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Atlanta’s Yellow Subway Line Is Racist

From Fox News:

Atlanta’s Yellow Line Has Some Asians Seeing Red

Wednesday, February 10, 2010
By Joshua Rhett Miller

There are seven colors in a rainbow and 64 in a box of crayons. So why, some people in Atlanta are asking, did the transit authority have to pick yellow?

"Hotlanta" is living up to its name this winter as Asian-Americans and the city’s transit officials debate the decision to rename a train route into the heart of the city’s Asian community. It used to be called "Doraville," now it’s the "yellow line."

Activists say the name shows a lack of sensitivity by the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA), which changed the line’s name on Oct. 1. MARTA officials plan to meet on Friday with a group of Asian-Americans to discuss their concerns about the color-coded system.

Some advocates say the city should spend an as yet undetermined amount of taxpayer money to change the color to … wait for it … gold.

"Our thought is, why don’t you change it to gold? It’s really more of a ‘why not?’ question. Why not change it?" said Helen Kim, director of advocacy and education at the nonprofit Pan Asian Center for Community Services.

Kim said the "offensive term" could be easily erased from the line’s 18 stops by renaming it all over again.

"They don’t need to redo the maps, it could literally be a sticker that goes over the map," Kim said. "I’d like to see the numbers — what is the cost?"

Cara Hodgson, a MARTA spokeswoman, said the transit agency is in the process of determining costs associated with the possibility of changing the line’s name for the second time in less than six months.

"We just don’t have a number yet," Hodgson said. "We’re working on it as we speak."

She said the line was originally named Doraville because that was the station at the end of the line.

"In changing to color-coded rail lines, MARTA wanted to enhance the ease of navigating the system and better align with industry trends," a statement from the transit agency read. "MARTA researched transit maps from throughout the world and found that many national and international systems use primary colors including yellow. Based on this research, MARTA decided to use primary colors."

MARTA also has a red line, a green line and a blue line.

Obviously, artists throughout history have been racists for including yellow as the third primary color.

Several other cities — including San Francisco, Tokyo and Washington — utilize yellow within their color-coded systems.

They use yellow in San Francisco and Tokyo? How insensitive can you get?

Wendell Cox, senior fellow for transportation policy at the Heartland Institute, a libertarian think tank based in Chicago, noted that a former MARTA employee, John Yasutake, voiced concerns regarding the name change during a staff meeting on Sept. 1, a month before the name change.

"This is much bigger than political correctness," Cox said. "The point is, if MARTA had been doing its job, this would never have happened. People inside MARTA raised this issue.

"The fact is, it hurts people when they perceive that they are being called names, regardless whether they are Asian, African-Americans or Latinos. I would certainly hope that MARTA will recognize the error in its ways."

It’s hard to tell which R-Word this is: “racist” or “intellectually disabled.”

But while Atlanta is at it, shouldn’t they get rid of yellow traffic lights as well?

Think of how many times a day they call people names.

(Thanks to BillK for the heads up.)

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, February 11th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

48 Responses to “Atlanta’s Yellow Subway Line Is Racist”

  1. BillK says:

    Political Correctness at its finest.

    From Fox News:

    Atlanta’s Yellow Line Has Some Asians Seeing Red

    By Joshua Rhett Miller

    There are seven colors in a rainbow and 64 in a box of crayons. So why, some people in Atlanta are asking, did the transit authority have to pick yellow? …


    No wonder al Qaeda laughs at America.

  2. 64dodger says:

    While they are at it the need to change that racist name MARTA. Everyone in Atlanta knows what the name stands for. Moving Africans Rapidly Through Atlanta. This has to stop.

  3. jrmcdonald says:

    Reminds me of that Dallas counselman who thought the term ‘black hole’ was racist…

  4. Confucius says:

    There are Asians in Atlanta?!

    What a bunch of dumb as#@s. I must inform the elders . . . .

  5. BigOil says:

    We are just scratching the surface here by offending Asians.

    Their red line is surely going to offend Native Americans and liberals, while the the blue line will have Avatarians up in arms.

    • Confucius says:

      It might also offend women.

      “Marta” is a traditional European name denoting “lady,” and I’m not sure mature women want to be equated with a subway train.

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      The blue line would undoubtedly offend Smurfs. The green line is out since the Irish would take umbrage. Gray line? Can’t use that…the senior citizens will collectively organize and boycott mass transit, causing citywide panic.

      Honestly, if you spend all your time looking for ways to be offended, you will surely find them.

  6. proreason says:

    What’s the issue?

    This makes as much sense as everything else that the race baiters come up with.

    We better comply, or they will throw a temper tantrum and sue somebody for millions.

    It’s easier to just give in and give them whatever they want.

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      If only we could, Pro.

      Had a teacher years ago…a true master. One day, a student who was a perpetual whiner kept fussing about the “inequality” of everything. His chair wasn’t as good as anyone else’s. His markers were inferior. Nobody would do anything he said.

      So, the teacher did something very interesting. (This was in the 60’s). She stopped everything….got the rest of the students to give up whichever item of concern was considered best, put that whiner off in a corner by themselves with the finest of all things and told everyone not to bother him. But, he also had to keep to himself.

      After lunch, that student was ashamed and begging to be “let back into the group”. Then a discussion ensued about sharing and getting along and it was remarkably multilateral….even for 8 year olds. Most of us never forgot that lesson.

      Of course, such things would never happen today. The teacher would be struck with a lawsuit and the whole point would be lost all in the name of “fairness”.

  7. NoNeoCommies says:

    I think we have only scratched the surface here.
    Let’s ignore the fact that certain colors are attention getters and more visible in bad conditions and just focus on perceptions of racism (by racist whiners).:

    What is up with those “white” and “yellow” lines on all of our roads?
    Then there are all of the traffic lights (maybe we should only keep “green”).
    And the emergency vehicles have anti-Smurf “Blue” lights.
    Headlights (white), brake lights (red), signal lights (yellow).

    This MUST STOP!!!!

    • richb says:

      > What is up with those “white” and “yellow” lines on all of our roads?

      And by putting all those white/yellow lines *on* the roads, we are positioning the white/yellow *above* the roads. And what do we find in roads? Asphalt. And what color is asphalt?

      Will there ever, ever, ever be an end to racism in this country?

  8. GetBackJack says:


    Moving Afri***s Rapidly Through Atlanta

  9. swee says:

    Wait! We have a Yellow Line in Chicago. No one has ever said a racist word about it. But then again, it’s been around for a while. Only new transit line make the news.

    • catie says:

      We have a Yellow line on the Metro in DC too. Hmmh, I have a “yellow” kid-he’s Asian. Perhaps I should ask him the next time he rides the Metro Yellow line if he’s offended. He’s only 5 but perhaps he can give me some insight being that he’s yellow. How ridiculous!

  10. Reality Bytes says:

    Yeah, well everytime I see a box of Saltine Crackers I go ballistic too! (not really – my mom used to put PB&J on ’em Uhmmmm mmm, good!).

  11. jobeth says:

    Hey…Where’s the rainbow line?

    Pure discrimination!!!!!

    • mr_bill says:

      I say make them ALL rainbow lines, then nobody can be offended (and nobody can figure out where they are going).

    • jobeth says:

      That’s such a great idea! We can do it in DC!

      And to demonstrate that the rainbow line would be well placed…

      I hear that DC is spending $400,000 on a study for Gays in Argentina Bars…But what the hey…the American tax player is so stupid we would never mind Washington tossing our money around.

      After all, like you said…they don’t know where they are going…or what they are doing.

      And it’s all so PC. It passes all the important tests…

      Is it PC and are any minorities offended?

      And the bonus is that the money isn’t even staying here…Its going to Argentina. BTW…isn’t Argentina a leftest leaning state? Ok…another test passed.

