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‘Super Racist’ Pool Safety Poster Forces Red Cross to Apologize

A Red Cross Hospital pool’s safety rules signboard was chided as being “super racist,” prompting the hospital to issue an apology and a promise to replace the controversial poster.

At the top of the problematic poster are the words “Be Cool, Follow the Rules,” with depictions of children playing underneath. Some of the white children in the drawing are labeled with an arrow pointing toward them and praised for behaving “cool,” while some children of color have an arrow pointing toward them as they push white children, break pool safety rules, and behave in a “not cool” manner.

A social media user named John Sawyer noticed the poster hanging up in Colorado, took to Twitter, and called the sign “super racist“:

The American Red Cross’s official Twitter page immediately responded to Sawyer, saying, “Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We’re removing this from our site immediately & are creating new materials”:

The Red Cross Hospital also released a lengthy statement apologizing for the water safety poster. “The American Red Cross appreciates and is sensitive to the concerns raised regarding one of the water safety posters we produced,” the hospital’s statement to NBCBLK said, adding, “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 statement continued:

Going forward, we are developing more appropriate materials that are more representative of our workforce and the communities we serve. Our aquatic instructors have been notified of these concerns and we will advocate that our aquatic partner facilities remove the poster until revised materials are available.

Still, other social media users said they did not see any racial implications on the poster. Some pointed out that white children were also shown with arrows suggesting that their behavior was “not cool”:

Nevertheless, the Red Cross announced it has discontinued the production of the poster and said the water safety poster has been removed from the hospital’s website and Swim App.

Follow Jerome Hudson on Twitter: @jeromeehudson.

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