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The Racism of the DC Taxicab Zone System


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There is a constant complaint on the manner of many DC taxicab drivers not stopping to service an Afro-American citizen yet simple research and review of DC Pubic Utilities Commission order no. 956 will expose that the 6th of the 20 reasons that the PUC listed on November 6, 1931 to initially deny the zone system to replace meters in DC taxicabs had clearly stated,"That the zone system unduly favors certain riders and unduly discriminates against others." This initial and little known fact that the DC government had denied the zone system is more disturbing after simple research reveals that Judge Adkins completely upheld PUC order no. 956. (PUR 1932C pg.1) The Appeals Court upheld Judge Adkings decision.

 

In 1931 this racist society had "colored restrooms" and we were decades away from being blessed with the courage of Rosa Parks. Please understand, don't just read the fact that the PUC was talking only about white people being subject to discriminative service and for that and 19 other reasons had in 1931 denied, "any version of the zone system to replace the use of meters in DC taxicabs."

 

The brainwashing effects of the news media is proven by the fact that after 75 years very few DC residents and taxicab drivers are aware that the unique DC taxicab zone system has such a wild beginning of actually being denied by the government and two court decisions.

During these times of a very popular subway and bus service taking care of the majority of us everyday you would think that the news media, if not at least one DC City Council member and their staff would have allowed all of us to be aware that the unique DC taxicab zone system had turned out to be in many ways an expression of racism. White people have always been getting the cheapest and most reliable taxicab service by the design of the DC Taxicab zone system. Is that racism ?

 

The unique DC taxicab zone system is everday insulting Afro-American residents being charged an additional zone fare due to nothing more than their need to cross 12th St. NE, 19th St. NE, South Dakota Ave NE, 42nd St. NE, Alabama Ave SE and many other zone boundaries in the residential areas of DC yet white people can employ a DC taxicab to pay less, for traveling much longer distances in downtown and NW areas of the city.

 

The September 8-14, 2007 issue of the Afro-American newspaper respected my intent to address the corrupt origin and design of the DC Taxicab Industry by publishing my letter to the Editor.

 

On October 9, 2007 every DC televison station insulted DC residents, taxicab drivers and tourists with a very misleading report of a handful of DC taxicab drivers protesting against the use of meters in DC taxicabs. Each of their shallow effort at "reporting" on this protest did not take opportunity to ask any DC taxicab driver how they felt about the racist design of the unique DC Taxicab Zone System. I have talked with many reporters who will admit that they didn't have the slightest idea of the DC taxicab zone system having such a corrupt origin. The conversation ends and yet I never see any "reporter" responsibly researching and reporting on the racist aspects of the unique DC taxicab zone system. One day I might accept that reporters of the news media can only do what they are told to do!

 

Due to Mayor Fenty's scheduled upcoming response to the Congressional order that he decide on whether to install meters or continue the use of the zone system it is very important to emphasize the fact that DC residents, taxicab drivers and tourists to DC have been insulted for 75 years by a continued failure of the news media to responsibly research and report on the Congressional corruption of the DC taxicab industry.

 

The refusal on the part of national and local politicians as well as the major elements of the news media to have failed for 75 years to ever address or report on the basic, undeniable facts of this issue is not a coincidence. My bet is that if DC residents were primarily white and only white people were the only ones driving a cab that this issue would have been far more responsibly addressed by national and local politicians as well as professionally addressed by every element of the local news media. It should be common knowledge after 75 years that Judge Adkins stated in 1932, "In my view the zone system is only a means to exploit the labor of the drivers." (PUR 1932C pgs. 17.19) Who do you think he was protecting from having their labor exploited in 1932?

 

In respect to the failure on the part of the news media to ever address the basic facts of this issue I wil soon begin to distribute two pages of information to cab drivers at Union Station, Grand Hyatt Hotel, Fort Totten and other popular taxicab stands as well as to residents and tourists at the Metro and other subway stops. The first page will provide copy of the 20 reasons that the Public Utilities Commission(PUC) had listed on order no. 956 on November 6, 1931 to deny,"any version of the zone system to replace the use of meters in DC taxicabs." Everyone can get a free copy of PUC order no. 956 by calling the DC Public Service Commission and requesting their right to a free copy of this important DC government decision that had initially denied, "any version of the zone system to replace meters in DC taxicabs."

 

The second page that I will begin to personally distribute will be copy of a letter the Public Service Commission (PSC) had sent to DC City Council member John Wilson on June 27, 1975. This letter will allow DC taxicab drivers and residents to come to know that the DC Public Service Commission expressed a full awareness of the initial and still standing government and court decisions that had denied any version of the unique DC taxicab zone system.

