Derek with his family AND his old hair colour..
|sarcasm that my drum is being repaired by the
Witch Doctor so I am using my voice at the moment!
CS: What about from other cab drivers?
DC: Look at my hair, I used to dye it black. Then one day I woke up and said to
myself that I was in my fifties with two grandchildren, why was I dying my hair? It was
stupid so I let it grow back into its natural grey. But have you ever seen dyed hair
that has been left? It first goes a sickly brown followed by a shade of pink! Some drivers
were making jokes that came across as bad taste. I love a joke and I was the first to joke
about my hair colour. But I know when someone is being sarcastic and some of my fellow
drivers were displaying real sarcasm because of my skin colour. Thats why I say it
is a mental problem. If you are Jewish you can tell jokes about yourself just as if you
are Irish. But when you are black, it sometimes seems like open house. I have always said
that you have to
|be able to laugh at yourself before you should
laugh at others or with others.
In all honesty, I dont see myself as any particular colour. I look at myself in the
mirror and see a black man but I dont walk around saying: "Im
black". I just get on with life.
CS: What about trouble from passengers?
DC: Ive had people whove asked "
whether a coon
like me knows my way round okay?" or knowing that I can hear, whether
this black **** thinks he is getting paid". The funny thing is that
sometimes they dont even realise what they are saying. They are so used to racialist
remarks in their home surroundings that it comes out as being natural to them. But there
are those who obviously DO mean it and try to wind me up. All I say is that they can get
out straight away or wait until I get to the nearest police station. But in all honesty,
the percentage of trouble makers over 28 years is very small.
|CS: It has been said that
there are some cab drivers who wont pick up black kids. How do you feel about that?
DC: If I dont like the look of someone - black or white - I wont pick
them up either. One of the big problems with youngish black kids is that many
of them dress to look like some of the rap singers whose lyrics seem to revolve around
gang warfare - whatever happened to Jim Reeves, eh? The singers wear hoods so the kids do
it too and it has the effect of making them look like trouble makers. But I have seen
white kids that look equally as frightening. The answer is to use your initiative and be
careful whoever you pick up regardless of colour.
CS: Do you have any prejudices?
DC: No. I either like someone or I dont. That is all it comes down to. I have
always found that you get back out of life what you put into it and I work hard at being a
nice guy! Not because I am black but because I like people and I hope they like me. If
someone doesnt like me because of my colour, that is their problem and not mine.
CS: And lastly, cab driving in general. How do you see it?
DC: I love it! Its a good living although it is getting harder and harder to
negotiate your way around, especially in the City. I also love being on DAC. It has the
feeling of being in a large club and the camaraderie is wonderful. I know it is a thriving
business, but it still has that friendliness about it. What makes me smile is at
AGMs when everyone seems to sit in the same seats year after year!
CS: Lastly, what would you do if you won the lottery?
DC: I think Id still push the cab around but my wife always tells me that she
would buy us a large mud hut in Regents Park!
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