There have been so many reports recently of people going on racist rants that, sadly, it has ceased to be a novelty worth mentioning and is becoming a routine fact of life. But then I came across this one about a United Airlines flight from Sydney to San Francisco that had to be diverted to Auckland because a passenger objected to being seated between two people of apparently South Asian ethnicity.
He seemed to feel that since they both had the same last name, he should not have been seated between them. I am not sure why he had that expectation. The center seat is the least desirable and even if two people are traveling together, it is not unusual for one to choose the aisle and the other the window, if they can get them.
One passenger seated three to four rows in front of him said the situation escalated from there with the man, a Caucasian, turning on the attendants who tried to intervene.
“The rant progressed from cursing Indians to Asians to Muslims to non-whites in general and calling flight crew f****** and fat asses,” he said. “He was subdued after the pilot announced the diversion to Auckland.
“When the flight landed in Auckland he was told to co-operate when police removed him or he would face additional charges.
“Passengers took cellphone video of his removal and he called them f****** as he passed them.”
Another passenger said the man “exploded into a fit of rage” 40 minutes into the flight.
He said the man then proceeded to launch into “offensive language, racial and sexist slurs” and began to grab soda off the cart and demanded beer.
Perhaps he thought that they would not divert the plane merely to get rid of him and that once he landed in the US, maybe Donald Trump would protect him from any repercussions. But they did divert and he is now in police custody in New Zealand until he can be put on another plane back to the US.
I wonder how long it will take before being called gay will cease to be seen as a general purpose insult.