In the Matter of Uber as a Racist Plot, Maybe We Need a Bit of Context

Categories: Schutze

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Eric tells us this morning we have two southern Dallas clergymen, Stephen C. Nash, pastor of Mount Tabor Baptist Church, and Jerry C. Christian of Kirkwood CME Church, stepping from the pulpit to the street to denounce as racist plotters the company called Uber, which provides an app-based car-ride service for smartphone users.

flow_control.jpg
Dallas Observer
The motto of Paul Quinn students in the flow control fight was "I am not Trash." Stephen Nash sort of told them, "Sure you are."

Eric has already explained: The accusation is that Uber won't send a car to pick you up unless you have Internet access and a credit card, and they won't take cash. That screws poor people. A lot of poor people are black. That screws black people.

I'm not here to jack with any of that. But I do think the accusers and other players need to be viewed in the context of their personal political histories.

The most aggrieved and threatened party with the deepest pockets in the Uber fight here is Yellow Cab of Dallas. Over decades, Yellow Cab has used political clout at City Hall to build a dominant position approaching virtual local monopoly in the cab business, especially for airport rides.

Yellow is still very active at City Hall, but the greatest standing landmark in the company's local political history remains the federal conviction 13 years ago on multiple bribery counts, later overturned, of the late Albert Lipscomb, then a member of the City Council and a civil rights icon in southern Dallas. Most of the counts against Lipscomb involved money he took from Yellow Cab while voting for and championing ordinances that helped drive many small independent cab companies out of business. Faced with the handwriting on the wall, the management of Yellow cooperated with the FBI and helped get Lipscomb convicted for taking relatively chintzy amounts of cash from them before key votes.

John Manning, an African-American independent cab operator, explained the roles of Lipscomb and Yellow to me at the time: "I think Al Lipscomb sold the cab drivers out for a fee of about 50 cents a month each," Manning told me. "I'm sorry to say this, because I like Al, but he sold us cheap to a plantation owner, because now all of the cab companies in Dallas are operating like a plantation."

Also in the historical context department: Jerry Christian, one of the pair of preachers mentioned in Eric's piece this morning, may come to mind if you remember the colorful pronouncement, "I ain't no [expletive] sixty-five-hundred-dollar Negro," by Dallas City Council member Dwaine Caraway two years ago. It's what he said when questioned about the whereabouts of some fifty grand he got paid by liquor store owners to intervene on their behalf in a booze election, especially $6,500 in cash paid to unnamed "campaign workers."

And please, I'm very embarrassed about the "[expletive]" thing in there instead of the real word, but my only source is The Dallas Morning News, and you know how they are. Knowing Councilman Caraway as I do and for as long as I have, I am going to bet the expression was not gol-dang.

Caraway took the position that asking him what he did with the gol-dang $6,500 from the liquor store owners was racist and an attempt to make black elected leaders look like they might fiddle accounts in an election. He described his campaign effort as a cash anti-poverty program (said he didn't have time to buy a checkbook) to provide employment to the hardcore unemployed.

Of the missing $6,500 in anti-poverty campaign cash from Caraway's crusade on behalf of liquor store owners, a thousand dollars went to Christian, according to a story by Steve Thompson in the News. When Thompson buttonholed Christian at a meeting to ask him what he did with the thousand, Christian said, "The campaign is over. I don't need to talk to you about what I did in the campaign."

More context: You may not remember the other clergyman in play here, Stephen Nash, but I do clearly because of the important role he played in one of the more heartbreaking scenes I have witnessed over the years at a Dallas City Council meeting. It had to do with something called "flow control," a City Hall initiative two years ago to send more trash to the city-owned landfill in southern Dallas.

Students at Paul Quinn College, a black school near the McCommas Bluff landfill, mounted a heartfelt and stirring grassroots campaign in the neighborhood near the college, against the city's efforts to force all commercial trash haulers to take waste to McCommas Bluff instead of to competing privately owned landfills outside the city. Eventually the students were vindicated when a federal district struck down the Dallas trash law saying it was premised on a pack of lies and public deceptions.

But that was after Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings had already persuaded the City Council to vote for it. At that meeting when the Paul Quinn students rose from the audience and came down to the public microphone to speak persuasively against the new trash monopoly law, Rawlings had an ace in the hole -- one Reverend Stephen Nash of Mount Tabor Baptist.

Nash rose from the audience and made a mumbled sheepish defense of the law. His church is near the dump. He said he and his parishioners welcomed more trash in the neighborhood. It was just the amount of political cover council members needed in order to vote for the law and against the Paul Quinn students, which they did.

