THE American Red Cross has come under fire after using a poster that has been criticised for being racist.
The “Be Cool, Follow the Rules” poster, which promotes safety around swimming pools, shows children acting correctly and incorrectly.
Arrows point to the unruly kids with the label “Not Cool”.
But according to The Sun, the posters, mainly distributed around public swimming pools in Colorado, have come under heavy fire.
The majority of the children who were misbehaving and “not cool” were black or from an ethnic minority.
Hey, @RedCross, send a new pool poster to @SalidaRec bc the current one they have w your name on it is super racist pic.twitter.com/TY8MmFB3Qk
— John Sawyer (@JSawyer330) June 21, 2016
The poster caused outrage on social media as users branded the picture racist.
User John Sawyer wrote: “Hey, Red Cross, send a new pool poster to @SalidaRec bc the current one they have w your name on it is super racist.”
Red Cross responded to the tweet by saying: “Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We’re removing this from our site immediately are creating new materials.”
The charity has made good on its promise and has removed the product from its website and discontinued production.
The Red Cross also told NBC it “deeply apologised” for any offence caused.
“Going forward, we are developing more appropriate materials that are more representative of our workforce and the communities we serve.
“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.”
@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
John Sawyer’s sister Margaret told NBC: “I’m just a citizen, I’m not an organisation, but I would want the Red Cross to collaborate and build relationships with Black Kids Swim and other organisations that do advocacy around this so that this doesn’t happen again.”
The mother saw the poster twice with her two kids while they were enjoying a holiday in Colorado.
Sawyer has written to the mayors of both Salida and Fort Morgan, where the family saw the offensive posters.
She said: “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.
“I hope the Red Cross will use this as a lesson for taking their role seriously.”