Two aviation-related incidents have transpired this week which have been concerning: one involves EVA Air Flight 15 which avoided a near-incident after take-off from LAX last week, and the other involves “Professional Idiot” Adam Saleh who claims that he was kicked off a Delta flight for speaking Arabic on the phone.
But my “concern” factor primarily involves the media attention that each isolated incidence has received: the EVA near-accident barely received any spotlight outside of the airline and aviation community, whereas Adam Saleh’s viral video led to, “#BoycottDelta” becoming one of the top trending topics on Twitter.
Let’s separate facts from bias: the EVA Air incident could have led to a catastrophic outcome, yet few people are probably even aware that it even happened despite us knowing, concretely, that a critical and potentially lethal series of errors were committed by the ATC and the Pilots.
Conversely, Adam Saleh’s viral video has taken the media by storm and is creating a PR nightmare for Delta right before the holidays. I personally did not even know anything about this character before today, but all signs of past behavior paints him as an undeniably shady, attention-seeking individual. He apparently not only has a large online media presence, but also is notorious for scamming the public with social experiments using race-relations as a chip to draw attention and click-bait.
And now, thanks to the inflammable power of the media and the selfish, profit-seeking behavior of Adam Saleh, the attention that the EVA incident deserves in a broader sense is going by the wayside.
This is disappointing.
Delta has been unfairly pegged for racial discrimination in the past thanks to plenty of immature and unprofessional lightening rods who want 15 seconds of fame before the world can uncover the true facts.
Such conduct is piteous narcissism at surface level. But on a deeper level, its a disturbing glimpse into the psychological pain, damaged sense of self-worth and resentment people must be holding onto well into their adulthood.
For those of you who have been duped into endorsing the “#BoycottDelta” movement, maybe pause for a moment if you think that hawking out hotplate phrases such as, “white privilege,” “Islamophobia” and “xenophobia,” will actually be effective in this situation.
Because if you truly care about doing what’s right, and that entails making the world a better, safer place for persecuted minorities, its imperative to be more discerning about the fallacies of blind trust.
Let us all remember that Delta has flown thousands of flights to the Middle East in the past. I can guarantee with certainty that the airline has encountered people who have spoken on the phone in Arabic, recited short prayers or dressed in traditional Islamic attire. Furthermore, Delta has not only transported millions of individuals who belong to the Muslim faith in its history, but also employs hundreds if not thousands of them as well.
Adam Saleh’s intentions are anything but pure and innocent: rather, this is a man who is trying to capitalize on unsuspecting individuals for click-bait, fortune and personal gain. When we jump to conclusions to stand behind such behavior without knowing the details, we all fail.
Not only are people unlawfully accused of behavior they didn’t commit, but the real incidences and examples of discrimination become ignored and pushed aside by the greedy YouTube star who only has a self-serving purpose.
So the best remedy we can offer to this situation is to ignore people like Adam Saleh because the EVA Air incident deserves much more attention.
We don’t know all the facts on EVA Flight 15 beyond the fact that there were some clear miscommunication errors between the Pilots of the 777-300 and the Air Traffic Controller, and collectively, the plane barely cleared a residential mountain while climbing out of LAX. The FAA is investigating the incident, but just imagine a fully-loaded 777-300ER, possibly air-striking another plane or colliding into a 5,000 ft mountain, in the dark and in rainy weather.
The thought makes me shudder. I sincerely hope that something constructive comes out of the EVA investigation that gets the remedial attention and action that it deserves, so that near-accidents like this can be prevented before they possibly happen again with truly consequential outcomes.
Furthermore, I hope that the best resolution that will come towards Adam Saleh’s direction is a good lesson from the School of Hard Knocks that is humbling for him. If the toxic nature of his videos are any representation of the miserable and helpless existence this guy must have, I sincerely hope that he comes to the light and can turn his life around. Because karma is a b*tch.
For the rest of us, in 2017, let’s all try to be better ambassadors to what matters in the world, particularly those of us who are privy to sensitive topics in airlines and aviation, and filter out the crap from real world matters.