Msnowe's Blog

racist trains and homophobic rails

Posted in Uncategorized by m.snowe on April 3, 2008

It never hurts to point out the obvious when often it is so obvious we hardly recognize it, or it blends into that congealed goo of the everyday mess. Alas, because something makes it self available to be “easily seen” as the word obvious implies, that doesn’t give it the ultimate right to natural observance & recognition. And usually, when something obvious finally demands our attention–it smacks with the clarity of a thousand high-beam headlights.

Yesterday, one observation was recorded, and summarily, it goes like this: “The Bayonne flyer, (insert chuckle), more like ‘the white flyer‘–that train skips all the black neighborhoods.”

Okay, so this little quote might need some background. Setting: Jersey City, New Jersey. Transport: The Hudson-Bergen Light Rail. This above ground train makes stops from Hoboken to Bayonne, and is a relatively new addition to the area (ten to twenty years old). Stops have been added, and construction in the area is rampant–new high-rise apartments are being built and refurbished, and the downtown business district of Jersey City is a newly revamped, pristine center of finance–Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, Bank of America, and JP Morgan Chase all have some big, ominous buildings clustered together like a gang of four, blocking out the run-down, financially bankrupt foil a mile or so away. The argument is hard here, because the neighborhood is clean and developed, but it’s mostly a Monday through Friday, 9-5pm crowd. The luxurious buildings and fancy apre work bars lay vacant and unused during the weekend. Discarded office memos blow down tree lined boulevards like tumbleweeds on a Saturday afternoon. The “Bayonne Flyer” is a train that is express service, and it goes in both directions, but it only stops in the business district, Hoboken, and park and ride areas. Now, having observed for many months, it can be concluded that the Flyer is multicultural, for sure. But these so-called “flyers” are predominantly business types, and yes, your average white middle class yuppies. The contrast is pronounced between the flyers, however, and other trains, such as the West Side Avenue train, which runs local, at every stop. Even the most untrained, unfamiliar eye would see that on two different trains, such as the Flyer and the West Side Ave trains, the riders are varied–usually the divergences are noticable in terms of race, age, and class. This changes depending on the day of the week, and the time of day. But what is most notable is that the Bayonne Flyer only attracts people of a certain race and income range–that being white and upper middle. There are obviously exceptions, such as trips to areas within the Bayonne Flyer stops (there is a mall and grocery store).

The men talking this over, about the “whiteness” of the Bayonne flyer, and it’s discriminatory stopping, were black. But that obviously doesn’t make a difference. What really matters about their observation is the injustice of it all. The West Side trains are just as busy, but they don’t skip the “white stops” on the way, making their travel equally as fast as the “Flyer.” If the NJ transit authority is going to segregate the light rail, they might as well go full tilt and create a West Side Flyer. It is utterly ridiculous to pass this off as consumer needs driven transportation–the plain-as-day truth is that the businesspeople moved into Jersey City and decided to take it over–white people are the minority of residents in Jersey City, yet it’s their preferences that are quietly, yet ever so overtly seeping into a town full of residents of a plethora or races and ethnicities. It’s wonderful, the diversity: South American, Indian, Chinese, African American, Middle Eastern, etc. It’s enjoyable to go shopping in a city where people speak many languages and other cultures are celebrated–yet the boring-as-vanilla-starbuck’s-latte lifestyle is creeping in, and it’s disturbing. Especially because these half-caff-no-foamers don’t live in Jersey City. If you buy/rent a place, you should get to participate in the dialogue. But dictation from Paramus is no good. And it’s so obvious.

Another disturbing and blatantly imbecile story here. What this woman is all about beats the living, breathing, cognitive daylights out of most people, for sure. As a preliminary argument, remember this:
1. Church and State separation, please?
2. Terrorists kill out of hatred, it’s commonly accepted that love is a bit different (no matter what kind)
3. Where are these studies?
4. This woman is ignorant as dirt. (sorry, dirt–we didn’t mean it!)

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