Leadoff questions: if the treatment of Dr. David Dao was so immoral, why didn’t any of his fellow passengers try to stop it or also leave the flight in protest?
In discussing this issue with my wife, a psychology student, she referenced a number of classic test cases that led to a similar result. Maybe I can convince her to write an article on this area beyond my expertise, but I’ll at least put the topic out for discussion.
We human beings can be horrid creatures. Indeed, my leadoff question can be applied to far more horrific atrocities of human history, but let’s stick to this particular man on this particular flight.
Video details the man being dragged off the plane, bloodied and whimpering. As he darts back on the plane moments later, his look of desperation is palpable and confirmed by his cries to “kill me”.
Examine the video as he is dragged off. Passengers are shocked, but sit passively watching. Many film the incident, making the incident akin to spectator sport. The most passengers can muster is gasps of shock or small statements of lament.
Was it simply a respect or fear of law enforcement? Was it out of fright? Or was it out of selfish indifference?
Why didn’t anyone give up their seat after Dr. Dao repeatedly refused to give up his? Forget the fact that he had started his day in Los Angeles or had patients The following morning. Did no one have compassion for a clearly troubled man? Or did passengers think, “Well your wife got off, so why can’t you?”
How Would I Have Responded?
I think about how I would have acted had I been on the plane. In almost all cases, I would have been the first volunteer to relinquish my seat. I can work remotely and my time is not wroth $800/day…yet.
But assuming that I had remained on the plane I hate to admit I probably also would have remained silent. I certainly would have been recording the interaction for this blog. And if I am honest with myself, I likely would have held my tongue for fear of endangering my lifetime flight benefits as a United MillionMiler. That’s selfish.
While I still internally debate the legality of Dr. Dao’s removal, I do not debate the immorality of his removal. No one should be dragged and bloodied over an airline seat dispute. I do question why no one stepped up to help him, but if honest, have to admit I probably would not have helped him or stood by him either.
How about you?
Doctor Dragged Off Oversold United Flight
United CEO Addresses Bloodied Passenger Incident
I’ll Defend Oscar’s Note to United Employees on Flight 3411
Royal Jordanian Trolls United Airlines
Is Oscar Munoz in Danger of Losing His Job?
Details Emerge on Identity of Doctor Dragged Off United Flight
What United CEO Left Out of Apology
Emirates Shames United With Powerful Ad
Must See: United CEO on Good Morning America
One New Video, Two Competing Narratives – Passenger Interaction with Police Prior to Ejection from United Flight