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Anger over author's critical post of worker eating on train

AP  |  Washington 

A Jordanian American is facing a backlash after she posted a picture on of a public transit worker eating on a train and reported details about the woman to her bosses.

Natasha apologized a day later on and deleted her post before making her account private, but the publishing house distributing her debut novel dropped her and her publisher delayed the planned release of the book.

The response to Friday's post was almost immediate, with people upset that someone who called herself a "minority writer" in a recent column at would shame another minority woman and possibly cause her to lose her job.

Tynes' post showed the woman in her work uniform eating on the train. The authority doesn't allow drinking or eating on its trains and buses, although officials on Wednesday had advised police officers to stop issuing tickets for those violations.

"When you're on your morning commute & see @wmata employee in UNIFORM eating on the train I thought we were not allowed to eat on the train. This is unacceptable. Hope @wmata responds," wrote.

When the authority's account reached out for more information, replied with the time, the train and the direction it was traveling, reported.

Tynes "did something truly horrible today in tweeting a picture of a 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," Tynes' publishing house, Rare Birds Books, said in a statement.

Tynes' publisher, California Coldblood, also issued a statement, saying "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 publisher said it was postponing the release of Tynes' novel "while we further discuss appropriate next steps to officially cancel." The novel, "They Called Me Wyatt," is about a murdered Jordanian student whose consciousness ends up in the body of a baby boy who as an adult tries to figure out what happened with her death. When called Tynes on Sunday, she said "no thank you, I'm not going to comment." Metro officials didn't respond to questions about whether the employee faced any discipline.

An with the union for Metro workers said the woman was taking a meal break while going from one job to another.

Metro operators have "an average of 20 minutes to consume a meal and get to their next access point to ensure all buses and trains are on time, safe, and ready to serve the riding public," said Barry Hobson, the of staff for the Metro workers union, Local 689.

Hobson's statement referenced a Wednesday email from the telling officers to stop writing tickets for fare evasion, eating, drinking, spitting and playing music without headphones until further notice.

"Understanding this email, our operator clearly was doing no wrong," Hobson's statement said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, May 12 2019. 23:56 IST