Racism's No Laughing Matter, But...

A black comedian's spin on the swim club discrimination story

By Karen Araiza
|  Friday, Jul 10, 2009  |  Updated 3:49 PM EDT
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Racism's No Laughing Matter, But...

ThisWeekinBlackness.com

"So I try to express things to people in a humorous way, if they laugh, they're usually more open to what you're saying."

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When Elon James White heard Philly camp kids were turned away from a private swim club because they were black, first he freaked out. Then he hit the studio.

Then Elon did what he feels he does best – the black comedian put a comic spin on a serious subject. He cut a stand-up style video, posted it on his Web site and pushed it out on YouTube, twitter and Facebook.

Please Don't Change the Complexion of Our Pool

"I believe people will pay attention to something a little bit more if they can at least laugh. When you preach to people a lot of times they will shut down. No one wants to be 'preached' at."

Elon started the Brooklyn Comedy Company and his life as a black man provides much of the fodder for his gigs as well as his online show, This Week in Blackness, and his personal Web site, Elon James is Not White.

He found out about the pool story Wednesday when his twitter followers were "freaking out." Elon says he has encountered "way more subtle racism, but this is blatant," and unlike anything he'd experienced.

"I wanted to do more than just complain. I wanted to let people know that something unacceptable had occurred and that if it upset you, as it did me, there was something you could do about it.."
 

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