Students and teachers from Rossland Summit School celebrate the opening of Rossland’s rainbow crosswalk last September. (Chelsea Novak/Rossland News)

EDITORIAL: Minority rules in our colourful culture

Quibbles over symbolic rainbow crossings belie critics’ genuine concerns

There’s something all-too revealing in the critical comments that swirl around online whenever the media reports on community efforts to install rainbow-coloured crosswalks.

You likely have heard of such crosswalks by now. After bursting on the scene in major cities a half-decade ago as a form of protest art and a symbol of support for people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered, sanctioned versions have been popping up in smaller communities as a way for civic leaders to show acceptance for those in the minority.

And even in these inclusive communities, critical comments typically begin with a question of cost; include arguments about the message being exclusive by highlighting ‘gay pride’; and usually finish when skidmarks mar the crosswalk soon after installation, with armchair critics demanding proof that the vandal was targeting the rainbow’s message and not just simply spinning his wheels.

For some, these arguments are locked, loaded and ready to fire.

Such comments popped up when we reported of the enthusiastic embrace received last week by two woman who had approached White Rock council to seek permission to raise funds for rainbow crosswalks at Five Corners. (Not only did Mayor Wayne Baldwin champion their cause, his suggestion that the city fund the crosswalk was unanimously endorsed.) And we expect to hear similar criticisms this week as the City of Surrey announces a similar project near Holland Park at the north end of town.

The question for such commenters, though, is – why?

Why publicly question such costs, when surely the price of installing a multicolour crosswalk is a pittance compared to expenditures that warrant nary a peep? Why point out the exclusivity of such a symbolic message for the LGBT community, when recorded history has shown a desperate lack of greater public inclusiveness for its members? And why note that the vandal who defaced the rainbow might not be making a political statement?

In short, why make the effort to post such microaggressions if your real message is that you don’t want society to be seen as accepting of non-straight people?

Say it loudly and proudly.

Just note that in our culture, you are at long last in the minority.

– Peace Arch News

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Just Posted

Witset writes its own cannabis law

First Nation says it is their constitutional right to govern cultivation and sale of marijuana

Police watchdog recommends charges in 2017 in-custody death of Witset man

Dale Culver was pepper-sprayed by RCMP in Prince George and died later in hospital

Town grants Chamber $20K

Chamber estimates up to $65K in lost revenue, turns to council for help

COVID-19 highlights lack of connectivity in First Nations communities

Many don’t have access required to utilize online platforms, says First Nations Technology Council

Salmon closures announced for Skeena and Nass watersheds

DFO notice expands on May 21 chinook ban throughout Skeena watershed

VIDEO: A Vancouver Island black bear takes weekend nap in eagle tree

Videos captured by Terry Eissfeldt shows the bear arriving Saturday night and sleeping in on Sunday

Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Taylor Bachrach urges feds to compensate airline passengers

Letter to transport minister touches on Northwest B.C. tourism operators impacted by COVID-19

George Floyd asphyxiated by sustained pressure: family autopsy

Death sparked a wave of protests across the U.S. and abroad

COVID-19: B.C. commercial landlords can’t evict if they decline rent assistance

Emergency order ‘incentive’ for federal program, Carole James says

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

Investigators probe death of CN employee at Surrey rail yard

Transportation Safety Board is investigating an ‘occurrence that took place during switching operations’

Trans Mountain starts B.C. leg of pipeline twinning project

Mostly finished in Alberta, Burnaby terminal expanding

NDP getting COVID-19 wage subsidy ‘indirectly,’ B.C. Liberal leader says

Andrew Wilkinson says he’s heard no concerns from public

Most Read