In short, this is a class thing, and because blacks and Latinos are disproportionately represented in lower socioeconomic groups, invariably conflicts are going to appear racially tinged. What makes it especially delicious in this case is firstly that it’s precisely those liberals who buy into the “racism is privilege plus power” (or whatever) and Black Lives Matter narratives, which excuse wrongdoing on the basis of skin colour, who keep getting stung by their own daft, guilt-driven political positions.
Secondly, disintermediating technologies coming out of the coworking spaces in SoMa and Mountain View are putting minorities – disproportionately ethnic, of course – out of work by replacing their jobs with lines of code. It’s all just so horribly awkward for these tech workers, who just want to be left in peace to check Tumblr from their overpriced gated communities and wine trains.
So perhaps there is, in this case, some justification for a bit of middle-class discomfort, particularly when you consider how bizarre and inconsistent and dysfunctional the city of San Francisco is: it’s a place that turns a blind eye to illegal immigrants, proudly admitting its “sanctuary city” status, while effectively evicting poor hard-working families and allowing large sections of its own downtown to become lawless, homeless hellholes.
It’s enough to drive anxious techies to drink the terrible, acidic baby spew that passes for wine in northern California. By the way, here’s a laugh-out-loud detail from Johnson’s account: the passengers who made complaints about her and her friends apparently hissed: “This is not a bar!” Johnson has since posted a series of good-natured remarks on her Facebook page, including a link that reveals the Wine Train threw off a group it didn’t like once before. That time, it was Latinos.