Posted in Blog

Black Cab Racist Trolls

I’m sure you’ve heard that Uber’s license has been denied renewal by TfL (Transport for London), therefore from 30th September 2017, Uber may be no more. I’m disappointed, because as a person with a hidden disability as well as having been on a low-income for a year and now being on benefits, I had come to rely on Uber for its low fare – and yes before you criticise, I understand why it’s so much cheaper, I’m not stupid remember.

However, I was also using Uber out of personal principle. I used to date a Black Cab driver and he used to relay some of the racist comments that the drivers would make about the Uber drivers; To me, this wasn’t a campaign about class, this was about immigration, race and colour. Their propaganda campaign on social media grew, with videos of confused Uber drivers going down the wrong streets with abusive and provocative captions. My ex would spend hours watching these videos and reading these tweets about the drivers, however the cabbies weren’t actually saying anything about the company itself.

Then, after sharing my story back in May about one of the last times I used a Black Cab on the night I took an overdose, when the cab driver dumped us outside of the closed entrance of the Whittington Hospital in North London and drove off, on Wednesday night, almost three months later a bunch of Black Cab drivers trolled me on Twitter. The reason why I had shared the story in the first place, was in defense of Uber because I’ve been in countless situations were I’ve been travelling alone and Uber drivers have made sure that I’m safely inside the building before driving off. When I went to my cousin’s boat birthday party last year, the Uber driver made me text my Uncle to make sure that we had the right boat before driving off! And when I went to see Radiohead in Manchester, the Uber driver waited while I rang the bell and was safely inside the hotel before driving off.

Black Cabbies have never done that. All I ever get from Black Cab drivers is whining. Sometimes to get to work if I was feeling particularly run down, if the Uber app was busy I would have to use Gett for a Black Cab: they might accept the job, make you wait 10 minutes and then cancel, then when one eventually comes, the driver would whine through the entire journey that it’s because it’s:

“soooooooooooooooooooooooo faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooootttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt of Zone 1”

which is why all of the other cabbies ignored my job request.

They used to even moan when I lived in Kent! We lived a 5 minute drive from the train station, however as a young black woman, it just wasn’t safe to walk alone at night.

They moan when a fare is too short and they moan when a fare is too far. That’s not working class. That’s LAZY.

Anyway, back to the trolling, these guys were relentless, and when I shared my story on social media, it became apparent that I wasn’t their only victim. They search for your profile, they read through your tweets and use whatever they can as a against you: the colour of your skin, your job title, your sexuality, your political persuasions – for example, this is how I knew that they had read through my tweets, because my Twitter profile description says I’m a Socialist, yet some Cabbie trolls were tweeting me about being a Labour traitor. I stopped following Corbyn about a month ago and haven’t tweeted about Labour for even longer. This is how psychotic these guys are.

It’s also evident that they mainly target women. These men are extremely sexist. And it’s hilarious, because the majority of the people who defend the trolls and their behaviour are white men. Typical really.

Finally, when they attack, they do it extremely haphazardly as if you’ve just stumbled into a conversation. So for example a group of them were tweeting me pictures a newspaper article of this guy who’s apparently friends with “Dodgy Dave” (David Cameron) – what on earth that has to do with Uber I have no idea, and then tweeted the picture to me with the caption: “call yourself a Mental health student eh?”

What does that even mean??????????????? My partner did notice that a lot of their tweets contain the hashtag Dodgy Dave, as if they’ve forgotten we have a new PM…..? Or they’re all in on this private joke and expect us all to get it?

Oprah Puzzled

Also, my profile says that I’m a campaigner for Epilepsy Awareness, however one troll didn’t see the Epilepsy (or perhaps didn’t know what it was and therefore ignored it), and tweeted: “your profile says you have awareness, but using Uber doesn’t show awareness does it?”

So these guys are clearly not very intelligent either.

So after all of this, I became distressed, called some people some names (as you do) and had my account restricted for 12 hours. I was bullied relentlessly by a gang of white men online, and I get punished.

These men didn’t give a shit that I had a disability:

“oh don’t play the disability card”

 

“fuck off you liar. That’s no excuse for having no morals”

If this really is the end of Uber, these men will not be getting a penny out of me.

And Sadiq Khan, a useless piece of shit. London is open my fucking arse. He’s just bowed down to a racist establishment, because that’s what the London Taxi Drivers Association is; This campaign was never about morals, or Robin Hood saving the working class. I’m not agreeing with the ethics of Uber as a company, however their drivers are hard working men who have been taken advantage of, and are unfortunately caught in the middle of this.

Maybe Uber can get their shit together, so that their drivers won’t be out of a job. Most of the drivers I spoke to were doing the work on the side because they desperately needed the extra money.

XOXO

Author:

I’m Cece Alexandra and I have Epilepsy. Since being diagnosed, my life has changed significantly. After studying and teaching Humanities and Literature for all of my adult life, I was bullied and lost my job a month before qualifying to become an English Teacher. Once you fail the Teacher Training course in England, you cannot ever retrain; I then became too sick to work because of my Epilepsy. I am now currently studying an MSc in Mental Health Psychology with the University of Liverpool. My disability provokes me into raising awareness for invisible disabilities, which I also actively partake in with Epilepsy Action. Part of that awareness is to help fight against invisible disability discrimination - I believe that this behaviour is not cognitively unconscious; modern society is actively partaking in a hierarchy of disabilities and I believe that there is not enough psychological research to prove this. I am also clinically interested in Cultural Psychology - particularly Collectivist Culture, and wish to pursue this further in my academic career.

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