Why Are Some Airport Cabdrivers Protesting Background Checks?

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Mysteriously, cabdrivers in Houston seem not to have noticed the drama the rest of us have been going through the last five plus years about hassles at the airport. It's a mystery because why else would Houston cabdrivers be out in protest over a simple — and by the way, long overdue — order that cabdrivers entering the airport to pick up fares will have to submit to a background check and they will have to obtain and display a photo ID?

Considering you have to have a background check and a photo ID to get a cup of coffee or go to the bathroom in the airport, why would anybody think that people who drive into the airport several times a day to do business should not submit to a background check and have their ID posted in the cab with a picture and a name and a Houston airport identification number?

I ride in cabs in New York all the time. Every one of them has a picture ID visible to the passenger. What could possibly be the harm?

Well one of the protesting cabdrivers said yesterday that some people are going to lose their work because there is something in their background. She gave as an example a felony arrest that would prevent the individual from getting a license to drive a cab in the airport.

Excuse me, do cabdrivers in Houston think that felons should be able to drive a cab without a licensing authority knowing this individual driver is a felon? Where else in this country can that happen? Anywhere? No. Not any big place anyway.

This is a story about people who have been treated to a delayed reaction to 9/11 and now they're complaining about what everybody else in the country has been going through for years. Want to work in an airport? Background check and photo ID, please. It's not that complicated.

I know many people want to pretend 9/11 never happened and we can go back to our old ways: sloppy, sleepy and stupid. Well, no thanks.

In fact, I want to know what took Houston so long. It's 2007. What have you guys been doing all these years? Get those cabbies' photo ID'd and check to see if their last cab-driving job was in Kandahar or Baghdad. It's the kind of thing you might want to know.

That's My Word.

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