Man Kicked Off a Flight for Being Racist Learns “This Is Not Trump’s America!”
I've had it with these m---ing racists on this m---ing plane.
In addition to all the politically-sanctioned bigotry we’re seeing come out of Trump’s administration (like nominating an anti-choice “fascist forever” to the Supreme Court, hiring an anti-Semite as your Chief strategist, and repealing protections of transgender youth, just for starters), a major fear we’re facing is that people will view the election of a man who ran for President on a platform of hatred and intolerance, and take it as tacit permission to be hateful and intolerant themselves. That’s what we mean when we talk about “Trump’s America.” If our President is a misogynist and a racist and a xenophobe and so much else, the citizens who also embody those traits are growing emboldened, like bigotry is now an official American value.
That seemed to be the case with the man in the video above, who felt like it was totally appropriate and acceptable to ask a Pakistani couple in traditional dress if they had a bomb in their bag while boarding a United Airlines flight this weekend. By other passengers’ accounts, the couple didn’t hear his oh-so-hilarious joke/disparaging comment, so he repeated it. Off to a great start.
When the man sat down in his seat, he reportedly then turned around and asked the (Indian-American) passenger behind him where he was from. The girlfriend of this second passenger began filming the exchange shortly after that. She told a local news station,
The person ahead of us turned around and asked where my boyfriend was from; my boyfriend said it’s none of your business. At that point he said all illegals and all foreigners need to leave the country.
The video starts with her asking the man, “What did you say? Who needs to get out?” And the man proudly repeats, “All the illegals and sh*t.” That’s when a flight attendant comes up and asks the man to collect his belongings and leave the plane.
At first he tells the flight attendant “I didn’t say anything,” and I wouldn’t be surprised if he actually believes that. Again, it’s the normalizing of statements like his that’s so insidious. Too often, this kind of person really doesn’t see the harm in what they view as just stating his political opinion. Free speech, right?
And yes, freedom of speech is alive and well. But so is an airline’s right to provide a non-disruptive, safe environment for the majority of their customers. A United Airlines rep told the Washington Post,
We removed two passengers for making others feel uncomfortable on the flight and for saying some inappropriate things to customers on the flight.
Most customers appreciate a place where they feel safe and where they’re not going to be attacked and we want to provide that.
The man continued to hurl racist comments as he gathered his bags, saying “Happy flight home. I hope you stay there.” The woman he was traveling with, who also left the flight, gave the couple the finger and told them, ever so eloquently, to “Suck a d*ck.”
But passengers made it clear he was not representing them. They told the couple “Get out of here,” and “Racists aren’t welcome in America. This is not Trump’s America.”
Just because we have white supremacists in the White House does not mean Americans are going to accept out and proud racism when it’s staring us in the face. Bigotry is not a point of view that needs to be given a fair say.
(via Washington Post, image via screengrab)
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