Since “My Ride on DART Today” anecdotes seem to be FrontBurner staples, here’s another: Nearing the Mockingbird station headed toward downtown this morning, a white DART cop on the Blue Line train started asking passengers for their proof of payment. (The law says you have to have a ticket or a pass to ride.) All was fine until he got to a black woman seated in front of me, who pulled out a couple of old tickets, then finally admitted she hadn’t paid for this ride. The cop calmly took her ID and retreated to the boarding step to write out a $50 fine. (It’s actually called an “administrative fee.”)
At that, a heavily tattooed white guy sitting next to the offender started lecturing her about her “Constitutional rights.” A black woman in the next seat shook her head solemnly and said, “If you were a different color, you wouldn’t be gettin’ no ticket!” Nearby a third black woman agreed: “Sheeee ….” she muttered. At that, I thought back to how I (a pasty-faced Anglo) had been ticket-less one morning after the machine rejected my seven quarters, and how the black DART cop had let me go after I proposed to try another machine once I got off. Then this: No matter how much we may all wish and hope and work at it, racism and accusations of it ain’t going anywhere anytime soon.