Jovene Milligan and her daughter Ghiana Gardener are suing Uber after filming a driver shouting racial slurs at the mother-daughter duo while they were trapped in his car during an hour-long ride.
Jovene Milligan, 52, and her 30-year-old daughter encountered the driver last Friday after their car broke down while they were on their way to Atlanta from Charleston, South Carolina, the State reported.
After they called AAA, they requested an Uber ride since they could not ride in the tow truck due to COVID-19 policies.
The driver, only identified as Daniel on the app, picked them up for the 69-mile trip.
Milligan said it did not take long for the ride to go off the rails. The way Daniel handled their luggage was the first red flag.
“He tossed our bags in, and we got in the car,” Milligan recalled to WJBF. “Immediately, he began driving fast and swerving. I was nervous already.”
Eventually, the women made conversation with the Uber driver, and he asked where they were from. Daniel lost his mind after Milligan answered.
“He said, ‘You guys must be West African.’ I said, ‘Yes, we’re African. We’re queens.’ When I said that, that was it. That’s when he said, ‘No, you’re not. No, you’re not. You’re [expletive].’ He went off,” Milligan said.
A video posted on Gardner’s Facebook account shows his reaction to being in the presence of Black royalty.
In the clip, he called one of the women a moron and used the n-word at least three times. Milligan and Gardner eventually asked to be let out, but the man refused to pull over.
“It got very scary, to the point where I didn’t know whether we’d have to protect ourselves,” Milligan told WCBD. “The driver was erratic, driving recklessly. He was constantly calling us [expletives].”
“I was constantly monitoring his GPS to make sure we were still in route even though he wouldn’t let us out,” she added.
Milligan and her daughter eventually made it to their destination, a Jaguar dealership. Before he left, Daniel tossed their bags around and told them, “You n****rs aren’t welcome in Aiken!”
The women hired an attorney and filed a lawsuit against Uber to demand stronger safety policies to protect passengers from problematic drivers. Milligan also intends to pursue criminal charges against the driver.
Uber issued a lukewarm statement about the incident.
“Everyone has a right to feel safe when using the Uber platform, and what these riders experienced is extremely upsetting. We have a clear non-discrimination policy, and we have removed this driver’s access to the app,” it read.
Whatever, dude. Meanwhile, two Black women are left traumatized by some backwoods bigot. Gardener and Milligan are seeking $5 million in damages, each.
They deserve it all.