Latina Woman Describes Similar Experience as Black Women on Napa Valley Wine Train

Norma Ruiz
Norma Ruiz

A Bay Area Latina woman says recent news of a group of black women getting kicked off the Napa Valley Wine Train for making too much noise motivated her to share her own experience on the same tour.

Norma Ruiz of San Leandro, Calif., was celebrating her 28th birthday in the train’s lounge car with 10 friends in April, when a fellow passenger aggressively approached the party and said they were “annoying” other guests.

The group moved to the dining car, and even though they kept their voices low, a staff member threatened to boot them off the train.

Ruiz complained about the incident on Yelp, posting a two-star review with a lengthy account on April 20.

“I felt so ridiculed when the manager approached me about keeping our noise down when in fact our noise level was no longer an issue,” Ruiz wrote.

After this experience I sincerely have no desire to come back.”

“I really advise you if you will be celebrating a special occasion with a group larger than 4 PLEASE really consider taking your business elsewhere because you will not be welcomed.”

Ruiz’s friends were Latino UC-Berkeley graduates and she told Slate that she’s now realizing race played a role in how staff treated her group.

“I think it was just that person complaining and then the manager seeing that we were Latino, basically decided to discriminate [against] us because we were Latinos and [a big] group,” she shared with Slate. “Now that I hear about this event with a group of African American ladies being kicked out of the train, I’m seeing a pattern. I’m realizing that how I was treated was not normal.”

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Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Amy Graff

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