Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Obama, taxis and African-Americans

Ann Coulter:

B. Hussein Obama got the party started by claiming he couldn't get a cab in New York because he's black. This line was a big hit with white liberals in the audience who have never been to New York.

Even writers for the New York Times don't drag this canard out anymore. Last year, a black writer in the Times pointed out how things had changed in New York in the 10 years since he had been out of the country. Not only did he have no trouble getting a cab, but he cited statistics from taxi sting operations that showed a 96 percent compliance rate among cabbies in picking up blacks. (Remarkable, considering that New York cabbies' compliance rate on daily bathing is less than half that.)

As the Times writer noted, even 10 years ago, "most of the drivers who refused to pick me up or take me to my destination during that time were of African descent." When he asked one cabbie – 10 years ago – why he avoided picking up black customers, the driver displayed a scar across his neck, a souvenir from a black customer who had robbed him. "I have to choose which is worse," the driver said, "a fine or death."

Thanks to Rudy Giuliani, cab drivers in New York no longer have to make that choice. Under his mayoralty, New York City became a lot safer for cab drivers – and everyone else. The murder rate went from about 2,000 murders a year under Mayor David Dinkins to about 700 by the end of Giuliani's term. The last time a cab driver was killed in New York was in 1997.

In addition to making it safer for (mostly African-American and Muslim) cabbies to pick up African-Americans, Giuliani made it costly for them not to. He started "Operation Refusal" in 1999, sending out teams of black undercover cops and taxi commissioners to hail cabs and give fines to those who refused to pick up blacks.

Even back in 1999, in the first 12 hours of "Operation Refusal," out of more than 800 cabs hailed, only five cab drivers refused to pick up a customer – one of whom was a white woman with children. And by the way, I've had dozens of cabs refuse to stop for me on Fifth Avenue. Sometimes they forget to turn on the "off duty" light, or they're daydreaming or maybe they've read my columns on Muslims.

Next time, B. Hussein Obama ought to tell us the one about Kool cigarettes being owned by the KKK and causing impotence in black men. There may not be overwhelming evidence disproving that one as there is for the yarn about blacks not being able to get a cab in New York.

Barack Obama Can’t Get A Taxi?


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