Racists Accusing Racism
I am writing in response to Al Voneski's incredible bigoted letter in the August 8 Wave, which improperly implied racism in the allotment of lifeguards on Rockaways' beaches. Every year, from Neponsit to Far Rockaway, the Parks Department is plagued with the problem of staffing Rockaways' beaches. I can say truthfully that as a resident of Belle Harbor, some years I have walked down the beach during the summer and have not seen a lifeguard for blocks on end. However, the beaches where these children drowned were adequately staffed with lifeguards.
Lifeguards cannot be realistically expected to be able to watch hundreds of people in the water on and around Beach 116 Street. These drowning had nothing to do with the supposedly racially charged placement of beach staff, and everything to do with people knowing their limits in the ocean, and a lack of parental supervision. Where were these children's parents when they were drowning? I wouldn't say that the Parks Department is prejudiced; I would think that Voneski is.