The Last Barrier to Racial Integration

The city of St Louis, Missouri integrated its public swimming pools in June, 1949. The experiment was short-lived.

LIFE_race riot

When I was five, my grandfather waded into a creek I was playing in and yanked me out. Some black kids my age had followed me into the water. “You’ll catch a disease,” he explained. This was in my home town of Cape Girardeau, Missouri, probably a year or two after the swimming pool riots up the river in St Louis.

A decade and a half later, during Freedom Summer, groups of black and white protesters attempted to integrate segregated swimming pools around the country. This is what happened in June 1964 at the Monson Motor Lodge in St Augustine, Florida. Yes, that’s acid.


Fears that black people would somehow infect the water they swam in were common back then. Thank goodness we know better these days.

Or do we?


Who knows what that 15-year-old girl and her friends did to the water in the Craig Ranch swimming pool last weekend? Best to be safe. Here’s the same pool yesterday. Wanna bet the “treatment” involves acid?


© 2015, Paul Woodford. All rights reserved.


3 thoughts on “The Last Barrier to Racial Integration

  • I don’t understand the claims of racism: do people think it is normal for blacks to hire DJs who plays loud rude music at a community pool and okay for them to invite 70 people when the rule is two per resident and to break the rule of charging for attendance and ‘to talk junk’ to policemen. As a black neighbour said it is wrong to judge a 30 minute incident based on a seven minute clip. Otherwise, people could just take the clip of the black woman pulling a white woman’s hair, in a fight that proceeded the police’s arrival, and say that that is typical black behaviour.

  • Gotta say that I agree with MTM on this one. It’s just as easy to jump to the conclusion that the police are always wrong and the civilians involved are always right as it is to assume that the police are always in the right. That said, the question of police overreacting is a valid one and also valid is the question why the family giving the party didn’t intervene before the police were ever called. I’ve had police show up over a noise complaint for a party and some friends had them show up because a neighbor complained they were laughing to loudly and the window was open.

    It’s just become too easy to automatically “ride to the sound of the guns” anytime something happens and there’s a video.

  • I know it’s not fair to ignore the condo residents’ side of the story. But after watching the video of the cop losing it and going after just the black kids in the group I don’t feel like being fair. A river of racist shit runs through American life. The shit carried in that river touches us all. You can pluck any individual turd from the river and say, “Well, this specific turd might not be like all the other turds floating in this river of racial animosity, because ‘uninvited outsiders’ and ‘breaking the rules’ and ‘obnoxious DJ playing hip hop music’ but to the casual observer one turd looks pretty much like another.

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