“Laughing while black.”The Field Negro

I swear sisters can’t catch a break.

The narrative among those in the majority population is that they are angry. So when they try to get their wine on and bond a little bit among each other, said folks from the majority population get their hate on.

Anyway, here is a sad story from wine country:

“What started as a joyous ride through wine county Saturday afternoon turned into a “humiliating” experience for 11 African American women, who said they were booted off the Napa Valley Wine Train for laughing and talking too loud.

Accounts and pictures of the episode have been spreading across social media, spawning the hashtag #LaughingWhileBlack while the women involved have questioned whether they would have been treated differently if they were not African American.

“It was humiliating. I’m really offended to be quite honest,” said 47-year-old Lisa Johnson, who was among Saturday’s group. “I felt like it was a racist attack on us. I feel like we were being singled out.”

The women have since been given a full refund by the train company, but continue to seek a public apology.

In a statement Sunday, Napa Valley Wine Train spokeswoman Kira Devitt said the company “received complaints from several parties in the same car and after three attempts from staff, requesting that the group keep the noise to an acceptable level, they were removed from the train and offered transportation back to the station in Napa.”

The incident began when Johnson and her book club, the Sisters on the Reading Edge, embarked around 11 a.m. for their annual trip through wine country — an adventure they had been planning since November.

Johnson, a self-described social media fanatic, posted pictures on Facebook, documenting the entire episode as it unfolded.

The women — all wearing matching T-shirts — were all seated in the same car in adjacent tables and seats, laughing and having a good time. They and the other passengers on the sold-out train were ordering tastings and glasses of wine as they rode the 18-mile stretch from Napa to St. Helena through California’s most famous and picturesque vineyards and wineries.

And while the group — which included an 83-year-old grandmother — may at times have been “rambunctious,” they were not “obnoxious or intoxicated,” Johnson said.

Several passengers, she said, even came up to them to take pictures, and asked about the romance novel they were reading for their club.

But a short while into their trip, Johnson said a manager on the train asked them to pipe it down.
“The train is set up to be with your friends, to drink wine and have a good time,” Johnson said. “We were thinking, ‘Who are we offending?’”

Later on, Johnson said the manager told them that “this isn’t going to work,” and that if they didn’t “tone it down,” they were going to be asked to get off the train.

“It was a bizarre thing for all of us,” she said, adding that many in the group quieted down and wondered what had happened.

According to Johnson, one of the women in the same car told the group “this isn’t a bar.”
“And we though, um, yes it is,” Johnson said.

What came next, she said, was the worst part of the afternoon. When the train pulled into the St. Helena station, the group had to do the “walk of shame” as they were escorted past passengers on the six other cars, Johnson said. At the station, the group was met by officers from the Napa Valley Railroad and St. Helena police departments.

“People were looking at us,” Johnson said. “To get escorted into the hands of waiting police officers. That’s the humiliating part.”

But Chief Jeff Hullquist of the Napa Valley Railroad Police Department said there “was no police action taken” at the station.

“When someone is removed from a train, they have to be dropped off at a station, and our policy is if someone is let off the train we’ll stand by,” he said. “We keep them safe until someone can get them.”

“The Napa Valley Wine Train does not enjoy removing guests from our trains, but takes these things very seriously in order to ensure the enjoyment and safety of all of our guests,” Devitt said, adding that about once a month guests need to be removed from the train.

Johnson said despite their treatment on the ride, the company has worked with them. They were given a refund, provided with free pictures, and a van was sent to pick them up.

“The people in the station were absolutely wonderful,” she said, ready to let the incident go.

But that’s when someone from the company posted an account of the incident on Facebook. Johnson was miffed.

“Following verbal and physical abuse toward other guests and staff, it was necessary to get our police involved,” the since-deleted post reads in part, which Johnson captured in a screen grab and re-posted to Facebook. “Many groups come on board and celebrate. When those celebrations impact our other guests, we do intervene.”

The post was quickly taken down and the company reached out to the women to make amends, she said.” [Source]

“Our police”.

Anyway, I love how Jeff Hullquist says that they were just protecting grown women and keeping them “safe”. What was going to happen? Were they going to get attacked by a mob of wine tasters?

