It seems that we are all doomed to live in a world where a week is unable to pass without some story cropping up that details racist events taking place.
This week’s frustration was perpetrated on a Spirit Airlines flight from Los Angeles to Dallas Monday evening.
According to The Daily Mail, “Six passengers who were booted from a Spirit Airlines flight at Los Angeles International Airport claimed racial discrimination, saying a white flight attendant had them ejected because they are black.”
The airline, however, claims the passengers were being "disruptive."
What Actually Went Down
The details of the story are these.
A Spirit Airlines employee told a black man that the seat he was sitting in had been accidentally double booked and he would need to move seats. The man questioned this employee briefly and then, begrudgingly, rose to move seats. At this point, eyewitnesses claim that the employee said something sharp to the man who snapped back, “ I’m not talking to you. So don’t talk to me.”
This innocuous comment was apparently a sufficiently threatening reason for this airline employee to demand that police officers come onto the plane and escort the man off of the flight.
Following this exchange, five other black passengers voiced their outrage over the man’s expulsion from the flight. Police were brought on and all five of these detractors were escorted off of the flight as well.
The Right Questions
This incident is an, unfortunately, perfect representation of the nation’s current racial climate. It is perfect because it leaves you with all the right questions.
After hearing the facts of this case, one would understandably begin to wonder certain things.
Would this man have been kicked off of the plane if he had been white? Would the police have been more hesitant to get involved if the people they had been called to remove were white? Would the other five passengers have been treated with courteous respect for their questioning and not removal if they had been white?
These questions have no easy answers but we need to keep asking them, and what’s more, we need to demand those difficult answers.
Finding those answers is the first step to creating real change.
Continue Reading: Woman Barred From Flight For 'Inappropriate' Dress
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