“It certainly bothered me — so much so that I began to dig deep into my fortysomething consciousness to try and remember if I was raised asking a little White guy to let me cross the street. Were these the words my progressive White mother used to teach her little Brown children the fundamentals of pedestrian safety? Turns out, I wasn’t raised this way — and neither, most likely, were you.”
In the end, it’s not that the Walking Man is so super-duper white . Rather, his true competitive edge is that he’s super-duper bright . “The use of bright colors… offers the greatest contrast against a dark background,” the FHWA spokesperson says. “They do not lend themselves to confusion with other colors [and] are thought to provide the greatest level of comprehension and safety.”
And there you have it: The government-approved origins of the “little White men” telling us to cross the street at corners across New York. Thanks to help from the FHWA, I am now convinced that technology and necessity, rather than some anti-Black conspiracy, propelled the shift from verbal crosswalk cues to a lunar-white Walking Person.
Studies have shown that, for a host of reasons, Black people get less sleep, and less deep sleep, than white people. Sleep loss can cause higher levels of cortisol, as Acosta noted, and can lead to many health problems including early death. But there’s something deeper going on — Acosta explained that sleep deprivation was used as a means of control over enslaved people, meaning Black people haven’t been getting the sleep they need for generations.
“We’re dealing with an inheritance of sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation was a…deliberate tactic of slave owners to basically make the mind feeble,” he said. “That same tactic has only evolved.”
We could have said “learn English” but my guess is people who produce these lights produce them the world over so it’s easier to go global rather than produce language-specific versions for every country.
Yeah the guy was looking for an issue when he heard “little white man” but it wasn’t a call for a crusade against traffic signals…or a call for anyone to do anything in general.
This was another posting by people looking hard for something about which to be outraged, and imagine there’s “forces at work” to force them to validate these things that outrage them.