Tyler Perry is giving 65 campers booted from a Philadelphia pool another way to cool off this summer.
Like many in the Black community, Tyler was outraged when he heard that kids from the Creative Steps Day Camp were kicked out of a private facility presumably because of their race.
“I saw a little boy on the news crying his eyes out. Here is this kid talking about being kicked out of the Valley Swim Club … because he was Black,” Tyler wrote in an email, explaining how he heard about the story. “This made me so angry.”
The camp’s membership was later revoked and their club fees were refunded. The club stands by its argument that the kids were ousted because there wasn’t enough staff to ensure their safety at the facility. However, the original reason they gave was that members were concerned that the campers’ presence would “change the complexion” of the club.
“This is awful, and for anyone that has grown up in the inner city, you know that one small act of kindness can change your life,” the film mogul said. “They don’t need to be called names and be told that they are less than, because of the color of their skin or because of where they come from.”
After hearing the story, Tyler immediately felt compelled to do something for the rejected kids. Unlike most of us, though, he’s actually able to act on that impulse; but in his opinion, the gift he’s giving them is from all of us.
“Since you all have put me in the position to be able to do something I feel like by me doing this we are all doing it together,” Tyler stated. “On August 1-3 I’m sending these kids to Disney World and then to a Disney water park. 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.
And Tyler also posed a good question about the club’s subsequent re-invite that came days after the kids were turned away from the pool.
“If you refunded the money because there was not enough room in the pool and it was a safety issue then why are you asking the same 65 kids to come back,” he asked.
That’s what we want to know, too!
– Sonya Eskridge