Far too often large organizations let things slip through the cracks that should never have been made in the first place. Red Cross recently came under fire after photos of a signboard they produced made its way around social media.

What was the problem, you ask? Well, the picture shows people visiting a public pool and points out swimmers as “cool” and “not cool” depending on whether or not they are following swimming safety tips. Unfortunately, most of the “not cool” designations were reserved for people of color while “cool” was reserved for mostly white people.

Soon after the attention to the problematic image went viral, Red Cross released a statement via NBC.

“The American Red Cross appreciates and is sensitive to the concerns raised regarding one of the water safety posters we produced,” the organization told NBC. “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,” Red Cross added. “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.”

The whole thing is made worse when you realize how blatant the disparities are. Literally every “not cool” thing being done is cause by a person of color. This is yet another way that implicit racism operates to subliminally teach children about racial hierarchies.

Photo Credit: John Sawyer Twitter

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