Um, wait. The church welcomes more trash to its neighborhood? And Nash feels compelled to come down to a City Council meeting and say that? It just feels kind of anomalous, doesn't it? So what was that really all about? Christians for trash?

Oh, maybe it had a little something to do with another initiative Rawlings announced proudly at the same meeting -- a million-dollar special targeted economic development fund tied to the city's enhanced trash-dumping revenues, prime beneficiary of which was to be Mount Tabor Baptist Church. I can't even describe to you the looks on the faces of those students as they sat there and watched all of this play out, finally realizing at the end of a long day what had been done to them by a clergyman from their own neighborhood.

So now we see these same two clergymen volunteering to take on roles in a fight between a new-tech startup and a massively entrenched local taxicab company, mainly over airport rides. Southern Dallas clergy feel compelled to jump into an airport ride dispute? And they see it as a civil rights issue? Does it feel anomalous to you? All I offer here is history and context. History and context.

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58 comments
smichaelclark591
smichaelclark591

The ministers are telling lies.  There is no need for cab service out here in the southern sector.  We can't afford cabs out here people that live out here can't even afford the bus much less a cab these people are poor.  Too poor for a cab. The ministers lie out their ass there is no need for yellow cab in the southern sector and we sure as hell can't afford uber.  They are just more of the black community in the Pay to Play game in Dallas.  It's outrageous they would lead the public to believe there are yellow cabs running around the Southern Sector.  I live down the street from Rev Nash's Church.  I have never, not ever seen a cab in my neighborhood  yellow or any other color.  These black ministers are untrustworthy.

johnboy33
johnboy33

Are the ministers railing against Google as well, From what I can see, Google only accepts payment online. Does that mean Google is racist?

johnboy33
johnboy33

Well Jim,, What can I Say?

God obviously needs more money.

Apparently even the heavenly and devine can run short of cash.

whiteguiltlibtardz
whiteguiltlibtardz

Jim, you should be celebrating! Why aren't you celebrating, Jim? You are seeing the logical results of all your libtard blogging... Oops I meant to type "progressive advocacy journalism" instead of "libtard blogging" - sorry about that.

For years you and all the other libtard bloggers at the Observer and a million other libtard blogger websites have been agitating for "racial and social justice", and for "white privilege" to be "dismantled".

Why aren't you celebrating, Jim? You are getting exactly what you have wasted years of your life working for.

You didn't white-flight from Detroit for nothing, right Jim? Celebrate what you've worked so hard to create, Jim!

jmac83
jmac83

It's called marketing, not profiling! #1 rule of marketing is know your audience. They are selling a luxury good and service!

rancher
rancher

There's nothing wrong with Dallas--except the North Dallas Republicans and the South Dallas Democrats, and the Park Cities elites that run our elections while having no accountability for the outcome.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

It's racism, even if unintentional (unconscious), since its effect exerts a disparate impact.

Such practices may be considered discriminatory and illegal if they have a disproportionate "adverse impact" on members of a minority group. Under the doctrine, a violation of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act may be proven by showing that a practice or policy has a disproportionately adverse effect on members of the protected class as compared with non-members of the protected class.  It is a form of redlining.

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

And all this time I thought Steve Nash was a runt basketball guard from So. Africa with something like 17,000 lifetime points in the NBA.

Dallas politics is certainly confusing.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

PROOF! that Liberals know racism when they see it.

and when they don't.

sometimes it just needs a little splainin'.

whocareswhatithink
whocareswhatithink

But, but....uber's cars are black...how is that racist....and for that matter, I don't think I've ever been picked up by a white uber driver

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

It's not often I reverse my position on an issue, but this is one of them.

I've always seen the value of having a well-regulated and local business as the best and safest way to do taxi service... and I still do.

But hearing that our local cab companies are feeding the corruption in the South Dallas evangelical community in order to maintain a monopoly means that we not only should consider other ways to provide taxi service, but also that we have a moral imperative to do get them into service as soon as possible.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

Big Kitty has taken a keen interest in this story and is tap-a-tap tapping away on her PC.  Miss U fell into a near catatonic state after her krummhorn mysteriously disappeared.  I bought the poor thing a little lute to play, which the other cats seem to tolerate.  It's brought her out of her deep funk.  Meanwhile, the Siamese males have taken up somersaulting, which Spot and Katniss giggle and titter over, while the aforementioned Big Kitty regards the entire spectacle with singular disdain.  

James_the_P3
James_the_P3

These fine pastors from South Dallas are just taking after the example of Mary Magdalene.  I fail to see the problem.

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

The good lord helps those that help themselves.

dallasdrilling.wordpress.com
dallasdrilling.wordpress.com

Just so we all know who got what and from whom, Rudy Bush @Dallas News published a greatest hits list of those who have received money from Yellow Cab.

