Yesterday, Trump banned Muslim entry at the U.S. border. Now, people are deleting their Uber apps. That escalated quickly, no? If you’re against Trump’s immigrant policies, should you #DeleteUber too?
Last January 27, Aljazeerareported that newly inaugurated U.S. President Donald Trump has signed an executive order suspending the US refugee program for 120 days, banning Syrian refugees, specifically, from entering US borders, and halting immigration of nationals from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen for 90 days. Muslim immigrants, Trump dissenters, progressive groups, and sympathizers, of course, were not pleased. Just a few hours after the executive order was signed, already two Iraqi refugees had already been detained. And a few more hours after that, the TNew York Times reports, a full-blown protest has already grown outside the Kennedy International Airport as a response to the policy.
Now, as a U.S. citizen or resident holed up in your office cubicle or curled up in the comforts of your home, too concerned with your own safety to join the streets to protest this massive display of injustice and discrimination by the new president of the U.S., what better way to show your solidarity (while staying comfortable) than to delete your Uber app and account? Well, that escalated quickly!
If you’ve noticed, #DeleteUber has been trending on Twitter for hours now. Now, before you make any rash decisions or comments, here’s the full story, from all parties.
Following the executive order by Donald Trump, hundreds of immigrants, including U.S. green card holders, from several Muslim countries have been refused access to America. This has spawned protests in John F Kennedy (JFK) International Airport in New York and several other airports in Chicago, San Francisco, Washington, DC, and other US cities, Aljazeerareports.
It is common knowledge that a huge number of taxi drivers in the US are made up of immigrants from South Asia, specifically of Muslim descent. In effect, the Muslim ban prompted the NY Taxi Workers Alliance to call its members not to pick up at JFK Airport and stand in solidarity with the protesters.
Ride-share app Uber, however, instead of supporting the call to protest, has responded to the situation by removing surge pricing at the JFK airport.
Surge pricing has been turned off at #JFK Airport. This may result in longer wait times. Please be patient.
— Uber NYC (@Uber_NYC) January 29, 2017
The issue then is that this move by Uber and the NYTWA has been taken differently by different people. For some, they saw the strike at JFK as a huge inconvenience to travelers who have errands of their own, and to taxi drivers themselves who will have to sacrifice their income for that day. More people, however, got furious at Uber for capitalizing on the situation and encouraging their drivers to keep driving instead of encouraging them to join the protest.
In a nutshell, many read Uber’s move to remove surge as a move to take advantage of the lack of taxi supply, which has sparked the #DeleteUber on Twitter.
— HUNTER S. FAILSON (@Bro_Pair) January 29, 2017
— jeremiah st cyr (@MiahSaint) January 29, 2017
— wikipedia brown (@eveewing) January 29, 2017
— Crescent (@TheLostAmelia) January 29, 2017
To set the fire against Uber even further ablaze, Uber competitor Lyft has decided to get on the good side of everyone by announcing that it’s donating $1,000,000 to non-profit advocacy organization ACLU in support of their fight against Trump and his policies.
— Mike Lynch (@MikeLynch09) January 29, 2017
This move by Lyft has encouraged a lot of American commuters to finally abandon Uber and use Lyft instead.
— Equitas Apparel (@EquitasApparel) January 29, 2017
— LaurenNY-7???????????? (@AaliyahNevaeh7) January 29, 2017
— Mary (@liveenjoylife7) January 29, 2017
To rub salt in the wound that is Uber’s mishandling of the situation, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick is actually part of Trump’s economic advisory board and has recently called his employees to work with Trump, CNN reported. After #DeleteUber started to ignite on social media, however, Kalanick was quick to assure his employees that all Uber employees who will be affected by the Muslim ban will be given financial aid.
Some believe Kalanick’s response is a tad too late, that the fire that is Uber’s initial apathy towards the JFK Airport strike has already spread the customer’s sympathy with Uber too thin. But a lot of people also believe that Uber’s response to the incident has just been blown up to proportions by social media, leaving the company vulnerable and under attack just because its CEO has publicly aligned himself with Trump.
With all of this information, how would you express your support of or disagreement with Trump’s Muslim ban? Are you sitting in front of your computer, happy about the “safety” precautions that Trump has taken? Will you settle for deleting Uber, too? Or would you actually have the courage to join the Muslim ban protests in person?
[Featured Image by Jirapong Manustrong/Shutterstock]