Ziggin, Zaggin: Political Correctness In A Mirror


The Port Authority of Allegheny County’s (Pittsburgh, PA) busses are going through a politically correct makeover!  The advertising slogan Ziggin Zaggin is coming off, because?

It’s racially offensive.   Apparently while sitting in traffic, a very sensitive 20083_10204817232803112_5603956889444370268_nyoung lady decided to look into her rearview mirror and low and behold she saw this!

Yes, backwards letters, which if you really try hard, can be seen as a modernized racial slur!

If you try hard enough.

“In terms of the message being offensive, it’s not a surprise at all.  Obviously it’s very serious and a very hurtful offensive message.” ~ Jim Richie, Port Authority of Allegheny Co.

So they thought the best thing to do was to take the offensive message, Ziggin Zaggin, off the busses.   Because that’s the real message.

I’m sensitive to people’s feelings, but this is really pushing it.  One complaint has led to this.  One.  And the complaint is invalid, for when you read this backwards it spells nothing.  There is only one actual letter when seeing this advertisement in reverse.   It’s the small i.  All the others are not observed letters in our alphabet.
mirror imageThe complainant, it seems to me, has an image problem, with herself.  Why is she so insecure in who she is?  Why does she see this harmless bus advertisement as degrading to her when viewed in the mirror?

Unlike the spokesperson for the Port Authority, I am surprised. There is nothing wrong with the advertisement.  Busses Zig and Zag through traffic, it’s wholly appropriate.  As Antwon Manson said during a KDKA news story,

“Who really thinks of it looking at it backwards, it’s ziggin, zaggin, your going, a vehicle zigs and zags through the city to pick someone up,  it’s a bus.” ~ Antwon Manson

Thanks Antwon for your common sense reasoning, as well as that of the other folks interviewed, by KDKA news.

KDKA Story

I’m thinking images (22)the problem seen by the offended in her mirror, is, closer than it appears.  I think the image seen in the mirror isn’t the problem, the problem is the image this person faces every day in her own mirror.  She has allowed some in society to label her and so now she sees something, innocent like this, as offensive.

The labels allowed to be engraved onto people’s soul, by others, are already apart of them, and that unfortunately is the problem here.

As the complainant stated in the linked article,

“She relayed her dismay on Facebook:

“REALLY PORT AUTHORITY! On my way into work I see this on the side of the bus… It says ‘ZIGGIN ZAGGIN ZIGGIN’, from the outside..Take a minute and soak that in.. If you are sitting on the bus and looking out the window, what you will read is ‘NIGGIZ NIGGAZ NIGGIZ!!’” ~ ZIGGIN ZAGGIN STORY

Again, that’s not actually what you see, but it is what her brain has been conditioned to see.

Yet here is the kicker.  How long has the Port Authority been using this advertisement on their busses?

““Port Authority certainly did not intend for this message to offend anyone. The design has appeared on these buses since 2003,” he told the Courier. “However, due to recent complaints about how this message appears when read backward, we have decided to remove the message from our vehicles. This will take us several days to properly remove. We apologize to anyone who may have been offended.”

Like most people, Jennings said she hadn’t paid attention to it until the other day.” ~ZIGGIN ZAGGIN STORY

Since 2003!  This extremely offensive phrase has been on the bus for TWELVE years without even being noticed as offensive until this lady all of a sudden became offended! .

That’s 4,380 days, 105,120 hours, and 6,307,200 minutes, without offending anyone!  Even though half of the ridership is black, none of them were offended for twelve years.

“But when Tracey Jennings looked at it in her rearview mirror the other day, she realized that from inside the bus, backwards, it reads “NIGGIZ NIGGAZ NIGGIZ.””~ZIGGIN ZAGGIN STORY

So I am surprised, but I guess I shouldn’t be, in light of the sensitive epidermis some of us wear these days.

Well, the makeover will take place ,and the wording will be removed, and we will continue to ignore the real problem, as will Ms. Jennings.  Her heart, our hearts, being used by those who love to see dissension, in the everyday normal, the 12 year commercial campaigns, the perceived ‘racial’ injustices, spouted regularly.

This image problem has been forged and continues in earnest, even in the linked ‘news’ article.

“Spokesman Jim Ritchie said NIGGAZ has been there since 2003, but it should be gone within two weeks.”~ZIGGIN ZAGGIN STORY

Having read every article on this and observing his statement on the KDKA Story, I find it implausible that Jim Ritchie actually used that word.  I’ll conclude, he didn’t.  Unfortunately, Christian Morrow, the Pittsburgh Courier Staff Writer, is the one using that word in the article. I noticed when saying Jim Ritchie said it, He didn’t attach quotations.  Because it’s the writer’s word not Ritchie’s.  Paraphrasing the spokesperson to make him appear to be verifying the unseemly.  Merely a cheap journalistic trick, to get the emotionally packed quote you wanted, but couldn’t get.

I’m sure Morrow’s use of NIGGAZ wasn’t intended to inflame passions or anything, since the actual word that is being removed is ZAGGIN!  No that would never happen.

Maybe I’m just wrong and politically incorrect.  But in light of the lack of concern for twelve years, by anyone in the City of Pittsburgh, I’m thinking I’m not. It appears the problem resides in Tracey Jennings, and Mr. Morrow is all too willing to fertilize it.

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