Several official-looking but clearly unofficial BART notices observed by riders this morning call attention to the national uptick in angry, bigoted attacks since the election of Donald Trump in a campaign whose rhetoric brought them to the mainstream. The sign, presumably a response to local incidents of such behavior, are clear and concise, but they don't seem to give a hoot about cuss words:
Obviously someone with some Photoshop skills created these, and BART would likely have minced a few more words if they were to post anything about this issue and the signs appeared wedged on top of existing BART ads in trains. But hey: Great guerrilla artwork, guys!
Hate crimes in San Francisco were down in 2015 but may be on the rise now, with high-profile incidents including a woman attacked for wearing a Hijab at San Jose State University and a racist verbal attack observed on an SFO-departing flight. That was quelled by a plea from the plane's captain.
A viral video circulating on November 11 showed a woman on BART engaging in a racist, xenophobic verbal attack against a woman that referenced Donald Trump. As SFist noted at the time, her rantings, though upsetting, appeared to stem from mental illness. After propagating the video, ABC7 added the update that "People who know the woman shown in the video, who engaged in a racist rant, have contacted ABC7 News. They say the woman is living with mental illness and they are concerned for her safety."
"We ask our riders to be decent to each other and practice common courtesy," BART spokesperson Alicia Trost told NBC Bay Area at the time. "Folks should be able to get to their destination without being harassed or mistreated,” Trost said. “While free speech needs to be protected, threats to do harm and violence against our riders and employees will not be tolerated. We ask our riders to be our eyes and ears and report illegal activity to BART Police. We will send an officer right away to respond.”
The next day, BART tweeted a similar message:
With civil discourse deteriorating we want to make clear, threats to riders or employees will not be tolerated. Be decent to each other.— SFBART (@SFBART) November 12, 2016
The rhetoric now from would-be BART officials is, well, more explicit: Get your shit together or get off BART.
Are you listening, pantless man smoking meth or possibly crack on a train this summer?