Recently a video depicting a fight between two young Black commuters and an older White passenger on a New York City subway went viral. Although altercations on public transportation happen every day, this one seemed to touch a nerve.

The video, which was reportedly shot in Brooklyn, begins in the middle of a brewing conflict. Although it is unclear what happened immediately before the women began shooting verbal jabs at one another, one thing is clear: The conflict kicked into overdrive when a White passenger called one of the young Black commuters an “animal.”

After an older White woman observes one of the young Black women eating she scoffs, “What kind of animals eat on the train?”

Predictably, this sets the two young women off. No one wants to be called an “animal,” but when this insult is hurled at an individual of color from a White person, it becomes that much more loaded.

After the White woman calls the women “animals,” “pigs,” and “idiots” for eating on the subway (which isn’t illegal, by the way), they begin to let off a series of insults calling her a “bitch” and commenting about her weight.

When the two women stand up, the situation goes from bad to worse. Somewhere between the name-calling and the herky-jerkiness of the train, the women end up bumping into one another and a full-on fight ensues.

On many websites, the comments have mostly centered around the behavior of the young girls. Many focus on their choice to settle their beef with the woman with their fists. However, while the teens should have let the woman’s insults roll off of their backs, the video clearly shows the older woman instigated the situation by calling them “animals” and later pushing one of the girls first (peep the 2:37 mark).

When the confrontation turns physical, a Black man jumps in—presumably to protect the White woman—and breaks up the fight. He goes on to lecture the girls and tell them they need to “chill.” Never mind that they were insulted first, by the looks of the video, many already blamed them for the confrontation.

I agree with writer Jamilah Lemieux when she wondered why no one was willing to defend the girls before things got physical. Had another passenger told the woman to leave them alone or called her out for calling them “animals,” perhaps the entire altercation could have been prevented.

But they didn’t. No one thought to stick up for these young Black girls when they were being disrespected, but many leapt into action during the fight and even scolded the girls for their actions. To me, this speaks volumes about how some view Black women.

Did no one step in to stop the altercation before it got violent because the girls seemed “tough,” and could handle this woman’s hideous remarks? Or did they not step in because defending Black women isn’t that high one most people’s list?

Unfortunately, I’m willing to wager it’s the later. Many have taken literal and metaphorical jabs at Black women for years and the only ones upset have been us. Even though it’s unfortunate no one spoke up for these girls, it isn’t surprising.

So ladies, be careful out there because sometimes we all we got.

What do you think? Does this incident say anything about how Black women are viewed or is it just a stupid situation that got out of control?

Let’s talk about it!


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  • JS

    Some people have to grab a meal on the train. I’ve had to do it many times before, going from my job to night school. If the girl was throwing meatballs on the floor than I would consider her a pig, but she wasn’t. Being called a pig unprovoked would of pissed me off too. She shouldn’t have been harassed.

  • Actually , I thought the girl eating the spaghetti was cute and mature for a teenager . How many young adults have that much patience to turn the cheek these days . Yes , the agitator was wrong . I also admire the good samaritans that broke up the fight . GOD bless them all . Conclusion… we all need JESUS in control of our hearts / lives or forget about living !

  • Are you allowed to eat on the NYC subway? I know a lot of subway systems ban eating and drinking. But if NYC does not have such a rule, then that fat white woman should have kept her piehole shut.

  • greg

    The white woman was at fault and someone should have scolded her.
    But having said that let me say the following:
    While this is not to say all Black women(Sanaa Lathan,Gabriel Union, Thandie Newton and Zoe Saldana will be excluded from this generalization) most of them
    happen to exhibit the following traits which make it most difficult to stick up for them.
    They have a heightened sense of sensitivity to there self image and they are
    always trying to right percieved slights whether real or imagined as a result they are
    Bellicose, Belligerent, ungrateful to men who stick up for them, LOUD and most
    unlady like, and emotionally selfish. It is almost as though they think if they act this way noone will bother them. Unfortunately this wall they have erected contributes to the negative stereotype.
    The SAD thing is that Most of these Black women have NO idea that their behavior is
    so grating to most. They will always blame others for their behavior or their lack of

  • greg

    Also in the interest of fairness let me talk about white women as well.
    Some white women. Namely those who are over 50 or foriegn born white
    women, have an unrealistic sense of entitlement and they are very
    prejudice toward Black people and black women in general and
    they feel they can say anything they wish with impunity. They remember
    the old days when Black people were treated like animals and they
    hide behind their own insecurities by clinging to thier antiquated
    unevolved thinking. The younger generation of white women is alot more
    evolved and mature mentally and some of them realize that EVERY RACE
    has their problems. But the bottom line is, Every race has smart people, rich,
    poor, religious, hedonistic, criminal and gifted. Noone is better than
    anyone and anyone who does not embrace this is not really evolved mentally.