater skills. But then that was in the civilised world, not the USA.

To discover that the USA, once the crown of the world has such a problem is shocking. They have money to bomb other countries, but do not prioritise their own kids, especially black kids.

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