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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Laughing While Black? — 11 Black Women Kicked Off California Wine Train Tour Receive Official Apology

Black Women Kicked Off Napa Valley Train

San Francisco, CA — A popular vintage wine train tour company that offers train rides through California’s famous Napa Valley has apologized profusely to a group of Black women that were kicked off the train due to noise complaints. The women were a part of the Sistahs on the Reading Edge Book Club, and they were participating in the train tour as one of their group activities.

After 11 members of the group were removed for being “too loud”, they took their frustration to Facebook and the story spread like wild fire and sparked an outrage. An online petition was even created with more than 13,000 signatures of people who demanded that the women be apologized to.

All of this eventualy got back to Anthony Giaccio, CEO of the The Napa Valley Wine Train, who issued a public written statement, saying, “The Napa Valley Wine Train was 100 percent wrong in its handling of this issue. We accept full responsibility for our failures and for the chain of events that led to this regrettable treatment of our guests.”

Lisa Johnson, leader of the bookclub, said that they were humiliated by the ordeal, and said the company’s staff “paraded [them] through 6 cars on display in front of the other guests to waiting police.” She said they were treated “like we were criminals.”

She also criticized a since-removed Facebook posting by the train company that accused the women of being verbally and physically abusive to the other passengers.

But Giaccio also apologized for that, saying that the post was made in haste. He also said that all of his staff would be required to take diversity training courses, and he offered to host the women and enough of their friends to fill a train car as his personal guests.

It has not been reported yet if the women accepted the apology or Giaccio’s offer, but they have hired a civil rights attorney and are considering filing a discrmination lawsuit. Similar lawsuits have brought up to $5 million in damages.