We've been going back and forth on this for days now. The MTA, the evil quasi-governmental monopoly who can't be buggered to report accurate financial results, is attempting to remove pesky benefits like pensions and four-minute bathroom breaks from transit workers. The union is about to strike, which would be financially devastating to them under the gigantic daily fines the city has been allowed to impose. Commuters are stuck in the middle of all of this.
So where are the negotiations now? I put on WCBS-880 for a couple of minutes tonight, and I was greeted by the news that Roger Toussaint, the head of the TWU, is a "highly intelligent man." Now think about that statement for a second. Toussaint also happens to be a black man of Haitian descent. Has anyone ever called Peter Kalikow a "highly intelligent man" during a report? Think about it - have you ever heard ANY white guy referred to as "highly intelligent" during any sort of report? The statement itself struck me as condescending, and made only because of the race of the subject. Are people sitting there saying "wow, that head of the union, who is negotiating an intricate contract with the city, isn't very intelligent?" I don't know - maybe they are. But if so, it's an example of unintentional racism.