 

This 1975 letter from the PSC to John Wilson will also make a very quiet yet direct referral to both the initial and still standing government and court decisions against any version of the zone system. The PSC also states to John Wilson in 1975, " However, in the meantime Congress included language in the District of Columbia Appropriations Act for FY 1933.47 Stat.343, which prohibited the expenditure of funds appropriated by that Act for the purpose of requiring the installation of taxi meters. Taking notice of this, the Court of Appeals indefinitely suspended the effectiveness of Order 956." This decision is on my lists of expressions of "Just Us" made by American courts. My list of expressions of "Just Us" in this racist society is unfortunately much longer than my list of court decisions of justice.

 

The Court of Appeals suspended the effectiveness of PUC order no. 956 due to their knowing that Congress had played a legislative game and had suddenly included a provision in the DC Appropriations Act that simply stated, "The DC government no longer can discuss or enforce any rules or regulations made in regards to installing meters in DC taxicabs."("The Taxicab Rider" Washington Post editorial 11/13/71)

I do not believe that any problem can be effectively addressed and solved unless the cause of that problem has been carefully examined and clearly identified.

 

The insulting refusal on the part of the major elements of the news media and the subservience of each DC Delegate, Mayor and member of the DC City Council to have refused to have ever responsibly researched and addressed the corrupt origin of the racist DC Taxicab Zone System is clearly an example of social, economic and political oppression.

 

I have many times since 1975 contacted and asked the various Delegates to Congress, Mayors and DC City Council members and many of their staff to review my brief yet detailed research that is available on google.com and I will make sure that by October 12, 2007 that each of them get copy of my letter to the editor of the Afro-American newspaper for September 8, 2007. I will insure that their support for the racist DC taxicab zone system will not be due to their crying an ignorant, escapist plea of, "Golly gee, I didn't know that! Why didn't you tell me?"

 

I promise that I will continue to do my best to share the undeniable facts of the corrupt origin of the DC taxicab zone system with each DC Taxicab Commissioner. My having graduated from American University in 1975 ended my days of being an active DC taxicab driver but I refused to divorce myself from actively addressing the corrupt origin of the racist DC taxicab zone system as well as my beginning to serve the DC community as a GED teacher for the benefit of DC youth and adults.

 

As I visit the offices of the DC City Council to again afford them copy of PUC order no. 956 and copy of the 1975 letter that the PSC sent to DC Council member John Wilson I promise to add a note that will indicate-

"Your assignment is to do your best at providing to the public at least one sentence that uses inequity or legality in any of your future address on the DC taxicab zone system. Extra credit will be given for compound sentences that responsibly refer to the initial and still standing court decisions that completely upheld PUC order no. 956 by Judge Adkins or the Appeals Court."

 

Please contact at your convenience the offices of Delegate Norton, Mayor Fenty, any if not all members of the DC City Council and ask them straight to their face just what are they doing to address the racist design of the DC taxicab zone system. Be ready for subservient answers of, "I am sorry but Council member Wells. Schwartz, Catania, Mendelson etc. are not members of that committee." From Brown,Bowser and Alexander be ready for, "I am sorry but I am not the Chair of that committee."

 

When the stupid taxicab zone system was only effecting the quality of taxicab service received only by white people during The Depression the zone system was completely denied. Those initial decisions by the government and courts that "denied any version of the zone system" are still standing. Congress has played several legislative games with this issue and all DC politicians have only been Congressional puppets, except for John Wilson in 1975, and have remained unable to say or do anything about the racist DC Taxicab Zone System.

 

It is essential that we be very sensitive to the fact that over the course of 75 years Congress and the news media have allowed tens of millions of dollars to be totally wasted as Congress or the DC government have had many "studies" and petty efforts of political address to the very unique, corrupt and very racist DC taxicab zone system.

My more detailed yet brief research on the corrupt origin of the DC taxicab zone system is available on google.com under the subject, "Karl Rudder's Blog"(The Unchallenged DC taxicab fare system provides best copy of my research)

 

" An invisible enemy cannot be defeated."

General Colin Powell

Edited by wiley
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Guest Karl Rudder_*
Why don't you go to the Washington Post and get them to do a story on this issue.

 

I have contacted the Washington Post since 1975 with the essential legal facts of the corrupt "regulation" of the DC taxicab zone system. The Post and many other "reporters" have insisted on ignoring the essential legal fact that the unique DC taxicab zone system had initially been denied and never had ever been approved.

Do you really think that I would have spent years of testifying before the DC City Council,the DC Taxicab Commission, various Advisory Neighborhood Commissions in concern of the undeniable facts of this issue yet fail to bang on the door to the Washington Post with copies of the initial and still standing government and court decisions that denied any version of the zone system?

Your mission, should you decide to accept it, will be to make note of the essential legal facts of this issue and call or even visit DC City Council members, if not "reporters" of the Washington Post, Times and any other major magazine and ask them, "Why have you refused to address the corrupt history and racist design of the very unique DC Taxicab Zone System." DC Taxicab Commissioner Mr. Swain will disavow any knowledge of your action.

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