SOMETHING PERSONAL

Cab #--- was a total ******** he did not give me a ride home from across town because my husband was in costume as a black man with an afro. He was racial and I told him we lived across town it's a good fair for him and he refused. So I told him off and he knew that I was going to report him to --- for racial discrimination!


--- CAB TOLERATES RACISM!  Yes, you read that right!...Early Sat morning April 4th 2:30ish AM myself and two friends hailed a cab driver from downtown back to Hayes Valley who said it was it was his last fare of the night.  At first he did not want to take us, but then said; "OK, that's fine. It's my last fare. You guys are OK...I JUST DON'T WANT TO TAKE ANY BLACK PEOPLE."…Now, perhaps because it was dark or perhaps because I am light skinned, he seemed to miss the fact that I AM black!...We kept our cool and did not create a scene because we knew --- has GPS and that we could call to complain and give identifying information, time, date etc. to management…BUT…I have left multiple messages for the General Manager as well as filed a report with the city…I think it is F&CKING OUTRAGEOUS that this driver is allowed to work in this city; say what you want about his opinions- but the fact is that the MANAGEMENT…despite being alerted, HAS FAILED TO FOLLOW UP.

AUTHOR NOTE: The classic taxi discrimination story involves San Franciscan, and film star Danny Glover’s inability to get a taxi to stop for him while hailing in New York City http://www.nytimes.com/1999/11/04/nyregion/danny-glover-says-cabbies-discriminated-against-him.html. 
Ironically, Danny Glover is a former San Francisco taxi driver and his brother recently re-trained to join the ranks of San Francisco taxi drivers. It is my impression that not only does San Francisco have the smallest African-American population of any major American City but that it’s black residents have a smaller percentage of “middle class” people than black populations in other cities. When I have black tourists I always ask them if they are shocked by the relative absence of black faces. This always sparks a lively conversation. Taxi drivers spend a great deal of time traversing the Tenderloin, Mid-Market Street and Sixth Street south of Market. Many taxi drivers come from half-way around the world and are struggling hard for their piece of the “American Dream” are shocked by what they see. The factors that created this situation are far deeper than the intentions of this comment, and I do not intend to address them. Suffice to say that “race” serves a handy visual proxy for “class” and taxi drivers like every else don’t want to be exposed to the problems of the underclass. For my exercise I spend a lot of time walking, from place to place because I look just like the guys standing on line waiting for the shelter, or the free meal place to open, if because of timing I find myself walking behind a woman on a relatively deserted stretch of street, I’ll either walk in the street of switch to the other sidewalk so she won’t have be fearful. It’s an inconvenience but a small one. Perhaps the taxi driver didn’t identify you as “black” because your behavior didn’t conform to the stereotype. 

I'm Black. Really!  I swear I am!  I may not be the best dancer in the world, and I may bear a slight resemblance to a certain character on THE FRESH PRINCE OF BEL AIR (hint: NOT Will Smith), and I to have tickets to see Tristan und Isolde at the L.A. Opera, and I pronounce "chitterlings" phonetically instead of adhering to the generally accepted pronunciation "chittlins"…But I am, in fact, an African-American male. So why do you San Francisco cab drivers insist on picking me up?  This past weekend, the longest it took me to hail a cab was 45 seconds - and that was the longest. I started to think that maybe it was because I was hanging out in North Beach and Russian Hill. So this afternoon I tried hailing a cab in the Mission. --- Cab driver saw me from across the street and made an elaborate U-turn to get to me and pick me up.  And he was very friendly too. I'm beginning to develop a complex about this...I may have to take some lessons from Danny Glover.

ATUHOR NOTE: Chit-ter-lings ;)