Political correctness idiocy infects Atlanta mass transit system

We’re probably all familiar with the extremes to which political correctness has infected academia and sports in recent years — college teams no longer permitted to call themselves such things as “Rebels,” “Indians” or “Warriors”; and periodic efforts even to force professional teams to remove names that offend the ultra-sensitive psyches of the chattering class.  In Atlanta, Georgia, political correctness has reached a new height — or a new low, depending on how you look at it.  The city’s sensitivity police now find offense in even the use of certain colors to describe public institutions.

Earlier this month, the head of Atlanta’s public transit system (”MARTA”) bowed to the apparently irresistable pressure of political correctness, and decided to change the name of the system’s “Yellow” rail line to the “Gold” line.  The sole reason for this “hue controversy” was that some people — apparently those with a great deal of extra time on their hands  – felt offended by the transit system’s designation of one of its four rail lines by the color yellow, because in the eyes of some sensitive residents of the city, “yellow” could be seen to serve as a derogatory reference to Asian residents.

The city’s remaining lines — “Red,” “Blue” and “Green” — likely will in the future be similarly challenged by other collections of citizenry who somehow read into the most innocuous of terms some form of racial or ethnic slight.  Officials for Washington, D.C.’s Metro system, which similarly has designated its five rail lines by colors (including the dread “Y” word) may wish to avoid such a scandal as rocked Atlanta’s MARTA, and preemptorily re-designate its offending line; as might the subway systems in Paris and London which have for many years gotten away with similar insensitivity by maintaining “Ye*#@w” subway routes.

86 comments Add your comment

Sighko Sis

March 3rd, 2010
6:11 am

Asian? Really? I thought a yellow line was a sign of cowardice. Perhaps it was the cowards who complained. Forget that gold actually has more luster than yellow, and it may actually be a much better name. Is there nothing more important to deride?

Bubba

March 3rd, 2010
7:00 am

My only problem with changing yellow to gold is the cost of changing signage and posters wgen MARTA is so short of funds that it is cutting back on service.

Whacks Eloquent

March 3rd, 2010
7:17 am

Those packs of colored-foil star stickers are pretty cheap at Wal-Mart – maybe that’s why they chose gold! If I remember right, they have red, blue, green, gold and silver! But imagine the uproar from our senior citizens if one of these lines were named silver!

jopar

March 3rd, 2010
7:43 am

College teams “no longer permitted” to use names that may offend minorities? I thought these were voluntary changes made by schools in an effort to not offend any minorities.Another way of looking at it is basic good manners, if a mascot or name is offensive,or might be offensive, change it.
I always thought the Amerind variations were tributes to the early inhabitants rather than slurs, but it doesn’t matter what I think, if it offends, fix it.
Many years from now, no one is going to remember these games we pretend are important, but they will know if we figure out a way to respect and value each other.

vmracer

March 3rd, 2010
7:53 am

jopar, don’t lecture us on good manners when those who are offended, for the most part, come from cultures without any.

fred smith

March 3rd, 2010
8:13 am

I checked – there weren’t any American Indian communities up in arms at the end of the red line. Are the people at the ends of the blue line more depressed now that it’s named that color? Surely that deserves protest. Sorry all – we know there’s way more than enough bigotry in this wretched state to go around, but this was pretty stupid.

Grumpy Old Man

March 3rd, 2010
8:38 am

I thought a “high yaller” was a certain type of mostly white mixed-race person.

NP

March 3rd, 2010
8:55 am

Bob, is the best analysis of transportation you can come up with? How about the fact that Georgia’s leadership failed to propose a plan that would have allowed for extension of a rail line? As a result that funding went to North Carolina and Florida. Georgia really is falling behind the rest of the country in terms of education (as reflected by some of the comments published) and economic growth. If you’re going to publish an article, try and at least include some analysis that actually has the power to raise the level of public debate.l

JAW

March 3rd, 2010
8:58 am

Awfully easy for a bunch of white guys to sit around and say that one thing or another should or should not be taken offensively; we’ve been making the rules all along. I agree that the MARTA case seems kind of silly. However, it stems from an unfortunate coincidence in that the area where it terminates happens to serve a highly Asian population. It’s silly from my point of view, but I have enough respect for my fellow citizens not to try and dictate what they should or shouldn’t be offended by. What Bob Barr calls political correctness might just be common decency. Where does he come off thinking he knows better than the rest of us?

