Letter: Portland's idea of diversity doesn't fly

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I recently read of the lawsuit claiming discrimination against the city of Portland over taxi cab permits at the Portland International Jetport.

Being a former cab driver quite a few years ago, I couldn’t help noticing that now virtually all of the cab drivers at the Jetport are black. Portland claims to promote diversity. Is this their idea of diversity? It would be suspended belief for anyone to believe that this is purely coincidence. Most people would find this an egregious mistake and highly insulting to a fair man’s intelligence.

So far, according to the article, the city, using tax-payers’ money, has spent $45,000 defending its discriminatory bias against white cab drivers. Instead of resolving its position to a more equal distribution of permits, it seems to this tax-paying citizen, the city is willing to continue spending more money to enforce its discriminatory policy.

Something is very, very wrong with the picture.

John Sullivan
Portland 

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  • MCHaye

    “I couldn’t help noticing that now virtually all of the cab drivers at the Jetport are black.”

    You’re just noticing that now? It’s been that way for a long time. 15+ years.

  • Scott Harriman

    Yes, I’m sure there’s a great conspiracy to keep white people from becoming cab drivers…

    I figured it was because it’s not a desirable job and it doesn’t require a high level of education or skill. Portland has a lot of new, black residents who either don’t have much education or don’t have any job history in this country. Therefore, they end up getting the low-skill, less-desirable jobs.

    • MCHaye

      These folks just can’t win. If they’re not working, they’re “a drain on society.” If they’re working, they’re “taking jobs away from real Mainers.” Quite the conundrum, isn’t it?

      For what it’s worth, there are quite a few immigrants who are extensively educated and were professionals in their native lands, but they still end up working entry-level jobs here. I’ve heard lots of stories of folks who have masters degrees who end up mopping floors at Maine Med or driving cabs, because the professional licensing requirements here are different, or for various other reasons. I learned of one man from Rwanda who was an architect back home, and when he came here the best job he could get was as a general laborer on constructions sites. His wife was also a professional in Rwanda, I can’t recall what kind of profession exactly, but the best work she could find here was cleaning at MMC.