As many people might have seen, the Red Cross is under scrutiny for their “racist” poster. I didn’t know anything about it until one of my friends posted an article about it on Facebook, saying that people were just being overly sensetive at this point, and choosing to get offended.
So here’s what this picture depicts: individuals following the rules and breaking the rules of the pool (such as no pushing, no diving, no running, no….don’t whatever that kid in the middle of the pool is doing that’s labeled as not cool). However, it’s clear that the majority of the “not cool” actions are being performed by non-white kids.
Sure it could just be a coincidence, and one might argue that it’s great that they included different ethnic backgrounds on this poster. However, when those that are not white are not seen as doing anything “cool” or correct in accordance to the rules, there is a subliminal message that goes along with this, and that is why people are offended, and openly calling it racist.
There are a huge amount of people who are jumping on the Politically Correct bandwagon because it makes them feel as though they have power in the world. However, there is an even bigger group of people who legitimately have the right to voice their complaints, and this is one of those cases. This is a prime example of White Privilege here. My friend who said people were being overly sensitive is white, and thus doesn’t have to worry about the subconscious programming that happens–either purposefully or accidentally–since, as seen in this poster, the vast majority of the time it’s saying people who are white are “cool” and “follow the rules”. However, when we’re in a world where people of color are getting shot for far less than people that are white by the police, then yes, posters like this absolutely matter.
Yes, equality of people of different religions, different colors, different/fluid genders, etc, is the name of the game–ensure they have equal right and equal pay and equal opportunity. But there is a deeper level here. Calls for attention to White Privilege and Third Wave Feminism and true religious freedom all have to do with our attitudes toward one another, and undoing the programming that has been instilled over the past decades and centuries. It’s about getting rid of the mentality that “Sure, every one should be able to be with who they want to be, but I just don’t want to see two men kissing”, “Yeah, I suppose women need to work too and get equal pay, I just don’t want to hear about them griping about their periods”, “Of course black lives matter, but so does every other life.”
There are a lot of people who don’t understand the Politically Correct movement’s philosophy, which isn’t just to avoid words which might trigger people (though that is a part of it), but rather to undo social subliminal programming with the words we use in every day speech, which alter the views we might have of those next to us that might just be different in some way.
So yes, this poster is racist. It’s extremely likely that the Red Cross had no idea what they were doing when they created and published it, because maybe they were acting on subliminal cues. But either way, it’s not something that people are being overly sensitive about. This is a matter of quality of life for millions of individuals within our own supposedly civilized societies. In a time now where fear is ruling our political decisions, we need to make sure that we are uniting to fight against those who are dividing us, be aware of what advertising and media are telling us, and work together to create our own harmony.