I will take it on faith that by now you’ve seen the video of a passenger bodily removed by United Airlines personnel. The clip, which shows the passenger shrieking before he is accidentally bonked on the head, rendering him unconscious, has created a public relations nightmare for the airline.
Many public figures have weighed in. One of them was “Star Trek” actor John Cho, who had an interesting take on the incident. In a tweet, Cho doesn’t blame the airline or its employees for its act of brutality. Who does he blame? Why, President Donald Trump, of course:
It's hard not to see a connection between the environment Trump has created and what happened on that @united flight.
— John Cho (@JohnTheCho) April 10, 2017
The connection Cho sees was not as obvious to others reacting to the incident, who responded to his tweet:
— Bob Owens (@bob_owens) April 10, 2017
— chad dukes (@chaddukes) April 10, 2017
— Razor (@hale_razor) April 10, 2017
Some users of the social media site speculated on the possibility that the Russians were behind the manhandling of the passenger:
— Robby Starbuck (@robbystarbuck) April 10, 2017
The Washington Times, which reported on Cho’s tweet, had this to say:
Mr. Cho, like the passenger in the video, is Asian. But he didn’t specify whether he was making a claim of racial profiling (the passengers kicked off the flight were chosen at random via computer), charging excessive use of force by police, or accusing Mr. Trump’s brash personality of normalizing bullying — among the possible theories.
United Chief Executive Officer Oscar Munoz released a statement Monday afternoon saying the company was “moving with a sense of urgency” to review the incident.
“I apologize for having to re-accommodate these customers,” he said.
Aviation Department spokesperson Karen Pride told the Chicago Sun-Times that one officer “has been placed on leave effective today pending a thorough review of the situation.”
“The incident on United flight 3411 was not in accordance with our standard operating procedure and the actions of the aviation security officer are obviously not condoned by the Department,” she wrote in an email.
The character in “Star Trek” that Cho plays is Lt. Sulu, who was originally portrayed by George Takei. Takei has also taken potshots at Trump on Twitter. Maybe the real connection to be drawn here is between insanity and playing that role.
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