DC writer loses book deal after reporting black Metro employee for breaking rule
Jordanian-American journalist and writer Natasha Tynes faced Twitter wrath after she alerted the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) to a black woman in a Metro uniform eating on a train presumably on her way to work. Tynes, who has since deleted her tweet, reportedly wrote: "I thought we were not allowed to eat on the train. This is unacceptable. Hope @wmata responds."
"When I asked the employee about this, her response was, 'worry about yourself,'" Tynes said.
It did not take long for WMATA to respond. The transit authority asked Tynes to provide the exact time and location of her encounter and thanked her for helping to "make sure all Metro employees are held accountable."
But that was only the beginning of the story, as Twitter erupted with outraged posts accusing Tynes of being a snitch. The backlash mostly focused on the race and gender of the employee, with many calling out Tynes for contributing to the oppression of women of color.
Not content with admonishing the author on Twitter, many flocked to the Goodreads page of her upcoming book 'They Called Me Wyatt'.
Going to goodreads now to give you zero stars for a book I haven’t even read. I’m just being petty like you :)— Sumeya E. Alington (@sumeyaalington) May 10, 2019
As of Saturday evening, the book, which was to be published June 11, has a one-star rating, with the most popular comment calling Tynes a "bigot" who "went out of her way to get an African American lady fired for eating on her way to work."
Faced with the mass outcry, Tynes tweeted an apology: "I apologize for a tweet I posted earlier today, which I have since deleted. I am truly sorry," but that wasn't enough for the angry crowd.
Natasha Tynes' apology which has zero detail abt accountability is another fucking reminder of the anti-Black sentiment among non-Black POC communities. NEVER assume your narrative is done or you're done learning. Until you practice uplifting Black women, you're not free.— Lisa Factora-Borchers (@LFB27) May 10, 2019
Shortly afterwards, Tynes locked her account – but the Twitter evisceration was not the end of the story for her. Rare Birds, the publishing house that was supposed to distribute Tynes' novel, said it considers the author's behavior "horrible" and has "no desire to be involved with anyone who thinks that it's acceptable to jeopardize a person's safety and employment in this way."
In a statement on Friday, her publisher, California Coldblood, said it was discussing "appropriate next steps" with their distributor. With the backlash showing no signs of waning on Saturday, the company announced that it was "halting all shipments from the warehouse, and postponing the book's publication date" while working on the "next steps to officially cancel the book's publication."Also on rt.com DC transit cop arrests, knocks down black teen over lollipop & chips [VIDEO]
While the punishment Tynes has received for a single tweet might seem over the top, DC Metro rules for those who violate its strict eating ban are just as harsh, and have resulted in police using force on "offenders." Three years ago, a video went viral of police officers arresting a black teenage girl after she refused to abandon her lollipop and bag of chips as she entered a metro station.
It is unclear if the uniformed employee has been disciplined by the WMATA in this case.
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