Some items from the archives:
New York Times contributor is oppressed by pedestrian-crossing traffic lights.
Mr Kaufman - who can doubtless detect racism in the motions of subatomic particles - would have us believe that his friend was using the word white as a racial descriptor, rather than, as seems more likely, an unremarkable acknowledgement of a traffic light’s colour when talking to a child. In light of which, Mr Kaufman’s claims of being “bombarded” with racism – daily, everywhere – become at least explicable, if not convincing.
The pedestrian crossing signal that so distresses Mr Kaufman – a rudimentary humanoid figure, made of white lights on a black background – can be seen here, from a safe distance. You may want to steady yourselves. It’s all very upsetting, at least for the exquisitely sensitive. Mr Kaufman then goes on an investigative journey, in which he learns why, in a society with lots of non-English speakers, crossing signals with words are being replaced by simple, universal graphics, calibrated to capture attention – say, by using lights of a certain hue. Which all sounds quite sensible. Rather than, say, a nefarious racial conspiracy intended to break the will of the negro.
Mr Reed Altemus rubs his trousers, awaits applause.