Apparently United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz paid visits to Japanese and Chinese consumes this week in the aftermath of the UA 3411 controversy.
Although United has thus far not responded for my request for comment, I’m told that Munoz visited Japanese and Chinese consulates to commit “to more outreach” in Asian markets and to “address the negative customer response” seen in the region since the UA3411 incident.
Wait! Wasn’t Dr. David Dao a Vietnamese-American?
If you’re asking yourself, wait…isn’t Dr. David Dao (the passenger dragged off the flight) a Vietnamese-American, you’d be correct.
But perception is reality.
Dr. Dao was Asian. In the eyes of many, that adds an element of race to this issue. In China, the incident soon became the top trending item on Weibo (China’s Twitter equivalent). The Global Times, a mouthpiece for the People’s Republic, has also weighed in with an editorial on the matter.
The original article is here. I used Google Translate and the translation is far from satisfying, but it will have to do here.
Three sections of the article I want to draw attention. First, the lead sentence, which lays out the slant of the article with immediate emphasis on his Asian heritage–
An Asian passenger at Chicago airport was forced from the United Airlines flight.
Second, a general smearing of U.S. law enforcement, suggesting they deliberately target ethnic minorities–
The US police are generally strong, which encourages law enforcement officials to exercise their authority in accordance with the prescribed limits. Police have repeatedly resorted to the use of force against ethnic minority suspects to cause disputes, but the police won the majority of litigation.
Third, the last paragraph of the editorial–
What is the identity of the Asian identity of the victims in the public opinion on the subtle influence of the play, or the merits of the United States in the law is indeed a lot of ambiguity? We believe that the debate will last for a few days, the rights of the user should be how to protect the vehicle, which is the United States and the world’s problems.
If I am reading this correctly, the insinuation is that Asian are treated differently by law enforcement in the USA and that, ergo, this would not have occurred to others. Further, the general public treats Asians poorly.
I am not going to sit from the seat of my “WASP” privilege and argue whether the editorial is valid or not. Whether valid or not, the United apologia tour seems like a necessary step in light of Chinese reaction to the passenger dragging incident.