Writer's career in jeopardy after tweeting about a black Metro worker eating on the train.

A recent incident on the DC Metro has led to an important discussion about race, social media, and karma.

Author and World Bank employee Natasha Tynes was riding the DC Metro when she noticed a uniformed Metro bus driver eating on the train. Passengers are not allowed to eat on the train, so Tynes snapped a photo of the employee and Tweeted it to her employer.

“I thought we were not allowed to eat on the train. This is unacceptable. Hope @wmata responds." She added, “When I asked the employee about this, her response was 'worry about yourself.'"


Tynes should have taken the Metro employee's advice.

via Natasha Tynes / Twitter

The tweet quickly received a backlash from people accusing Tynes of threatening the woman's job simply for “eating while black." Many saw it as another example of black people being reported to authorities for simply going about their business.

Tynes quickly issued an apology tweet and shut down her Twitter account and then her personal website.

via Natasha Tynes / Twitter

Per union rules, Metro employees are not allowed to speak with the media. So Barry Hobson, the chief of staff for the Metro workers union, issued a statement saying the Metro employee was eating on the train because it was late and she wouldn't have time to have breakfast before having to pick up her passengers.

“Generally, she would have gotten to her next stop and had her breakfast," Hobson said. “But the train was late. So she thought, 'I'm just going to throw my breakfast down now.'"

Hobson also said that the employee was “very embarrassed and wishes [Tynes] had not done this."

Tynes, a self-described “minority writer," was born in Jordan and came to America 14 years ago. After four years of work, she recently completed her first novel, “They Called Me Wyatt," a book about being a woman in the Middle East.

But after the backlash, Rare Birds Books has decided not to release her book.

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

The next day, Tynes' publisher, California Coldblood Books, said it was postponing the book's release while they “discuss appropriate next steps to officially cancel the book's publication."

Here's what people said on Twitter:

Mike said it best.

This article originally appeared on 01.09.18


Why should a superintendent get a raise while teachers in the same district struggling to make ends meet see their paychecks flatline — year after year after year?

Teacher Deyshia Hargrave begged the question. Minutes later, she was handcuffed and placed in the backseat of a cop car.

The scene was captured below by YouTube user Chris Rosa, who attended a board meeting for Vermilion Parish Schools in Louisiana.

You can watch Hargrave begin speaking about 33 seconds in. The situation starts becoming contentious around 6:35 minutes. Hargrave is arrested at 8:35, and then walked outside in handcuffs and placed in the back of police vehicle. (Story continues below.)



"We work very hard with very little to maintain the salaries that we have," Hargrave, who teaches middle school language arts, said during a public comment portion of the meeting, stating that she's seen classroom sizes balloon during her time at the school with no increased compensation. "We're meeting those goals, while someone in that position of leadership [the superintendent] is getting raise? It's a sad, sad day to be a teacher in Vermilion Parish."

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