  12. canary says:

    shouldn’t they get rid of yellow traffic lights as well?

    Red should be changed too.
    Appease over-sensitive Native Americans & Muslims who hate it.

    MARTA shouldn’t have responded to tax-free Kim & her non-profit business.

    “Wendell Cox… “The fact is, it hurts people when they perceive that they are being called names…”

    Wendell “Cox” should change his name, as the fact is it hurts people who perceive they are calling him names.
    Poor little Cox, probably grew up being name called.

  13. Melly says:

    They call me mellow gold.

    Follow the gold brick road.

    We all live in a gold submarine.

  14. Reality Bytes says:

    OK Show of hands. Who cried when Ol’ Yeller died?

  15. Melly says:

    And isn’t there a Yellow River in China?

    (The Yellow River or Huang He / Hwang Ho)

    • Confucius says:


      It’s called the “Yellow River” because the mud imparts an ochre color.

      But over there, it’s just known as the “Hwang Ho.”

  16. canary says:

    Asian’s Kim & Cox will next try to ban Yellow Ribbons displayed to respect U.S. troops.

    Shame on MARTA for even thinking of spending a penny to appease challenged low intellectual people. Obama has reset the bar. Relax.

  17. U NO HOO says:


    Sounds derogatory to proctologists.

  18. MinnesotaRush says:

    Just don’t ANYBODY tell Sharpton or Jackson about this. It’ll cause BIG TROUBLE!

  19. Liberals Make Great Speedbumps says:

    So now the Gooks whine like the Spooks?

    • Confucius says:

      No, no, no.

      “Gooks” are Koreans, “Chinks” are Chinese and “Japs” are Japanese.

      You must be more inclusive. The term for these people is “Retarded-Asian-Americans.”

    • Confucius says:

      What’s a “Spook”?

    • Liberals Make Great Speedbumps says:

      “The term for these people is “Retarded-Asian-Americans.”

      That’s Asian-Americans with Intellectual Disability Sir! ; )

    • jobeth says:

      I dare someone to answer Confucius ! lol

      I understand Sharpton and Jackson have spies…:-D

    • JohnMG says:

      …..”What’s a “Spook”?…..”

      I know!! I know!! Me! Me! Me! I know the answer!!!

      It’s a CIA operative working under cover!! ;-}

  20. Mithrandir says:

    I don’t understand why every race is offended by their own color? Every race other than white people… If there was a white neighborhood down the middle of black Atlanta, and it was named ‘the white line’, what white person would be angry? We are white! I would think, “Oh cool, whatever…”

  21. Chuckk says:

    Clearly, Atlanta’s Asians have too much time on their hands.

  22. sheehanjihad says:

    People who try to make their race an issue are actually embarrassed by their skin color, and envious of those who were born with “white” skin. They will seek redress to being perpetually offended as long as it gives them a feeling of belonging, or one of purpose. They, and not most others, are painfully aware of their faces in the mirror as being flawed, blemished, and something to be ashamed of. Otherwise….race baiting morons like Ms Kim and those “activists” who see monetary gain from pointing out anything…and I mean anything that they can use as a fulcrum to gain credibility by force of lawsuits…versus just living a normal life, secure in their own self esteem and accomplishments.

    In short, people like Ms. Kim are ignorant racist bastards. As is “shorty” Cox.

  23. 12 Gauge Rage says:

    Some people are just looking for ways to be offended. Too much hyper sensitivity I say. So what’s next? Ban the use of green and red tartan plaid ribbons at Christmas time because it might offend someone of Scottish origin? Or stop using ‘white’ bread because it sounds too supremacist? Get real! I know it’s blunt but sometimes I think we need to hand these over sensitive idiots a large tumbler and say “Here! Have a nice tall glass of shut the hell up!”

