I had an extremely interesting conversation with my friend when I came home from class today. I’m sure we have all seen the video of the doctor being dragged off of the United Airlines flight, but in case you haven’t, here is the link (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cfB28wQs8uQ). Basically, many flights overbook due to the thinking that not as many people will show up as planned so they can fill their flight an make as much money as possible. However, sometimes more people show up than they have available seats and certain people need to be removed from the flight as there are not enough seats to accommodate for everyone. (Not saying I agree with the practice, just the way it goes). In the case of the United Airlines flight, a doctor did not want to leave the flight as he was a paying customer and had patients that he needed to attend to in the morning. However, he was dragged out of his seat and he hit his head on the railing, busting his lip and knocking him unconscious. He was then dragged limply down the aisle out of the flight, to the horror and disgust of all the passengers on the plane.
When I saw the video, I saw an unwilling doctor who was treated extremely poorly and unfairly being abused and then dragged off of the flight. I saw the memes after and ultimately saw some humor in the whole ordeal. However, my friend saw something completely different. He is Asian, and the doctor being dragged off the flight was also Asian. He posted on Facebook after the incident “I wonder if they would have dragged the passenger off if he were white?”. When we talked about it, he said that watching that video truly hurt him. He (for one of the first times) felt truly discriminated against and saddened when he saw the Asian man being treated that way, and did not feel that a white man would be treated in the same manner. The CEO of United even said that he supported his employee’s decisions and the man was acting “belligerent” when he clearly was not. This reminded me of the White Privilege that we experience, as when I saw the video I thought absolutely nothing of it but when my friend did he was deeply affected. I would never think that he was dragged off because he was Asian, as that is something that would not normally cross my mind.
What do you guys think? Would he have been treated this way if he was white?