Uber made an important assurance to its drivers in the DC area as the white supremacist rally known as 'Unite the Right' prepares to descend on the nation's capital this weekend.
The company reiterated its current community guidelines, which allow drivers to refuse passengers whose ideologies or apparel make them feel unsafe.
The current guidelines state:
Uber has a zero tolerance policy towards discrimination of any kind. This means you will lose access to your account if you are found to have discriminated against drivers or other riders based on their race, color, religion, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, sex, marital status, gender identity, age or any other characteristic protected under applicable law.
In some cases, the riders could be banned all together for "using verbal threats, and making comments or gestures that are aggressive, sexual, discriminatory, or disrespectful."
The reiteration of drivers' rights to refuse passengers is important. Many white supremacists and neo-Nazis lament that those opposing them are hypocrites who claim to be tolerant, yet refuse to hear their opinions. However, because "opinions" like white supremacist and neo-Nazi ideologies hinge on the disenfranchisement and genocide of swathes of people, it's logical to conclude that their opinions are dangerous and inciting.
It's for this reason that many Americans on social media are mincing no words when it comes to racists marching proudly in the streets.
Infamously, Unite the Right has proven itself to champion violence and intimidation of those who don't adhere to its genetic standards.
The rally in Charlottesville in August of last year saw Nazis proudly displaying swastikas and carrying assault rifles in the streets. The demonstration resulted in the murder of Heather Heyer when neo-Nazi James Alex Fields drove his vehicle through a crowd of counter-protestors. Chris Cantwell, one of Unite the Right's biggest supporters, carried multiple weapons to the rally and bragged about its supporters' propensity for violence.
Cantwell said in an interview with VICE:
We’re not nonviolent. We’ll f***ing kill these people if we have to.
Cantwell also said Heyer's murder was "more than justified." When asked what he believes is in store for the next Unite the Right rally, Cantwell said:
I think a lot more people are gonna die before we're done here, frankly.
While Cantwell relished that prospect, Americans across social media fear it.
In the aftermath of Charlottesville, many still demonized the anti-fascist, or "antifa" protestors for meeting violent ideologies and aggression with defensive violence. President Donald Trump repeatedly tried to equate counter-protestors with white supremacists, saying not all of the supporters were neo-Nazis and that
You had a group on one side that was bad. You had a group on the other side that was also very violent. Nobody wants to say that. I’ll say it right now.
The boiling point reached in Charlottesville, to many, characterized the upheaval of a nation that for too long has dismissed its long history of racism and subsequent inaction. Let's hope the rally on Sunday will not reach similar levels of unrest.