A Response to the #BoycottDelta Hoax
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Politics and Activism

A Response to the #BoycottDelta Hoax

Let's not lose integrity in our fight for social justice.

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A Response to the #BoycottDelta Hoax
Middle East Eye

When I first saw the Twitter video of Adam Saleh being kicked off a Delta flight, I felt infuriated. While I am not Muslim myself, I have Muslim friends and other brown family members and family friends who have faced discrimination by TSA and airport security before, so I understand the fears and frustrations. My heart went out for Adam like it does for all the other people who have experienced similar prejudice. Then, I found out that Adam Saleh was a YouTube prankster who set up the incident to intentionally race-bait.

Like he says in the video, it is 2016 and the dangers of Islamophobia are not unknown to us. Saleh claims to have been speaking in Arabic to his mother on the phone, which made some of the white passengers on the plane uneasy, and who then began to threaten Saleh and his friend, Slim. However, Delta’s official statement on the incident claims a very different version of the story, in which Saleh and his friend were shouting and inciting a disturbance on the plane and more than 20 passengers had complained about them.

What Adam Saleh did is called “race-baiting”. Race-baiting is a “deliberate and hypocritical focus on race in an attempt to discredit others as ‘racist’”. Racism, prejudice, and fear are real. Islamophobia is real. Actions like Adam Saleh’s only serve to undermine the credibility of these issues and everyone in the social justice movements that speak out about them and try to affect change. I agree that more attention must be brought to the discrimination and aggressions that minorities face in their lives, but let’s go about it with the integrity it deserves. There are enough instances to highlight the problem without creating our own. Skewing the presentation of events as a form of demonstration is harmful and polarizing, instead of educational and constructive, as it should aim to be.

Obviously, there is bias in the way that news is reported by various sources (CNN, Washington Post, NY Times, Forbes, Fox News, etc.), depending on who the network is catering towards, but being aware of that bias means that we must all learn to identify these biases and their consequences, and steadily try to politically depolarize ourselves, instead of focusing on changing the news networks. So many people get their information from various online news sites or elsewhere on the internet, and so many people blame the “media” for false or misleading information. It is easy to say that we should have more accurate coverage and unbiased opinions in journalism, but that simply isn’t realistic. Instead, let’s make it a habit to search out credible sources, seek out bias, and do our best to research the facts for ourselves before settling in on our opinions.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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