- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 25, 2017

The NAACP has found its newest cause — named its newest target — and it’s American Airlines.

Congratulations seem in order. After all, the NAACP at one time had pretty much entered Non-Relevancy Zone, what with Barack Obama making it to the White House and all, and that whole argument about white people hating blacks falling flat in the face of, well, of all the white people who voted the black guy into the office of the presidency.

But now they’re back, buoyed in part by antifa-type protests of Confederate monuments, and they’re here to let you know: American Airlines is racist.

That’s right. The whole dang airline. The proof?

Well, there isn’t any, not yet, anyway. But the NAACP hopes to have it soon — but barring that, wants “corrective action,” just the same. Can you say witch hunt?

“The NAACP for several months now has been monitoring a pattern of disturbing incidents reported by African-American passengers, specific to American Airlines,” the group said in a statement. “In light of these confrontations, we have today taken the action of issuing a national advisory alerting travelers — especially African-Americans — to exercise caution, in that booking and boarding flights on American Airlines could subject them to disrespectful, discriminatory or unsafe conditions.”

The NAACP gives examples.

There’s the case of the black guy who was forced off a flight after he responded to alleged discriminatory comments from two white people. There’s the case of the black woman who was switched out of her first class seat to coach — all the while her white traveling companion was allowed to stay in first class. There’s the case of the black woman ordered off the plane by the pilot when she complained of her seat change. There’s the case of the black woman who was removed from the plane, along with her infant, simply because she asked for her baby’s stroller to be taken out of the checked baggage area.

The NAACP calls these “incidents.” But what they ought to be called are passenger complaints — or, better yet, incomplete stories.

Who knows, for example, how the black man who was booted had responded to the disrespectful white passengers? Perhaps he became just as unruly as the white passengers. Perhaps the white passengers were similarly booted. Perhaps pilots and airline personnel were only acting in accordance with policy — with zero tolerance for any type of on-plane disruptions.

We don’t know.

Context is key. A full picture is more key. But the NAACP, apparently working off a “why wait” line of thought, has gone ahead and issued its travel advisory — a thinly veiled boycott recommendation — just the same.

Airline officials are set to meet with NAACP officials to discuss these incidents.

But the NAACP has already put its foot down.

“All travelers must be guaranteed the right to travel without fear of threat, violence or harm,” said Derrick Johnson, president and CEO of the NAACP, Fox News reported. “The growing list of incidents suggesting racial bias reflects an unacceptable corporate culture and involves behavior that cannot be dismissed as normal or random. We expect an audience with the leadership of American Airlines to air these grievances and to spur corrective action. Until these and other concerns are addressed, this national travel advisory will stand.”

OK, the NAACP is well within its rights to issue whatever advisories it wants. But thing is: White people get booted from flights, too. Asian people get their seats changed — Hispanic people, as well. And let’s not leave out all the other self-identifiers and forget all the women, versus men, and elderly, versus youthful — maybe even gay, versus heterosexuals — who were treated with disrespect and discourtesy by airline officials.

Yet it’s the NAACP that’s issuing the travel advisory.

The NAACP is jumping the gun. The proper way of dealing with these incidents — these complaints — would be to first listen to the complainant, second talk with the airline, and third, determine if racism were at play. Instead, the NAACP has gone right to persecution and prosecution. The NAACP’s already decided the airline is worthy of boycott and is acting as if it’s now magnanimous in giving the company a chance to defend itself. That’s just backwards. And it gives the air of a witch hunt.

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