I’m heading to a lunch time meeting today and jumped in the back of a cab. The driver of said cab is clearly agitated. We begin chatting and he quickly explains the reason for his consternation. It seems he’s the target of accusations of racial discrimination.
While doing his rounds one afternoon, he passes a single black woman standing on the side of the road and stops to pick up two white guys. The woman, apparently upset that she was passed over for a ride, notes his cab number and contacts the DC cab commission to file a formal complaint.
“It’s not my fault,” he tells me. “The DC cab fare structure allows me to charge more money for more passengers, even if I’m going to the same place. If I take two, three, four, five passengers to the exact same spot, I make more money. I didn’t pick her up because she was alone, not because she was black. Now I’m accused of being a racist.”
He’s right. The allegation is on the books. He has been labeled a racist by his accuser simply because of the economics of transporting two passengers.
Now, here’s the best part of the story. The accused racist… the cab driver who refused to pick up this black woman…. Well, he’s black, too.
Welcome to racism in America.