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American Red Cross apologizes for ‘racist’ poster

/ 12:55 PM June 28, 2016

A US hospital swimming pool poster issued by the American Red Cross was taken down on Monday (Tuesday in Manila) following concerns of racial profiling.

The placard “Be Cool, Follow the Rules” was supposed to be a safety reminder for proper pool etiquette for children. However, it showed more black children doing hazardous or “not cool” things, while white children appeared to be behaving sensibly or “coolly.”

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Twitter user John Sawyer from Salida, Colorado, was the first to call Red Cross’ attention by tweeting a picture of the poster taken by his wife. “Hey, Red Cross, send a new pool poster to @SalidaRec because the current one they have with your name on it is super racist,” he wrote.

Within hours of posting, the American Red Cross responded with a tweet, promising to remove the poster.

Screen Shot 2016-06-28 at 11.24.26 AM

Screen Grab from @JSawyer330’s Twitter feed

The humanitarian organization also released an apologetic statement regarding the incident:

“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 poster has now been removed from their website and they say will no longer be printed.”

Despite the organization’s attempt to admit fault, frustrated netizens still took to social media to air their grievances.

Screen Shot 2016-06-28 at 11.28.38 AM

Screen Grab from @Deltre_Epps Twitter feed

Screen Shot 2016-06-28 at 11.28.48 AM

Screen Grab from @wagmamommandi Twitter feed

Salida’s pool and recreation department, meanwhile, confirmed that they had taken down the poster and also apologized for it. Khristian Ibarrola/rga

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Screen Shot 2016-06-28 at 11.32.42 AM

Screen Grab from @SalidaRec’s Twitter feed

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TAGS: American Red Cross, apology, campaign poster, racist, statement, Twitter
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