Northampton, Massachusetts–It started as a project with deep public support: a mandatory stop on the Northampton side of Route 9, intended to alert motorists to the ways in which they may be perpetuating the cisheteropatriarchy. Now it’s tearing the community apart, as harried commuters can’t cross the Connecticut without a background check and a full accounting of their various socio-economic advantages.
“As a white person I know it’s important to examine institutionalized racism and its relation to wealth and identity, but in all honesty I’m late picking up the kids at charter school,” complained Hadley resident Willow Schnell, “I’m a huge supporter of Black Lives Matter, but I really prefer to do my decolonization work at home, after errands.” Schnell says she’s been through the Checkpoint process “at least a dozen times”, and claims “I get it now. Alright already.”
Williamsburg resident Quinn Goldberg appreciates the Checkpoint and wants it to stay, regardless of delays: “So what if it holds people up an extra 10 or 15 minutes? How selfish can you be? The people complaining the loudest are the ones who need it the most.”
Town and City officials are seeking a compromise, which may come from a blue ribbon panel of traffic management experts and local college activists. Next week they’re expected to put forward a plan that limits stops to specific vehicle makes (Subaru and Volvo for example), vehicles with Connecticut license plates, and (according to an anonymous source) “any car with one of those white oval abbreviated town name stickers.”