If you have any type of social media I’m sure that you’ve heard and seen that Adam Saleh was kicked off a delta flight after he spoke in Arabic and the white people around him told the crew that they were “uncomfortable” with him on the plane. Now, we all know that this is not an isolated case and it happens to Muslims often. There are so many cases that we have not even heard of because they did not have a platform for their story to be heard.
But let’s look at this case specifically; if you don’t know who Adam Saleh is let me take you through this. Adam Saleh is a well-known YouTuber with over two million subscribers and he is mostly known for making prank videos based on various stereotypes about Arab people. He has made videos in the past titled “Arabs on a plane” (link), “Speaking Arabic in a plane” (link), “Counting down in Arabic on a plane experiment” (link), and “Never wear this on a plane in America” (link) perpetuating stereotypes and spreading ignorance. He has a platform and he can reach up to two million people instead of bringing awareness to racism and these toxic stereotypes he makes a living off of it. His legitimacy is questioned since his YouTube feed is full of pranks that are race and culture based. My question is that did he try to film another one of his “social experiments” to incite a reaction but it all went wrong? By doing this Adam is delegitimizing the stories where people are genuinely discriminated against. These prank videos and social experiments are desensitizing people to actual hate crimes because they’ve seen it before online and it makes it all the less serious.
After this transpired the hashtag #BoycottDelta was trending on social media and people took to it to share their own stories and talk about this one. Since they do have a history of intolerance and they’ve been in the news many times for these types of cases. They kicked off a Muslim couple for sweating, texting, and saying Allah. (link). In another instance, a Delta crew member asked if there were any doctors on the flight so they could help a man who was suddenly unresponsive. A black female doctor raised her hand and was told by a crew member that she needs to put her hand down because they are looking for a real doctor. (link). Don’t believe that’s actually racism? Watch this white man yell about Trump and curse Hillary and her supporters. Although, this man is banned from flying on a Delta flight, at the time he was neither removed from the flight nor was he told to sit down and be quiet. (link)
Looking at Delta’s track record the #BoycottDelta hashtag makes sense but can we also ban Youtubers from making ridiculous social experiments and pranks that spread ignorance too?