Students at George Washington University signed a fake petition seeking to remove the oppressive “white man” stick figures from crosswalk signals, in what one student called “a lack of representation issue.”
“As we students cross the street, we are told by the symbol of a white man when it is okay to cross,” read the fake petition, according to Campus Reform. “Many students from diverse backgrounds, including individuals of color, gender fluid individuals, and LGBTQA+ individuals, feel oppressed by this.”
Ethan Cai of Campus Reform approached students at George Washington University — as part of a social experiment — to ask if they would sign a petition requesting that the school consider changing the “offensive” white stick figures seen on crosswalk signals to symbols of women, or minorities, in the name of fostering a more “inclusive environment.”
“Some students on campus have been offended by [the crosswalk signs], because it’s just a picture of a white man,” said Cai in the video. “We’re proposing that we could change them to be more representative of an inclusive environment.”
The video revealed many students appearing happy to sign the faux petition. Some students who agreed to sign, however, did vocally suggest that they found the issue to be unimportant, but expressed that they would nevertheless sign the petition anyway — if it meant that others would feel better.
“I assume it’s, like, one of many ways in which the default is imagined to be a white man,” said one student while she signed the petition. “This isn’t probably the most important [problem] to me, but I totally get that it could be important to other people.”
Read some more of the responses below:
“I never thought about it, but like, I can see, like, I guess, like, why some students have a problem with it,” said one student. “I’ll totally sign that.”
“I haven’t really thought of it as a white guy, I just thought of it as the light is white,” noted another individual as he signed the fake petition.
“Oh, that’s so lit!” exclaimed a third student who agreed to sign.
“It’s definitely a lack of representation issue,” said one student of crosswalk signs.
“Yeah, for sure,” concurred another student present.
“It’s kinda simple, you know? It’s just a guy walking across the street, but if it can help other people out, then why not?” said another.
The video also appeared to show one university faculty member agreeing to sign the petition, as well as at least one dissident, who expressed his disagreement.
“Oh, Christ,” said the sole dissenting student in the video. “Honestly, I’m ideologically opposed.”