United Airlines had the legal right to remove 69-year-old David Dao from their plane. Rule 25.A.2 gives the airline, on the occasion of over-booking, the right to involuntarily remove people from their aircraft. (You can read it here) But just because you have the right doesn't mean you should. Overbooking isn't the passenger's fault. Legal protection for actions like this is no excuse. The airline and police have much to answer for.
Quietly though, I have asked other questions.
Why would no one give up their seat for this man? Why would no one get up and say "He can stay, I will go?" How is it people can watch this kind of stuff going on and watch or even worse, just video the incident?
I guess people want to get home to loved ones. Maybe they have busy lives. I know people (including me) are selfish. Maybe they have work to do, and as long as it isn't happening to them, it's o.k.
But is it?
Is it o.k. to allow this man to suffer as long as it isn't you? People were shocked. People were appalled. People recorded the incident, but no one offered their seat to him.
I don't understand.
Maybe it is because it is Holy Week, but I can't help but believe giving up our comfort or even our rights for someone else a core Christian character. Jesus stepped in for us as we were being dragged away by sin. He saved us from ourselves and our actions. We are to RE-PRESENT Jesus to the world.
Was there not one Christian on that plane? Was there not one decent human being who saw how panic-stricken this man was (even if he was belligerent before the video) and could step in on his behalf?
I don't agree with United Airlines. I don't agree with their policies or how this man was treated. But I am even more heartbroken by the passengers on this plane. It makes me fearful for what we are becoming or what we have become.
Despite this, and maybe in the face of it, I still believe beauty will save the world.