Has The Napa Valley Wine Train Been "De-Railed"?
|Photo Source: winetrain.com|
As racial tension continues to escalate in our fine country, everything is now being scrutinized as racist. The newest target for racial discrimination allegations is The Napa Valley Wine Train.
Over the weekend, a book club made up of mostly black women, were escorted off The Napa Valley Wine Train. Staff claimed the group refused to comply with several requests that their group quiet down. These women are now claiming the actions of the staff were racially charged. These women even went as far as Tweeting the incident with the hashtag #laughingwhileblack to imply if they had been a group of white people, the staff would not have ejected them from the train. Now some Latinos are claiming similar treatment.
I read comments on post threads stating that wine tasting is a white person's hobby and that people of color can afford it and should be able to enjoy it their way. Really? What happened to
common courtesy? What happened to knowing the atmosphere you are in and behaving accordingly? I'm not saying don't have fun but if you are in a large group and enjoying wine or any other adult beverage, do you really think The Napa Valley Wine Train is the appropriate setting? It isn't a bar, it's a fine dining experience. Do these women think their raucous behavior would be appropriate in an upscale restaurant not on the rails? They would have been given their own room. It's standard. Besides, how is this group of women fully enjoying the experience? It is a beautiful ride. I have been on it with a date and it was wonderful.
My dinner group would never consider The Napa Valley Wine Train as an option. We are loud. We like to drink and joke around. We say things that other diners would be appalled. We know this about ourselves. It isn't a cultural thing, it is being an obnoxious group thing (we are mixed-raced, alternative lifestyle and politically incorrect individuals). Napa's worst nightmare! Hahaha
When we go out, we ask for a private room. Of course, The Napa Valley Wine Train does not have this option (that I am aware)and since this last incident has raised the "cultural differences and lack of sensitivity card", perhaps they will re-evaluate their business model and have a train car dedicated to the loud and obnoxious. But doesn't that raise the racial card again? Why do they have to be segregated from the rest of the train guests? If it was a white group, they would be sitting with the other diners - not in a separate car. See where I'm going with this? When is it going to end?
Napa Valley gets a "snooty" reputation and sometimes it is deserving. No bones about it. But to say it is for white people only or mixed cultures cannot enjoy what it has to offer is narrow minded.
I'm sure most would be surprised to know that wineries, themselves, don't put up with large groups unless there is a reservation ahead of time and that their bus or limo is parked away from the winery entrance. Wanna know why? Because people want to sample wines without a bunch of drunks being loud and crazy. Again, these places are not bars. It isn't a "white people" activity either. It is meant to enjoy the surroundings, experience new wines and learn how to pair them with different foods - spending time with like-minded friends. If you want to have a "good time" get on a booze cruise.
While I acknowledge there is racism in this country (and others), I refuse to see everything being about race. Sometimes you are going to get checked, not because you are black or brown, because you are being a jerk.
The Napa Valley Wine Train has apologized and offered a generous gesture to the women's group and even went as far as having more training in cultural diversity for their staff. Are they stating they were being racist? Nope, not in my opinion. They are doing damage control. How can you fight against someone/group claiming you are racist?