Dear Uber: Raffi With The Prius Is Racist


Raffi with the Prius is racist, and so are many of your other drivers, and before using your services again, many of my friends and I want to know if there is anything that can be done about such things. I live in Los Angeles. You’ve been convenient, great, and useful to me all around the world, but today, after waiting 4 minutes for Raffi, watching him pull up and lower his window, confirm I was his passenger, then pull off and cancel the order, I’ve decided I’d rather walk than deal with the thought that another company condones the blatant and racist disrespect of its customer by its employees. I was the Black man in the hoodie, in case his memory needs jogging.

My Black friends who use Uber have stopped loading their profile photos on their account because they’ve noticed the slower service on the progressively rare occasion when service actually happens.

What happens with these complaints? What should I wear when being picked up by Uber? Perhaps a mask. My name is Darnell, and I read an article recently saying that when hearing my name, white Americans tend to imagine someone larger and scarier, making this not about race at all, but about his fear of Darnells and those who look like them.

Thank you for the $10 credit in return for the disrespect, by the way. I will use it eventually, when things get better, if they get better, but it is not nearly satisfactory.

This is Raffi:

Darnell Lamont Walker, a self-professed traveling foodie, has been found sitting at tables eating baby goat sweetbreads, drinking tequila, and laughing loudly with strangers. The writer, filmmaker, artist, and sometimes photographer puts happiness above all.