U.S. Charges American Airlines With Racial Discrimination

WingNaPrayer

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- The government charged AMR Corp.''s (AMR) American Airlines on Friday with discriminating against passengers perceived to be Middle Eastern, Southeast Asian or Muslim in its first racial bias complaint against an airline.
The Transportation Department alleged that 10 people, mostly U.S. citizens, were removed from their flights or denied boarding even though they had tickets and passed security checks.
Most of the incidents cited in the administrative complaint occurred within three months of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, the department said.
American said it would fight the charges and denied that passengers were discriminated against by its crew or the crew of American Eagle, its commuter airline. The case will be heard by an administrative law judge.
All of the airlines, as well as the nation, were under heightened security during this time and American (and American Eagle) employees were following the directives of the president and the attorney general to be vigilant in the face of terrorist threats, the airline said in a statement.
It is this type of vigilance, in fact, that prevented a terrible tragedy when AA crew members stopped Richard Reid from igniting a shoe bomb on an AA flight in December of 2001.
Mr. Reid, a scruffy-looking 29-year-old British citizen and convert to Islam, pleaded guilty in Boston last October to attempting to blow up the Paris-to- Miami flight. He said he was a follower of Osama bin Laden and member of al Qaeda and declared his hatred for the U.S. He was sentenced to life in prison.
Transportation officials said some passengers were rebooked on American or another airline without any additional screening, though they''d been removed from their American flight as security risks.
Hussein Ibish, spokesman for the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, said he was very pleased the complaint was filed.
This is excellent, he said. Yes, we had these incidents, but the government is responding in the way we would hope it would, he said.
The committee sued three airlines last spring for violating passengers'' civil rights after receiving a flood of complaints about discrimination, he said. After the lawsuit was filed, the number of complaints declined, he said.
Typically, people were removed from flights before takeoff because a fellow passenger or crew member didn''t like the way they looked, or the way their name read on a flight manifest, he said.
Among those not allowed to fly were Rep. Darrell Issa, a California Republican, and a Secret Service agent on President Bush''s security detail, Mr. Ibish said.
There have been many complaints filed by the government against airlines for discriminating against disabled people, but never before about race, color or national origin, said Chet Lunner, Transportation Department spokesman.
This is the first time on racial grounds, Mr. Lunner said.
Negotiations to settle the complaint failed, the government said. American could be fined as much as $65,000 plus penalties for any other violations that might be discovered during an administrative hearing.
The charges come at a bad time for American, which is struggling to avoid bankruptcy after its chairman was ousted because he didn''t disclose executive perks granted while he was seeking wage concessions from the airline''s unions.
 

wts54

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AAStew,but after you were stopped and searched you were allowed to continue on but what if you had been searched and cleared then had your car confiscated
or not allowed to continue on with your journey?Some of these people were searched and not allowed to fly on that flight and some not at all.
 

AAStew

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Feb 24, 2003
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Why is out nation so freakin PC? We were on pins and needles the weeks and moths after 9/11. My first flight back, my jumpseat was next to a middle eastern couple . She had the Koran out. I was nervous and I told her so. All of us looked over every person who looked remotely middle eastern. I myself look middle eastern as does my husband. We were stopped in New York a few weeks after 9/11 by the police while entering one of the tunnels and had our car inspected and ID''s checked. I was not mad, I was thankful, as I am now everytime the TSA goes through my bags and searches me!
 
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On 4/26/2003 7:14:04 AM KCFlyer wrote:


At the risk of sounding terribly politically incorrect - when you think about it can you blame AA? 

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KCF,
This is one time, I''ll also take a "converative" point of view, with you.

NH/BB''s
 

AAStew

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Feb 24, 2003
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On 4/26/2003 7:58:28 AM wts54 wrote:

AAStew,but after you were stopped and searched you were allowed to continue on but what if you had been searched and cleared then had your car confiscated
or not allowed to continue on with your journey?Some of these people were searched and not allowed to fly on that flight and some not at all.

