Listen to The Taxi Link:
An aviation executive’s racist remarks and assault of a Fairfax taxi driver have caused an outcry. The driver, Mohamed Salim, recorded the conversation with his late-night passenger, Ed Dahlberg, president of Manassas-based Emerald Aviation. “If you’re a f—-ing Muslim, flying jets into the World Trade Center, then f—- you! I will slice your f—-ing throat right now!” Dahlberg told Salim.
Meanwhile in D.C., the cover story for this week’s Washington City Paper repeatedly calls cab drivers racist. Russ Ptacek, the Channel 9 newsman who regularly uses sting operations to target drivers, is the subject of the article. The Taxi Link interviewed the author of the piece, Will Sommer, a talented young City Paper reporter.
The media is often quick to accuse drivers of many things, including racism, which jeopardizes drivers’ safety as they welcome unknown passengers into their vehicles, sitting directly behind them. While assaults against drivers happen frequently, they are rarely recorded (as in the case of Mr. Salim) or seriously investigated by police.
“Most drivers don’t even bother about calling the police if an incident happens,” D.C. Taxicab Commission member and longtime driver Stanley Tapscott told The Taxi Link. “It’s so unfair because [the police] really don’t protect the driver.”
Mr. Tapscott, 87, served in World War II and trained at the segregated Montford Point at Camp Lejeune, N.C. “We were mistreated terribly. I don’t even want to go back and think of some of the things that happened to us,” he said. Last year, 400 African-American Marines who served at Montford Point, including Mr. Tapscott, were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal.
The Taxi Link is sponsored by The Small Business Association of DC Taxicab Drivers and airs Saturday 7-8 p.m. on WUST 1120 AM. The show is hosted by TheFightBack’s Pete Tucker and D.C. Advisory Neighborhood Commission member Tony Norman.
The D.C. Taxicab Commission is scheduled to vote to publish final rulemakings on the Modern Taxi System on Wednesday, May 8 at the commission’s general meeting at 10 a.m. at 441 4th St., NW, One Judiciary Square in the Old Council Chambers on the first floor