Scout

March 3rd, 2010
9:03 am

I’m Irish and the “fighting Irish” slogan of Notre Dame offends me. I want that changed immediately as I am a very peaceful person.

In addition, the American flag (old glory) flew over slave ships, the Japanese American internment camps in WWII and was the last thing a lot of Native Americans saw before the U.S. Cavalry put a bullet right between their eyes. Oh the horror of it all !

Solomon

March 3rd, 2010
9:05 am

I suggest we use the RainBow Line so that we don’t offened anyone’s sensibilites. We have to make everyong happy.

Tito

March 3rd, 2010
9:14 am

Can you imagine what would happen if we used the “Black” line into downtown atlanta?

Chief Eating-Cheese

March 3rd, 2010
9:19 am

I am very offended by Atlanta’s use of the name “Braves”. The term is offensive to all indigenous Americans and the mascot makes people thing that we all have great big bulbous heads – which is not true.

Atlanta should reject the name “Braves” and go for a non-offensive animal name like say the “Atlanta Monkeys”

Scout

March 3rd, 2010
9:43 am

You can’t even say “Indian Giver” anymore. Now it’s:

“Aboriginally Challenged Re-Processor”

Heck ………. you’re not even “dead” anymore :

“Metaphysically Challenged”

retiredds

March 3rd, 2010
9:46 am

So, Bob, this is the best transportation article you could come up with. How about addressing the abysmal state of transportation in GA (excepting the beautiful secondary roads in rural GA that go underutilized). I moved here in 1990 and since that time there has been no, I repeat no, substantive positive change in the transportation scene in the Metro Atlanta area. Your Republican party swept to victory almost eight years ago and promised a new day in GA. Well, Bob, go out of your office and interview as many Atlanta area commuters as you can and see if they are better off now than eight years ago. Ask them if they are happy with their commutes. And, Bob, I still see no effort by this current legislature to balance the transportation needs of the region. So, hello Charlotte, Phoenix, Dallas, and other progressive Southern cities as their transportation decisions of the last few years pays off for their economies while GA slumbers under the weight of a legislature and governor who are not up to the transportation challenges of the 21st century.

Guy Incognito

March 3rd, 2010
9:50 am

Solomon: “Rainbow Line”

Oh wow……..insert joke here_________________

Either it serves Midtown, or only allows Jeff Gordon fans on-board

Tallulah

March 3rd, 2010
9:58 am

The native American community has filed a complaint with MARTA. As a result MARTA has agreed to rename all of its lines. The lines will be onyx, copper and silver. You guess where they go. In addition, the blue has been discontinued all together because the Na’vi threatened to boycott. No word from Martians on the green line.

Brannon

March 3rd, 2010
10:00 am

“Atlanta Monkeys” ?????????

-OH NO HE DIH-UHNT!!!!!

lmno

March 3rd, 2010
10:00 am

It was stupid for people to get offended by this. However, Bob Barr is the Andy Rooney of this paper.

Bob, you are not old enough to be this grumpy.

Brannon

March 3rd, 2010
10:01 am

Enter your comments here

Scout

March 3rd, 2010
10:02 am

Do you guys not recognize satire when you see it? Bob is just doing verbally what Luckovich does with cartoons and you love him.

I rather have a little fun with this than the drivel over with Bookman and Tucker.

The Tar and Feathers Party

March 3rd, 2010
10:04 am

It don’t matter none, in a year or so, MARTA will be gone, gone the way of the old trolley lines, a failed social welfare program. Fat people will have to waddle slowly through Atlanta, no rapid transit fer them. Cobb will never, ever join MARTA, fergit this Regional transit nonsense. Ah notice they have no “Black Line” on marta, just red, blue, and green. Ah wonder why they chose yellow when the ever popular color black was available?

