A Red Cross pool safety poster is attracting the perpetually offended.
And the response of the Red Cross shows that certain organizations are so intimidated by even the slightest insinuation that they might be discriminatory that they will trip over themselves to assuage anyone’s easily damaged feelings.
The poster, titled “Be Cool, Follow the Rules,” was hung in two Colorado pools.
It showed children in and around a swimming pool with some being “cool” and others, who are not following the rules labeled as “not cool.”
Apparently for two white people, John Sawyer and his sister Margarat Sawyer, too many cartoon black children were labelled “not cool” and thus gave them the impression that the poster was “racist.”
— John Sawyer (@JSawyer330) June 21, 2016
The Red Cross quickly agreed to change the poster because that one person was offended.
@JSawyer330 Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We’re removing this from our site immediately & are creating new materials.
— American Red Cross (@RedCross) June 21, 2016
But its groveling wasn’t done there.
“The American Red Cross appreciates and is sensitive to the concerns raised regarding one of the water safety posters we produced,” it said in a statement to NBCBLK. “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.”
“Going forward, we are developing more appropriate materials that are more representative of our workforce and the communities we serve,” the statement read. “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 that wasn’t enough to satisfy Margaret.
“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 told NBC. “Clearly, they’re thinking of themselves as only having one constituency and that’s not true.”
“I think it’s really important to think about the messages that we’re sending kids, I ask for all of us to take that job on,” she added. “I hope the Red Cross will use this as a lesson for taking their role seriously.”
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