Monday, September 22, 2014

Would you board the plane?

Today in class we were talking about Orientalism and the question came up:

"If there was a middle eastern looking man walking onto the plane you are about to board, would you be scared? Would you be so scared that you wouldn't get on the plane?"

Would you get on the plane? Why or Why not?

Personally, I would get on the plane without hesitating. There is no way to know if he is an American citizen or somebody actually born in the middle east. There is no way to know if he has any intention of harming you or not. Why would you just assume that he is planning on harming the passengers of that plane just because of his ethnicity? And how do we reach this point in society? How do people get to the point that they don't trust certain looking people? Is it how we are raised? Is it based on personal experience? No matter how it happens, it just blows my mind that people would be scared of somebody just because somebody that looks like them has caused somebody harm before. 


  1. i agree with you 100%. I don't quite understand how some people are so quick to judge, and honestly with todays security and technology do you really think a 9/11 situation could really happen again? People need to put themselves in the middle eastern's shoes and realize that they most likely know that once they walk into an airport everyone is going to stare at them, its a very sad concept to take in. I don't see any reason not to board a plane just because there is a middle eastern on the plane, I've been on about 30 planes since 9/11 happened and I'm sure there was at least 1 middle eastern on that flight. I'm still alive and yeah, not going to lie, the first time i was on a plane with a middle eastern it definitely scared me and ran through my ind that something could possibly happen but i was only 7 years old, i had no clue. Now and days anyone could hi-jack a plane, it could be the friendly white guy sitting next to you or the asian lady three rows behind you. It's super frustrating how a lot of us are so quick to judge, just imagine being that person being the reason why another civilian didn't board the plane.

  2. I have been in the situation where I noticed a person from the middle east waiting to board, but I didn't instantly wonder, what if they are a terrorist. I actually wondered what other people around them might be thinking. I started to scan the crowd to see if I could identify anyone that was racially profiling the person in question.

    I worry about the plane coming down with me in it all of the time, but I don't worry about how it happens, and I especially don't stereotype someone I see, just by their appearance as a terrorist.

    I wouldn't like it if someone did that to me, so I make sure I don't do that to anyone I meet. I try to pass that along to my son as well by teaching him not to judge people just by their looks. Like the old saying goes, you can't judge a book by its cover.

  3. I have never personally had this happen to me, I'm sure there are people who would worry wether it's fair or not. I am not one of these people, I always worry about the plane I am on crashing anyways. I think stereotypes like this are terrible that they happen.

  4. I have nothing particularly against middle easterners, but I feel that media has kind of influenced me in a way to look at them with a sense of precaution. Even though its not right I am guilty of doing it before; however, anybody can be dangerous

  5. I grew up in a very diverse city where a majority of my friends were POC (nonwhite) and it really influenced how I saw people and race. I think that when people say that they can't help but feel nervous when they see anyone of Middle Eastern race on a plane, they are only reinforcing negative stereotypes instead of trying to learn from them to help change their perspective.

    I'm not trying to say that I am not, or ever have been, racist. We've all had racist thoughts whether we realize it or not. The important thing is that we learn from them and then try to educate others. What media and society has taught us about nonwhite cultures has created some pretty bad stereotypes that we continue to reinforce today. You can say, "I'm not racist" all you want, but the fact is 1) you probably still are and 2) that's not going to solve the problem.

    It's all about educating the people around you, and I know that living in St. George and being a person of color has been a particularly difficult thing to do. I'm not saying that the people living here are intentionally racist, they just need to be taught. Growing up in a highly diverse and liberal area and then moving to a predominantly white and conservative area has been a culture shock--but I am trying to understand and I try to educate my friends on different perspectives any time the issue comes up.

    And I remember it being brought up in class during this discussion, but what about the countless average, middle class, white men who have committed murder, sexual assault, theft, and other crimes? Would you even blink an eye at one of them if they walked onto a plane?

  6. Sorry for writing a long response and even answering your question, but yes I would board the plane and I have many many times regardless of what a person looked like.

    1. I'm wondering what difficulties you have encountered in St. George? I know they exist, but I always think of Hispanic or African American young men being harassed by police, not innocent looking you!