PL deputy leader Daniel Micallef has recounted a personal experience involving a random act of kindness by an African cab driver who gave him a ride one day.
“The driver, who was probably from Somalia, dropped me off at my destination,” Micallef said.
“Ten minutes later, I realised I had left my wallet in the back of the cab and called the driver up.
He told me he found it, and rather than picking up another customer, he drove back and returned it to be in a matter of minutes.”
“I offered him some money to thank him but he refused. I ended up having to throw the money in his window and moving back so he doesn’t try and return it to me.”
Micallef shared his experience on a Facebook post uploaded by political commentator Jeremy Camilleri, which opened up on the everyday racism black cab drivers receive.
Camilleri recounted how an old friend of his told him that he recently caught a Bolt cab which was driven by a young black man who migrated to Malta when he was 15 years old.
“He felt he had integrated well in Malta and worked to buy a car and work as a cab driver,” he said. “However, in the span of less than half an hour, the driver – who was driving carefully – was racially insulted at least three times by drivers who were in the wrong themselves, including one who ignored a Stop sign and one who made a dangerous lane change manouevre.”
“He was told things like “Mur ħudu f’għoxx pajjiżek’ and ‘Go back to your country’. My friend was shocked and asked the driver if this was normal, and the driver said with sadness that it was but that he has grown used to it.”
“He assured my friend that not all Maltese are like that and that many are kindhearted.”
Camilleri said his friend’s experience should act as a wake-up call about the problems of racism, stating that this is the result of ignorance, fear, populist politicians and people in powerful positions who aren’t capable of making the right decisions.
Yet Micallef’s intervention shows that there are at least some politicians who won’t just stop at saying they’re against racism and xenophobia, but who will take that little bit of extra effort to raise awareness about the humanity of migrants who have made Malta their home.
Cover photo: Left: Daniel Micallef, Right: Stock photo