Sometimes, mates, this sunburnt country of ours is just absolutely fucked.
Take this, for example: on Wednesday night, Aboriginal elder, actor, Q&A show-stealer, and national treasure Jack Charles was refused a taxi unless he paid up front, just moments after he was named Senior Victorian Australian of the Year in Melbourne. Y’know – because he is Aboriginal.
“I was totally blown away,” he told Fairfax. “I told him (the taxi driver) that he just racially vilified me. That his behaviour smacks of it.”
Uncle Jack’s manager Patrice Capogreco was with him at the time, and wrote about the incident on Facebook:
“We saw (a cab) up ahead and Uncle Jack said to me, ‘you go up and grab it, mate, you know what the cabbies are like with us Aboriginals’.”
“So I stopped the cab and he was fine, but as soon as he saw Uncle Jack he asked where we were going. I told him where I was going and that I would get out first, and then Uncle Jack.”
“And then when he demanded that we prepay. I asked why and he said ‘ because he may not pay’. I told the cabbie I had a cabcharge and he said it wasn’t good enough. He said ‘I need prepay because he might not pay’.”
This pretty much sums up the whole sorry situation:
Last night Jack Charles won Senior Aussie of Year
I lost in my category
Cab picked me up in a sec, Jack refused cab
— Kon Karapanagiotidis (@Kon__K) October 29, 2015
Totally. 100%. Fuuucked.
Uncle Jack, 76, told Fairfax that he’s writing a formal letter of complaint to the Taxi Services Commission, and he told ABC’s 7:30 that he’s going to start writing up an Aboriginal Awareness program for the Taxi Directorate to teach drivers to start respecting Indigenous people.
In related news, next week on The Verdict, Mark Latham will probably be explaining why taxi drivers *should* be racially profiling passengers, and we can all go back to pouring bleach into our eyeballs.