The American Red Cross made a public apology after receiving backlash regarding one of their pool safety posters that appeared to show prejudice against children of color.
The humanitarian organization promised to remove the 2014 poster from its websites and take it out of circulation after one Twitter user called it “super racist,” sparking an internet fury about how the poster was derogatory.
After a mother of two, Margaret Sawyer, spotted the questionable poster at her local swimming pool in Salida, Colorado, she asked the lifeguard to take it down and wrote a letter to the facility. She also sent a tweet to the American Red Cross about how their poster shows favoritism towards white children and should be replaced.
The safety poster, which has now been removed from the American Red Cross website and Swim App, was titled, “Be Cool, Follow the Rules.” The poster depicted children playing in and around a pool. The white children were depicted as following the rules with “cool” arrows pointed towards them and children of color were shown with “not cool” arrows to show they were behaving badly.
The American Red Cross issued an apology stating that they were “sensitive to the concerns raised” regarding the poster. They offered deep apologies for misunderstandings and relayed that their intention was not to offend.
Sawyer, the woman who took the photo that is circulating on Twitter, told NBC that she wasn’t satisfied with just an apology from Red Cross.
"I'm just a citizen, I'm not an organization, but I would want the Red Cross to collaborate and build relationships with Black Kids Swim and other organizations that do advocacy around this so that this doesn't happen again," she said. "Clearly, they're thinking of themselves as only having one constituency and that's not true.”
In turn, American Red Cross ought to be more responsible by sending unbiased messages to our youngsters.
Photo credit: Twitter, @JSawyer330