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I would not have been happy, but I would have accepted it. Eventually they would have gotten on. If this had occured in one of their countries what do you think would of happened? I can guarantee you, we as Americans would not have been able to walk the streets! This is still a very sore subject so I cannot be objective at all. I knew the entire crew of AA77 and just am not very sympathetic to the stream of thought that stems from the middle east. Sorry if that doesn't fit in with the PC point of view.
 

Winglet

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I'm sure Osama and his minions are laughing pretty hard by now. The terrorist sympathizers in the US right now are doing their part to push the islamist agenda. They are, in affect, using our own laws to undermine us.

Many muslims in the US now either tacitly support this undermining or are being threatened by the shadowy muslim underworld into keeping their mouths shut.

Unfortunately, until muslims in this world who believe in a secular democracy get some gonads and take a stand against the 10th century extremists in their own cultures, it will go on. And the end result will be very very bloody on a scale not before seen.

Despite what the politicians say, it is a religious war . . . at least on their part.
 

wts54

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I believe our own citizens cause more homicide death than those
terrorists.All Im saying is be careful what you allow to happen to
people or what you will accept happening to other people because
one day they might come for you.If there is a problem with a person
have them searched completely,but you guys kicked off a u.s.rep and a
member of Bush'secret service detail I think thats going a bit far.
A sanction against AA of some sort here is justified.FYI I dont think
its un-pc to be on our guard and watch each others backs no matter the
persons race.
 

wts54

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In the case of the Japanese in WWII the Supreme Court of the U.S. ruled
that internment of a given civilian population was LEGAL during a time of
war and thats exactly what we are in now.I have no problem rounding up
extremists,sympathizers,single male muslim populations and interning them.
There were 3 world wars. WW1, WW2, Cold War,and the battle against Islamists
and their minions.All illegal aliens must also be removed.Muslims do want a
Muslim theocracy in the U.S.They are in the military as chaplains and in the prisons as chaplains and they are converting people as fast as they can while
most America is asleep.
 

AAStew

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Feb 24, 2003
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On 4/26/2003 10:12:16 AM Winglet wrote:

Despite what the politicians say, it is a religious war . . . at least on their part.

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I hate to add to this post since I feel so strongly against the Islamic thought (or at least Shiite thought). But what has been said is true. At the mosques what is being preached is ANti-American sentiment. I still do have some Muslim friends but when they come to me with this rhetoric, all I can do is get angry. And the sad part is, there is nothing we can do about it.​
 

wts54

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Maybe you should report them to the government.They might
have the next mass casualty action planned and no one will no
it is you who put the government on them.

A good book is "The Crisis of Islam" by Bernard Lewis ISBN:0679642811
Its very informative.
 

Diesel8

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Aug 19, 2002
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Perhaps the people in question, should understand, that the US was on a heightened state of alert. Perhaps, instead of espousing their opinions on TV, why the Islamic fundamentalist hates the US, they should have condenmed the attacks in the strongets possible manner.

Most terrorist attacks in the world, has been perpetrated by a very specific group of people, the list is to long to detail, but 1972 at the Olympics, Pan Am at Lockerbie, the hijacked TWA, the bombings of Kobi towers and the WTC.

I for one, am tired of hearing the rhetoric, that the US and her "infidels" has brought it upon themselves.

PC is a marvelous thing, it allows crimainals more rights than law abiding citizens.

I am sorry, that some people were inconvenienced and denied boarding, but considering the events that had transpired, it is, in my eyes, quite understandable.
 

wts54

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Sep 16, 2002
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The enemy has declared war on us.It is up to us to learn about him,and carry
the war to his house and his family.During the 70''s the Islamists tried the
same crap in the middle east with the Russians.Well the Russians went after
them even their families and after a few packages with some family members
heads were delivered the crap stopped.
 

AAquila

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Sep 22, 2002
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On 4/26/2003 7:14:04 AM KCFlyer wrote:


At the risk of sounding terribly politically incorrect - when you think about it can you blame AA? 

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Politically or religiously incorrect, On paper, our Government pretends to being a nation of Deists, favoring no particular religion, but still recognizing God.

The fact is that we are very much a Judea-Christian nation, all others take a back seat, ( or no seat) please.