The "Yellow Line" In Doraville

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

If I'm offended by French's Classic Yellow Mustard and I start a group to boycott it, it doesn't necessarily mean it's actually offensive - I may just be a crackpot - because you know - it's mustard - and it's yellow (and very tasty btw).

If I start a protest against Crayola because I don't like the Yellow Crayon, that's just absurd.

But the fact that a new mass transit system running through the heart of Atlanta's API community is called the "Yellow Line" and that people have some issues with that?

That's not even close to being in the same realm of absurdity because there's something to be said for having some historical perspective.

MARTA officials were warned by an employee before the name change last October that Atlanta’s burgeoning Asian community would find the term for the line to Doraville offensive.

“Historically, it has had a derogatory intent,” said John Park, an attorney with the nonprofit Center for Pan Asian Community Services in Doraville, just down the hill from the Marta station. “It physically paints a very unattractive picture. I don’t consider myself ‘yellow.’”

Park and other Asian activists plan to meet Friday with MARTA CEO Beverly Scott. They hope MARTA will change the line’s name from yellow to gold.

Scott said Monday that she will go into the meeting with an open mind. "There are very few things in this life that are absolute," she said.

While Scott did not "in any way want to minimize" the concerns, she said that one MARTA employee's complaint was not indicative of everybody's feelings. She added that by the time it was raised, MARTA was ending a year-long process to implement the change. "Everything was printed, we were ready to go," she said.
Just change the name to the Gold Line.