United Airlines Flight 3411 in the US, from Chicago to Louisville, Kentucky, is now world infamous for violently removing a passenger, a 69-year-old man, David Dao, on Sunday April 9th 2017. United Airlines wanted to give his seat to an employee. Dao refused, saying he was a doctor who had patients to see the next morning. According to a witness, Dao felt United chose him because he was Chinese. United says he (and three others) were selected “at random.”
Slogan: Fly the Friendly Skies.
According to Chicago police (bolding mine):
“At approximately 6:00 p.m., A 69-year-old male Asian airline passenger became irate after he was asked to disembark from a flight that was oversold. The passenger in question began yelling to voice his displeasure at which point Aviation Police were summoned. Aviation Officers arrived on scene attempted to carry the individual off of the flight when he fell. His head subsequently struck an armrest causing injuries to his face. The man was taken to Lutheran General Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.”
Two days later he is still there.
The Louisville Courier-Journal, meanwhile, has dutifully dug up his police record – a courtesy the US press extends to victims of police violence.
- “Asian” – it is hard to imagine them doing this to a White doctor. The Chicago police department is already under a consent decree to reform its violent, racist practices – or it was till last week when US Attorney General Jeff Sessions put it on hold.
- “Fell” – it was hardly an accident:
Citizen videos show police pulling him out of his seat by force while he screams and then dragging his limp body down the aisle like a sack of potatoes, with blood coming from his mouth. Later Dao, his face bloodied, somehow gets back on the plane. He keeps saying, “Just kill me.”
Viral: The videos spread like wildfire across the Internet, particularly on Twitter in the US and Weibo in China. Many in China see it as racist and are calling for a boycott. United has 96 flights a week that go directly to China.
Fauxpology: On Monday, Oscar Munoz, the head of United, said:
“This is an upsetting event to all of us here at United. I apologize for having to re-accommodate these customers.”
People’s Daily in China found this “gravely disappointing” for having “mentioned nothing of the violence against the Asian passenger.”
Later that night Munoz, in an email to employees, shifted blame onto Dao for being “disruptive and belligerent” and said employees had
“followed established procedures for dealing with situations like this.”
Tuesday, after the stock market value of United Airlines lost nearly $600 million,
Munoz offered a new apology. Now the event was not merely “upsetting”
but “truly horrific”, and he offered not merely an apology but his
The Chicago Department of Aviation, unlike United, said the actions of the Aviation Officers were
“not in accordance with our standard operating procedure”
It has put the officer in question, who is Black, on leave while it looks into the matter.
– Abagond, 2017.
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