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TOPIC: Is Uber racist?

Is Uber racist? 31 Oct 2016 22:41 #10788

  • erin.o
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www.buzzfeed.com/leticiamiranda/study-cl...hcGgR8011#.yiR3XmLVV

Outwardly, no, I do not think that Uber as a company is racist whatsoever. However, I did find this study extremely interesting. There does seem that there is some pattern of discrimination within Uber and Lyft cancelations and wait times. I think that it's odd that people still deny institutionalized racism when this study makes even something as simple and Uber so transparent. In our new and changing economy I think that studies like this are really important because they show that as the economy improves and grows, the same racial issues are still very present in United States society. The article writes that "Companies could crack down on discrimination by not including the names of riders, introduce more severe repercussions for drivers who cancel after accepting a ride, and conduct periodic reviews of drivers’ behavior to look for racism, said Knittel." I wonder what business leaders would say in reaction to these ideas.
Rachel Holt, the head of Uber’s North American operations, told BuzzFeed News in a statement that “discrimination has no place in society, and no place on Uber.” I wonder how she specifically would react to these potential ideas as well.
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Is Uber racist? 04 Nov 2016 13:46 #10804

  • juhyunh
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Hi Erin,
This is such an interesting phenomenon and I'm so glad you were able to find this article.
Personally, as a constant uber/lyft rider, I really don't have any preference over the race or gender of my driver because it doesn't really matter as long as I get to where I'm going. However, I definitely have read on social media where people are discriminating or making fun of their driver's names or appearances such as saying like an Asian driver named Wong driving a Toyota. It is interesting how the head of the North American operations claims that her company does not tolerate discrimination, yet it's difficult to ignore the statistics of the ride cancellations and wait times.
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Is Uber racist? 06 Nov 2016 20:06 #10839

  • rebecca.w
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This was a great article, but I would like to see more information on the study. I noticed significant differences in the ride cancellations for Uber versus Lyft. I am curious if more women than men use lyft since there seems to be a greater frequency of cancelling rides from male drivers. Many women I have spoken to have expressed concern over accepting a "ride from a stranger" from a man. Since most rides take place at night, this heightens the fear factor for many women who have to live with the threat of male violence and male sexual violence. Gender and race should be cross-referenced across riders and drivers to address these concerns and perhaps implement safeguards or screenings to ensure safety. The racism is obvious from the study and yet another sad reflection on society. This study helps to reveal the hidden racial bias behind the economic gaps between people of color and the white majority. Many people deny harboring any racial bias and often those same people will insist that black people are not disadvantaged, have the same opportunities, and should not receive any "special treatment" in the form of scholarships, public funding, or affirmative action. The general attitude is that people of color can and should "help themselves." In reality this type of pervasive hidden racism severely limits the earning potential and job opportunities for black men. Perhaps we would do best to address negative stereotypes and myths about black men as criminals, violently aggressive, or hypersexual men which comprise the underpinnings of racial bias. If efforts were made among allies and advocates for racial equality to address the false beliefs rather than focusing only on the negative outcomes of racism, more progress could be made. The study is incredibly discouraging but it is also another piece of evidence in the fight against the culture of denial and shame that silences the oppressed and denies their experience.
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Is Uber racist? 06 Nov 2016 21:47 #10852

  • Joseph.Y
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Very very interesting and I am glad that you brought this up. I can see why Uber would be "racist." When one's safety is at hand, of course one is going to try and secure their own safety and try to stay out of danger. How do I know this? I used to be an Uber driver. And I'm sorry to say this, but the only time I had any real problems with rider were black people. In total, I had two encounters that were problematic, and the riders just had to be black. One time, the rider was cussing left and right at me even though I didn't do anything wrong. And I became very afraid. So, I had to kick him out and I am just glad that he was able to cooperate otherwise I would not know what to do. I'm glad that he did not attack me or anything. The other incident involved someone trying to take advantage of my kindness. I had accidentally picked up the wrong person and it took me awhile to realize it. I felt very cheated because he deliberately got on hoping to get a free ride. He even bribed me to give a hundred dollars which I know is not going to happen. So, I had to kick him out. I know not every black people are like this (that would be generalizing and stereotyping), but the few experiences I had with driving as Uber makes me think that black people do things that are unfair and rude. And usually, it was the white community who tend to tip more frequently although there were some black people who tipped also. So, of course, it is usually a better experience with people who are more polite and more likely to tip.
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Is Uber racist? 07 Nov 2016 00:01 #10862

  • alyssa.m
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Hey Erin this is an interesting question, is Uber racist? Like any other company with a variety of ethnic groups we can find similar responses to certain situations in every category of "race". For example, I know many Latinos when someone is taking a while they might decide to wait, but eventually get frustrated and leave. This usually depends on the persons temperament, how much time they've got, and a lot of other factors. Yet at the same time I can't generalize that most Latinos are patient, because some Latinos will just take off and leave. I think people's response to situations can vary on a day to day basis.
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