So I know that once you read the title of this article, you had an answer pop in your head immediately. And more times than not, the answer was YES, profiling is racist but I want you to read a recent situation I was in. Read on.
So for my 24th birthday decided to not only celebrate the weekend before with a party bus around DC, but I also made a visit to NYC to see two of my best friends. We went out and had a great time. Danced with white chicks with no rhythm and even got “stalked” by one weird one named Andrea. That chick has issues. The drinks were flowing and the DJ was hitting on all cylinders. Shit was awesome. After hitting about 3 bars we decided that it was time to get home. It was 230 in the am, a nigga is getting old.
This is where we were confronted with a “racist” situation. We, three young nicely dressed black men in the lower east side of Manhatten, could not get a cab. And you might think, its NYC maybe all the cabs were full. Or maybe they were on call. Or maybe there weren’t any around. Hell naw. There were cab aplenty completely equipped with lights, fare trackers, gas and a foreign nigga driving. But none would stop for us. There was even one that waved us away as we approached his empty cab just to drive down 40 yards and pick up one white lady. This means he settled for less money because they are able to charge a higher premium for more riders.
We got pissed. One of my boys then made it his mission to track down every cab he could and ask for a ride. Whenever a cab refused us a ride, my boy flicked them off and bid them ado with a loud “Fuck you!” Needless to say, this didn’t help us in our endeavors. Finally, Ishmael Guevera stopped and picked us up. He had been driving a cab for only 5 months, and he was the man that night.
He was a younger guy, so I had to ask him, WHY THE FUCK DIDN’T THE OTHER CABS STOP FOR US! IS IT BECAUSE WE WERE BLACK?! We were quite infuriated by this point. And you know what the dude said? Yes, it is because we are black that cabs didn’t stop. I was not surprised because I knew racist bitches existed.
But then my boy Ishmael dropped some knowledge on us. And it gave me a whole new perspective on racism. He informed us that while cabs don’t like to stop for black people in Manhattan, it was not for the reasons we thought. We thought they didn’t pick us up because black people leave bad tips or they try to get out of paying or tend to be aggressive towards people. The list goes on and on. None of these are the reason the cabs didn’t stop for us.
As it turns out, the cabbies were being economic. It turns out that people of certain ethnic backgrounds are concentrated to certain parts of the city. Hispanics in Queens, whites in Manhattan, blacks in Brooklyn and Asians in Flushing. Brooklyn is mad far from Manhattan and THAT is why they didn’t pick up blacks. Not that the area is bad or anything, but that they LOSE money by driving to Brooklyn, because on their way back to Manhattan they do not have a fare for about 30 minutes. So one fare for an hour of driving makes them $30, whereas 5 fares in Manhattan in that same hour makes them over $100. Would you pick up black people? I would have to say I wouldn’t. I need money.
So this makes me wonder, is profiling racism? I know racism includes profiling, but profiling doesn’t necessarily constitute racism. Just food for thought.