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I have read many articles in the Washington City Paper and one stood out more than others this time. “Cafe Metro” (5/28) should remind all African-Americans that the rules in most cases apply to some and not others.
In 1996, I witnessed a Metro Police officer handcuff a young black woman for taking a sip of bottled water in order to take a Tylenol tablet while at the Federal Center Metro. A year later, while working in Falls Church, Va., I saw four white travelers on July 4 enter Pentagon station with clear, 6-ounce cups of beer and board the Metro rail en route to Union Station. Not one police officer, train operator, or any official for Metro ticketed or warned them of the consequences of drinking, eating, or smoking while on the train or within the system.
Those were two examples of racist double standards. I have witnessed more minor arrests of African-Americans than whites on Metro and, quite frankly, I find it disturbing. This article is nothing more than a white woman pissed off because she can’t take a sip of coffee or whatever while on the train. I want the Metro system to be as clean and safe as the next guy, and I don’t take kindly to anyone bitching and moaning about not being able to engage in illegal activity on the subway. Try being in my shoes for one minute while being on the bus or the rail. I get the stares and glares just paying the fare to enter the Metro system. Evidently, Laura Brahm has never been arrested for doing something as natural as taking a drink of water to help relieve pain.
African-Americans are not strangers to scrutiny. No matter where we go or what we do, African-Americans are always under suspicion—and that’s not my imagination running wild. The price for a white person getting caught drinking on the Metro is $20; the price for African-Americans committing the same infraction is handcuffs to life in prison.
Temple Hills, Md.