complaint-boxThis may sound kind of funny but I have a complaint about the NY Times’ “Complaint Box” column running in Sunday’s (8/30) new Metropolitan section. First off, it’s yet another rant from a woman about how no one gave her a subway seat when she was pregnant. Fair enough, even though it seems to me The Times runs the same story rather frequently.

But my real complaint has to do the author’s (Lynn Harris) specific complaint that, of all the people who did give up their seat to her, never was it a “white man.”

The author writes: “A white man? Not on the list. Didn’t happen. Not once. Oh wait, once. That guy with a Playbill from ‘Jersey Boys.’ Not a local.” She goes on to explain her white guy prejudice further.

Maybe that’s true although I’m a white guy from Brooklyn and I always give up my seat to pregnant women on the subway, and have seen others do the same. But what’s really galling is the idea that The Times would approve this blanket condemnation, even in a column. Imagine for a moment if the author substituted any other group in that sentence. Would it have passed through the editors? You know the answer. No way.

So please don’t do that to us.

  1. ABA says:

    Already some 200 comments on the NY Times website about this.. many from women who disagree and some from white men who take umbrage. I liked this one, among others: “I’m 58. About 2 years ago I offered my seat to a young pregnant woman who replied, “thanks gramps but I’m ok”.
    Never again.”

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