*A Facebook video going viral shows a black man wearing a Trump mask and “Black Voices for Trump” hat being kicked off a Southwest Airlines flight for allegedly pulling down his mask to eat peanuts. But at least one website questions whether it was all orchestrated to create a viral video for social media’s right wing.
In the video, a flight attendant demands that the man deplane as a female passenger recording the incident asks the flight attendant to explain what the man did wrong. The woman recording says the man was following the rules by wearing his mask and only pulled it down to eat. The woman recording also says she believes the man was targeted because of his Trump gear. The man is eventually escorted from the plane.
So far Southwest Airlines has yet to comment on the incident. But others on social media, as well as a flight attendant in the video, believe the man’s actions were orchestrated to create a viral video.
The blog Live and Let’s Fly, written by Matthew Klint to share “the latest news in the airline industry” among other travel related topics, has side-eyed the entire incident as a publicity stunt. He wrote:
Here’s why I am skeptical:
• The videos start so late and ends so abruptly.
• What happened leading up to this moment? Why was another FA called? Why did the video stop so suddenly after the corroborating testimony from the “witness” in the row behind?
• How convenient, though, that the woman across the aisle so clearly narrated the video and interrogated the flight attendant.
• How convenient that the man across the aisle from the Trump supporter jumped up to leave the flight in protest.
• Check out the guy’s actions while he is speaking to the flight attendant:
• He’s no longer eating, yet his mask remains lowerd
• When asked to put it on, he places it over his mouth, but not his nose
• Moments later he removes it again
• There’s talk of a podcast…huh?
• Godwin’s law is invoked when the narrator says, “In Germany they also said, ‘Just comply.’”
Based upon his action and the suspicious editing, my hunch is this was all a setup. I suspect this man may have had a bag of nuts in his hand, but refused repeated flight attendant instructions to place his mask on. Maybe he had no food out at all. Can one savor a bag of nuts for the entire duration of the flight, eating them slowly but surely, one at a time?
Allow me to say, with respect, that if you do so, you are an idiot. This has nothing to do with masks themselves. It has nothing to do with their efficacy. It has everything to do with following the legally permissible, non-discriminatory rules that an airline, as a private company, is allowed to set.
But boy oh boy you should check out the Twitterverse. Right wing posters are going crazy over this incident, demanding that the Southwest flight attendant be fired and Southwest issue an apology and compensation.