If They Would Just Go Green…
The following is a perfect example of why I decided to start this blog…
It happened when my daughter (AKA Dimples) was about 3. We had traveled to New Orleans a mere month before Hurricane Katrina to visit some relatives who had just moved there. I had actually lived there when I was in high school and was looking forward to showing my husband and in-laws some of the (less obscene) sights.
The evening we arrived, we decided to take a short jaunt to the French Quarter from our hotel to find a place to eat dinner. Our group of about 9 people crossed Canal Street as I pushed Dimples in her stroller. Our daughter had never seen such traffic, and she asked me how we knew when to cross the street without getting flattened by a trolley- not so much in those words, of course.
I pointed to one of the lights on the other side of the crosswalk, and said that when the light was a red hand that meant we had to wait. The light changed. I said, “When it turns into the white guy, that means we can cross.”
So, we crossed busy Canal Street, and proceeded on. A few minutes later, we quickly crossed one of the side streets. Being a minor road compared to Canal, it did not have a light. With no car in sight, our little party plus the stroller and I sauntered across, trying not to lose each other in the increasingly chaotic crowd.
Once we all made it to the other side, Dimples suddenly started to yell, “WHERE’S THE WHITE GUY? WHERE’S THE WHITE GUY?”
Now, keep in mind that we were downtown. In New Orleans. Really not the best place to be spouting racist remarks. Even if you are only three years old.
So, obviously, I reprimanded myself for not really thinking that one through. But, really, when you think about it, what would be your way to describe it? He’s white, and he’s male.
I was relating this story to some friends the other day, and it made me think about what the reasoning had been for making the figure WHITE. I mean, in the universal language of traffic, stop is red, and go is GREEN, not white. So, what’s the history behind that? And, come to think of it, why is it a guy, and not a girl? Could you be more politically incorrect?
So, my solution is, since it is all the rage anyway, to go GREEN. And, maybe, try putting a man and a woman pushing a stroller with an androgynous baby.
On second thought, maybe that won’t work either. Imagine how embarrassed I might be if we were in New York, and Dimples had yelled, “WHERE’S THE GREEN, MARRIED, HETEROSEXUAL COUPLE?”