The year 2020 will go down as one of the most eventful in U.S. history. From a pandemic that led to record numbers of unemployed to nationwide protests about police brutality and subsequent riots that left major cities ablaze, the first five months of the year were unlike any in memory.
Not among those hot-button topics is what color the Aerial Lift Bridge is at night.
As has been the case in recent years, bridge lights occasionally glow in different colors in representation of certain events or to honor certain groups. After recognizing area college graduates last month, last week the lights glowed different colors in honor of Duluth high schools’ 2020 graduates. On Wednesday night, the bridge glowed red to represent Duluth East and the next night a maroonish hue honored Duluth Denfeld.
On Friday night, the bridge was supposed to glow blue for Lakeview Christian Academy grads. However, after an impassioned plea from a Duluth woman who contacted Mayor Emily Larson’s office and the school to argue that the color blue could trigger a negative response from the minority community and not be in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, the color red was selected instead.
“We all recognized the blue as being re-traumatizing and dangerously painful,” Maggie Travis wrote in an email to local media outlets, seeking publicity for her good deed.
Really? That’s where political correctness is going? We’re now triggered by colors?
While the discussion of overly aggressive police departments is rightly in the forefront in light of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis, describing the color of the officer’s uniforms as a traumatic event is outright insanity.
Do we have to do away with our blue jeans and stop using blue cheese dressing on our salad? Are we to burn records like “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Behind Blue Eyes,” and “Blue Moon?” And forget about listening to Blue Oyster Cult or Ol’ Blue Eyes Frank Sinatra? That won’t be allowed anymore? Must we force the Blue Angels, Blue Bonnet and Blue Cross Blue Shield to change their names?
We’ll have to stop buying blue-chip stocks and recruiting blue-chip athletes, and what about all those sports teams with blue nicknames or jerseys like the Toronto Blue Jays and Columbus Blue Jackets? The Detroit Lions can ship those Honolulu blues to the nearest Central American country, as the NFL does with all championship T-shirts of Super Bowl runners-up.
Will traveling to Blue Earth, Minnesota, and the Blue Ridge Mountains now be off limits? Call off that trip to Iceland to visit the Blue Lagoon.
And what about those pesky birds such as bluebirds, blue jays, and blue herons? And who is going to tell the world's largest animal, the blue whale, he has to change his name?
What if another color triggers someone, you may ask? Do we get rid of the entire Crayola box? Maybe periwinkle can survive — or is that too close a shade of blue?
All these examples are absurd, of course — as was last week’s response to the colored lights on the Aerial Lift Bridge.
For those who believe otherwise, go outside and scream at the beautiful blue sky.
Rick Weegman is a News Tribune sports reporter. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.