This story made the rounds of social media the last few days and produced outrage - In this case seemingly justified. http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2015/08/24/3694422/black-women-train-laughing/
A few points....Yelp is full of anecdotes of people who behaved worse on winetrain excursions (including vomiting and fighting) and were allowed to stay on as well as a few accounts from other people on board the train who witnessed this shameful event and say this group was in no way disruptive.
Also other groups of non-white passengers have had similar encounters http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2015/08/25/napa_valley_wine_train_discrimination_another_passenger_thinks_she_was_discriminated.html
Seems to be the winetrain is what is known as a whitespace....Other races are interlopers http://onlineathens.com/opinion/2015-06-16/stanford-white-space-problem-many-black-americans
There is no way to justify forcing a group of educated middle aged women, a book club (these weren't tatted up hoodrats for Pete's sake) and one 80 year old retiree who is partly disabled walk through the entire train and then disembark while watched by police as if they were criminals.
Personally speaking about that part of California, I've never lived in Napa County but I did live for a couple years as a teenager in both Placer and Mendocino counties also in Northern California and I found the atmosphere in both extremely racist (Placer was worse). During Halloween one year, my high school had a dress up event and one boy wore a Klu Klux Klan hood and gown In fact, the KKK was known to have a chapter in the area. I saw confederate flags all the time even more than I did when I lived in Houston, Texas a couple years later.
However, now the winetrain has apologized. It's a full apology unequivocal but has a weird caveat that the situation would have been handled better if the group had been segregated from everyone else. It also came after a since deleted message also from winetrain staff stating that the group was violent as well as a number of other insulting untrue statements that the official apology also had to apologize for in addition to the original incident.
The truth is this apology would never have happened without social media. It can be a powerful tool for good in shaming racists, in recording acts of police brutality and other wrongdoing. It act like a jury and pronounces sentence. The opposite is of course is also true when the feeding frenzy gets ahold of false information and disseminates it.
In any event, I've traveled a lot over the world and I still would say that America or rather parts of America are among the most deeply racist, xenophobic, and inhospitable that I've encountered. It isn't just that Americans are ignorant - people are ignorant in all corners of the globe, it's that some Americans often rural, often white have a set sort of fanaticism about their ignorance and a need to show it off as if it was a religion.