If you go on Twitter, you’ll see that #BoycottDelta was (and still may be) trending. Most of the tweets are from people who likely heard part of the story and jumped to a conclusion without digging a little deeper. It makes sense. We’re a very surface level society. Let’s jump to it.
Muslim YouTube star Adam Saleh claims to have been kicked off a Delta Airlines flight for speaking Arabic.
— Adam Saleh (@omgAdamSaleh) December 21, 2016
However, this is the same Adam Saleh who was busted in 2014 for promoting a hoax Islamophobia video. The video was supposed to serve as proof that Islamophobia is alive and well in NYC. The video went viral, but there was just one problem. It was staged.
In the video titled “Racial Profiling Experiment,” Saleh and his co-producer get into an argument on a street corner near a police officer. They’re dressed like anyone else– jeans and t-shirts. The officer doesn’t intervene. Later, they try the scenario again, dressed in keffiyeh scarves and traditional long shirts. The officer intervenes, forcibly pins them against a wall and frisks them. The video was supposed to serve as proof that authorities single out Muslim American teens, just because of their clothes.
But no one had any way of knowing it was fake. The original description of the video read:
We were filming another video for our channel with our cultural clothing but we kept getting followed by Police. So, we decided to film this social experiment on racial profiling. Too many innocent people get stopped and frisked every day because of what they wear or their skin color. We’re against people stereotyping others because of what they wear or what skin color they are. Hope you all can spread the message and help bring an end to this.
No indication that it was staged. They later admitted it was fake and updated the description:
This video is a Dramatization of previous events that occurred with us in our tradition clothing while filming in NYC. This video is not against the NYPD, it’s just an example of what we have to go through sometimes when filming in NYC. This is to raise awareness for Racial Profiling.
— John Cardillo (@johncardillo) October 22, 2014
Oh. It was a dramatization. Duh. Wasn’t that obvious? Probably not to the 1.9 million people who watched the video. Not to CAIR either. In fact, that crummy organization demanded an apology too.
Muslim Vloggers Come Clean About Staged Stop-And-Frisk Video
"CAIR-New York's director of operations, Sadyia… http://t.co/lbFi8pUaW1
— CAIR New York (@CAIRNewYork) October 22, 2014
Oh, it gets worse. Just last week, Saleh was busted for another stupid attempted hoax, pretending to travel from Melbourne to Sydney in a large suitcase in the baggage compartment of a Tigerair plane. Tigerair slammed him for making the entire thing up and sparking security concerns. They had security footage of Saleh boarding the plane and responded accordingly.
“Firstly, you wouldn’t have been accepted by our automated bag drop machines at 66kg as a friendly staff member would have stepped in to assist.”
“Secondly, some aircraft have heated baggage holds but the aircraft you were on does not and it gets pretty cold at 36,000 feet so by the time you arrived in Sydney you would have been a popsicle.”
“Thirdly, we have footage of you boarding the aircraft using your legs.”
He then updated the description of the video:
***To everyone who’s watching my videos for the first time. If you watch my previous vlogs, I said I’ll be doing a prank on my viewers. This video was the PRANK and I was supposed to reveal it when I was in NYC. But this video ended up making international news and spreading more than what I expected. I really didn’t know it would seriously make headlines because so many youtubers have done this as a joke. I apologize to anyone I got mad. It was supposed to be a prank for my viewers but it spread to people who don’t even watch my videos. Much LOVE! xx
That being said, I have my doubts that Saleh and his crew were kicked off this Delta flight solely for “speaking in another language.” And even if it is true, he’s the boy who cried wolf. Why are we supposed to believe him now? Given his history, he was probably trying to make people feel uncomfortable, just so he could film himself getting kicked off a plane, knowing that most people would blindly accept his story as fact without digging into his history. He does this kind of stuff all the time.
— Lucid News Network™✘ (@LucidNewsNet) December 21, 2016
Either way, his video has made quite an impact.
U are scared of Muslims, I'm scared of ur mentality, ur weak mind is why we have so much damn brutality.
This is depressing#BoycottDelta
— Aisha ❤'s Lilly (@LillysDreamland) December 21, 2016
White people be like "I am uncomfortable with Arabic" and then go and get an Arabic phrase tattooed on their bodies
Even though white people are bombing middle-east for years, you don't see those Airlines kicking people out for being white! #BoycottDelta
— Ali #TeamRoomi (@AliLovelyTweets) December 21, 2016
"I feel uncomfortable, he's speaking Arabic"
*2 hours later*
"I want a henna tattoo"
"I want to visit Dubai"
Imagine if @emirates escorted a white man off the plane because he spoke English
the fact them people on the plane were cheering and waving 'bye' disgusted me. this makes me lose faith in all humanity. #boycottdelta
— Benny (@Beno_ldn) December 21, 2016
— bevysmith (@bevysmith) December 21, 2016
Delta released the following statement:
“Two customers were removed from this flight and later rebooked after a disturbance in the cabin resulted in more than 20 customers expressing their discomfort. We’re conducting a full review to understand what transpired. We are taking allegations of discrimination very seriously; our culture requires treating others with respect.”
Don’t want to say it? I will. Adam Saleh has a history of obnoxious asshattery. He’s not interested in easing tensions. He wants to escalate them. His other videos prove that.