On Thursday we reported on a suspect tweet by A2Ztaxis, boasting of their “IRISH ONLY” drivers. Then on Friday a report was released detailed widespread prejudice in the Galway taxi industry. Newswhip spoke to Garrett Mullen from Show Racism The Red Card about the racist epidemic in the taxi industry.
The report on the Galway taxi industry has made 12 recommendations, including that taxi drivers attend training sessions on racism as soon as possible. It also indicates the public are also involved, with many not always taking the first taxi in the queue. A survey revealed that 26% were trying to find an “Irish taxi”.
It also detailed a practice of placing Irish flags and symbols on cars to show they’re being driven by Irish or white drivers.
100% of African drivers said they had experienced racial discrimination whilst driving in Galway. In one particular case, a customer put the taxi fare on the seat of the cab, and told the driver to “keep the change because [he or she] would prefer not to touch black skin”.
The full report is available here.
Show Racism The Red Card’s Garret Mullen suggested that should this racism continue, it would be potentially damaging for the taxi trade.
“For instance Galway is a city that relies on tourism, people would be put off going to cities if the first thing they heard was racist comments”
There’s also very little regulation in place to stop behavior like this.
“It’s very unfortunate the taxi regulator isn’t in a position to say anything or do anything about this. There’s plenty of regulation around the physical condition of cars, they should also have regulation around the procedure of drivers. That would be for the benefit of most drivers as well. People would be more inclined to use taxis if they knew the standards were better and they weren’t going to get a running racist commentary from taxi drivers.”
“The NTTU have to take an active role in anti-racism campaigning with their drivers ”
Worrying, Garrett indicated the taxi trade may not even be that special of a case and that instead it was simply the nature of the business that bought to the surface elements which are present in most professions
“It’s probably reflective of a wider societal issue. But because of the nature of the trade if you’re a member of the public you’re sitting beside the taxi driver and have to talk to them. What taxi drivers talk about is probably what a lot of people talk about around the dinner table…with advertising like this,these companies are just trying to tap into a mood that’s out there”