the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

The Racist Cabbie


The movie Crash showed us all that racism is still very much alive and well in America.  Last night, on a hard-hitting Primetime, journalist John Quinones went one step further, exploring many important issues, including racism, in a show titled, "What Would You Do?"

In one segment titled "Dealing with a Racist Cabbie," a secret camera crew filmed passengers as they enter a taxi driven by a racist cab driver.  As the driver spewed his racist hatred, what would be the reaction of the various passengers?

"Are we all driven by prejudice and fear?  Do we all harbor racist thoughts?

Say you’re riding in a taxi and the driver starts a racist tirade — denigrating blacks, Arabs, Jews, Asians, or Hispanics. Would you argue with him, tell him to shut up and let you out, or just keep quiet? Or would you maybe even join in?"

To paraphrase John Quinones before the show cut to the commercial for erectile dysfunction:  "We were about to learn… "

Now I know many of you have already emailed me about this show, but in case you missed it — I was one of the passengers.   Some suggested that I didn’t combat the driver’s racism as strongly as I should have.  I will not apologize for what I said.  You all know that I am not a racist.  Imagine yourself in my position, alone in the cab with a talkative driver —

Here is the transcript:

Neil enters the cab.

"59th and Lexington, please."

"Sure thing.  You in town for a convention?"

"No, just visiting.  I’m meeting some of my blogging friends."

"Yeah?  You’re a blogger?  You know any Asian bloggers?"

"A few.  Why?"

"It’s just… Asians are the worst drivers.  I was wondering what type of bloggers they are?"

"This isn’t being recorded or anything?"

"Nah, nah, nah."

"So, I can be open with you?"

"Sure thing."

"Asians are as bad blogging as they are driving.  Especially those Koreans.  I don’t care if Jackie Chan is Korean.  They come to this country and think they can blog like everyone else."

"I hear you, buddy.  At least there aren’t any black bloggers."

"Unfortunately, there are.   Tons of them.   I don’t even understand half the stuff they write.  It’s always about rap music and big butts.  Sometimes, they don’t even tell you that they’re black and you’re reading them every day until they publish a photo of themselves and it’s like, "Holy shit, that motherfucker is as black as my leather jacket.""

"Holy shit is right.  They should make you post a photo so you can see who the blogger really is."

"Maybe it would work for the blacks, but what about the Jews.  Nowadays, Jews don’t even look like Jews anymore, with all that kabbalah crap going on."

"Oh, man, don’t get me started on those Jews."

"The Jews suck, man.  And I should know.  I’m Jewish myself.   You want a pain in the ass for the rest of your life, you marry a Jewish woman.  "Neilochka, fix my computer.  Neilochka, I bought you new pants.  Neilochka, eat my borscht."  They’ll drive you so crazy, you’ll want to hit your head on the mezzuzah!" 

"Man, oh Manischewitz.  Hey, tell me.  Is it true that Jews control all the money in the world and run the entertainment, medical, and legal fields?"

"Yes.  They’d run the blogging world, too — but they ain’t stupid.  There’s no money in it!"

"So, who runs the blogging world?"

"Who do you think? — the Pakistanis!"

The cab suddenly pulls over to the curb.

"Hey — why are you stopping the car?"

A camera crew approaches, along with John Quinones.

"Hello, I’m John Quinones of ABC’s Primetime and we’re conducting a experiment to see how people respond to a racist cabbie."

"What are you — a fucking Puerto Rican?" 

"You realize that this is being recorded and will be watched by millions of Americans…?"

"It will?!  Come one, come all — even the Koreans!  I really do love Jackie Chan!"


  1. Fitèna

    I would have enjoyed watching this program you’re talking about!

    This morning, on my way to work, I was talking to my neighbour about racism. I’d never had to suffer from racist remarks before last year. I posted about it on my old blog. It hurt. It hurt real bad.


  2. Fitèna

    Being black, muslim, veiled (since three months now) and arabic speaking women seems to be more than what any racist can stomach.

  3. AWE

    You should have told them about your boxer-briefs.

