Electricity is everywhere and affects every aspect of our lives. However, Americans don’t see the racism inherent in the electrical code until we need to fix a broken wall socket or a corroded battery terminal.
“The electrical code is supposed to keep us safe in our homes,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, “but too many people have reported intense feelings of discrimination when fixing wall sockets because the vast majority of the wires they encounter are black and white.”
To correct this historical error, Democrats in Congress have introduced legislation that would smash the negative racial stereotypes inherent in the National Electrical Code and end color-coded wiring standards that contribute to systemic racism.
The bill, HR 70, notes that language in the Code is largely perceived as violence or hate speech. “Current regulations state that ‘hot’ wires are black and ‘neutral’ wires are white, giving most Americans the false impression that people of color are more prone to violence, while white people are open-minded and non-threatening,” says the proposed legislation.
The bill proposes the national adoption of new, inclusive, wiring standards that use soothing pastels instead of harsh racist colors.
“Codes and Standards help us use electricity in a safe and efficient manner, and the most calming colors are usually in the blue family,” says the bill. Load-carrying “hot” wires would be coded a “muted or dusty blue.” Neutral wires would be coded “inclusive brown” that “fairly represents people of all colors.”
The bill also addresses automotive wiring codes. For example, the “hot” wire leading to a car battery’s “positive” terminal would changed from red to blue. The “negative” wire, currently coded black, would become red.
“Everyone knows that humans ‘see red’ when negative emotions upset us,” says the legislation. “HR 70 would simply codify the correlation between human emotions and the electrical connections that surround us all.”
HR 70 also adds a statute to the criminal code making it illegal for home and automobile owners to conduct wiring repairs without contracting a licensed professional.
“Jobs are just as important as safety, efficiency, and interoperability,” said Speaker Pelosi. “Not only would our bill right the historic wrong of the American electrical code, but it would require the rewiring of every building and automobile in the nation.”
Combined with the millions of jobs generated by the Green New Deal, HR 70 would help mandate employment for all Americans who choose to work.