Delta Airlines accused of kicking man off flight for speaking Arabic
Another day, another incident of Delta Airlines’ intolerance for people of color. Early Wednesday morning, Twitter user Adam Saleh posted a video of himself being kicked off of a Delta flight for speaking Arabic to his mother on the phone. “Guys, we spoke a different language on the plane and now we’re getting kicked out,” he says into the camera. “We’re getting kicked out because we spoke a different language. This is 2016. Delta Airlines is kicking us out because we spoke a different language. You guys are racist. I cannot believe my eyes.”
For a while, Delta remained unresponsive to the viral tweet that led celebrities like Danielle Brooks and French Montana to chime in. Now Delta has issued a statement defending its decision to remove Saleh. In a statement to BuzzFeed, Delta said, “Two customers were removed from this flight and later rebooked after a disturbance in the cabin resulted in more than 20 customers expressing their discomfort. We’re conducting a full review to understand what transpired. We are taking allegations of discrimination very seriously; our culture requires treating others with respect.”
Because white people are terrible at being allies unless it means wearing safety pins, you can hear the white folks in the back yelling “bye” while waving Saleh off the plane. According to Saleh, six white people made a complaint that they felt uncomfortable.
White people are always uncomfortable when black and brown people are doing anything, ain’t they? It’s that discomfort that gets us killed by police when they call them on us for ridiculous reasons. Another passenger seemed to confirm Saleh’s story by asking the flight attendant why they were being kicked off and the white people weren’t. It appears as if perhaps a confrontation may have happened between the two groups.
Notice who spoke up (other brown people), who stayed silent (all the white people) and who cheered as they were being kicked off (more white people). Are we surprised? No. But hopefully if you’re a non-brown person, you’re asking yourself the tough questions of which group you’d fall in during times like these.
Saleh has uploaded three Periscope videos since the incident. “On my life I’m not letting this go,” he says in one video. “Once I land in New York City I’m going straight to my lawyer’s office.” In another video, Selah claims the flight attendants accused him and a friend of being loud, which eventually led to him being kicked off. But Selah is convinced it’s because he spoke in Arabic and white people complained. The Metropolitan Police were contacted.
Just in October, Dr. Tamika Cross was prohibited from assisting a passenger in distress because the flight attendant didn’t believe she, a black woman, could be a doctor. Delta later apologized and has changed its policy. But something in the milk ain’t clean at Delta when people of color keep being targeted, but aggressive Trump supporters can cause a scene without being removed from the flight and are only banned after receiving backlash.
Selah is on a flight back to NYC where he says he’s heading straight to his lawyer’s office. He is calling for a boycott of Delta Airlines.