Diane Abbott, the first black woman to serve as a member of the British Parliament, found herself in the center of controversy again Friday after she tweeted that London cab drivers won't pick up black passengers.
Dubious of black people claiming they've never experienced racism. Ever tried hailing a taxi I always wonder? she tweeted on Tuesday.
The actual tweet itself isn't as inflammatory as some -- like Labour party leader Ed Miliband, who is insisting that Abbott be fired if she doesn't apologize -- are making it out to be, but the statement's inferences have offended many in the British capital.
Understandably, those most upset by the MP's comments are London's cabbies.
A lot of drivers are angry today about this, including a black driver who is one of our members, who was outraged, Steve McNamara, a spokesman for the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association, told The Daily Mail.
“I think she will have difficulty hailing a cab after this.
The modern generation of taxi drivers is as diverse as London itself... Her comment is a silly stereotype that harks back to the days of ‘I don’t go south of the river’ and ‘hanging’s too good for them,' McNamara added.
It is as outdated and insulting as the stereotype that black people wear woolly hats all the time.
The timing of the tweet couldn't have been worse. Abbott's controversial statement made headlines just a day after she was accused of being a racist herself after she tweeted a message about white people.
In relation to the Stephen Lawrence murder trial -- a case where two white men stabbed an 18-year-old black student to death -- Abbott wrote:
White people love playing 'divide & rule'. We should not play their game.
Ethnic communities that show more public solidarity & unity than black people do much better, she added in a subsequent message.
The comments evoked an immediate response from a nation scarred by the hatred witnessed in the Lawrence trial and a number of politicians, including Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Milibrand, Abbot's party chief, forced her to apologize.
I apologize for any offence caused,” Abbott said in a statement.
I understand people have interpreted my comments as making generalizations about white people. I do not believe in doing that.
Still, her most recent remarks have people calling for her resignation again. McNamara is skeptical that is will happen, however, and is already criticizing Milibrand for not firing her.
“She is a high-profile black woman and he is obviously weak,” McNamara told The Telegraph. “It shouldn’t matter what color you are, if you make these stupid and crass comments you should go.”