Urban Transit, Race, and Class in D.C.

This morning I took a bus from my mostly white upper middle class suburb of Washington DC to the Metro station.   The bus originates in a working class suburb to the north of my town.  When I got on around 7am, the bus was fairly crowded, a standing room only affair.  What might come as a surprise is that I was the only white, non-Hispanic male on the bus.  There were a few African-American males, more Hispanic males, a few more African-American women, but mostly Hispanic women.  Given the origin of the bus, this is not surprising.  A few white women got on the bus on our trip to the Metro station,  but when the bus reached its destination, I was still the only white male on the bus.  The bus passes through a wealthy almost purely white suburb between my house and the Metro station.  A few people got off, but almost no one got on.

When I got on the Metro, it was if I had landed on another planet.  The riders were almost exclusively white males.  Many were wearing suits and ties.  No one on the bus was.   The ethnic makeup of the ridership on the Metro did not change on my trip to downtown DC.

The people on the bus, like those on the Metro all seemed to be going to work.  But the bus riders were dressed for more manual work than the Metro riders.  Again, this is not a shocker.

When they tell you that we need to deport the illegals and “all those people are on welfare”,  please know that it’s a load of crap.   Those people are the ones who work for low wages in the hospitality industry, clean our homes and offices, harvest and process the food on our tables, and take the bus to work.



One thought on “Urban Transit, Race, and Class in D.C.

  1. RJs

    I live in a mostly upper middle class neighborhood consisting of 276 families. Most houses are 4-5 bedroom houses and there are kids up the wazoo here. I put a notice on the community website looking for a teenager to do some menial gardening and clean up tasks to earn some extra spending money. $15/hr. ONE response from 276 families and that was a mother sending her 14 yr old over to do the work. And then they wonder why I go to the local 7-11 parking lot to pick up a Latino that does an excellent job.


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