The Tar and Feathers Party

March 3rd, 2010
10:05 am

The North Springs line going North could be called the “White Line” while the one going South could be called the “Black Line.”

Go Braves

March 3rd, 2010
10:09 am

My only request – don’t take away Chief Knockahoma.

StJ

March 3rd, 2010
10:12 am

“Political correctness idiocy infects Atlanta mass transit system”. No surprises there – look who’s running it.

Is the line running parallel to 400 the “White Line”?

Duh

March 3rd, 2010
10:15 am

VMRACER @ 7:53 Amen brother! “Personal space” and “common courtesy” seem to be foreign concepts to some.

Foreign concepts… get it?

Erik

March 3rd, 2010
10:17 am

Has the movie “Blazing Saddles” been banned yet?

Aquagirl

March 3rd, 2010
10:18 am

I agree—with all the massive problems in Georgia transportation, this is what concerns Bob? We shouldn’t be surprised after his whining about the actual existence of Wiccans in the Air Force. How dare any of these people intrude on your 1950’s reality. What a grouchy old WASP.

DAVID: AJC -Truth Detector

March 3rd, 2010
10:24 am

Atlanta-Obama-Journal is nothing——If not politically correct

Daniel Kurnath

March 3rd, 2010
10:32 am

To the poster concerned about the cost of sign changes:

Don’t worry we saved so much money on the transcontinental railroad by using cheap Chinese labor that we could change the signs to actual gold and still be in the green. (unless being in the green offends you in which case we’ll be in the bla…… OHHHH i see where your going with this one. We’ll have a positive balance)

-DLK
Director – Office of budget and management

itstrue

March 3rd, 2010
10:40 am

I’ve used mass transit all my life in a number of cities, and Atlanta has to be the only place I’ve seen where it’s racialized. Everywhere else, everyone rides it, rich, poor, black, white. The whole “yellow line” thing is dumb in my view, but let’s not pretend that there isn’t something racial in people’s views of public transit here.

I don’t think Atlanta can really ever have a public service that’s really shared like other places do. Across money and race, no one here wants anything to do with people who aren’t like them. “Live and let live” is about as inclusive as you get around here without looking like a radical.

LibraryJim

March 3rd, 2010
10:53 am

Jopar @ 7:43 “College teams “no longer permitted” to use names that may offend minorities? I thought these were voluntary changes made by schools in an effort to not offend any minorities.”

Nope, the NCAA went around threatening to suspend games for teams that had ‘offensive mascots’. It was a ‘change or else’ command, not a request, not a voluntary action on the part of the colleges. In the case of Florida State University using the name “Seminole”, what allowed them to keep it was the fact that the Seminole Tribe of Florida had given them permission to use the name — so there was no offense either direct or implied.

bob leblahs

March 3rd, 2010
10:53 am

Asians, please don’t travel down the path of the dark one. Once down that path there is no coming back.

GaBlue

March 3rd, 2010
10:54 am

Ironically, the tea (rhymes with raggers) take offense at being called tea (rhymes with raggers), despite being many of the same people who complain of the intrusive nature of peer-pressure-encouraged politically correct language. Personal freedom! Unless you note that dangling bags of Lipton from one’s hat and carrying signs comparing health care reform to Nazi death camps makes one a tea (rhymes with ragger.) That’s just RUDE! Please consider THEIR feelings, and call them “Tea Party Enthusiasts.” Thank yew! Thank yew sooooo muuuuuuch!

bob leblah

March 3rd, 2010
10:55 am

Wait a minute. GOld is offensive too. Don’t asians currently buy our old equipment to pillage this and other metals?

bob leblah

March 3rd, 2010
10:58 am

Here is a reason why our country is going to *@(@#. White man, you are very very intolerant. You are so intolerant, you must make reparations. And half of white people believe this non-sense.

