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American Red Cross apologizes for "racist" pool poster

Is This Poster Racist?
Is This Poster Racist? 00:39

DENVER - The American Red Cross issued an apology Monday for a water safety poster that some suggested had a racist message.

The cartoon poster showed children playing in a swimming pool. Many of the white children's activities were labeled as "cool," while the children of color were mostly depicted acting in unsafe ways and were labeled "not cool."

Some residents said it appeared the children of color were singled out for bad behavior.

KUSA-TV talked to Margaret Sawyer, who first saw the poster in Salida, Colorado, and then again in Fort Morgan, Colorado.

She said she first thought it was outdated - that it couldn't be a recent poster.

A Red Cross spokesman says the posters have since been removed and more appropriate material is being developed for the water safety campaign.

In a statement, the organization said: "We are working to reduce the drowning rate in 50 high-risk communities over a 5-year period by helping to teach at least 50,000 more children and adults to swim. With this campaign, we are focusing on areas with higher-than-average drowning rates and participants who otherwise wouldn't have the opportunity to take swim lessons.

"Once again, we apologize for any inadvertent misunderstanding with regard to the production of this poster, and believe we have taken every step to address the situation."

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