  24. Lori says:

    Here we go again…….Yet another blogger shaking their head at the “whining minorities”. Let’s get one thing straight: The use of the term “yellow line” is not offensive. The problem lies in the fact that the yellow line goes through an area that is known to be predominantly Asian. The term “yellow” has been used as a derogatory term for Asians for many years. An Asian member of MARTA even warned the others about the possible outcry over the name change, but they decided to go through with it anyway. Was this racist? Maybe, maybe not. In any case, it was pretty insensitive. I don’t know why so many people don’t seem to understand what the problem is. It would be just as stupid if they had a “black line” going through a predominantly African-American area or “white line” for a predominantly Caucasian area. In case you think that we have become a post-racial society, check out some of the comments other people have made on this subject (on both conservative and liberal sites). I was shocked when I saw how many blatantly racist comments people made against Asians. There are several comments on this site that are pretty offensive, too. I guess this issue is bringing to light how some people REALLY feel about Asians.

    Are some people just overly sensitive? Yes, indeed! However, I am really concerned that eye-rolling and ridiculing seems to be the knee-jerk reaction to ANY claims of racism that come up in the news nowadays. What may not seem like a big deal to you could mean a lot to someone else who has had a different life experience. Before you make a judgment on any issue regarding race, why don’t you take a step back and try to look at the issue from the other person’s point of view?

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      Thanks for your high-handed scolding, Lori. It was much needed and I’m certain everyone here will take it under advisement and try to behave better next time.

      Were it not for people like you who are so acutely aware of others’ sensitivities, why, we’d be back in the 1800’s making sure those Chinese were back where they belong, building the railroads and stuff. Right?

      I mean, whew, the world needs more people like you to constantly remind us how wrong us “white folks” are just as soon as we hop out of bed every day. Though I think I see your point, I’m not so sure you get what’s going on. The eye-rolling over perceived insult is a very credible reaction to something that is clearly BS.

      A person can only be offended if they CHOOSE to be offended. One who is of strong character will consider the source. And by the way, Japan Rail lines are also color-coded: http://www.japanguidebook.com/travel/getting-around-tokyo-47.html

      All of the JR lines are color coded. The JR Yamanote Line is green and does a circle around the central Tokyo. It is the center of rail transportation in Tokyo and most of the other JR and private company lines begin at one of the Yamanote stations and travel to different places within the loop.

      As they are in Paris: http://www.discoverfrance.net/France/Paris/Paris_metro.shtml

      Signage in Paris métro stations is abundant and easily followed: every station offers a big plan of the network outside the entrance and several inside. Lines are color-coded and numbered, and are also named according to the city gate — or porte — at the end of the line.

      As they are in virtually every part of the world.

      Your statement that forethought needed to go into the color-coding of the Atlanta system based solely on human sensitivities is ignorant and narrow-minded. People like you would hamstring a world to avoid offending someone.

      Grow up.

    • Confucius says:

      Lori, try what I do. Take a deep breath, remember how foolish people can be and walk away smiling.

    • jobeth says:

      Like anything we utter, someone is going to be offended at something. As a Caucasian I can easily be offended by…honky, cracker, whitey, Casper…etc, etc.

      What’s the point? Will it make my life any worse because someone calls me those names? Only if I dwell on it. I choose never to give people that power.

      This is a very diverse world we live in. And each of us have our prejudices. Yes, even you Lori.

      Why did you marry the person you did (assuming you are married)? Is he tall? If so…you discriminated against the short people. If he is your race…you discriminated against other races. If he is slim…you are discriminating against fat people, If he’s a man you discriminated against women, if she is a woman, you discriminated against men.

      Getting ridiculous isn’t it? All I am saying here is if a person isn’t being actively singled out for hurt…we ALL need to toughen up a bit.

      We are wasting an awful lot of time and energy chasing our tail by being offended by everything under the sun.

