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Obama and the Myth of the Racist Cabbie

Discussion in 'Political Debate & Discussion' started by Ps104_33, Jul 29, 2007.

  1. Ps104_33

    Ps104_33 New Member

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    Asked during the YouTube debate whether he was "black enough," Barack Obama replied, "When I'm catching a cab in Manhattan..." Obama was making a wry reference to the widely-held notion that blacks--and especially black males--have difficulty getting cabs in major cities. Years ago African-American scholar Cornel West wrote that when he wears his casual or "cool" attire, cabs routinely pass him by. West complained that they only pick him up when he's in a suit. So the paradigm of the racist cabbie has become a standard citation in the portrait of America as a racist society.
    This subject has been well studied, both in New York and Washington D.C., and there's no doubt that cabdrivers are indeed more reluctant to pick up black men. Yet here is a wrinkle in the civil rights narrative: most of the cabdrivers in New York and D.C. are not white. They are either nonwhite immigrants or they are African American. So why would a cabdriver from Pakistan or NIgeria refuse to pick up a black man? Why would African American cabbies in Chicago drive by a wildly-gesticulating Obama?




    When I was living in Phila. Pa., I had a good friend who came here to the U.S. from Nigeria. One of his first jobs was driving a cab in Camden New Jersey. He told me that he routinely passed up black people (usually young black males) to pick up a white person. He told me that he was tired of black males jumping out of the cab and running off without paying. De Sousa has a good point here. Most of the cab drivers snubbing black customers are non-white. This cannot be attributed to racism but is a pure business decision. There was a story on our local news station here in Tampa that a Papa Johns pizza in a black neighborhood in St. Petersburg Fla. stopped delivering and is pick-up only because of their delivery drivers always getting robbed. Racism? Or just another business decision?

    http://news.aol.com/newsbloggers/2007/07/25/obama-and-the-myth-of-the-racist-cabbie/
     
  2. Pete

    Pete New Member

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    Cabbies don't pick up people if they look like they will do a runner? No I don't believe that..... ;)
     
  3. Analgesic

    Analgesic New Member

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    What does that have to do with Obama?
     
  4. Filmproducer

    Filmproducer Guest

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    I guess it's a black thing. :rolleyes:

    Why do some people find it so important to "prove" that there is not racism in this country? For that matter, could the Papa Johns story you cited PS have anything to do with socioeconomics? The same thing was happening in Orlando, (who knows could be the same perps), and socioeconomics played a huge factor.
     
  5. Bro. Williams

    Bro. Williams New Member

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    Obama is black? I gotta get cable.
     
  6. Filmproducer

    Filmproducer Guest

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    :confused: Are you trying to be funny?
     
  7. Bro. Williams

    Bro. Williams New Member

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    There is nothing funny about not having cable.
     
  8. Ps104_33

    Ps104_33 New Member

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    The funny thing about the Papa John's pizza in St Pete is that they are only getting robbed while delivering in the black neighborhoods. But unfortunately they have to stop delivering in the white neighborhoods also.
     
  9. Filmproducer

    Filmproducer Guest

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    Be honest, is the root cause the "blackness" of the area, or the socioeconomics of the area? The world, even Tampa/St. Pete, is not neatly divided into black and white. Those "black" areas you speak of also have whites, hispanics, Asians, and pretty much any other ethnic origin, even if they are not in the majority. The same can be said for the white areas. You paint a picture as if the "blacks" have ruined the Papa Johns pizza delivery experience for the "whites", which is just a bunch of hooey.
     
  10. LeBuick

    LeBuick New Member

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    I believe this story prooves racism goes beyong the boundries of race or color???
     
  11. Analgesic

    Analgesic New Member

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    The problem is that correlation doesn't equal causation. Simply because they were only getting robbed in "black" neighborhoods doesn't mean that they were getting robbed because the neighborhood was "black". Unless other significant possibilities were controlled for, it's quite possible that the increase in robberies were due to a socioeconomic cause and not a racial one.
     
  12. Magnetic Poles

    Magnetic Poles New Member

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    Well, in reality he is as white as he is black. He is the son of a black African man and a caucasian woman from Kansas.

    However, one's racial identity is not a qualifier for the office of President.
     
  13. Hope of Glory

    Hope of Glory New Member

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    I worked for PJ's for years in management. In some cities that were majority black, we could blacklist any neighborhood that wasn't safe. But, if a city were not majority black, and we tried to blacklist an area for being dangerous, we had to make sure that there were as many whites losing out as blacks or we were in trouble! We could blacklist any white area that was dangerous, because we weren't "racist" when we did that.

    FWIW, I helped open up and train employees at one store (location will remain anonymous) in which the black drivers refused to deliver to the white neighborhoods, the whites refused to deliver to the black neighborhoods, and everyone refused to deliver to the Mexicans. The Mexicans were the best tippers, so as a trainer, I would take every delivery that went out that way. But, there was absolutely no way to force the drivers to go where they didn't want to go, as they would simply walk out and quit. As far as customers at that store went, black customers would not tip white drivers, and white customers would not tip black drivers.
     
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