Many American companies have this year embraced the Black Lives Matter movement and the battle for social justice.
However, when the company is a consumer-facing business they sometimes just can’t help doing things that look really, really bad.
Certainly, Southwest Airlines has fallen into such a trap this week after it appeared to throw a Black passenger off a plane for nothing more than daring to lower his mask to nibble on a few nuts.
The man, who was wearing a “Trump 2020” mask was kicked off the Tuesday morning Tampa-Dallas flight, the video appears to show.
The passenger — who was also sporting a “Black Voices for Trump” hat — is seen talking to a crew member while holding a bag of mixed nuts and wearing a face mask under his chin.
“Tell us the policy that says he cannot eat with his mask off?” a woman filming the video can be heard asking in the footage shared by SV News. “It’s the hat and the mask — it’s not the eating.”
A second video then shows the man leaving the SouthWest Airlines flight.
The incident — which Southwest said came after the man repeatedly refused to wear a mask — was soon tweeted by Donald Trump Jr., who attacked the airline.
“WTF??? This is disgusting. I’ve been on a thousand flights in the last few months and everyone lowers their masks to eat and drink. I did it on a southwest flight earlier this week,” he wrote.
However, Southwest Airlines insisted it took action to remove the man after several cabin crew had asked him to wear a face covering, according to the Washington Examiner.
“Our reports indicate that a Customer traveling on Flight 2632, with scheduled service from Tampa to Dallas, was asked repeatedly by more than one employee at different times to wear a face mask. The customer did not comply with our crew’s multiple verbal requests — including while boarding the flight before seated,” the company rep said.
“The decision was made to return to the gate and re-accommodate him on a later flight to his final destination after receiving assurances he would comply with our face-covering policy. We regret the inconvenience the situation created for all involved, but our crew must uphold the well-being and comfort of all Passengers.”