A group of 10 black women and one white, who were kicked off a Napa Valley Wine Train tour in Northern California for allegedly talking and “laughing too loudly” have filed a $11 million racial discrimination lawsuit.
The incident that has ignited widespread debate and the hashtag #LaughingWhileBlack has been trending since then, with messages of support.
The 11 women who are part of a book club called Sisters on the Reading Edge said they were humiliated by the incident and two group members lost their jobs because of the media furore,Daily Mail reported.
“We didn’t do anything wrong…we still feel this is about race. We were singled out,” said club member Lisa Johnson.
A fellow passenger, Danielle, who rode with the women on the Wine Train, who witnessed the incident corroborated the women’s allegations and later wrote on Yelp that the incident could have been “racially motivated,” considering “other, non-black guests were behaving in the same way and not removed. I can only conclude it was discrimination”.
The Wine Train tried to make amends for the treatment of the women and made an offer which included, “free future trip for themselves plus 39 friends in a private car – an offer worth more than $6,200 at current fare prices,” the Daily Mail reported.
However, the women declined the offer and instead chose to file a lawsuit.
Here’s a video of a Guardian report pertaining to the incident: