Uber drivers are independent contractors, not company employees, so they have a lot of wiggle room in the ‘co-workers’ concept – because they have no co-workers, as they are their own boss, simply sharing a ride-hailing platform. So when they do something that in any regular job would land you sitting across from an HR manager, and likely a security escort to clean out your desk, there is often no equivalent action in the world of independent contracting.
But what was witnessed Thursday, as ride-share drivers ridiculed and made fun of another driver, who happened to be Muslim, because he had his shoes off, and was praying in the parking lot beside his car, was beyond belief. You don’t have to be an employee to have respect and care for another person, you only need be a human. The following interactions, including full in-line screen shots, were sent to ENN by multiple drivers verifying their accuracy:
Rachel Cohenno, an E3 Electronics Technician in the US Navy, part-time ride-share driver, and singer-songwriter, was in the ride-share driver waiting lot at Nashville Airport (BNA) on Thursday, when she witnessed a muslim man praying on the sidewalk, and decided to post his image on snapchat, and then to facebook, asking “what happens if it’s prayer time and you’re in the middle of a ride?”
It didn’t take long for the anti-muslim and other hate comments to begin from other Uber & Lyft Drivers.
Uber driver Mike Leath said:
“how can people stand there and be okay with this when we have to hide are[sic] Beliefs to not offend them like i grow up with pray in school now my kids can’t have pray in school due to other people being offended but it’s okay for these people to do it anywhere not caring who they offend I say it’s bull.”
When driver Seth Caldwell (whose fb url is ‘GospelSeth’) suggested that you “turn your car the same direction they’re facing”, driver Rachel Cohenno replied with a gif of a person with a dog’s head in what appeared to be a ‘run them over’ motion with the front wheels in the air. It is common knowledge that Islamic legal tradition has developed several injunctions that warn Muslims against most contact with dogs.
Driver Julie Gordon suggested he was breaking the rules by praying, by referencing the rule that your app must be on and waiting for a ‘ping’ request to be in the airport waiting lot.
Rachel, a member of the US Navy and driver, continued by implying that those that questioned her motives for posting this ‘snowflakes’
Lyft/Uber driver, and Military Veteran Nathan Mitchell, even ridiculed his direction of prayer, saying he was facing the wrong direction to properly pray, even saying ‘someone get him a compass’.
Even when someone tried to provide a real explanation to the question that was asked in the snapchat photo, Dylan Ball made a reference to Muslims riding camels.
Your feelings are your own, but mine are that I am embarassed for these closed-minded individuals to represent any company, much less our military, Uber, or Lyft. Put yourself in someone of the Muslim faith who requests a ride and gets in their car. Is that person going to get the same service as someone who is not?
This is NOT the new Nashville we envisioned.
The person that posted the image to snapchat and Facebook:
The sign referenced above withe the waiting area rules:
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