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TinotopiaLog → Racist Metro Staff & Lazy(?) Journalism (19 Aug 2004)
Thursday 19 August 2004

Racist Metro Staff & Lazy(?) Journalism

The Washington Post reports that Metro — the Washington Metropolitan Area Transportation Authority — will give ‘special training in customer service’ to employees who deal with the public ‘in the face of rising complaints about uncivil transit employees’.

Metro spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein said yesterday that one station manager faces “very serious disciplinary action” after a pregnant woman and her husband complained that he screamed at them, brandished a broom and pushed the husband because they inquired about a broken escalator last week.

Huh. I can’t say I’m particularly surprised at this, but what’s interesting is the way the Post characterizes that encounter in the fourth paragraph of the article, quoted above. A fuller description of the incident appears further in:

“I asked him if the escalator was broken, and he didn’t say anything,” Jade Freeman said. “He pushed his seat back and threw up his arms, very annoyed. I put my ears on the little holes [in the plexiglass of the booth] and said, ‘Um, is the escalator broken?’ He got up and just started saying things. He wasn’t answering my question; he was throwing tantrums.” Jade Freeman said that after asking for the station manager’s name, she went through the fare gate and saw him repeatedly slam his name tag against the glass. He opened the door to the booth and stepped out, she said. Robert Freeman rushed back to his wife. “He was coming at me,” Jade Freeman said of the station manager. “He said, ‘Get the [expletive] out of my station.’ ” The station manager picked up a nearby broom, the couple said. “He turned to me and said, ‘You think you can come down here and harass me because you’re white!’ ” said Jade Freeman, who is Asian. Her husband is white; the station manager is African American. Then he tossed the broom aside and shoved Robert Freeman in the chest, the couple said.

Why does the Washington Post not mention that this was a RACIALLY-MOTIVATED HATE CRIME until the twenty-first paragraph of the story? Interesting, that.

Posted by tino at 15:09 19.08.04
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Because only white people can commit racially-motivated hate crimes? Like only white people can be racist, and bigoted, and xenophobic.

Posted by: Twonk at August 19, 2004 03:51 PM

Maybe some day I’ll put up my stories about our neighbors in DC. They are probably on my website somewhere. I’m not even sure I could find them, but everything is there somwhere.

Since I left DC, no one has said to me “Go back where you come from, honkey bitch”, which is nice.

Posted by: Nicole at August 19, 2004 10:09 PM

I just wanted to point out that you have an improper hyphenated adverb-participle combination in this piece. I’m sure it was an oversight.

Posted by: Shaye at August 20, 2004 11:33 AM

Oversight? Pshaw. I am well-aware of the rules, what with being a three-time Academic Olympics gold medalist and all. I was mocking the people who use terms like ‘hate crime’ in the first place; their punctuation is itself a hate crime against the language.

And I think you must have meant ‘improperly hyphenated adverb-participle combination’.

Posted by: Tino at August 20, 2004 01:58 PM