The gloves are off on this one.
I just got-on the 2pm Northline at the Chapel to go home and have lunch. Now as members of the UVA community we know that in the middle of the day from 12 – 3pm the buses are packed! Packed as in we get really close to our “neighbors” on the bus and hope that the people around you have showered and don’t have bad breath. But, usually even if they do we swallow our pride and sit-tight or hold onto the bars.
Today was different. The bus driver made a request, a borderline demand even. She asked the people on the bus who were going to Lambeth to get off and walk. Wow, very bold but not entirely unreasonable. The driver made the request/demand because the bus was already packed and there were people outside of the bus who needed to get to Faulkner and Copeley, you know places beyond reasonable walking distance.
Only one person got off and from the back of the bus I heard people saying some absolute nonsense.
I’m not getting off!
This must be a white driver!
Oh no, she’s black!
What? You’re kidding.
Wow, talk about ignorance and stupidity…moreover the people carrying out this paraphrased conversation were black. Now I spoke with a friend briefly when we got off the bus and we agreed that you can’t tell someone to get off the bus but, the driver’s motives were reasonable. Now in terms of the response to the driver’s request…entirely unmerited. What does the driver’s race have to do with the request she made? Nothing at all. Which means that whoever was participating in this discussion decided to be blindly ignorant…I’m not saying they should have got off the bus however they should have kept their mouths shut.
The situation really bothered me and was disrespectful to the bus driver/everyone on the bus at the time. Don’t share you selfishness with the world because no one gives a damn! Moreover this is a small sample of the kind of behavior and perceptions that keep the “black community” separate. I can only call out our community because that’s what I see and work with. There are definitely forces at UVA that don’t work in our favor but stop making something out of nothing, as in the situation above. A UTS driver, no matter what their ethnicity, has a responsibility to drive the bus and get us around grounds. Their ethnicity has no part in how they drive the bus or if they ask passengers to “move as far back as possible.”
At the end of it all. Have some respect for yourself, the driver and other passengers. And show some damn class!