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Valley CEO reconciles with Uber driver he called racial slur

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Posted at 10:42 PM, Feb 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-27 00:53:11-05

TEMPE, AZ — A racist encounter has now led two men to reconcile and move forward.

The ABC15 Arizona story made international headlines. Valley student and Uber driver, Randy Clarke, was called a racial slur by Agroplasma CEO, Hans Berglund. The racist and hostile confrontation all started after a dispute about the front seat.

"I saw the true colors of people," said Clarke. "Many nasty things online, not only about me but about Hans."

Hans previously told ABC15 the encounter and online backlash "ruined my life and my business."

Both men were deeply affected. Randy, by the blatant racism, and Hans because he was forced out as CEO of the company he founded.

Both men wanted to meet though, and recently they did.

"[Hans] was very sincere. He seemed like he deeply regretted what he said and will do good in the future," said Clarke.

The two posed for a group photo alongside lawyers and community activist Rev. Jarrett Maupin after the parties came to an undisclosed legal agreement.

"I wanted to let him know that he was forgiven and I kind of wanted to see and be convinced that this man changed that stance from the mistake he made," said Clarke.

As for Uber, Clarke says he is meeting with top executives in the coming weeks and has new ideas and a message for the company.

"These things happen in our vehicles, and the support that they have, that we call into, is garbage," he said.

Clarke says he plans to keep driving for Uber and hopes this is a learning experience for not just Hans and himself.

When ABC15 asked Clarke what he hopes people learn from this, he said, "That it's not just a word."