A Lyft driver was subjected to a racist rant from a rider after asking the passenger if he would wear a face mask in the car.
TMZ shared the driver’s video of the incident from late May. In the video, the driver explains that he wants passengers to wear a mask or cover their faces, adding that he’s had a family member who was sick with the disease. The passenger almost immediately turns hostile, saying that he believes the coronavirus is a conspiracy theory.
“I don’t like you,” the passenger said. “I told you I didn’t like your standards. I’m entitled to free speech.”
By this point, the driver has pulled over and told the passenger that he should get out. The passenger refuses to leave. He says that he has a “contract” with the driver that has not ended.
When the driver refuses to continue the ride, the passenger calls him a homophobic slur and begins to threaten him with violence, saying “I ‘ought to just f*cking crush your f*cking skull right now.”
The driver remains calms and reminds the passenger that he’s on video. The passenger immediately changes his tone of voice and asks the driver to just take him home. The driver refuses, saying he’ll call the police if the passenger doesn’t get out of his car.
That’s when the passenger begins his racist rant. The passenger starts calling the driver, who appears to be of Latin American descent, a “boy.” Then, the passenger begins making fun of the way the driver talks by pretending to speak with a heavy (and bad) Hispanic accent.
The passenger tells the driver he doesn’t speak English and accuses him of not being from the United States, calling him a “f*cking w*tback.”
The driver says that he’s an American, and the driver responds back that he’s an American veteran.
The video ends with the passenger angrily getting out and threatening the driver about talking to Lyft. The Daily Dot has reached out to Lyft and will update with a response.
*First Published: Jun 19, 2020, 9:49 am
Sierra Juarez is a freelance journalist and fact-checker based in Mexico. She most enjoys writing about human rights and politics and working in audience engagement. Her work has appeared in the Texas Tribune, the Austin American–Statesman, and the San Antonio Current.