By now, we all understand that racism is like an onion; it has layers. These days racism can exist subtly in a Halloween costume, lyrics to song, or even a Red Cross safety poster.
An American Red Cross Hospital in Colorado sparked a fiery dialogue after photos of an offensive poster went viral. The poster, titled “Be Cool. Follow the Rules,” depicts safe and unsafe practices that can be found at a swimming pool. The only issue is that all “cool” people on the poster are white and the “not cool” people who are breaking the rules are Black.
For some of the examples, it is even unclear what the people are doing that is so “not cool.” One Black boy on the poster is diving in the water while another just appears to be floating, yet they are in some way unsafe and a hazard to others.
After the photo was circulated on Twitter, the Red Cross said, “Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We’re removing this from our site immediately & are creating new materials.” The Red Cross then went on to issue a formal statement to NBC News that read, “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.”
Although the apology was considerate, it must be noted that the poster had been on display since 2014 and many people on Twitter wanted to add their own opinions to the matter.
(Photo: MGP, Getty Images)