White Boys Can’t Swim

But blacks are even worse, according to the Red Cross. Oh, we’re somewhat better at swimming than folks were 100 years ago; back then, almost nobody knew how, and lifeguards didn’t exist. Still, the numbers today come as a surprise to those of us who grew up doing competitive meets and working as lifeguards.

Red Cross says that more than half of all Americans (54 percent), and two-thirds of African-Americans (67 percent), cannot meet a basic set of water safety standards.

And by basic, they mean basic: really, these folks can’t tread water or float for one minute? Can’t step into water over their heads? Holy moly, no wonder there are so many river-related drownings around here! On a hot day, when people go wading along in the water and then hit that inevitable dropoff, they’re helpless. Amazing. It ain’t rocket science.

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About maxredlines

experience: biology, zoology, psychology. authored/co-authored papers appearing in peer-reviewed scientific journals, as well as numerous professional proceedings. authored articles appearing in computer-oriented publications. featured in publications ranging from books to New Yorker magazine to television.
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