Phobia reached new heights when Adam Saleh, a popular Youtuber was evicted from a plane because apparently, he was speaking in Arabic. In a video released by him just as he was escorted out of the flight from London to New York on the morning of 21 December 2016, he claims that he was talking to his mother on the phone (before takeoff) and that made a few people uncomfortable.
As the report goes, Saleh and one more passenger were travelling from London to New York on a Delta airline flight. His phone call made a few people uncomfortable and he was asked to take another flight. In a minute long video taken by him as he was escorted out, we can see him protesting the injustice.
However, only a few people support him. As he leaves the plane, a few others are seen waving him good-bye as he calls them racist. He took a later flight to reach New York. Delta, in a tweet, mentioned that the incident happened as more than 20 people complained and there was some cabin disturbance.
Prank or real
This caused an internet outrage with a lot of people coming out to his support. However, there are a few who think that this might be one of his pranks, something he is known for. Snopes.com, the website everyone turns to for a fact-check, has doubts about the real reason why this happened. According to their report, this might as well be an attempt to generate more views and engagements. He has done something like this in 2014 when his video got a lot of views.
Delta issued a statement giving a reason that the expulsion was as a result of cabin disturbance, where the passengers displayed provocative behaviour and shouting. They violated the safety and comfort of other passengers and employees.
What do we think about xenophobia? read on to find out.
This may be a prank, but xenophobia is real.
This may be a prank, however, the phobia is real. There are hate crimes against communities that are fuelled by irrational rage. After Brexit, there were blatant protests against the Eastern European migrants. A lot of Sikhs in the USA are discriminated against and being called ‘Osama’. Talking about a plane incident, a noted economist was deboarded for writing in a cryptic, foreign language, which later turned out to be mathematics!
This raises a lot of issues, particularly for parents. We try hard to make the world a safe place for our children. However, the paranoia, the xenophobia is passed on to them unknowingly.
What can parents do
It is a constant pressure to raise the kid the right way. Here are a few tips for parents to ensure that xenophobia does not touch your child in any manner
- Don’t be xenophobic. Children learn to emulate the adults. So even when you utter something seemingly harmless about any particular race or ethnicity, they think it is okay for them to do the same. Parental bias is the main cause of childhood bias. So be careful what you say in front of them.
- Call out the profiler. If you or your child is being profiled because of your origins, you have every right to call out the profiler. However, do so in a manner where you don’t say something that you might regret. It is best to report these incidents to authorities. If your child is being bullied at school, talk to the parents of the children who are the bullies.
- Encourage your child not to see colour. A constant reiteration that all humans are the same is necessary. That means staying away from stereotyping any community. Encourage your child to be friends with everybody. Never stop them if they correct xenophobic adults. After all, everybody can use a lesson, no matter where it comes from, right?
- Travel with them. Studies have shown that people who travel are less xenophobic than people who never leave their own town. Travelling provides invaluable life lessons to a child. Create memories with them, and teach them to find similarities with the new place and people, not the differences.
Mums and dads, you have a responsibility towards the future of this planet. Raise kind, compassionate individuals, not haters.
(Story source: Strait times, Snopes, Image: Twitter)
Also read: Are you raising your child to be racist?
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