A few things learned over the weekend:
1.) Noting that someone is eating is a racist stereotype.
2.) It’s bigoted to complain about an employee who provides poor customer service.
3.) Black women outrank Arab ones on the grievance scale.
Natasha Tynes, a Jordanian immigrant and resident of Washington, D.C., found herself on the receiving end of the “social justice” mob (which is to say, 90% of self-important dorks on social media) after she complained to the Washington Metro Area Transit Authority about one of its employees eating on a train, something that WMATA rules forbid.
“When you’re on your morning commute & see @wmata employee in UNIFORM eating on the train,” Tynes wrote in the since-deleted tweet. “I thought we were not allowed to eat on the train. This is unacceptable. Hope @wmata responds.” Tynes also said that when she confronted the Metro worker about the rules “her response was ‘worry about yourself.’”
Attached to the tweet was a photo of the employee, a black woman.
An account run by WMATA replied to Tynes, thanking her for “catching” the incident “and helping us to make sure all Metro employees are held accountable.” WMATA also asked Tynes for more information, to which Tynes gave the general timing and train line.
The episode went viral on social media and Tynes was called — what else? — racist. Critics accused her of harassing the Metro employee and likened the episode to previous high-profile conflicts caught on video where blacks were the target of complaints for behavior.
Even the Congressional Black Caucus reprimanded Tynes, tweeting, “Black women have enough to worry about on a daily basis. @NatashaTynes’ actions were malicious and simply unnecessary. She needs to find a hobby & do better next time.”
Rare Bird Books, a book distributor, said it would no longer distribute a forthcoming novel by Tynes. California Coldblood, which was set to publish the book, said in a statement that it hoped Tynes “learns from this experience that black women feel the effects of systematic racism the most and that we have to be allies, not oppressors.”
There’s a tragic irony in that Tynes’ novel in part tells the story of a Jordanian who emigrates to the United States and for the first time feels what it’s like to be a “brown” minority. Tynes told Arab American News in an interview last month that the book is loosely based on her life experience.
But the social justice mob has no concept of irony, the absurd, or self-awareness.
What does it mean that black women “have enough to worry about?” Struggles aren’t unique to any one gender or race. Even if they were, how is that a defense of violating the rules your very employer is enforcing on all its customers?
Tynes is an annoying busybody, yes, but why is she racist? What does eating have to do with being a black woman? And in what other service job — yes, Metro is a service — is it acceptable for workers to break the rules that customers are asked to follow?
There is no logic to the social justice mob. It views a scenario and determines, almost on a whim, which party is the “privileged” and which party is the “oppressed.”
That evaluation is made without ever having met Tynes or the worker, without knowing anything about them personally and without having witnessed the encounter. It’s based solely on an ever-shifting scale of race, gender, and sexuality called “intersectionality.”
Anyone who has ever been a passenger on a crowded Metro train, only to be stuck next to another rider who pulls out a to-go box of food or listens to music without headphones knows that more likely than not, Tynes was the oppressed one here. But unfortunately for her, today she is outranked on the social justice grievance scale by someone more oppressed than her — a black woman who was eating.