The hashtag #DeleteUber has trended amongst the Twitterverse and in doing so has translated into boycott-oriented action on an impressive scale. Thousands have deleted the transportation app Uber and have shared screenshots of their acts of protest on their timelines. This controversy came to fruition on Saturday night in accordance with President Donald J. Trump’s 120-day Refugee Ban and 90-day travelers ban.
These bans encompass seven majority Muslim countries (but not all majority Muslim countries within the Middle East), and bar these refugees and travelers from entering the United States. Across the United States, thousands occupied airports to stand in solidarity with individuals being detained and suffering from Trump’s executive order. The New York Taxi Workers Alliance showed its support, calling on social media for drivers to avoid John F. Kennedy International Airport between 6 and 7 pm Eastern time on Saturday. In response, Uber announced they were lowering fare prices through the elimination of “surge pricing.” In essence, the behemothic conveyance empire engaged in “scab activity” or strike breaking by undermining the efforts of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance.
This attempt to profit off of Trump’s blanket ban had an immense ripple effect as Uber consumers were repulsed by the company’s actions, thus the hashtag #DeleteUber gained traction. Trending on Saturday night, the movement accumulated a substantial following as individuals cited Uber’s collaboration with fascism and support of the unconstitutional executive order as reasons to ditch the transit service. In addition, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick is a member of Trump’s Strategic and Policy Forum. His prominent role within the administration only stokes the prevailing attitude that Uber’s actions were purposefully made in efforts to support the Trump regime and in order to advance the racially discriminatory policy. Kalanick, in efforts to combat an unsightly public image, pledged $3 million to compensate drivers affected by the ban and promised to use his power as an economic adviser to address the issue.
“...That means this ban will impact many innocent people—an issue that I will raise this coming Friday when I go to Washington for President Trump’s first business advisory group meeting,” said Uber CEO Travis Kalanick in an email released to the public.
Kalanick, like the majority of corporate executives, follow a series of steps in social controversies, profusely sharing flowery sentiment with the public while simultaneously continuing the alleged activity behind closed doors. Kalanick, despite his limp promises, will subserviently accommodate the needs of president Trump in order to lobby for greater tax cuts, generous tax repatriation deals, or some other incentive to big business. The grand solution displayed to the public? Throw cash at the problem and use tough language to assert artificial indignation.
The Twitter community has remained unmoved in their efforts and stand by their boycott, even turning to Uber competitor, Lyft, in order to maintain their ability to travel around their local areas. This boycott is a method of proactive civil disobedience all consumers should take to hold corporations accountable. This boycott was not enacted in order to punish Uber drivers or deprive them of their sole income, as the conservative base has criticized the movement for. This argument is as old as labor itself, used in cases such as the South African Apartheid boycott. The purpose is to implement the consumers as the watchdog of corporate entities who wield extensive sway in Washington. Corporations like Uber have dichotomously constructed a public front of social awareness whilst engaging in moral and legal turpitude for years.
The people have the power and it is time for us to demand public loyalty from these private institutions. If individuals are to invest their money into a company’s products, that company must stand up for the rights of all their consumers. These companies should also be held accountable by the people in terms of their interactions with the government and PACs. If companies like Angel Soft are owned by Koch industries, an international conglomerate that actively funds climate change denial, we must hold them accountable. If social networking sites like Facebook, who boast the company motto “make the world more open and connected,” offer meaningless, neutral rhetoric on racist, unconstitutional blanket bans in order to stay in the good graces of the executive branch, we must hold them accountable.
Corporations including Apple, Microsoft, Y Combinator, Google, Tesla, Space X and more have remained silent or issued offensively indifferent statements regarding the ban, practicing the worst type of hypocrisy. We must take a stand as we the people hold vast potential to use our numbers to push for the greater good. Trump’s ascendancy into the presidency has awoken the masses and we must face this constitutional crisis and future crises by not only resisting the government, but by also holding corporations accountable for their complacency in a fascist regime.
Source Image: American Constitution Society
Author Bio: Melat Eskender, 15, leftist activist, email: firstname.lastname@example.org