I may have to be a Madea fan after reading this one: Tyler Perry has taken time off from his endless old-lady impersonations to speak up against the swim club that banned a group of black children based on the color of their skin.
And to make it up to them, he’s sending them all to Disney World on his dime.
The sixty-some black and Hispanic children who attend a day camp run by Creative Steps Inc. were kicked out of a private pool in the Philadelphia area earlier this month, and the pool owners have been fingered for their racist comments since. Among them a complaint that the kids “changed the complexion of the pool.”
The actor and playwright has made his name in comedies that play off some racial stereotypes, but he’s earned a mega following from people of all races. To hear the kids crying on TV, Perry said was shameful.
“I want them to know that for every act of evil that a few people will throw at you, there are millions more who will do something kind for them,” said to the NY Daily News.
It’s always nice to see a big star giving back, and his heart is in the right place. I am loathe to say “yay for a trip to Disney World” as though that’s a panacea for every evil in the world. On the other hand, these kids were dealt a really raw deal here, and they deserve a little fun as much as the next kid.
And how many families can afford to take their kids to Disney World in this economy? I don’t know much about the financial backgrounds of these particular kids, but for some of them, it might be their only chance to have the most universal of kid experiences.
The kids won’t be going back to the swim club, by the way. Despite an invitation from the Valley Club to reinstate the day camp’s membership, Creative Steps head Alethea Wright has said “uh uh, no way.”
I can’t blame her – after the awful reaction, I don’t know that I’d want my kid to face that kind of attitude again.
Some parents I’ve talked to say they think the kids should go back – just to prove they can and deserve to be in the pool. What do you think? Would you let your kids go back?