Last weekend 11 African American women headed out on a wine tour on the Napa Valley Wine Train. Things were going great until they were “humiliated” and kicked off the train for laughing too loudly or being loud.
I have never been on a wine train so I have no idea what the protocol is but according to the women the experience was offensive and they felt like they were being singled out.
“It was humiliating. I’m really offended to be quite honest,” said 47-year-old Lisa Johnson, who was among Saturday’s group. “I felt like it was a racist attack on us. I feel like we were being singled out.”
Of course the story went viral and Twitter came up with a hashtag quite fitting of the scenario called #laughingwhileblack. To be honest when I first saw the hashtag it was hilarious, because I just kept thinking that black twitter will make a hashtag out of any darn thing if given a chance.
The point of the hashtag is the notion that if the women were not black they would have been treated differently. I have to agree after all one of the biggest assumptions people make about a black woman next to having a bad attitude is that we are always ‘Loud!’. This ‘loudness’ then magically translates to making other people uncomfortable!
The women who were kicked off the train was given a full refund by the train company but they want a public apology from the company in addition to that.
In a statement on Sunday the Napa Valley Wine Train spokes woman Kira Devitt said they “received complaints from several parties in the same car and after three attempts from staff, requesting that the group keep the noise to an acceptable level, they were removed from the train and offered transportation back to the station in Napa.”
What is your opinion, are we screaming racism for everything or can a company justifiably exercise the right to maintain a certain protocol?