The Red Cross has issued an apology and asked all of its partner aquatic facilities to take down a water safety poster that at least one person has interpreted as racist.
For a poster that is supposedly so racist it has been scrubbed from the Red Cross website and is being pulled down from pools across the country, media outlets are having no qualms about republishing it. Consider it one of those puzzles you might find in the Sunday paper, but the task is to find and circle the racist bits:
— WUSA9 (@wusa9) June 27, 2016
Even BBC News has done its part to ensure that the Red Cross has another international incident on its hands that requires an emergency response.
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) June 27, 2016
So, who exactly considers the poster racist? One vocal critic was “shocked” to encounter the poster on display not once but twice at two locations in Colorado.
"How can an organization that prides itself on being so open-minded … create something like this?" https://t.co/bNcx0LzIxC
— Chicago Tribune (@chicagotribune) June 27, 2016
Peter Holley of the Washington Post reported the ordeal of Margaret Sawyer, who complained to a lifeguard and then to management after the 2014 poster struck her as an unfortunate relic of the past:
After seeing the poster a second time, she posted an image of it online.
“I felt really angry,” she said.
The poster — titled “Be Cool, Follow The Rules” — depicts various children playing at the pool.
But white children are labeled as behaving in a “cool” way while children of color who are depicted defying pool rules are labeled “not cool.”
Who even wants to guess if the kid in the back wearing shades and carrying a refreshing bottled beverage counts as a “child of color”? He looks white or possibly Latino, but he’s not cool, even if he thinks he is in those sweet Ray-Bans.
— John Sawyer (@JSawyer330) June 21, 2016
Did someone say racist? It turns out the poster is “super racist.”
@wusa9 wow, really. I see one white kid "not cool" and the others could be latinos for all u know. Unbelievable, everything is about race
— chepevidez (@Chepeandres7) June 27, 2016
Rest assured that the Red Cross is not taking the controversy lightly and in a press release on Monday said that the organization is “currently in the process of completing a formal agreement with a diversity advocacy organization for their guidance moving forward.”
How much is it going to cost the Red Cross to make that agreement “formal”?