A Refusal To Tolerate Hate

BY TRONE DOWD

A recent viral video featuring the removal of a minority man from an airplane has taken social media by storm.
Allegedly, YouTube star Adam Saleh was aboard a New York bound flight in London when he was asked to get up and leave the plane. The reason? He says that while speaking on the phone with his mother, the two exchanged words in Arabic. It is said that nearby passengers felt uncomfortable with Saleh speaking a foreign language.

YouTube star Adam Saleh’s video of him being escorted off a plane for making other passengers feel uncomfortable went viral on social media Wednesday morning. Photo Courtesy YouTube

YouTube star Adam Saleh’s video of him being escorted off a plane for making other passengers feel uncomfortable went viral on social media Wednesday morning. Photo Courtesy YouTube

The video depicts a frantic Saleh standing in the aisle trying to reason with the flight attendants directing him off the plane. In the video, several people are seen waving at the distraught passenger and yelling “bye,” seemingly in agreeance with his removal. Several other passengers on the plane are seen coming to the defense of Saleh asking flight attendants to explain the reason for his removal.

“We spoke a different language on the plane and now we’re getting kicked out,” Saleh declares in the footage. “This is 2016. You guys are racist. I can’t believe my eyes.”

As of this writing, it has yet to be confirmed whether or not the incident depicted in the video are based on actual events. While Saleh has a history of playing practical jokes on the unsuspecting public, Delta Airlines has since come forward to address the situation.

“Two customers were removed from this flight and later booked after a disturbance in the cabin resulted in more than 20 customers expressing their discomfort,” a Delta spokesperson said in an official statement. “We are taking allegations of discrimination very seriously. Our culture requires treating others with respect.”

The airline has said they will launch a full investigation in order to better “understand what happened.”

Saleh on the other hand declared on Twitter shortly after the incident that he plans to pursue legal action in the matter once he arrived in New York.

While the case is still being investigated, the fact remained that incidents like these are all too common. In New York City alone, hate crimes in 2016 have gone up a whopping 35 percent according to the New York City Police Department.

Earlier this week, Donald Trump officially received the necessary votes needed to become the President-elect. Trump, as many political analysts have said, seemingly rose to prominence at the expense of Muslim-Americans and minorities throughout the country. While we can officially lay to rest the idea of avoiding a Trump presidency despite winning the election within the legal parameters of our election process, the fight to make sure that certain Americans don’t have their rights infringed upon is still a very real thing.

Considering that Trump is guaranteed to be our next President, there is a certain level of cooperation that politicians and the like will need to have with him. With very little political experience to speak of, he’ll need all the guidance he can get to serve his constituency to the best of his abilities. What should not be tolerated however, is any rhetoric or action that in anyway harbors hate or discriminatory attitudes towards our fellow Americans. With the new year almost upon us, let’s be sure that we act as allies to those at risk of being disparaged by the incoming administration and its supporters.

Reach Trone Dowd at (718) 357-7400 x123 tdowd@queenspress.com or @theloniusly

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