Uber Eats is offering free delivery to only black-owned restaurants until the end of 2020, the company’s CEO announced in an email on Thursday.
“Uber Eats will promote black-owned restaurants on its app, and that the service will not charge delivery fees to those restaurants ‘for the remainder of the year,'” Fox News reported.
The company will also provide “discounted rides to black-owned small businesses ‘who have been hit hard by COVID-19,’ though it did not add how much of a discount would be given,” the report added.
“As a company, we believe that everyone has the right to move freely, no matter where they live or the color of their skin,” CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said via email to customers, according to the Detroit Bureau. “We’re proud of how Uber has helped improve transportation equity over the last decade. But the reality remains that Black Americans often don’t feel safe to move freely in many places around our country. And they still face enormous barriers that others do not.”
“I wish that the lives of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and countless others weren’t so violently cut short,” Khosrowshahi said. “I wish that institutional racism, and the police violence it gives rise to, didn’t cause their deaths.”
The CEO “pledged that Uber will continue to crack down on discrimination, harassment and racism on its platform, and will hold its users accountable ‘to these standards of basic respect and human decency,'” Fox noted.
“I respectfully ask anyone not willing to abide by these rules to delete Uber,” Khosrowshahi stated.
The move has been criticized by some for its discriminatory racial bias.
“This is illegal,” Daily Wire podcast host Michael Knowles bluntly posted.
This is illegal. https://t.co/59LFleaMA7
— Michael Knowles (@michaeljknowles) June 6, 2020
“So [Uber Eats] is actually segregating restaurants by the race of the owner and offering different pricing on that basis?” questioned the popular conservative writer commonly known as “AG conservative.” “Does no one seriously recognize the issue with that? I thought it was a joke when someone sent it to me, but then saw it on the app.”
“Putting aside the obvious legal questions, the road to equality can’t be paved by discrimination,” he added.
Putting aside the obvious legal questions, the road to equality can't be paved by discrimination.
— (((AG))) (@AGHamilton29) June 7, 2020
One commenter replied, “Put aside the whole white people thing but what about other minorities like Asians, Hispanics, Jews, Indians, etc? They don’t think these people are going to feel discriminated against and isn’t that going to naturally further racial divides?”
AG Conservative responded: “Yes. A smarter, and more justifiable, approach would be to target neighborhoods affected by the riots or looting. But instead, they are creating a tiered fee structure based solely on the race of the restaurant owner.”
Yes. A smarter, and more justifiable, approach would be to target neighborhoods affected by the riots or looting. But instead. they are creating a tiered fee structure based solely on the race of the restaurant owner. https://t.co/TTaE1qkpyv
— (((AG))) (@AGHamilton29) June 7, 2020
Food magazine Bon Apetit is focusing on black-owned businesses, too, but in a different way than Uber Eats.
“As many of us have been inspired to stand in solidarity with the Black community, so has food media,” a story from Bon Apetit’s website says. “Across the country, restaurant critics, writers, and local food lovers have been pulling together extensive lists highlighting Black-owned businesses in their respective cities.”
“We wanted to share what they’re creating, from Google spreadsheets with updates on take-out/delivery options and GoFundMe links to websites that have long been celebrating Black-owned businesses and owners,” the site continues. “We will continue to update this page as more resources become available, and encourage you to use these resources now, and always. Let us know if you come across anything that would be helpful to add to this growing list by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line ‘Black-owned businesses.'”
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