Thursday, 7 April 2016

So What Was He Doing?

Interesting story in the UK press today about a chap taken off the Easyjet flight from Rome to London. Apparently a female passenger told someone that he made her feel uncomfortable.

Man, after you leave behind the food court, Ciampino is already the height of discomfort. Come to think of it, I once feared I would be chucked off my Easyjet flight the moment the security lady found my 200 mL bottle of sunscreen. The look she gave me would have singed the eyelashes off a goat.

In the combox of the Daily Mail (a tabloid), commentators are having a go at the woman who supposedly "felt uncomfortable". They assume that she must be racist, and she should be arrested herself, sued, etc. They also assume she exists. Easyjet lied about the luggage; who's to say they didn't lie about the complaint?

But what is lost in the story is the word "behaviour." I found this interesting because recently I mentioned a strangely behaving fellow airline passenger to a woman at the final security desk. To be honest, I would have been more embarrassed had the woman not been--as far as I could tell--white. The directive "Don't be racist!" was banged into my head just as hard as it was into the heads of all the other kids at school. I cannot imagine saying anything to anyone about any black or brown guy unless he was actually rocking, crying and wailing "Inshaallah" in the passenger lounge.

One comfort in my life of frequent flying is that terrorists tend not to target poor old Easyjet and other cut-price airlines.  The actor James Woods may have seen the 9/11 bombers doing a dry run in first class. This is actually true: I found it on Snopes. The hero of the story is James Woods, who reported what he saw. Too bad he wasn't taken more seriously.

If you see something, say something. If someone calls you a racist, pinch yourself to make sure the bad word hasn't caused you to melt into a puddle of loathsomeness.

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