Elaine Welteroth recently shed light on the misconduct that women of color are subjected to in everyday encounters. The former Teen Vogue editor-in-chief called out an Uber driver’s misconduct on Instagram Stories. The Uber driver had called the police on Welteroth after taking her to the wrong destination in Brooklyn, New York on Monday,
As Welteroth tells it, “Dear Uber, I’m posting the following video of an incident that occurred yesterday with one of your drivers who refused to drop me at the correct location and told me it’s not his job to make sure that I get to the correct destination (is this not the definition of the job?).”
Welteroth continued: “[The driver] shouted and demanded that I get out of the car and then called 911 on me.”
The journalist turned on her iPhone camera to record the unidentified driver and get proof of the disrespect. The driver, who claimed that he was “violated,” then said that Welteroth hit him to a 911 operator after she got out the car. A motorist driving by in a car who witnessed the exchange confirmed that Welteroth didn’t hit the driver, the video showed. The clip also appears to show that the driver hit Welteroth with his car door, causing a bruise to her arm.
Welteroth, who was trying to get to the Flatbush section of Brooklyn but was taken to Prospect Heights, was kicked off of Uber’s platform and thus wasn’t able to formally report the driver, she said. Her story couldn’t go untold and highlights issues of safety with ride-sharing services, she added.
“This happens too often. Particularly to Black Women. And I’ve had enough,” Welteroth wrote in her Instagram story, before adding that Arianna Huffington, who is on Uber’s board, reached out to her to intervene and push for the driver to be investigated.
It’s clear from Welteroth’s experience and other racially toned incidents involving other drivers from Uber and Lyft that people of color are rarely ever spared the pain of misconduct. A UCLA Institute for Transportation Studies study published Wednesday confirmed that Uber and Lyft drivers discriminated against passengers with Black-sounding names by deciding not to pick them up.
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