Woman calls cab driver n--ger during altercation caught on tape

A Hamilton man has posted video online of a physical altercation he saw this week between a cab driver and a woman in which she repeatedly calls him n--ger.

Warning: Video includes explicit language; police say the woman has been charged

A Hamilton man has posted video online of a physical altercation he saw this week between a cab driver and a woman in which she repeatedly calls him n--ger.

Mubarik Adams says he posted the video in an attempt to start a larger conversation about the root causes of racism — while it also shows some of the issues with violence cab drivers deal with in the city. Hamilton police say the woman has been charged with assault, and the hate crime unit is also investigating.

Adams posted the video on Facebook Tuesday, saying he watched the incident unfold near the Hamilton Convention Centre on Monday.

Racism is 100 per cent intertwined with capitalism and overall inequality.- Mubarik Adams

"[I] saw the lady in the video in the back of the taxi yelling frantically while trying to physically harm the driver who was in the front," he wrote.

"She was accusing him of taking her bag or purse and calling him all kind of things, including what you hear in the video.

"At one point she was telling him to 'go back to Africa' and got out of the vehicle and said the N word repeatedly while smacking the car window, and this is basically when I began filming."

Jagtar Singh Chahal, CEO of Hamilton cab, said he had not been made aware of the incident, but said this is a reality that cab drivers in the city face.

"They do deal with some situations like this, and it's unfortunate," he said. "No one should disrespect a person like this and use that kind of language."

Words strike a nerve

He said that Hamilton Cab does pass information on to police when there "is a criminal element."

According to police, a 33-year-old Hamilton woman faces assault charges charges in connection with the incident.

"The Hamilton Police Hate Crime Unit has been assigned to the matter as a result of the hate bias overtones used by the accused," police said in a news release.

Adams told CBC News that as a black man, hearing those kinds of words will always strike a nerve.

"In pretty much any conflict between people that's of an abusive nature you'll have one individual, or both, trying to belittle one another as much as possible, but it's always interesting that when it's between a white person versus a black or brown person that their race more often than not will have to be mentioned as if it's a crutch," he wrote in his post.

Starting a conversation

"But I don't want to leave it at that," he told CBC news. Instead, Adams said, he posted the video in an attempt to facilitate a larger conversation about the root cause of racism — which he says is largely income inequality.

"Racism is 100 per cent intertwined with capitalism and overall inequality," he said.

Adams likened the situation to larger political discussions in the U.S., where, he says, supporters of presidential candidate Donald Trump have been seen hurling racial slurs and widening divides between cultures.

"You can't blame that immigrant who doesn't have the power of a person at the top," he said.

"It needs to be a much bigger discussion."

adam.carter@cbc.ca

About the Author

Adam Carter

Reporter, CBC Hamilton

Adam Carter is a Newfoundlander who now calls Hamilton home. He enjoys a good story and playing loud music in dank bars. You can follow him on Twitter @AdamCarterCBC or drop him an email at adam.carter@cbc.ca.