The subtle racism of crosswalks and crossing signals will be tackled head-on by Sacramento’s Transportation Division as part of the city’s “Vision Zero” program, according to a report released by the office of Mayor Darrell Steinberg.
The report — titled The Unintentional Racism of Little White Men and Zebra Crossings — found that Sacramentans of all races feel increasingly marginalized when crossing the street.
“The totems of systemic anti-Blackness that permeate our city have caused a long-awaited cultural reckoning, and those totems include the white paint on crosswalks and the white male figures in crossing signals,” says the report.
Through numerous focus groups, scientific surveys, and person-on-the-street interviews, the city discovered that 83% of Sacramento residents experience racial trauma when trying to navigate pedestrian traffic areas.
“White people control nearly everything everybody does,” said the report. “So when a white man orders you to cross to the ‘other side’ within 20 seconds, and you’re literally forced to run a gauntlet of white pigment that dominates and stains the natural black surface of the beautiful street that really should belong to you, it is vital that the city take action.”
Even though Mayor Steinberg said he only received the report on Monday, the city already has a plan.
“It’s clear that urbanism hasn’t worked for everyone,” Steinberg said. “But Sacramento is dedicated to equity, so we’ve ordered twice as much black paint as we did last year. We need to communicate that we will no longer allow the bad decisions of Progressive white urbanists to affect communities where white people are not the majority.”
To be consistent with Vision Zero, all the white vestiges of urban colonialism will be eradicated by 2027. The white stripes of crosswalks will be painted black, and the white bulbs that illuminate the “little white men” will be replaced with black lights.
Some pedestrians will have difficulty seeing the new symbols, but a new generation of Progressive racial urbanists say everyone will be safer because people will be forced to pay more attention than they did before.