‘Super racist’ pool safety poster prompts Red Cross apology

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Poster from the Trump plaza hotel pool?


Could someone please tell me what the kid in the middle of the pool is doing that’s “Not Cool”? Setting aside the stupid prejudices on display, I just don’t see what the issue is with what that kid is doing.


The children all look equally cool to me. I don’t see cooler.


I was wondering the same thing.

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Edit: my guess is pretending to be in distress


He’s drowning. Drowning is not cool, dude! NOT COOL!


I think the one to the left of the rope is diving headfirst from the edge of the pool? And the one to the right of the rope is drowning?

Anyway, there are five “Not Cool” labels present: one of them is clearly Caucasian, another seems to be evenly-placed between the two running kids, and the one in the lower-right seems to apply to the girl being pushed rather than to the pusher. And the two in the middle could just as well have really thorough tans. I also note that the lifeguard on the right side seems to be dark-skinned.


I think he’s drowning. Total lame-o.


The head-first diving thing isn’t a joke: a friend of my nephew just broke his neck the day before high school graduation being drunk and stupid at a pool party. Some use of his arms is likely, but he’s in a wheelchair or eventually an exoskeleton pending some radical new therapy. Just tragic.


Really, which one?

The kid with the cola bottle?

Because it’s not “obvious” to me that he’s meant to be White as opposed to some indeterminate shade of Brown; especially as compared with how ‘pale’ all the “cool” kids uniformly are…

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That guys skin tone to me reads as “not-white” especially when compared to all the other cool white kids.


From Top Left:

  1. Puddles are totally uncool. Run from them.
  2. Drinking a Zima will NEVER be cool.
  3. Jenny is cool because she has self-confidence.
  4. James is wearing white trunks after Labor Day. Uncool.
  5. Lamar just realized he didn’t finish his homework assignment for tomorrow. Chillax, Lamar.
  6. Things didn’t work out between Michael and little Nate’s mom, but he pays his child support regularly and always takes time to do activities together on weekends. He’s a cool dad.
  7. Sally is just generally not cool. That’s why Susan had to push her into the water.

The dark hair, combined with the skin tone that’s just about a shade or two darker?

Yeah, I’m not automatically reading ‘Caucasian.’

Furthermore, despite the claim that one of the lifeguards is brown, that assessment still totally ignores the fact that the only people who have been designated “cool” are also ‘coincidentally’ the lightest complected figures.


I think he’s just yelling?


quick and dirty swatching of the photo


Blocking the diving board so no one else can use it is definitely NOT COOL. What’s wrong with the designers?


This poster is poorly designed all around. The ‘rules’, which I assume are the important part, are the smallest text on the whole poster, and are shoved into the background of the illustration. The diving girl appears to be ready to jump off the board into an area that doesn’t have room for diving, since the divider rope is right there.

Rather than the Cool, not cool designations, they need a more specific tie-in to the rules. Also, they need to emphasize the lifeguards and supervision. The cartoony nature of the drawing kind of obscures some important points, like the deep end vs. shallow end of the pool. In fact, it’s not clear that the whole pool isn’t shallow, which makes the diving board a bad idea at all.

The racial coding is crappy, definitely, but I can’t imagine any combination of the racial identity of these characters that wouldn’t offend someone. For example, is it better to have the black girl pushing or being pushed into the pool? Or do you make them both white, which suggests that kids flock together by racial lines. You can’t win.