Richard

March 3rd, 2010
11:02 am

Personally, I love that we changed the yellow line to the gold line. In fact, I think we should take this further. In addition to editing a movie like the Wizard of Oz to take out the yellow brick road and relace it with purple, Let’s remove colors that can be offensive to any minority group, and we will start with red, the color that I guess would be offensive to native americans.

No more stopping at red lights, no more terrorist threat level is red, no more UGA using red as a school color, no more redline on a car, no more companies using red in the name (like Red Hat Linux), and absolutely no “red zone” in football along with countless others.

I’m game. Let’s start this process immediately.

(By the way, I was on MARTA the other day and told an Asian about this change. He thought I was joking until the PA guy said “gold line”.)

bob leblah

March 3rd, 2010
11:02 am

We need afirmative action in football. It’s not fair. Whites comprise almost 60% of the population and far less in football. The time has come to be heard.

Redneck Convert (R--and proud of it)

March 3rd, 2010
11:30 am

Well, I don’t know about anybody else, but I’m mighty offended when they name something the red line.

ugaaccountant

March 3rd, 2010
11:30 am

Jopar – you offend me, please change your name.

Jaw – It doesn’t matter what you are or are not offended by. Not even one cent should have been wasted on changing the name of a color coding system.

And the biggest offender – The AJC – for running this story in the first place. This is a fine example of yellow journalism. Oops, I accidentally used yellow. Let’s just say the AJC is race baiting and leave it at that.

Gerald West

March 3rd, 2010
11:31 am

So, what’s the big deal? If some people find a name offensive, and it’s easy to change, why not do it? Does it matter to you, Bob, whether the bloody MARTA line is named Yellow or Gold?

Why complain about something that’s of no importance to you? Don’t you ever tire of the “ain’t it awful” game?

Jefferson

March 3rd, 2010
11:47 am

Serious need of kerosene. Soak socks, prevents ants from crawling up the legs and eating candy asses.

Borat

March 3rd, 2010
11:52 am

These theengs you argue over so well. Meestur Bob really stirred up the nest of hornets weeth more brilliant wheesdum. These trains go no where to help weeth traffic no ways. Why calling it colors so important for these trains that don’t help the traffic. Meestur Bob can feex it.

A True Patriot

March 3rd, 2010
12:06 pm

I’m actually offended by everything going on right now in the good old USofA……do you reckon we can just start over again and get rid of all those idiot lawyers in DC and anyone who was not born in this country…….that way, if something’s wrong or goes awry, we will have no one to blame but ourselves……sounds like an idea whose time has come. Thank you Bob Barr, a great American for continuing to update us on these absurdities.

A True Patriot

March 3rd, 2010
12:09 pm

ugaaccountant – I agree with you totally and that’s the first and only time you’ll hear this Yellow :) Jacket Fan agree with any UGA Fan.

neo-Carlinist

March 3rd, 2010
12:11 pm

I would have thought MARTA itself changed the name of the RED line, lets MARTA employees suffer self-esteem issue as the color reflects the transits system’s financial condition. This isn’t really news, but I guess it’s more important than the clown in GA who wants to change the state bird (why do we have a state bird to begin with? the unstoppable brown thrasher lobby, no doubt) from thrasher to chicken. I’d suggest turkey vulture, but vultures feed on carrion (dead bodies), while GA politicians are in the parasite class (feeding off the living). are there any parasitic (sic) birds?

Your Pal Al Sharpton

March 3rd, 2010
12:16 pm

I take offense to anyone that says the AJC is biased and has a slanted point of view. It is a great paper if you only want one perspective. And you have to ignore that there is anything else going on in the world that is only important if there is a “Georgia” connection.

airmel

March 3rd, 2010
12:18 pm

And I thought that MARTA mean Moving Africans Rapidly Through Atlanta!

colin richards

March 3rd, 2010
12:18 pm

Solomon: what about the gays? Rainbow line might be a descriptor there, thus possibly offensive as well! What I want to know is how much is this costing us. They are cutting Band and Orchestra in Fulton County Schools next year!

max

March 3rd, 2010
12:34 pm

I thought the name “MARTA” was the big concern for a moment… sounds hispanic. LOL! Look out!