Debut novelist faces backlash for post about DC Metro worker eating on train

  
Via:  john-russell  •  2 months ago  •  10 comments

Debut novelist faces backlash for post about DC Metro worker eating on train
Rare Birds Books, which was set to distribute Tynes’s upcoming novel, "They Called Me Wyatt," said it has decided not to do so, according to the Post. The publishing house said in a statement Friday that it had learned that the author "did something truly horrible today in tweeting a picture of a metro worker eating her breakfast on the train this morning and drawing attention to her employer. ..."We think this is unacceptable and have no desire to be involved with anyone who thinks it’s...

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Debut novelist faces backlash for post about DC Metro worker eating on train




















A Washington, D.C., author’s book deal is in jeopardy after she criticized a black Metro employee for eating on the train and reported her to transit officials, drawing backlash on social media, The Washington Post reported.

Natasha Tynes, a Jordanian American writer and World Bank employee, on Friday tweeted a photo of the Metro employee. The woman was in uniform and eating on the Red Line.

"When you’re on your morning commute & see @wmata employee in UNIFORM eating on the train," Tynes wrote on Twitter. "I thought we were not allowed to eat on the train. This is unacceptable. Hope @wmata responds."

Transit officials thanked her "for catching this and helping us make sure all Metro employees are held accountable" and asked her for more information, which Tynes gave.






People are banned from eating and drinking on Metro buses or trains and in stations but frequently violate that rule.

Twitter users swiftly criticized Tynes for publicly shaming the woman and trying to get her in trouble.

Tynes later apologized, saying she was "truly sorry," and deleted the tweet. She also set her Twitter account to private.

Barry Hobson, the chief of staff for the Metro workers union, told the Post in a statement that the Metro employee was taking her meal break while in transit from one assignment to another, that the case is still under investigation and that the union "will not support any discipline."

Rare Birds Books, which was set to distribute Tynes’s upcoming novel, "They Called Me Wyatt," said it has decided not to do so, according to the Post.

The publishing house said in a statement Friday that it had learned that the author "did something truly horrible today in tweeting a picture of a metro worker eating her breakfast on the train this morning and drawing attention to her employer. Black women face a constant barrage of this kind of inappropriate behavior directed toward them and a constant policing of their bodies."

"We think this is unacceptable and have no desire to be involved with anyone who thinks it’s acceptable to jeopardize a person’s safety and employment in this way," it added.

The company pressed Tynes’s publisher, California Coldblood, to also end business with her.

"We do not condone her actions and hope Natasha learns from this experience that black women feel the effects of systematic racism the most and that we have to be allies, not oppressors," California Coldblood said in a statement Friday.

The publisher later announced it will postpone the book’s publication date "while we further discuss appropriate next steps to officially cancel" it.












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JohnRussell
1  seeder  JohnRussell    2 months ago

Interesting story. I see a confluence here of two slightly but not completely divergent motivations. 

It appears to be another case of "political correctness" in the book distributor's siding with the black female transit employee

"Black women face a constant barrage of this kind of inappropriate behavior directed toward them and a constant policing of their bodies.""

but the action can also be seen as a pushback against "busybodying" by those with access to social media as a vehicle for trying to make trouble for someone like a mere transit worker who eats a donut or sandwich while they are in transit from one assignment to another. 

Why post a photo which could get the worker fired? Yes, the woman's boss , the transit company, solicited the snitching, and the author may have thought she was performing a "civic duty" by exposing an employee eating on the train, but we also have a long tradition in this country of sticking up for the little guy and not being a tattle tale. 

 
 
 
zuksam
1.1  zuksam  replied to  JohnRussell @1    2 months ago

I read this earlier and thought it was stupid. The woman may be a "busybody" but she was right, it had nothing to do with the worker being black she was breaking the rules the same rules she would normally be forcing others to follow. I'm sure there is no smoking on the trains but by the rationale of some people the black female employees of the Metro shouldn't be forced to follow that rule either. We all know if you let one person do something everyone else will think they can too, then you'll have little kids eating ice cream dripping it all over and the trains will be nasty, sticky, and stinky.

 
 
 
tomwcraig
1.1.1  tomwcraig  replied to  zuksam @1.1    2 months ago

Ah, but the black worker could have an exception to the rules if they were Diabetic, which is a disability under the ADA.

 
 
 
zuksam
1.1.2  zuksam  replied to  tomwcraig @1.1.1    2 months ago

If she were Diabetic she should be carrying hard candies not burritos. 

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
1.1.3  Trout Giggles  replied to  zuksam @1.1.2    2 months ago

Diabetics have to eat regularly to keep their blood sugar stable. Hard candies are for when their glucose levels nose dive

 
 
 
Jack_TX
1.2  Jack_TX  replied to  JohnRussell @1    2 months ago
It appears to be another case of "political correctness" in the book distributor's siding with the black female transit employee

Yeah.  It looks that way.

Why post a photo which could get the worker fired?

Yeah, also a well spotted point.

 
 
 
MonsterMash
2  MonsterMash    2 months ago

Moral of the story:

If you see a black employee stealing from their company don't report it, you'll be labeled a racist and your employer will fire you.

 
 
 
Jack_TX
2.1  Jack_TX  replied to  MonsterMash @2    2 months ago
Moral of the story: If you see a black employee stealing from their company don't report it, you'll be labeled a racist and your employer will fire you.

She'll sell plenty more books now.  

 
 
 
cjfrommn
3  cjfrommn    2 months ago

absolutely the right call for them to drop her and her book. she decided to make an example of someone that she didn't have too. and that kinda of selective pettiness shows a mentality that allows others to question her motivation. 

So she can take the photo tweet it out and that is her choice. but the book company also has a choice, to do business with a person they knew doesn't smile in there face. then make a decision to attempt to blow up someone elses over a simple legal infraction. 

 
 
 
Greg Jones
4  Greg Jones    2 months ago

It sounded like she had to go to another assignment right away, and perhaps this was her only chance to eat.

Little did she know there would an asshole busybody on board. The book company and seller both did the right thing.

 
 
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