They are:

Dwaine Caraway – $2,000, 2/2/2013
Dwaine Caraway – $1,000, 12/9/2010
Dwaine Caraway – $1,000, 4/10/2009
Jerry Allen – $1,000, 2/21/2011
Jerry Allen – $1,000, 5/9/2009
Jerry Allen – $1,000, 4/13/2009
Mike Rawlings – $1,000, 5/8/2012
Mike Rawlings – $3,000, 5/25/2011
Monica Alonzo – $1,000, 2/10/2012
Monica Alonzo – $1,000, 2/15/2013
Monica Alonzo – $1,000, 2/10/2011
Lee Kleinman – $1,000, 6/4/2013
Tennell Atkins – $500, 8/28/2008
Tennell Atkins – $1,000, 7/2/2008
Tennell Atkins – $1,000, 7/1/2010
Tennell Atkins – $1,000, 1/27/2011
Tennell Atkins – $1,000, 7/1/2009
Tennell Atkins – $1,000, 4/14/2009
Vonciel Hill – $1,000, 4/18/2013
Vonciel Hill – $1,000, 5/17/2009
Carolyn Davis – $1,000, 6/23/2013
Carolyn Davis – $1,000, 4/29/2013
Carolyn Davis – $1,000, 6/13/2009
Carolyn Davis – $1,000, 4/23/2009
Carolyn Davis – $1,000, 4/14/2011
Sheffie Kadane – $1,000, 11/19/2010
Sheffie Kadane – $1,000, 5/9/2009
Sheffie Kadane – $1,000, 5/13/2009

So let's sit back and watch how the conversation goes around the horse shoe on Wednesday.

 

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

And you are surprised about this because ...?

" ... "I ain't no [expletive] sixty-five-hundred-dollar Negro," by Dallas City Council member Dwaine Caraway two years ago. It's what he said when questioned about the whereabouts of some fifty grand he got paid by liquor store owners to intervene on their behalf in a booze election, especially $6,500 in cash paid to unnamed "campaign workers." "

Yes, Councilmember Carraway, we know exactly what sort of "Negro" that you are.  We are merely arguing over the price.


In my mind, it is not so much that the South Dallas political leaders sell out their "constituents"; it is that they sell them out for so little.


Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

Black folks are discriminated against.

White folks are rich.

Cabs won't pick up black folks.

Uber will pick up anybody with an account.

Black preachers accept reparations from rich white folks on behalf of all the downtrodden.

Life is just so expletive simple sometimes.

primi_timpano
primi_timpano topcommenter

Re Paul Quinn College. Nearly every council district election in the southern districts is won by about a thousand votes, with 3000 being a landslide. With a registration and follow up campaign these students could probably control 3 districts until the competition caught up.

bmarvel
bmarvel

@holmantx Not arguing with you, holman. But to clarify: If I offer a pricey service and require customers to pay in advance with a credit card, I am violating the Civil Rights Act?

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

Credit card redlining is a spatially discriminatory practice among credit card issuers, of providing different amounts of credit to different areas, based on their ethnic-minority composition, rather than on economic criteria, such as the potential profitability of operating in those areas. Many believe policies of credit card companies such as American Express that reduce credit lines of individuals that make purchases at retailers frequented by so-called "high-risk" customers to be akin to redlining.

Retail redlining is a spatially discriminatory practice among retailers, for example taxicab services and delivery food, of not serving certain areas, based on their ethnic-minority composition, rather than on economic criteria, such as the potential profitability of operating in those areas. Consequently, consumers in these areas often find themselves vulnerable because no other retailers will serve them. They may be exploited by other, often smaller, retailers who charge them higher prices and/or offer them inferior goods.

Retail Redlining: Definition, Theory, Typology, and Measurement Denver D’Rozario Journal of Macromarketing, Vol. 25, No. 2, 175-186 (2005)

Cohen-Cole, Ethan, "Credit Card Redlining" (2008). FRB of Boston Quantitative Analysis Unit Working Paper No. QAU08-1 Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1098403

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

@bvckvs 

you just needed a little . . . context.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

 @bvckvs Keep that little skeptic that was just born in you alive, and ask him questions every now and then.  You'll be better off for it.

Every cynic is a disappointed idealist.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

@TheCredibleHulk  I would be most eager to find out which of the areas are supposedly "red-lined".  "Everything south of I-30" is an awfully vague reference.

