Why does Uber charge a commission on rides given by black drivers?

“Uber Eats stops charging delivery fees to black-owned restaurants” (New York Post):

In an email to customers late Thursday, CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said Uber Eats will promote black-owned restaurants on its app, and that the service will not charge delivery fees to those restaurants “for the remainder of the year.”

“I wish that the lives of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and countless others weren’t so violently cut short,” the 51-year-old CEO wrote. “I wish that institutional racism, and the police violence it gives rise to, didn’t cause their deaths.”

Let’s ignore for a moment how it is just for a “black-owned restaurant” (would Dolezal’s Pub count?) to be spared Uber’s rapacious fees on December 31, 2020 and also just for a “black-owned restaurant” to be hit with those fees on January 1, 2021. (Maybe the problem of racial injustice will be completely solved by January 1?)

If it is unjust to collect fees from “black” (in Uber’s judgment) restaurant owners, how can it be just for Uber drivers who identify as “black” to give up a massive slice of the revenue collected from customers as a fee to Uber? If Uber is measuring restaurant-owner skin color and not charging those it deems to be sufficiently “black,” why isn’t Uber doing the same with drivers? Presumably a typical Uber driver has less wealth than a typical restaurant owner.


13 thoughts on “Why does Uber charge a commission on rides given by black drivers?

  1. It’s always fun to read about Rachel “Don’t Blow My Cover” Dolezal again.

    AFAIK, Uber Eats drivers are paid via tips from the customer and only if they don’t make the minimum wage in a local jurisdiction does Uber pay them directly. My understanding is that Uber is giving up the portion of the fee it takes from the restaurant, not the driver, based on some “list” of black-owned businesses they’ve compiled, and are now supplementing with black-owned businesses who call in and ask to be included. No idea how they’re going to prove that.

    Someone on reddit pointed out that it’s blatant racial discrimination to do this but thought no restaurant would go so far as to sue over it because it would be “bad PR.” It’s probably illegal but who is going to sue and be doxxed out as an insufficiently “anti-racist” restaurant that doesn’t want to help black-owned businesses during this unprecedented catastrophe of racism?

    • I got a kick out of the home page for Uber Black. That’s the luxury “Uberlimo” service: “Uber Black matches riders with top-rated drivers driving luxury vehicles for a higher price. Whether for a business meeting or a special night out, riders rely on Uber Black for a 5-star experience.”

      Uber Black, White Guy: https://www.uber.com/us/en/drive/services/uberblack/

  2. Also, my guess is that in the coming months, legislation is going to be introduced in Congress to make Uber’s policy affirmatively legal, and for probably a lot more than just ride-sharing services.

    It’s going to be economy-wide. It’s going to be a nationwide transformation, an affirmative wealth transfer package enacted through federal legislation, and it won’t be for just black-owned businesses: it will bake in women-owned, LGBTQIA+ and other minority-owned businesses as well, for maximum buy-in and maximum pressure. Trillions of dollars in tax breaks, incentives and direct subsidies, likely including direct reparation payments. And it will pass in the next Congress. It is going to be the official policy of the United States Government to be “anti-racist” and that means *everything*.

  3. In California this is illegal. A business cannot charge a different price based on gender, race etc. The Unruh Civil Rights Act prevents this. This is why we can’t have “ladies night” at a bar here in California. By law the penalties are 4000 dollars minimum per violation. A smart lawyer would have a great class action law suit here.

  4. Crazzement. How do they know restaurant is black owned
    At least drivers have to photo id and makn less money

  5. Sounds like a great arbitrage opportunity — like minority owned businesses set asides for government contracts. The minority gets the contract and then hires (essentially sells the license to) others to do the work. He or she essentially gets a fee for being a minority.

  6. My eight year-old daughter recently asked “why do brown people always seem to break the law yet white people end up in trouble?”
    I was hard pressed for an answer.

    • Right away: take the Harvard Implicit Bias Test.