      I’m a straight white woman. I am offended by the gay life style…not to the point of ever causing hurt, physically or emotionally, but that lifestyle offends my religious beliefs…Using your model I have a right to demand gays to stop their lifestyle…after all they offend me and others. Silly isn’t it?

      Lets all save our outrage for things that really matter. Lets stop looking for things to get offended by.

      I think we are such a blessed nation that we don’t have enough to worry about that we seek nonsense like this.
      Confucius is right… Smile and shake it off.

      Everyone…even you…offends someone sometime.
      Common sense goes a long way here.

      BTW, when is using some one’s skin color…just the color…Black, white, yellow, red etc..in a non related issue…racist?

      I’m sure there are “white” lines going through white neighborhoods as we speak….ummm that must be silence I hear, coming from all those offended.

      Or is the white race the only race that cannot be “offended”? Personally I don’t have that white guilt some are always talking about. I’ve done nothing to anyone…of any race…to have that guilt so it just does not work for me

      One additional thought…Why is that neigborhood so full of Asians?’
      Are they shunning living with us, in ‘white’ neighborhoods?
      If so they are racists, if they want to live only among ‘their own race’
      If they would spread out…there would be no problem with what color the line would be named. (sarc off)

      See what I mean? It is totally out of hand when we can make statements like that…But it has been made against whites for years. Its should be no more offensive to them than it would be for whites to hear that…and we do all the time.

      We all should have the right to live where we want to…and the color of the rail lines through that neighbor hood should not mean a thing.

    • Petronius says:

      jobeth: “I’m sure there are ‘white’ lines going through white neighborhoods as we speak . . . .”

      I’d like to think so.

      I guess I’ll recognize the White Line when I see it. No graffiti and the trains run on time.

      Please save me a seat on the White Line, jobeth, ’cause I’m buying a one-way ticket to that white neighborhood.

    • jobeth says:


      Amen and me too! ;-D

  25. sheehanjihad says:

    Using a color to delineate a transport line isnt racist. The fact that some people see racism around every corner, in every shadow, and taking offense to everyday things because somehow they “see” racism in it is what is ludicrous.

    Bus lines and subways all over the world have a “black” line, a “red” line, a “white” line…as do large hospitals, DMV’s. and other institutions where people are assisted in finding their way around. The use of primary colors does not in any way discriminate against certain races.

    However, certain races use those primary colors as an excuse to be offended. Their shallow viewpoint and thin skin concerning otherwise common sense solutions to a map is what is racist…NOT the use of the colors!

    If that line was called the “gook” line, or the “slopehead” line…you bet! There is racism at it’s best. But it isnt, it wasnt intended to, and everyone who uses the line, save for a few uber sensitive racists could give a damn what color it is, as long as it shows the drop offs and destinations for that line.

    I have looked at this issue from other people’s point of view, and the vast majority of them wouldnt see that line as racist until some loud mouth activist suggested it as so. People who falsely pander to those race baiting jerks do more to promote racism than any small suggestion of using primary colors to mark a simple map.

    There is no possible way that everyday life can be lived to please everyone all the time. And just because a person of a certain color decides that something is unacceptable to them flat out does NOT mean it is unacceptable to the majority.

    We have become a nation of weaklings…..tip toeing around on eggshells for fear of offending someone, even if it’s two people dictating their will to the detriment of the majority…and I find THAT offensive…but being a white male…I have zero voice in changing it. THAT is racism at it’s best…

    and I am sick and tired of it. People need to learn to live with each other….not keep pointing out the differences that foment racism for their own satisfaction and benefit. Otherwise, we will keep up the futile attempt at pleasing everyone….and by doing so, we will please no one.

    • Confucius says:

      sheehanjihad, try what I do. Take a deep breath, remember how foolish people can be and walk away smiling.

  26. VMAN says:

    I have just about had enough of everybody getting offended over very pissy little thing. So let’s just piss everyone off and use name like “the honky line” or “the white trash line” or “the spear chunker line” or “the wet back line”. I could go on but you get my drift.

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