A Red Cross swimming pool safety poster called racist because white kids were termed "cool" and black kids "not cool" has brought an apology from the nonprofit organization, reported the Washington Post
The American Red Cross poster, titled "Be Cool, Follow the Rules," showed children playing at the pool. The Post pointed out that many of the white children were labeled on the post as behaving in a "cool" or safe way while most of the children of color were acting in a "not cool" way, defying the rules.
"I thought 'It must be really outdated. This can't possibly be a recent poster,'" Margaret Sawyer told KUSA-TV
in Colorado. She first saw the poster while traveling cross country with her children. "I saw this one and I just kept thinking 'It looks like they're trying to do something here that shows all kids together of all different backgrounds but they're clearly not hitting the mark.'"
The Red Cross issued an online apology
"The American Red Cross appreciates and is sensitive to the concerns raised regarding one of the water safety posters we produced. We deeply apologize for any misunderstanding, as it was absolutely not our intent to offend anyone. As one of the nation's oldest and largest humanitarian organizations, we are committed to diversity and inclusion in all that we do, every day."
The Red Cross said it has removed the poster from its website and Swim App and have discontinued production. The organization said it has also asked its partner aquatic facilities to take down the poster.
Ebony Rosemond, of the Maryland-based group Black Kids Swim, told the Post that she did not think an apology was enough, saying that Red Cross did not pick up on the perception problem with the poster until it was pointed out after circulation.
"We want to restate that that apology is insufficient, and their system for creating and evaluating material needs to be looked at, and they need to be extremely diligent to make sure that every poster is taken down," Rosemond told the Post.
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