Now, if this is the straight up, absolute truth, yes, indeed, that isn't cool. But, there are more than enough reasons to doubt the fact that this whole thing really is about him speaking Arabic and why this is a perfect example of post-truth fake news.
Adam Saleh uploaded a video onto twitter of him and his friend being hoofed off a plane as he called everyone around him racist and was loudly complaining about how he was being kicked off for talking to his mom on the phone in Arabic.
It has been shared around the internet and seeming every major news outlet grabbed onto the story. It kicked off a #boycottdelta hashtag and people screamed about discrimination and how this is the new norm in Trump's America, etc, etc.We got kicked out of a @Delta airplane because I spoke Arabic to my mom on the phone and with my friend slim... WTFFFFFFFF please spread pic.twitter.com/P5dQCE0qos— Adam Saleh (@omgAdamSaleh) December 21, 2016
Now, a number of sources (including countless of people on social media) are saying he was kicked off the flight and the whole thing was caught on tape. His supporters are saying it can't be refuted because there it is, right on tape. People are convinced that it happened...because of this video evidence.
Well, what does the video ACTUALLY show? It doesn't show the incident that happened that led up to him and his friends being kicked off the flight. It doesn't show that at all. Not on there. Can't be seen. Evidence doesn't exist. All we see in the video is Saleh calling everyone around him racist, berating people and being a loudmouth claiming he was being kicked off because he spoke Arabic.
So, no, the whole thing was NOT caught on video. Very little of this event was actually caught on video. And yet, there are those claiming that the whole thing was caught on video and the evidence is irrefutable. And people are angry, saying Delta is racist and they will never fly with them again.
Now, I was not there. I don't know what happened anymore than most of those who have decided they won't fly on this airline do. Yet, people believe that based on the video they know exactly what happened. No...you don't. This is post-truth thinking. It seems people are almost convinced that they have seen something they actually have not seen. Mix that with the knee jerk outrage people are showing online, and voila, you have a perfect fake news story going viral.
Now, this video needs to be put in context. Adam Saleh is a YouTube "star" with thousands of followers. He is known for making "social experiment" videos to try and catch people in the act of being racist or "islamophobic". He agitates and "race baits". And, he pulls crazy stunts.
Look, the possibility does exist, of course, that despite this problematic reality, what he says happened actually happened (although there seems to be enough statements, including from the airline itself to cast significant doubt). But, all of the evidence has to be looked at here.
All kinds of people all over the world get onto a plane every single day speaking all kinds of languages. Very, very infrequently do people get chucked off planes for racist reasons or because they are Muslim. It's extremely rare, even though I have seen people on twitter say it happens on a daily basis. It does not. It isn't because there are very few companies willing to put themselves under that level of scrutiny for making a mistake such as that, even though it has happened at times. But, the last thing most airlines want is to be caught up in a controversy. It's bad business.
So, given that, what are the chances that the one dude, out of very few, that got kicked off a plane for speaking a different language or being Muslim just happens to be a vlogger who makes a living off of pulling stunts EXACTLY like this one? Think about that, honestly. That is the context here. We have a man who would go to the ends of the earth to make a video trying to prove society is racist and "islamophobic" and an airline that really does NOT want bad publicity? Who do you think would be the agitator here? Who has the most to gain...and who has the most to lose?
Now, it has been pointed out that, yes, indeed, these kinds of weird things have happened before, but, once again, VERY rarely. One incident was a Muslim couple who were kicked off a flight because the husband was nervous and sweaty and the wife was on her cellphone and the word "Allah" was mentioned. This made a flight attendant uncomfortable and the couple were removed from the flight. It was a BAD mistake. The couple were perfectly innocent and the airline admitted their mistake and did what they can to make amends. It was a sad case that every airline should, and most likely did learn from. And, no, a major airline will do everything it can to avoid a mistake that will make them look bad and start a call for a boycott.
In the end, we may never know the actual truth. Few people were there and saw what happened. The story has taken on a life of it's own and being used as an example to push certain agendas, whether it be the idea that everyone and everything is racist and islamophobic...or that Muslims are liars and there is no racism and it's all made up. Both sides...are very wrong, and this story has fed into both of them perfectly. It is a story sent from heaven for both sides who insist they know the truth here...but don't.
Personally, ya, I'm highly sceptical of Adam Saleh's account. But, I acknowledge that I wasn't there. I acknowledge that I don't possess the absolute truth here. I may not believe him, but that doesn't mean the chances that this happened are zero. Who knows. I don't see it as an example of how crazy Trump's America has suddenly become as some want to sell this as. I don't believe for a second that the majority of people who are true victims of hate and abuse are faking it, as some seem to say a video like this shows. It's clear that something happened, but it's difficult to say exactly what. I can only look at the evidence we have...and, in my view, it seems to stack up against Adam Saleh and we appear to have a bogus event that has triggered knee jerk reaction and proved that the truth really doesn't matter here at all.