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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Racism? Ageism? on the Go trains

Let me tell you of an incident...and then you will decide what to make of it.

Three older, grey haired, white females are on a Go train heading to downtown Toronto. Sitting diagonally from them is a young Native couple. The young couple actually look even younger than they are. Go train employees enter the area asking for tickets. The older women show theirs, and the employee notes that they were not cancelled. The women are given a friendly reminder to cancel the tickets when the get off. The young Native couple is approached. The native female shows her 10 ride ticket, and how the cancellation machine had damaged the ticket when she tried to cancel it for the ride. The native female explains that she did try but the machine mangeled the ticket and did not stamp it. She is given a written warning, her driver's license number is taken. She is lectured and spoken too in condescending tones. When the Go employee is questioned as to why the native was being treated more harshly, she was told that she should be thankful that she was not getting a fine of $110, and not worry about the other women who were treated with respect and courtesy.

Ageism? Racism? or just the Bad Luck of the draw?

I have been stewing on this one since the weekend. You see this is what happened to me. It would not have annoyed me so much if I had been treated as equally as the older white females, even if that had meant that we all had gotten the $110 fine. I don't care about the admonishment (although I have to tell you, that Go employee was condescending and rude) what I care about is the inequality of treatment here.

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