January 17th, 2019


The Real Villain in the United Incident? Trump

 Bernard Goldberg

By Bernard Goldberg

Published April 24, 2017

Info privacy

Unless you've been in a coma, you've seen the video - about 8 million times - of what I will delicately call the incident involving United Airlines at O'Hare Airport in Chicago.

You've seen the doctor turned into a bloody mess after airport cops hauled him off the plane because United needed the seats for its own crewmembers who had to be in Louisville for work - just like the doctor who said he couldn't leave the plane because he had patients to see in the morning.

And you have come to your own conclusions as to who is at fault. Maybe you think it was United for forcing a passenger off the plane once he was seated. Or maybe it was the police who brutally dragged the man off the plane. Maybe you even think it was the passenger, 69-year old David Dao, who refused to give up his seat.

But I'll bet you don't know who the real villain is, the one who despite the fact that he was nowhere near Chicago is really responsible for the mayhem at O'Hare.

Here's a hint: He's the president of a major country in North America and his initials are DJT.

No kidding. President Trump is the bad guy. Just ask somebody named Frank Guan who writes for New York magazine.

According to Guan, the whole thing started with "President Trump's January 27 imposition of Executive Order 13769, known generally as the 'Muslim ban,' which resulted in huge protests at airports across the nation, and seemingly emboldened some customs and immigration agents to inflict petty tyranny on helpless people whose skin is not white." Dr. Dao is of Asian ancestry.

Never mind that there is no Muslim ban, despite what progressives who despise President Trump may think. The travel ban, which is temporary, affects only six Muslim majority countries - all of them either failed states or places connected to terrorism. Muslims from every country on earth except for Iran, Libya, Sudan, Yemen, Somalia and Syria may still enter the United States.

Never mind too that there were no customs or immigration agents involved. And while we're at it never mind that if cops are targeting Vietnamese senior citizens - because their "skin is not white," that's news to me. None of that gets in the way of the New York magazine piece. Frank Guan has scrupulously connected the dots and they lead from the White House to O'Hare Airport.

"While Dao was not abused Sunday by Customs and Border Protection or ICE agents," he concedes, "the incident fits a general pattern that has emerged since the presidential election, of increased hostility from law enforcement toward people of color."

Never mind too that the law enforcement officer dragging the doctor off the plane was also a "person of color." He was African American.

Still, this is Donald Trump's fault. But he's not the only villain. It's also white racism's fault - and ultimately, it's America's fault.

Don't take my word for it. Clio Chang has written a piece in the New Republic, another liberal magazine. which reports that Dr. Dao's race wasn't always mentioned in news accounts of the incident. Some reports referred to him only as a "passenger" or a “doctor” - leaving out his ancestry. That bothers Chang, who writes: "The problem with expunging the passenger's race from the discussion is that it plays into this myth of the raceless minority. It presumes that there is little potential for an Asian man to be treated worse on a United flight because of his race than a white man. It suggests that Asians in America have more in common with white people than non-white people.

"The other way to look at it is as part of a pattern of prejudice in this country-violent and otherwise-against people of color."

So there you have it: The incident at O'Hare is obviously racist America's fault in general and Donald Trump's fault in particular. (Tell me something I don't know.)

That's the view, anyway, from that comfy liberal elite bubble that too many journalists spend too much time in.

JWR contributor Bernard Goldberg, the television news reporter and author of several bestselling books, among them, Bias, a New York Times number one bestseller about how the media distort the news. He is widely seen as one of the most original writers and thinkers in broadcast journalism. Mr. Goldberg covered stories all over the world for CBS News and has won 10 Emmy awards for excellence in journalism. He now reports for the widely acclaimed HBO broadcast Real Sports.

He is a graduate of Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey and a member of the school's Hall of Distinguished Alumni and proprietor of