WylieH
WylieH

@primi_timpano That is one of the best ideas I've seen put forth here in a long, long time!

whiteguiltlibtardz
whiteguiltlibtardz

No never banned. I just forgot my login. Go choke to death on cat shit.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

@bmarvel @holmantx

I suppose we will find out.  How will the City Council treat Uber?  It looks like they are going to invoke de facto disparate impact (unintended racism) to get what they want – to shut them down – when the driving force behind this is local politics under pressure from cabs. 

You would think that with equality before the law (equal protection), the goddess of justice is rightly depicted as blind as she holds the scales evenly; blind because she is no respecter of persons.  But She now peeks. It has been ingrained in law.  So it is used effectively in societal debate. 

This is the mechanics of invoking racism in order to gain political advantage in unrelated debates because it has been institutionalized in law.  In conversation, anyone can successfully invoke it to gain advantage since the law no longer even demands intent, just statistics.  All because we have classes of Americans to “protect”.  Which is nothing more than advancing one class over another class of Americans under law, producing inequality. 

Today, you could indict a potato with the charge of racism. 

Then you could corner the French fries market.

Or get your way in a political debate when your argument does not otherwise hold intellectual water.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

The Left has met the enemy, and it is them.

You made this condition, you eat it.  

and the brass tacks are, you do not even have the courage to agree . . . or disagree.

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

@everlastingphelps @bvckvs 

Or, as in my own case, a disappointed dentist.

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz @bvckvs 

I'd rather trust some guy with a cell phone app, than a company that prospered under this corrupt system.

ruddski
ruddski topcommenter

Bet those kittys have their own wardrobes

primi_timpano
primi_timpano topcommenter

Jim, don't know why. The registration drive and knowledge of the registerees would make Paul even a threat credible. I would think the local or Texas Democratic Party would provide training and maybe a a little walking around money. SMU could run highland park.

bmarvel
bmarvel

@holmantx You really SHOULD have been a lawyer, holman. You write like one. And I mean that sincerely.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

@bmarvel @Tipster1908

Mr. bmarvel, you need to get with the righteous, and the program.  Ponder this:

Instead of denial of services to low-income neighborhoods, sometimes the exact opposite can occur as well when it is the most lucrative option for the service providers. When those services are believed to have adverse effects on a community, that can be considered to be a form of "reverse redlining." The term "liquorlining" is sometimes used to describe high densities of liquor stores in low income and/or minority communities relative to surrounding areas. As neighborhoods decline in income, supermarkets, grocery stores, and other retail outlets move out, but liquor stores remain.

And then there is always the tried and true Environmental racism: Policies related to redlining and urban decay can also act as a form of environmental racism, which in turn have an impact on public health. Urban minority communities may face environmental racism in the form of parks that are smaller, less accessible and of poorer quality than those in more affluent or white areas in some cities. This may have an indirect impact on health, since young people have fewer places to play and adults have fewer opportunities for exercise.

bmarvel
bmarvel

@Tipster1908 Pretty much the way Uber appears to be operating. So, following holman, I would guess they are in violation of the Civil Rights Act. But holman, as I recall, once wanted to be a lawyer, so I'll defer to him in this matter. 

whiteguiltlibtardz
whiteguiltlibtardz

Absolute horse shit. You apparently are not aware of all the many hate-crime hoaxes perpetrated by lefties who, when caught, usually claim they were "just trying to raise awareness" or some such shit.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz But is Uber safe from council action BECAUSE the racism charge is frivolous?  That is the question.  Or will regulatory action be taken against Uber solely on the basis of "disparate impact"?  Which does not require intent, thus creating a race hammer for racialists in other matters. 

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

@holmantx  I believe the accusations are frivolous.  I mentioned that in commenting to the other article on this story posted yesterday.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

@holmantx Nonsense.  The Left recognizes the damage caused by frivolous accusations of racism and discourages the employment of such a self-defeating tactic.

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@markzero @bvckvs @Myrna.Minkoff-Katz 

That's the other part that convinced me - the fact that they're required to be licensed for the service they provide.

But I *seriously* doubt that bit about it being better for minorities, or having a better margin.

The cab services provide the cars (and maintenance) and they just ask for something like $50-$100 per day from the driver.  With uber, the driver has to bear all of the expenses.

To minorities (or as I prefer to call them, those who are traditionally discriminated against) the expenses against entering the field are pretty high.

I thought about being a driver, but it would cost me about $1k to get the licensing and connectivity required - above and beyond what I already pay to keep up my vehicle and insurance.

markzero
markzero

@bvckvs @Myrna.Minkoff-Katz Remember, under city ordinance that local guy with the app is already required to be a local limo service with a paid-up, legitimate license. You're just using the app to contact him instead of calling his company directly.

And that local guy could very well be a minority business owner of that limo service, putting himself through college, whatever. Surely with better returns than being a taxi driver.

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