Last year Oscar Grant died in a BART station, shot to death by a BART police officer. It was a cowardly act, seemingly unprovoked by any stretch of the imagination. BART has been trying to change the way it deals with passengers. The officers are shooting less people, they are friendlier and so on.
BART's police force went under the microscope after the shooting, and rightly so. Any time a cop shoots someone for apparently no reason ("I was scared" is not a reason), it needs to be investigated. BART, not wanting to seem like the trigger-happy, minority-hating LAPD of years past, took steps to humanize its public image. Interviews with some BART riders says it worked. Others are obviously skeptical.
This year there will be a bigger police presence on the public transportation system. Some lines won't be running due to crowd issues (or so they say). People, I suppose, may be relieved. Others may think, "Well, I hope I don't get shot. I better just stand here and look at my feet."
If you're black and riding BART, I wish you the best of luck. I think your chances of getting shot for based on skin color are down about 30% from last year, but I don't think you're out of the water yet. If you're a male, I think your risk increases by about 10%. Be careful.
On a note related to racism, Rush Limbaugh, that bombastic junkie who happens to have a radio show that is the epitome of progressive thinking, was rushed to a hospital in Hawaii last night. Looks like I got a late Christmas present! I don't know why he is there yet, but I am anxiously awaiting word. Drug overdose? Beat up by a prostitute? Ass cancer? I'm hoping for the first or last, but I'll take the second option, too, if only for the entertainment value. I don't like that motherfucker, and I wish him all the worst. If anyone is working at the hospital and happens to snap some cell phone pictures of him with tubes up his nose, I'd love to see them.
Let's hope this is the last year we'll to hear from that human feces sack. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.