Red Cross apologizes over racism accusations

DENVER (AP) — The American Red Cross is apologizing for a pool safety poster that some say had a racist message.

The cartoon poster labeled nearly all of the white children’s activities as “cool,” while the children of color were depicted acting in unsafe ways and were labeled “not cool.”

A Red Cross spokesman says the posters have been removed and more appropriate material is being developed.

A statement was released Monday:

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.

To this end, we have removed the poster from our website and Swim App and have discontinued production. We have notified all of our partner aquatic facilities requesting they take down the poster. Our organization has emphasized to our partners and on social media that it was absolutely not our intent to offend anyone and apologized for this inadvertent action. We are currently in the process of completing a formal agreement with a diversity advocacy organization for their guidance moving forward.

To read the full statement, click here.


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