      Then you need to read up on the Black Lives Matter literature from the collection suggested by Wellesley. I would start with: “Policing the Black Man: Arrest, Prosecution and Imprisonment” by Angela J. Davis. Get started right away, because you’re going to be tested on this. As Justin Trudeau said recently: “You’re either racist or anti-racist.” Not knowing the answer is not acceptable.



    • And I don’t want to sound dismissive or facetious, or like I’m singling you out, because I’ve already been through this, twenty years ago at a law school in Chicago, while all of it was being bootstrapped into existence. The bottom line is that white people who have not deconstructed their implicit biases and structural racism are are inherently racist because they were born and raised that way in a racist, white supremacist system. That’s been decided.

      Your psyche and everything you think about yourself as a person, a citizen, and a parent is in for a big change, and if your daughter attends a public school and goes on to any university or college in this country, hers is too. Get ready to say you’re sorry and not stop saying it, ever. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve apologized – to women, to gay people, to people of color, to everyone. You just really never stop apologizing.

    • Did you tell your daughter, that one day soon she’ll learn that “brown people” will always be the trouble makers, as far as you pathetic racist are concerned. But if she keeps her eyes and ears open, she will soon learñ about the murder and mayhem, that the ” white people have dispensed from your earliest existence on this planet, up until this present time. Never taking a time out. Burning crosses, destroying property, hanging people simply because they were ” brown people, start by telling her that. After being befriended by the NATIVE AMERICAN, you turn on a compassionate people, your way of thanking them was horrendous murder and rape, and of course the burning of land and property. You can tell her that too. Nobody kills like and create mayhem like you European freaks. It would take an eternity to detail the white madness. But here is a updated murdering profile. According to crime statistics compiled by the law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, there were more than 10 thousand white on white homicides last year alone, and on Pace to exceed that this year. You can fact check that, you pathetic bigot. It gets worse, white women were two times more likely to be a victim of white on white homicide, which indicates how much of being lowlife punks you are. You can tell your daughter about you white punks running into school after school murdering innocent WHITE CHILDREN for no good gotdam reason. You can tell her about the “white” obsession with kidnappings and murder of thousands of innocent WHITE CHILDREN. Tell her about the rampant pedophilia that is rampant among white perpetrators. Don’t believe me, you can fact check it. I completely understand why you didn’t know what to tell her, or should I say, didn’t want to tell her. Bombing Churches killing innocent people in the process. Constantly keeping people on edge with your murderous mass shootings. I can understand how you were “hard pressed to answer” because it must be a challenge to tell her the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. No one should expect that from you. But when my daughter who is also eight years old, asked me why white people are such savages, l told her everything, and her reply was , the next time one of you white chumps run into a school, l hope they sentence you deranged sewer rats to life in prison, in a cell with a BIG BLACK BUBBA. I agree, there’s absolutely nothing to celebrate about your vicious history.

    • Your a coward to blame that question on your young daughter! A despicable POS coward..

  7. I feel compelled to make plain, that there are some very decent white people, l normally deal with people as simply people. When a vampire bat like Mark shows up with his racist brain dead mumblings, l feel compelled to let such a creature know that everyone is not as ignorant as he thinks they are. There are people who know what’s going on. Every white person is not running in schools murdering kids. With that being said, every ” brown person” is not making trouble. Any sane person, still in possession of a right mind, knows there are countless ” brown people” who are peaceful, successful, compassionate, people. Most people, no matter your ethnicity know that. The problem you have with a bigot like Mark, and folks like him, is that they have a problem with “brown people” period, whether they cause trouble, like some in every race do, or even if they are honorable people, likewise, you find that in every race. The people like Mark who are hopelessly ill, and unfortunately have children around them, is, they have a problem with “brown people” simply because they are “brown.”

    • You mad, bro?
      I have two daughters, ages 7 and 9, so they average out to age 8.
      I tell them that yelling doesn’t make you more right.

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