Mayor Ed Lee Says He Would Ask Maya Angelou To Be a Muni Driver

Categories: Local Idiots, WTF?

Dwight Carter
Maya Angelou
Crowds flocked to Glide Memorial Church to memorialize poet and activist Maya Angelou, who died May 28 at the age of 86.

Around here, Angelou was remembered for being San Francisco's first African American streetcar conductor, a title she earned at the age of 16.

Unsurprisingly, Mayor Ed Lee trotted out that historical tidbit on Sunday, while addressing the congregation. It led him to a strange, rather un-funny joke that later made the rounds on social media.

"If she was still around, I would probably ask her to drive a Muni," Mayor Ed Lee said.

One could see how this comment might be taken as an insult. After all, how many 86 year-old luminaries get asked to drive a Muni bus?

A spokeswoman from the mayor's office has yet to elucidate Lee's quote.

We did, however, get a retired Muni driver to opine.

"I think it's stupid," he said. "If that's what he says about one of the best, most well-known poets in America, what would he say about the Pope?"

Twitter users offered their own rejoinders:

We'll update with comment from the mayor's office if and when it comes.

My Voice Nation Help
Jeff Fisher
Jeff Fisher

He was clearly making a joke and referencing her early days as a Muni driver. Add "sense of humor" to the list of things you won't find in SF anymore either.

Maurice Rivers
Maurice Rivers

As much as I despise Mayor Lee, I'm going to assume he meant this as a compliment. In 2014, a Black woman asking to work for MUNI doesn't cause anyone to blink twice. But back in the 40's and 50's, this was a *BIG* deal and a huge accomplishment. I don't think the comment smacks of racism or class warfare.

Jim Ease
Jim Ease

Hopefully she'd show him the door to retire .

Bill Elias
Bill Elias

Ron Summers, you've filled your "dumb" quota for the week. You can stop talking now.

Ron Summers
Ron Summers

Just goes to show you that his family shouldnt have left the concentration camps...

aliasetc topcommenter

When she drove the cable car Ed Lee was waiting for the boat from china!

Now Trending

San Francisco Concert Tickets

From the Vault


©2014 SF Weekly, LP, All rights reserved.