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.