Give me a break!

Accused of “verbal and physical abuse” simply for laughing together and having a good time.

I think I need a drink, but I promise you it won’t be wine.

*Pic posted by Lisa Johnson in mercurynews.com.

Posted by field negro at 8:57 PM
Labels: #LaughingWhileBlack, Jeff Hullquist., Kira Devitt, Lisa Johnson, Napa Valley Wine

dinthebeast said…
I met some folks who worked for the wine train back in the ’90s when I did deliveries out of the duty-free zone on Pier 19 in SF. I remember thinking that they seemed like stuck up pricks who thought really highly of themselves. Maybe I was right?

-Doug in Oakland

9:22 PM
Star said…
It’s a shame that the group had to do the “walk of shame”

9:29 PM
lilacpr2000 said…
OMG! Field, Field, Field!

As I was reading and got to the part of the police waiting for them!
I got chills! Because what would have happened if they had actually been arrested and put in cells??? O,O You know what that means! You know the MO with that!!! OMG!

They escaped with their lives narrowly!!!

I’m telling you and them, stay away from the white, blue eyed ones…they no good!

I won’t go, nope nuh uh, the h*** with that winey train ride! That’s the train ride for browns and blacks to the Gestapo and gas chambers (euphimistically aka ‘jail cells’).

The only reason they didn’t get put in the death cells is the social media thing. OMG!

Can’t even have wine and laugh in America if you’re brown and black!

All you’re allowed to do without getting offed,is work,work,work!!!


9:47 PM
lilacpr2000 said…
hmmmmm…why that sounds just like…slav…hmmmm…wellI’ll be darned! The more things change, the more they stay the same SMH!

9:50 PM
PilotX said…
So basically the company’s FB post was “you see how we do when these nigras get out of hand”. I don’t drink wine but I will never spend a dime on those assholes.

10:12 PM
lilacpr2000 said…
You know this is so sad as well as infuriating!

When you go to the link Field gives, you go to on one of their Facebook pages. And they were so happy to be going on that tour! They had made a little video as they were boarding, (if you to the FB go you can see it) and these are all professional women, an author, you can see they are great people out to have a little fun on that wine tour!

What a sad, humiliating and egregious ending to their fun day!!!

10:27 PM
Yīshēng said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
10:35 PM
Yīshēng said…
I LOVE wine, but luckily what I drink is imported from Italy.

NO Napa wine for me EVER!!!!

I’ll bet that the ONLY reason one of them didn’t end up in jail or dead is because there was an Attorney in the group.

10:37 PM
Anonymous said…
The San Francisco 40whiners
11:21 PM
Pete the Pill said…
They don’t call it whine country for nothing.

11:21 PM
Anonymous said…
Not really sure what to make of this. I wasn’t there, so it’s hard to know whose story to believe.

Maybe these women’s fellow passengers were intolerant and/or bigoted, and the train’s staff overreacted to complaints.

On the other hand, maybe these women really were drunker, and therefore ruder, than they realized and actually deserved to be chucked off the train. The women in the picture look nice enough, but … let’s be real, sometimes people do act obnoxiously. “People” does include black women.

11:28 PM
Anonymous said…

Really? The cops were going to kill them, over allegedly acting disorderly on the wine train?! Kinda doubt it. The police were only called in case they refused to leave the train when asked. No one had actually accused these women of committing any crime.

It’s one thing if you think this was inappropriate for the train crew to do this, but let’s not get carried away here.


You’re going to boycott wine from an entire wine-growing region because of the behavior of the actions of this one train operator? If that’s your general approach, you’ll very quickly be unable to drink wine from anywhere. I’m sure that somewhere in Italy (and in every wine-growing region or country of the world) at some time, someone has acted like a racist dickhead.

11:38 PM
Limpbaugh said…
I suspect that they were loud and the people who complained about it were racists. The winery might call security, that they refer to as their police, to stop people from driving drunk and to break up fights. It could be a procedure that they follow every time someone is asked to leave, whether it is needed or not. The saddest thing to me is that the outing that the ladies do ever year, and look forward to, was permanently ruined.

