In the wake of Donald Trump’s controversial election, even pilots have to play peacemaker.
A pilot on a United Airlines flight heading to Mexico from San Francisco shut down a political argument using the plane’s intercom system.
A video of the pilot’s speech was posted on YouTube last Friday and shows the pilot doing a much better job than the newly elected president in calling for peace.
According to the description posted beneath the video, a fight broke out in which “an individual with a ‘plaid shirt and a camo cap’” said something racially charged to an African-American lady who was upset by the remark.
Once the two of them were separated, the unnamed captain of the flight got on the PA and made an extraordinary announcement.
“I understand everybody has their opinions; that’s fine,” he said “If you support him, great, If you don’t, I understand. However, we’re out here to go to Puerto Vallarta, supposed to be having a good time, and what I do ask is that as people we have the common decency to respect each others’ decisions and to get along on this three hour and 13 minute flight so that we can have a good time when we get down there. If anybody has a problem with this that needs to vent or rant or rave — there's another flight tomorrow.”
United released a statement to CBS: “The pilot was made aware of an incident onboard and used the intercom to diffuse the situation and insure the safety of everyone onboard. The flight continued without any further reports of disturbance.”
The election of Trump as president has given rise to a deep and divisive resentment among large swaths of the country.
It has sparked protests in a number of large cities such as New York, Los Angeles and Portland, where thousands of demonstrators are decrying Trump’s racist and anti-immigrant policies.
In an election that has created stark political fault lines across the country, there is a sense that someone needs to stand up and call for cooler heads to prevail.
Presumably, the onus for that would lie on the President-elect, but he has instead chosen to call out the protests as unfair and instigated by the media.
Just had a very open and successful presidential election. Now professional protesters, incited by the media, are protesting. Very unfair!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 11, 2016
But in typical trump fashion, he reversed himself hours later to appreciate the “passion” of the protestors and later called upon his racist followers to “stop it” with the attacks against minorities during an interview with "60 minutes."
Love the fact that the small groups of protesters last night have passion for our great country. We will all come together and be proud!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 11, 2016
Given how strongly many people feel on both sides of the political spectrum, tensions are likely to remain high.
Hopefully there are more individuals like this pilot out there to calm the frayed nerves.