File photo Crews work in August to remove graffiti that was spray-painted on the new rainbow crosswalk in Uptown White Rock.

EDITORIAL: Prejudice, mixed signals mar colours of White Rock rainbow

Political correctness has diluted message of rainbow crosswalk

It appears there is no pot of gold at the end of White Rock’s rainbow crosswalk – only a security camera.

Sadly, what has been proclaimed as a symbol of inclusivity seems to have become, instead, a symbol of division and lingering prejudice in our community.

What has been clearly a well-intentioned initiative has been smudged and blurred, partly by lurking intolerance and partly by the city’s own unwillingness to make an unequivocal statement.

Less than 24 hours after the crosswalk was painted in July, a tire-burnout across it seemed suspiciously like an intentional act of defacement.

Since then, the city has had to remedy a further burn-out and an obvious act of vandalism by somebody armed with a can of spray paint.

The city has not publicly divulged, to this point, what the original painting cost was, what restoration costs have added, nor the costs of the CCTV camera that’s popped up without fanfare in recent days.

For those who choose to spread hatred in our community, we have no brief. Nor, too, do we endorse those who claim, without any supporting evidence, that their negative view of the crosswalk is the will of the majority of residents.

On the other hand, the line recently taken by advocates of rainbow symbolism – and vociferously carried down the field by Mayor Wayne Baldwin – that the rainbow represents inclusivity and stands for all minorities that have been marginalized, has also muddied the colours.

While this may be a worthy ideal in the long term, it can’t – and, apparently, won’t by some people – be forgotten that the rainbow has been primarily a symbol for those fighting prejudice against sexual orientation; a flag for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

Do we lack sufficient maturity to take a clear stand against sexual intolerance? Do we have to be so politically correct that we must camouflage such a message?

If that’s the case, it’s obvious from the crosswalk that such a stance is not working. Perhaps only time, and further applications of paint, are what it will take to change attitudes and defuse the hatreds.

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