12:40 AM
Anonymous said…
Frm the previous thread:

Anonymous said…
The link below shows 11 Black women who were kicked off the Napa Valley Wine train in CA.

As a bm let me say the truth: Negroes are just too damn loud, esp the sisters. This is ridiculous. Blacks can’t even go on a lovely train ride through Napa Valley without fucking up everything. No wonder nobody wants to be around us.

What the hell is wrong with you ignorant unsophisticated Lilac-Yisheng-like sisters?

“Dear Brother Field, please post about these unruly out of control sick-ass sisters. I could see where one or two sisters would be loud, but ALL ELEVEN?

These women were so loud they had the police waiting on their stupid asses at the next stop. This is sooooo embarrassing for bw. As a bm this shit would have never happened.

And before Lilac or Yisheng say anything, let me say to them to just STFU.”

I just wanted to put this ‘out there’ because you know, Negroes on FN tend to side with loudmouths. As a bm, I KNOW those women were loud. Negroes are always a bunch of loud-mouths. I can’t even enjoy a movie without screaming loud talking bw talking through the entire damn movie. Field, you know what I am talking about because you have posted about this shit several times.

Now, they asked the sisters several times to please tone it down. Did they? NO they did not. I swear. Negroes just don’t know how to act. And then they have the nerve to feel humiliated when they throw their black asses off the train.

I am very surprised at Lilac and Yisheng for acting like those 11 sisters were innocent. They were not and you two need own up to the truth.

Lilac, I know you know better. Yisheng is more ignorant and less sophisticated than those country sisters.

1:39 AM
Anonymous said…
Btw, those sisters were from East Oakland. They were trouble before they even boarded the train.

Doug in Oakland know what I am talking about.

1:42 AM
Anonymous said…
Brother Field, I noticed that there were no ‘beige’ colored sisters in that group. That is, not one sister the color of Lilac among them.

As a bm that makes me suspicious. Those sisters are probably prejudiced against high yellow sisters. That is a damn shame and very depressing.

depressed negro

2:15 AM
field negro said…
“depreased negro” I think u might have some “colorism” issues.

No surprise here, I am riding with the story these women gave. Not the train company.

Thank u social media.

6:30 AM
Yīshēng said…
I also thought the fact the women all appeared to be dark brown skinned played a role in how they were treated.
Throw in an Afro or two and the wimps on the train were probably scared to death before they even art their lips to sip their wine.


9:10 AM
James Bold said…
“I am riding with the story these women gave. Not the train company.”

Why on earth do you want to share a wine train with people who practice and expect restrained emotions, subdued voices, and watching the landscape go by while sipping various varietals? If that’s so boring, why don’t you create a Sistahs Sauvignon, Shiraz and Syrah Sojourn? It can be all Black and you can be as loud as you want. If you don’t like White society, do it your way!

I’m sure you’ll have to pay a premum for damages and to have ambulances standing by at stations for the losers of the inevitable fights, but you will be free to be just as Black as you want on the SSSSS!

9:31 AM
Anonymous said…
Anonymous said…

“Really? The cops were going to kill them, over allegedly acting disorderly on the wine train?! Kinda doubt it. The police were only called in case they refused to leave the train when asked. No one had actually accused these women of committing any crime.

It’s one thing if you think this was inappropriate for the train crew to do this, but let’s not get carried away here.”

Blacks get killed over a traffic ticket. They go to jail for getting a traffic ticket.

They get hung while in jail.

They get shot in the back by cops.

Many things strangely happen to Blacks.

So yes, “really”. Evil things happen to innocent Blacks by Whites. That is no secret. It’s been happening for centuries. Where the hell have you been?

You are definitely a White person in denial and furthermore, don’t care whether a black person gets justice or dies.

11:11 AM
Anonymous said…
At 80+ I am sick and tired of this racist crap. However, CA is a racist state. I don’t think social media makes a difference in attitudes of racists at all.

The train company needs to fess up who was complaining. If those people can get people kicked off the train, then they should, in all fairness, have a right to face their accusers. But this is America, what’s more, it’s Napa Valley.

There should be a world wide boycott of Napa Valley and it’s wines.

11:20 AM


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