Opinion: Natasha Tynes’ Anti-Black Behavior Towards a D.C. MTA Worker Is a Lesson for ‘People of Color’
Jordanian American writer, Natasha Tynes, who’s also an employee at World Bank, sent a tweet out during her morning commute to work regarding a Black female employee at DC’s Metro Transit Authority (MTA) eating on the train. That tweet sent Black Twitter into a frenzy regarding people of color and anti-Blackness. Tynes even reported the woman to transit officials. It’s not clear if the employee has been reprimanded although, via social media, MTA officials tried to pinpoint who she was by asking for the route Tynes had taken.
Natasha Tynes confronted the employee to chastise and question her for breaking DC MTA rules. After the confrontation, the woman told her to “worry about yourself.”
“When you’re on your morning commute & see @wmata employee in UNIFORM eating on the train,” Tynes tweeted. “I thought we were not allowed to eat on the train. This is unacceptable. Hope @wmata responds.”
‘Thank you for catching this and helping us to make sure all Metro employees are held accountable,’ DC MTA replied from its Twitter account.
The author informed them that the train was headed to Glenmont on the Red Line at approximately 9 am.
Twitter soon chimed in with rightful and vicious critiques of the woman. Many of the tweets pointed out how anti-black Tynes was for going after a black woman who was minding her business and not bothering anyone on the train.
“Funny that your pinned tweet is about being a ‘minority’ writer and using that as a basis to sell your book yet you saw another minority person eating and you wanted to ruin their livelihood,” actress Kelechi Okafor asserted. “You’re a trash individual.”
Journalist Ernest Owens added: ”People of color’ like Natasha Tynes is the reason why I make it a point to directly name Black people within the spectrum because there is anti-Blackness within people of color in totality. POC solidarity is often upheld by Black people, but not maintained by others within.”
"People of color" like Natasha Tynes is the reason why I make it a point to directly name Black people within the spectrum, because there is anti-Blackness within people of color in totality.
POC solidarity is often upheld by Black people, but not maintained by others within.
— Ernest Owens (@MrErnestOwens) May 11, 2019
Tynes apologized and deleted the tweets after the damage had been done stating weakly: ‘I apologize for a tweet I posted earlier today, which I have since deleted. I am truly sorry.”
Her Twitter account is now private due to the backlash over her actions. The book she authored, “They Called Me Wyatt,” has now been shelved by Rare Bird Publishing House in lieu of her racist, anti-black behavior and rightfully so. The company was set to distribute her book.
The publisher issued a statement.
A word from us on what happened this morning with Natasha Tynes in DC. pic.twitter.com/gJY4lZLFUQ
— Rare Bird (@rarebirdlit) May 11, 2019
“Our author did something truly horrible today in tweeting a picture of a metro worker eating her breakfast on the train this morning and drawing attention to her employer. Black women face a constant barrage of this kind of inappropriate behavior directed toward them and a constant policing of their bodies. We think this is unacceptable and have no desire to be involved with anyone who thinks it’s acceptable to jeopardize a person’s safety and employment in this way.”
Rare Bird Publishing House also encouraged her publisher, California Coldblood, to sever ties with her as well. California Coldblood also responded by issuing a statement.
“We do not condone her actions and hope Natasha learns from this experience that black women feel the effects of systematic racism the most and that we have to be allies, not oppressors,” the statement read. “As for the book’s publication, we are working with our distributor to take appropriate next steps.”
Regarding Natasha Tynes' actions this morning in Washington DC: pic.twitter.com/LvBq8YoONH
— California Coldblood (@CalifColdblood) May 11, 2019
And therein lies the problem. Black people, specifically Black women, are often hurt by other people’s anti-black actions including other people of color. A Jordanian woman purposely targeted a Black woman for simply doing an activity that many people do on a regular basis- whether it’s against the rules or not. It’s not like it’s been reported that Tynes had a history of reporting others for eating on the train.
The facts are she invaded a Black woman’s personal space and tried to harm her because she couldn’t control the woman’s actions. Even Tynes’ confrontation and demanding of answers insinuated the woman was required to answer Tynes. When she didn’t get the response she wanted, Natasha Tynes wanted the woman punished. Natasha Tynes is the epitome of being a “person of color” who just happens to be anti-black.
And this just doesn’t take place in DC.
Black people, repeatedly, endure this behavior throughout this nation. On the contrary, there are some people who felt that Black Twitter coming to the MTA employee’s rescue and subsequently sabotaging Tynes’ book deal was hypocritical. It is not.
Tynes is a bigot and had she minded HER business- she wouldn’t have to worry about her livelihood. Eating a meal, whether it broke the rules or not, doesn’t hurt anyone. If Black Twitter hadn’t come in to protect the MTA employee and tell the author about her anti-black behavior, Natasha Tynes would have gone about her day with no afterthought of the ramifications of her actions or the damage she caused.
Hopefully, the MTA in DC has not taken action against the woman.
This tweet, from another non-black person of color, summed it up best when it comes to the treatment of Black people by other minorities.
Just catching up on this Natasha Tynes and Ali Al-Ahmed guy nonsense and all I have to say is brown folks forget how we not only benefit from white supremacist structures built at the expense of Black Americans but that too often we emulate & celebrate those structures
— Sana Saeed (@SanaSaeed) May 11, 2019