Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Attack on the Muslim Taxi Driver

The creep in New York didn't attack a Muslim doctor, a Muslim lawyer or Muslim store clerk. He attacked a taxi driver. Of course, we make easy targets because most of what happens in cab takes place without witnesses. Nonetheless, you have to wonder if part of the hatred that Ahmed Sharif saw in the face of his assailant was directed at his means of livelihood as well as his occupation.

Cab drivers being assaulted, robbed or killed hardly ever makes the front page of a paper - certainly not as a lead story - yet it's a common event. The people who make lists shows taxi driving as only the 10th most dangerous job in America but most assaults on cab drivers and many robberies go unreported: partly because taxi drivers need to keep working in order to to earn their living and, partly, because many drivers don't think that the police can (or will) do anything anyway. It's only when a  driver is shot, stabbed or killed that taxi drivers get any attention.

During my career, I've had numerous incidents:
  • There have been 3 attempted robberies.
  • I've been assaulted 3 times.
  • 3 people have threatened to kill me.
  • I've had so many people threaten to assault me that I couldn't possibly count them all.
And, I'm a big friendly guy. You climb into my cab and you get greeted with a smile and a warm, "Hello."

Hmmm - I'm feeling myself beginning rant and I have to start my shift, so I'll make it short.

I think crimes against cab drivers should be classified as hate crimes. It's class warfare. What do you think?


  1. Ed,
    I agree with you that crimes against cab drivers should be classified as hate crimes. You bring this knarly reality to the forefront in your posting. These kinds of incidents generate a lot of sympathy from the public for the vulnerable workers in our dangerous cities that we are. be careful out there and spit on the jerks of this woild (correction by corrector "world")


  2. Class "hate" crimes are directed against individuals or groups because of what they do (their productive identity). Hate crimes as they have been classified in the last decade or so are directed against individuals or groups because of whom they are. The most time-honored and persistent hate crime is violence and discrimination against women. Maybe after that crimes against children.

  3. Man Who Allegedly Attacked Taxi Driver Arraigned On Hate Crime Charges

    The trigger for this guy, assuming Mr. Sharif locked the right guy in his cab, was the rising racist tide against Muslims, most notably tied to the protests against the so-called Ground Zero mosque proposed for a place not at Ground Zero but two blocks away. That protest has snowballed across the country into protests against mosques everywhere (“Across Nation, Mosque Projects Meet Opposition,” One can well imagine how this is playing in Baghdad and Kabul, where America has gone to war for those heathens’ very souls, even if we have to kill a million bodies to do it...which we have, and counting. That said, Muslim fundamentalists ran their planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon for the very same reason, as Jewish fundamentalists settlers in the West Bank are at war against the indigenous Arabs. These fascists are the three fronts in a global religious war that, over the last 30 years, has sent the world spiraling backwards to those thrilling yesteryears of the Crusades, the pogroms and the Muslim conquests of the 7th and 8th Centuries. 

    Meanwhile, back in the formerly democratic states of America, based – we thought – on religious inclusion, religious intolerance is all the rage. “Appearing before the Republican Women of Bossier with Sen. David Vitter (R-LA), Rep. John Fleming (R-LA) cast the November elections as a choice between godlessness and Christianity. ‘We are either going to go down the socialist road and become like western Europe and create, I guess really a godless society, an atheist society. Or we're going to continue down the other pathway where we believe in freedom of speech, individual liberties and that we remain a Christian nation.,’ Fleming said” (“November A Choice Between An Atheist Society And A Christian Nation,” State school boards insist public schools teach how America was founded by and for Christians and how Adam and Eve popped from the ground in 4004BC, a Saturday, I believe. George Bush was elected with 79% of the Born-Again vote (“Religion and Politics in the United States: Nuances You Should Know,”, while Obama and the Democrats may well lose their majority because of rumors that he’s a Muslim. 

    A pox on all their houses! Those of us who lived through the Civil Rights movement and the 60s remember well the sight of Martin Luther King, Jr. locking arms with religious leaders across the spectrum, and the general internationalist understanding that we were all on the same Wild Mouse. Cab driving in San Francisco and other big cities gives us a unique and thrilling perspective on this, since we comprise a United Nations of working stiffs seen in very few other jobs. It behooves us today to let all our brother and sister drivers know that we stand together against this raging intolerance and that any one harassed will raise a unified general alarm. Bud Hazelkorn