It is a tough call on this issue. I see Mr. Wiedersberg's point on safety, but rule 17 is important so that one segment of our society is not punished for the crimes of the few. I live and work in the city. I can no more change the color of my skin than the color of my eyes. What is to be done for me when I can't catch a cab and must ride the CTA bus through tough sections of the city to get to my home. Aren't I also entitled to a safe and courteous cab ride, a service available to any non-person of color in this city.
Wouldn't it be a perfect world if we could only serve certain people. Wrapping yourself in the cloth of working and living in the black community is also no defense for the systematic discrimination against a class of people by making it legal to bypass customers based on your subjective selection.
Use technology to insure your safety, place cameras in the car to observe customers' entry and exit, use wireless technology to record the current location of the cab or report silently robberies in progress with the location of the cab transmitted to the police. These solutions all require a commitment to implement and are not cost-prohibitive since it cost more than $500 to put a bullet-resistant shield in the cab anyway. Mr. Wiedersberg should use his energy to lobby for more safety devices in cabs instead of seeking to exclude customers.