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Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Driving us crazy

Rosa Parks took up a seat in the afterlife this week. We remember her stand on sitting on the bus and America changed after the boycott of that Alabama bus line. But what about that white bus driver - he's the one whose fascist actions caused it all in the first place. The interesting thing is James Blake according to Wikipedia had already had a run-in with Rosa Parks a dozen years before:

James F. Blake (d. March 21, 2002) was the bus driver that Rosa Parks defied in 1955, prompting the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
Blake served in the Army in the European theater during World War II. He worked as a bus driver for Montgomery City Bus Lines until 1974.
Blake used his discretion to set stringent rules. One day in 1943, Parks boarded his bus and paid the fare. She then moved to her seat but Blake asked her to follow his rules and enter the bus again from the back door. Parks walked off but did not board again.
On December 1, 1955 they encountered each other again when Blake asked Rosa Parks, an African American, to move from the middle to the back of his Cleveland Avenue bus (number 2857) in order to make room for a white passenger. When she refused, Blake contacted the police and had her arrested."

So Blake had it in for her since then? There is a small minority of bus drivers who have huge chips on their shoulders and take it upon themselves to invent new rules as part of their pathetic power trip. Blake was one of those. Anyone who has caught a bus on a regular basis will encounter these sorts of drivers. There are many stories reported about racist drivers insisting that non-white passengers cannot carry food or drink on board because they might consume it in transit (this was last year - no link).

My worst experience was as a 7th Form student when the bus driver refused to accept that I was a student (wearing mufti as was normal for my school). I didn't have enough for a full fare and showed him my bag and school books to show him I was a bone fide student. This old cunt refused to accept that because I didn't have an ID card (was there even one?) - at this point of desperation a lady (the mother of a fellow student) offered to pay the difference to buy me an adult fare. The driver was having none of it - and told her he was not accepting her money and he then ordered me off! Now I don't stand for that sort of shit anymore. If I saw that happening now I'd drag him out of the bus and see how good he was at defending himself.

Recently there was a driver on Auckland's inner city Link service who was late (or something) and insisted on taking a short-cut and made everyone on the route he was cutting off get off the bus - he was a big guy, so I argued with him and got his number and reported him. Not the same I know - I should have dragged him out too.


At 27/10/05 8:35 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, this Maori bus driver wouldn't let me on his bus because I am white. So I dragged him out and kicked his arse and told him not to mess with me again or I'd send him to hospital. He whimpered in agreement.

At 27/10/05 12:08 pm, Anonymous RR said...

Perhaps a quiet mention of the driver's need to maintain 50 kmph if he knew what was good for him, might work better these days.
I was once refused entry on a Queen St bus, heading for Ponsonby Rd as i was, on the basis of having a plastic shopping bag containing a six-pack, none of it open. It occured to me later that he probably thought i was queer; i was headed for the Hero Parade, and, as was my tradition in those days, usually bought gay RTD's in honour of the occasion.

At 27/10/05 12:22 pm, Blogger stephen said...

Argh! You're turning into Everett True!

At 27/10/05 3:56 pm, Blogger t selwyn said...

SJ: Thanks for that link. Great stuff. I think I need to bellow more often and have a cane or umberalla or something that I can shake at people as well as actually administering a sound thrashing to them.


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