  4. amanda

    awesome…on taxi cab confessions some dude was saying how he would never date a jewish girl again because his last girlfriend would talk to her mom on the phone during sex. i say, good riddance.

  5. Pearl

    (I’m on a photo kick again.)

    Neil, why does that pic look like Billy Crystal in Mr. Saturday Night?

  6. Kevin

    She made you eat borscht?!?!?! That bitch!!!!


  7. JustRun

    The most important lesson to be learned here is to always, always ask “is this being recorded?” Always.

  8. Neil

    Thanks, Pearl. Changed it. Sophia is busy this week, so I’m blogging solo. She would have never let this one go by.

  9. Tanisha

    Neil this is hilarious. I miss this damn blog… But racism is alive and well. I personally didn’t experience it until moving to the capital texas where everyone is supposedly liberated. Yeah right.. Anyhow, thanks for the shout out on big butts…wink

  10. Tim

    Is John Quiones Puerto Rican? If so, he’s target practice according to that one guy who “wasn’t racist”.

  11. M.A.

    Your use of literary irony is Swiftian, Neil.

  12. mysterygirl!

    I didn’t see this segment, so I should probably be quiet, but what kind of bullshit “investigative reporting” is this? I would be really irritated if my cabbie were spouting racist crap, but it’s not like I’d start a brawl with the stranger behind the wheel of the car I’m travelling in. So I guess I’m a racist?

  13. Hope

    Hilarious. That’s all I want to say – a very funny post.

  14. Rebecca

    Jackie Chan’s Korean?

  15. Neil

    Mystery Girl — The whole show was stacked to show people as “racist.” I’m sure there were good intentions behind the show, but it just came off as exploitative and funny. My favorite segment was when they had a black couple arguing in a park — and the guy was getting physical — and most people walked by without intervening. “Was it because he was a black man?” asked John Quiones. “Was it because others would think he would more likely to have a knife or gun?” Who the hell knows? Maybe it’s because they chose a big fucking guy who could kick my ass — and they picked a scrawny white guy the last time the did the experiment — and no one helped them either.

    “Is Primetime an inferior knock-off of 20/20 and “60 Minutes?” After this one night experiment, I must conclude yes.

    Rebecca — Yes, him and the late Pat Morita.

  16. Pearl

    Wow, such power I wield over you… You didn’t realize I was a photo editor as well as a copy editor, did you?

  17. cruisin-mom

    Neil…I’m rolling on the floor laughing my big fat Jewish ass off. (better than aerobics, thank you)

  18. ms. sizzle

    “Neilochka, I bought you new pants.”

    I hope they didn’t have pleats.

    😉 sizz

  19. sarah

    neil, i just thought i’d let you know that i am a black jew. that’s why my big ass blog could run your scrawny blog over.

    i though pat morita was vietnamese.

  20. bettyonthebeach

    Sometimes cabbies are awesome and sometimes you just want them to be invisible. Case in point,this morning; I was hungover and nauseous and hoping to get a little shut eye on my ride to work. From the moment I got in the car my driver drove like a maniac whilst reading the NY Post and would not shut up. I knew today was his last day driving a cab, that he lived in Brooklyn, that he had a son who worked in NJ, that he had a girlfriend, that he gambled a lot and had a poker game at 3pm today, was also a slob and thought I was hot. Uugh!

  21. cruisin-mom

    Sarah…let’s hear it for big asses, black, Jewish, or otherwise. Some of my best relatives are black Jews.

  22. mariemm3

    Does this mean you took part in the Immigration Law protests?

  23. Neil

    Cruisin — I guess big asses are something all ethnic groups can be proud of.

    Betty — You should have went on a date with him.

    Sarah — Whatever he was, Pat Morita was very wise.

  24. Brooke

    Did you tell them about your penis?

  25. Neil

    Brooke, that would be very inappropriate.

  26. Lauren

    I did once get out of a cab when he started spewing anti-semetic remarks. I don’t pay 55 cents a minute to hear that crap.

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