The Bad Guy

THE BUS

When I take the bus to work I often encounter the same bus driver. He’s a portly, gruff, white guy in his late 40’s who has a few ground rules for all passengers boarding:

“NO BACK DOOR BOARDING!!! NO! NO!! NO!!! FRONT DOOR ONLY!!! HERE!!! BOARD HERE!!! NO BACK DOOR BOARDING!!!”

Sadly, when he has to lay the hammer down in Chinatown, all many of the stunned passengers seem to understand is “NO BADOW BLAHBLAH!!! NO! NO!! NO!!! FRUH BLAH OBLAH!!! BLAH!!! BLAH BLAH!!! NO BADOW BLAHBLAH!!!”

The English speakers, however, do understand the man and some of them are moved to slapping labels.

“Nothing worse than a fat, white racist.” Or “Why is that guy such a bigot?”

Which brings me to the big question: Is this bus driver a racist?

Let’s not be too hasty to judge the man. Below I will provide some observations I have made which seem to defend him. These observations are culled from riding his bus at least two times a week for the past year.

-I have never heard him use racial slurs at any time to anyone.

-He will yell the same things in the same tone to people of any race. Yes, white people, too.

-If you don’t bug him, he doesn’t bug you.

Of course that does not rule out that he is a racist. He could have a Hitler screen-saver on his PC at home, or tell off-color jokes to his friends or…you get the picture. But from what I have observed he is not a racist…perhaps a bit of an asshole, but an equal-opportunity asshole, to be exact.

Once when a passenger claimed the driver was a racist, I asked him why.

“Because he’s yelling at all those little old Chinese people.”

“How does that make him a racist?”

“Because he’s yelling at them! He doesn’t know their culture.”

“Are you saying that not paying for the bus and boarding by the back door are Chinese cultural norms? I mean, the driver did yell the same thing at those kids who got on a few stops back and all of them were white.”

The man next to me had the last word:

“You know what? Fuck you!”

OK, OK, I had the last word.

“Not with that attitude you won’t.”

The guy flipped me the bird and got off the bus.

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January 19, 2007 - Posted by | MUNI, public transportation, racism, Uncategorized, Work

1 Comment »

  1. Hi,
    I found your blog via google by accident and have to admit that youve a really interesting blog 🙂
    Just saved your feed in my reader, have a nice day 🙂

    Comment by Florian | January 28, 2007 | Reply


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