I have no idea what happened on that wine train in Napa Valley before ten Black Women from a book club were escorted off, but I’m going to speak about the incident as if I were there. I’ll implicitly pull from my own life experiences, and then jump to my own conclusions — like everyone else. Hell, it’s the American way!
These are the facts of the case (as I see it):
- Of course these women were louder than the other patrons. The other patrons were probably mainly comprised of 60 year-old White folks. Have you been to a decent restaurant for an early dinner around 5:00. There’s not enough chardonnay in the world to make that shit fun. These old folks barely talk to each other – mostly just sitting in silence and chewing their food. Now imagine that group compared with a group of 10 sistas. We are the most colorful, fun-loving, vibrant beings on this planet. When a group of us are together, our laughter is like a symphony of wind instruments.
- I do not think that those women were obnoxious or inappropriate, however. They are educated, mature members of a book club.
- However, when you are Black, joyful becomes obnoxious; defiant and becomes dangerous; moving can become fleeing the scene; a group becomes a gang.
- Some White people cannot stand to see Black people doing as well as they are. It messes up their entire impression of themselves. That unhappy woman had bragged to all of her friends about how fabulous she was and that she was going on a wine train in Napa. When not just 1 but 10 Black women got on the train too, it destroyed her image of exclusivity. And to top it off, THEY were having more fun than SHE was!
- Lastly, a dear friend posed the question to a group of us: was the incident racist? Hell yeah, it was racist! Do I think that the train employees would have treated White customers the same way—absolutely not.
I am sorry for these women. I can not imagine the humiliation of being escorted through the length of five train cars, kicked off a train, only to be met by police officers as if I were a criminal. Sadly, almost every Black person has faced a similar sort of indignity.
What I hope folks are noticing is the power of social media. You can act a fool, but we will put your ass on blast! I’m just tickled that woman is going to be walking through Target and folks will be giving her the side-eye.
I also must give a shout-out to the wine train’s CEO Anthony Giaccio for saying the following,
“The Napa Valley Wine Train was 100 percent wrong in its handling of this issue,” he said. “We accept full responsibility for our failures and for the chain of events that led to this regrettable treatment of our guests.”
I know he may not have said everything that we wanted him to say, but folks do you understand that White people NEVER cop to racism (which he did somewhat by saying they need sensitivity and diversity training) – I mean nevah-evah! Think about it:
Confederate Flag= history
Slavery = cotton
Charleston 9 murders = religion
Anything else = multiple choice: (a) you are playing the race card; (b) you did something to deserve that treatment; (c) you are an angry black person; (d) you are just too sensitive; or (e) all of the above.
So I gotta say Hallelujah to that tiny victory!
My intention is for Black people to love themselves and each other. It sounds somewhat silly, I guess; but oftentimes my people are overwhelmed with negative images, bad news, and stereotyped characters about us. I’d like to flip that script. I’d like to remind us, as often as I can, how incredible we are. Read more