If you live in an urban area with a subway train system, chances are you’ve seen it, a subway fight. And maybe you’ve seen a naked man go on a rant on the subway system, as was true for a number of passengers on the #6 train in NYC in early May of this year. Well, if you’ve wondered what to do to avoid such calamities in the future, this video blog is for you.
Let’s use three recent, real World examples – two from New York City.
In the first one, a young girl, black, is eating pasta out of a container, much to the displeasure of an adult white woman sitting across from her. Race is noted here, because the adult white woman uses racist terms and insults to verbally assault the obviously young girl. That alone was horrible, and some measure of understanding must be offered to the girl, who calls the woman by her overweight status.
But the best way for both to avoid these situations is, for the adult woman, to stop trying to control others. If she didn’t like it, she could have moved – no one was stopping her.
The girl’s not supposed to eat on the train, but let’s face it, many people do. And I’ve seen some patrons and the police on San Francisco’s Bay Area Rapid Transit System make an issue of it if a person of color was doing the consuming of even a cup of coffee; it’s OK if the person happens to be white.
But today, BART allows the sale of Starbucks Coffee in two stations: Berkeley and Powell Street. So, the BART Police should not even enforce such a “no eating” law and the BART Board should take it off their books, because it’s not fair to maintain it, and sell food at the same time.
But I digress.
In the second example, an older Latina woman is singing on the Hollywood Subway. A man standing next to her doesn’t like it. But rather than walk away, tries to control what she’s doing. Another man takes offense to the, as I call him, “Angry Man’s” behavior, and steps between them. The Angry Man sucker punches the other man and a fight breaks out.
The Angry Man had a problem and I personally hope he was charged with assault. He should have just walked away. The woman has a free speech right to sing on a public train, and at least one of the passengers enjoyed it.
Racism Is A Mental Illness
In the final example, a man in the video, obviously nuts, strips naked while yelling racial insults. What to do? Well, first get a camera or camcorder! Seriously. YouTube, for one video distribution company, pays well for viral videos. Second, get away from the guy and call the police, ASAP. Third, unless you like danger and think you can take him down without putting your hand in the wrong place, leave him alone.
The guy in the video had to be on something to act like that. Plus, he disobeyed a police officer, and then in one of the other videos it was said he tried to grab the cop’s gun.
So this guy’s looking at a bit longer than the standard penalty for disorderly conduct.
BART Is Safer – But Not By Much
Thankfully the BART system doesn’t have as many happenings like these, even though they do occur. Take the guy blowing his horn in the passenger’s face after the Giants World Series Game last year:
That passenger did the right thing: he just went with it, and the drunk guy walked on.
One reason for the fewer fights than in Eastern cities, I think, is simply because the trains are much nicer than their New York counterparts.
But the quiet, clean, nice BART of the 20th Century, is giving way to a dirtier, louder version in the 21st Century.
If this is a budget issue, and it must be, then given the state’s overall revenue problem, we’re in for trouble. One way BART should mitigate that is to have a sponsored train. Here, revenue is generated by allowing a train to have logos of a sponsor.
Something has to be done. Else, BART’s degeneration into the next venue for urban fight clubs will continue.