Posted BY: Robert Weissberg

It is said that the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and this certainly seems to apply to America’s current race relations. Ill-advised accusations of White racism are ubiquitous as if expunging this alleged toxicity will bring a racial Utopia. In fact, such allegations will only make bad situations worse. To invoke another cliché, with friends like this, who needs enemies?

Consider, for example, how Williams College recently ended its policy of requiring all graduates to pass a swim test, or if they failed the test, take a swimming course. The reason for the cancellation: being able to swim was deemed racist and thus ill-suited to the college’s commitment to racial diversity. Specifically, D. Clinton Williams, director of the college’s Pathways for Inclusive Excellence condemned such tests as a vestige of America’s horrific racism since those unable to swim. and thereby required to take swimming instruction, were disproportionately Black. 

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This equity may turn deadly. According to CDC data, Blacks are 1.5 times more likely to drown than Whites. This is particularly true for youngsters. For children aged 5 to 9, the drowning ratio is 2.6; for children aged 10-14, it is 3.6 times higher. Most shockingly, among those aged 10-14, the ratio in public swimming pools is 7.6 times higher for Blacks. Hardly surprisingly, the CDC advises that swimming lessons can help prevent death by drowning.

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