I don’t like conflict. I really don’t. I need to stop avoiding it. When an asshole racist starts being an asshole racist…I need to just call them on it. Boldly and with confidence. Instead, today, I just blinked stupidly in disbelief at what I heard.
I hired a local service to drive me to the airport this morning. The conversation was going fine…until we were pulling up to the airport. That’s when the asshole racist—who was also my driver—said some incredibly vile things about refugees fleeing war. I kinda want to report what he said, because I want everyone to know what a horrible person he is. But even reports of racism can harm. So I won’t. But let me just say, fuck that guy.
As I was standing outside Terminal 3 watching the Airways Transit van drive away, I was kicking myself for not having said anything…for not telling him to his face that his racism is unacceptable in a civil society.
Later, as I sat waiting to board my flight, I wrote a terse email to the company and described in detail what the driver had said. I also said that I would be sharing my experience with my friends and colleagues. I know that sending an email does not amend for my cowardice…but I want to believe it counts for something.
To the company’s credit, they replied to my email within minutes, profusely apologizing and assuring me that corrective action would be taken. I hope they are good for their word.
I teach business ethics, and in class we talk a lot about how important it is for a company to have a code of ethics that is enforced. A loose-lipped employee who publicly unleashes a racist rant can do incredible harm to the company real quick. I hope Airways Transit has that figured out.