A group of black women were escorted off of a train taking them on a wine tour after a white woman complained they were laughing loudly. After the women, who are all members of a book club, exited the train they were met by a group of police officers.
No charges were filed.
According to a Facebook posting by Lisa Renee Johnson, one of the women in the group, the trouble started when this woman approached them and said she was annoyed by their laughter.
The complaint that this is “not a bar” is perplexing considering the primary purpose of the train is to serve alcohol.
A maître d’ also told them they were making too much noise. Asked who was complaining, he said that “people’s faces are uncomfortable.”
Johnson said the group of women — 10 black and one white — were then paraded through all six cars and escorted off the train where police were waiting for them.
Here’s one of the alleged troublemakers:
The Napa Valley Wine Train posted a message to their Facebook page accusing the women of “verbal and physical abuse toward other guests and staff.” The post was quickly deleted, but not before Johnson captured a screenshot.
The group received a full refund but Johnson also wants an apology. “It was humiliating. I’m really offended to be quite honest. I felt like it was a racist attack on us. I feel like we were being singled out,” Johnson told the San Francisco Chronicle.
Word of the incident spread of social media under the hashtag #laughingwhileblack.
In a statement, Napa Valley Wine Train said the women were kicked off after the company “received complaints from several parties” about the noise. The company is also “conducting an internal audit to make sure all of our policies were followed.”