Summer interns working in Washington, D.C., were holding Make America Great Again hats in their hands — and because of that, all three African-American students were refused service by an Uber driver earlier this week. One was already in the car when the driver made his declaration.
The three interns (shown above, Friday night on the set of “The Ingraham Angle”) told their story toFox News host Laura Ingraham.
The incident happened on Tuesday of this past week to these members of a program for young black Republicans in Washington, D.C. They were headed to a monthly MAGA Meetup event at Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C, and had hailed an Uber. However, when their driver met them on the campus of George Washington University and they began to enter the car, he saw their hats and told the three of them that he could not give them a ride, as they explained on “The Ingraham Angle” and as Fox News had reported earlier.
“We were like, ‘This is a joke,’” said 20-year-old Matthew Handy, one of the three. “Last month, we had the same thing happen, but [that] Uber [driver] was joking.”
Ingraham agreed the situation was ridiculous. “I’ve seen people get in [an Uber] with bare feet before,” she said. “I’d rather someone come in wearing a hat I disagree with than some of the clothes I see people wearing out there on the streets of D.C.”
Handy, who is interning this summer for Rep. Mike Bost (R-Ill.), tweeted about the incident when it happened, drawing attention to it.
In his tweet, he called the denial of service “unacceptable.”
I requested an @Uber to go to a monthly DC MAGA meet-up at Trump Hotel; held my faithful red MAGA hat in my hand. Mr. Sadou looked at me and rudely said; “I cannot take this ride.” He had no right to refuse service, especially after the payment was accepted. @Uber, unacceptable!
— Matthew Handy (@Matthew_Handy) July 11, 2018
Handy said he did hear back from Uber, but the responses to him felt automated and were of little assistance. Earlier in the week, he told Fox News he wanted a statement from the company and for the driver to be terminated.
In addition to Handy, 33-year-old Adria Barrington, who is interning for Rep. David Schweikert (R-Ariz.), and Elijah Allison, who is interning for Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.), were also part of the group. Allison had also been holding a MAGA hat.
“I was frightened,” Barrington told Ingraham. “I was angry. Afterward, I was thinking, how many times has he done this and gotten away with this? Is it the new norm? Will we be judged by the way we think? That’s the same as being judged by your religion, gender or race. I was very upset.”
What if a pro-life conservative had denied a ride to someone wearing a Planned Parenthood shirt?
“He made a decision, and I respect it,” Allison added. “I didn’t question it because I didn’t want things to escalate, like we’ve seen in the recent news.”
Ingraham expressed concern at the notion of rides being denied because of one’s political ideas. She also posed a hypothetical question: What if a pro-life conservative had denied a ride to someone wearing a Planned Parenthood shirt?
The interns made it to Washington as members of a diversity internship program headed by Rep. Buck of Colorado; his office also filed a complaint with the ride-sharing company.
The treatment of these interns follows the recent harassment and poor treatment of members of President Donald Trump’s administration and his supporters in public. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked to leave a restaurant in Virginia a few weeks back; Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was harassed at a Mexican restaurant by liberal protesters; a woman approached the table of former Environmental Protection Agency director Scott Pruitt at a French restaurant and told him to resign; and senior adviser to the president Stephen Miller, was given a pair of middle fingers by a bartender at a Washington establishment. There were other incidents as well.
Consider that Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) called for exactly this kind of behavior from leftists not long ago.
“If you see anybody from that [Trump] Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd and you push back on them and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere,” she said at a rally late last month.
Was the Uber driving heeding those words?
Tom Joyce is a freelance writer from the South Shore of Massachusetts. He covers sports, pop culture, and politics and has contributed to The Federalist, Newsday, and other outlets.