My correspondent responds. Knowing him, I can’t see how he could have meant the comment any other way (and cut him a break – his bride-to-be’s wedding dress has submerged beneath the waves):
Truth is, it’s not a “black” thing – it’s a “poor” thing. There aren’t any public swimming pools in New Orleans (OK so the entire city has just been turned into one) and kids don’t get taught to swin at school. Indeed, in most public schools in Orleans parish they are lucky if they get taught to read.