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As a part time ride share driver, I’ve picked up different passengers over the years. Many times they do and say the the craziest things when they get in my car. Especially when they’re drunk. After doing over 4k rides, I thought nothing would surprise me. But on this Juneteenth weekend, one white rider proved me wrong when she made a racist comment.

It all started when I picked her up on Saturday night. I expected something out of the ordinary upon arrival. The first indicator was that she was intoxicated. Which was nothing new for me. I picked up riders like that before. She also had no respect for me or the law. I had to stop on a busy highway to get her. I took a chance stopping while oncoming traffic was at the red light behind me. A few minutes after she settled in the car, Things started to go left. She requested to hear some music on the radio. I turned the radio on, and Super Gremlins by Kodak Black was playing. “I don’t want to hear negro music” she said.

I turned the music down in total shock. “Excuse me” I replied. “”Turn it to another channel“ she said. I truly couldn’t believe what I heard. But for some reason I wasn’t offended even as a black man. Her ignorance was actually pretty sad. I asked her the music that she preferred but she was undecided. So I started surfing through radio channels to see what she wanted. After I failed to find her preference, I revisited what she said. “What is Negro Music” I asked. She immediately became defensive. “I”m not a racist person” she replied. I said okay.

I saw that an argument was brewing, so I made a decision to remain quiet and continue the ride. A few minutes later, she broke the awkward silence in the car. She asked me where I was from and I told her. Then she told me where she was from as well. For the rest of the ride, we actually had a productive conversation about how she started her business. Then she gave me some business advice about starting a business for myself. I didn’t expect the her to go from negative to positive like that. It was a pleasant turnaround. But I realized the roll I played in the outcome. I forgave her and gave her a chance to be a positive person. I could have stopped the ride, or cursed her out for the comments she made. But I chose to let humility lead and I followed. I saw a soft answer turn away wrath right before my eyes.

Enspirational Lesson : 1 wrong plus 1 wrong will equal 2 wrongs. 1 ignorant person plus 1 ignorant person will equal 2 ignorant people. I chose to not be the other ignorant person in the car. I don’t know if it changed her heart. But at least it changed her approach. In the end

I saw a racist person go from being disrespectful, to respectful and I lived to tell you. Payback isn’t worth it. If an innocent man willingly murders a murderer, another murderer is born. If a good man uses evil to avenge. He becomes an evil man. Don’t let people pull you down to their level. Be the bigger person. Overcome evil by doing good. God Bless

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