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FLYING WHILE BLACK.....Mo'Nique calls for boycott of United Airlines

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undergroundrailroad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-26-06 08:37 PM
Original message
FLYING WHILE BLACK.....Mo'Nique calls for boycott of United Airlines


Mo'Nique calls for boycott of United Airlines

July 26, 2006

BY BILL ZWECKER SUN-TIMES COLUMNIST

Chicago-based United Airlines is profitable for the first time in six years, but is dealing with a possible lawsuit and boycott spearheaded by actress and comedian Mo'Nique.

It all started right here when the entertainer and her entourage were booted from a New York-bound United flight at O'Hare Sunday -- Mo'Nique was traveling to the Big Apple to tape two gigs as a guest co-host on ''The View.''

Mo'Nique has been mentioned as one of many possible replacements for Star Jones Reynolds on the daily chatfest.

The United brouhaha started when Mo'Nique's hairdresser (seated in coach) attempted to put something (the New York Daily News reported it was a hair dryer) in Mo'Nique's carry-on in the compartment above her seat in first class.

Apparently, a flight attendant challenged the assistant, and Mo'Nique lost her cool when another United attendant told her, ''Tell your people that the next time they have an attitude, they are being thrown off. ... Since 9/11, we don't play around.''

Furious about being compared to a terrorist, Mo'Nique allegedly became extremely agitated -- leading to her being escorted off the plane.

Chicago Police officers were called but, after analyzing the situation, decided no charges were warranted.

Mo'Nique's original flight departed, and she and her entourage took a later flight to New York that night.

The entertainer, whose full name is Mo'Nique Imes-Hicks, considers the incident racially motivated and calls the entire experience ''humiliating'' and ''something that happens to black people all the time. They don't have a voice. I have a voice.''

United spokeswoman Jean Medina regrets the way Mo'Nique felt she was treated, but adds, ''There was a confrontation involving a customer that caused the flight to be delayed. When a situation occurs on a flight that causes a delay or disruption, we must act in the best interest of all of our customers.''

Mo'Nique's representative says she is considering a lawsuit against the airline and encourages all African Americans to boycott United.
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MadMaddie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-26-06 10:10 PM
Response to Original message
1. Guess I won't be flying American Airlines....
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Catherine Vincent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-26-06 11:07 PM
Response to Original message
2. The flight attendant had an attitude also.n/t
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undergroundrailroad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-27-06 01:23 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. Absolutely correct. I'm sure if this was Britney Spears' hair dryer it
would have been, 'yes, Ms. Spears and yes, Ms. Spears'.

We're back to black hair again (a subject that just won't go away) and it just ain't right!

ALL POWER TO THE PEOPLE AND Mo'Nique!

:hi:
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itzamirakul Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-27-06 06:00 AM
Response to Original message
3. I have not flown anywhere since 911 and don't expect to do so any time
soon.

Attitudes of some of the flight attendants CAN appear to be especially rude, condescending and racially abusive, though, from what I recall.

That said,...why did the hairdresser feel that she just HAD to put something in the bag once it was overhead? Couldn't she have put it in one of the bags that I am sure she had under her seat? Sometimes, people do make others suffer discomfort as they satisfy their own selfish, unthinking needs. I wouldn't want anyone leaning over me to put something in a bag overhead, either. WTF was the hairdryer doing OUT of the bag when they got on the plane?
Was she drying Monique's hair while they waited to board the plane?

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bliss_eternal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-27-06 09:11 PM
Response to Original message
5. If she feels it was racially motivated
Edited on Thu Jul-27-06 09:36 PM by bliss_eternal
I accept that. I know that in the moment, one's intuition and reactions are dead on. My heart goes out to her, as I know that when many people hear this sort of thing, particularly the words "entourage" they will think, "Hollywood star=celebrity=attitude." :eyes:

I will however offer that I've seen flight attendants and crew complaints offered by people of many races--including caucasians. I've also seen quite a few about that particular airline. So, it could be they just have funky people working for them... :shrug: The days of companies having the best customer service seem to be gone, and more often than not, it doesn't seem to be a priority any more. Given that terrorism is a threat, flight attendants can easily say someone did something that was suspicious or not in accordance with their rules and get a pass it seems. Even if they were rude or inappropriate towards a customer.

I get the sense that airlines have to do less to win people's business these days. I also get the sense they have a lot less to work with, with all the budget cuts to airlines. As such they are not as patient and frequently overworked and short-tempered. I mention this as a possible factor, not at all to dismiss such behaviour. It may be a contributing factor, but is certainly not an excuse.

Either way, good for Mo'nique for speaking up. I hope that she is successful in her boycott efforts. I haven't liked some of the reports of people being mistreated by airlines and it being excused in the name of terror protection. Most of these people have had brown skin and were of Middle Eastern heritage in some cases. If this helps to cut down on such profiling by airlines--that would be a good thing as far as I'm concerned. I support her efforts, and I won't fly with them. :)

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ecstatic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-05-06 06:59 AM
Response to Reply #5
8. good point about her intuition
From the outside looking in sometimes it seems easy to dismiss these situations as nothing--after all, some flight attendants do have attitudes. Sometimes its not so much what a person says but the way they say it--the look in his/her eyes, the body language, etc. That unmistakable racist vibe.


On a side note, she really needs to think twice about this View mess... Barbara Walters is a loose canon these days.
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bliss_eternal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-28-06 12:19 AM
Response to Original message
6. p.s. I LOVE the picture btw...
She's so photogenic and I love that picture. She's such a beautiful woman! Thanks for the article, too.
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politicasista Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 05:23 PM
Response to Reply #6
14. She really is
Edited on Thu Aug-10-06 05:23 PM by politicasista
And funny too. I still enjoy reruns of The Parkers. :hi:
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bliss_eternal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 06:21 PM
Response to Reply #14
17. I really enjoyed her FAT beauty pageant...
Edited on Thu Aug-10-06 06:22 PM by bliss_eternal
(FAT = Fabulous and Thick :))I think it's wonderful that she is giving a voice to women that for too long have been treated as "less than" in our society.

:hi:
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Brewman_Jax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-02-06 08:27 AM
Response to Original message
7. Read the article
sorry, this looks like a case of Celebrity Behaving Badly.
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bliss_eternal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-05-06 11:15 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. May I ask why you think so, Argyle...?
I'm not disagreeing with you. Just curious as to what brought you to this conclusion. Always like to read your thoughts/ideas!

:hi:
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Brewman_Jax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-06-06 07:49 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. Since you asked
IMO, getting caught misbehaving is not the same as racism--politicians and celebs are prime examples. IIRC, the 1st Class/Coach boundary is like the yellow lines in the road--you don't cross except getting on and off the plane. To add, the flight crew are federally protected, their word is final on that plane--the wrong people to have an attitude with and they aren't going to be pushed around. This article has examples of other notables who have been removed from planes, so Mo'Nique is not the only one. http://www.blackamericaweb.com/site.aspx/bawnews/moniqu...
Also, there are too many unanswered questions, like why did the assistant feel the need to move the item forward instead of keeping it with her? (in which there would have been no incident at all.) Why couldn't the assistant ride in 1st class, too? :shrug:
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bliss_eternal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-07-06 02:16 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. Wow--good points...
..and thanks for the link. :thumbsup: :hi:

While reading, I also recalled an incident when Courtney Love was booted from an airline. I was hesitant to even write about Courtney Love, because she is infamous for bad behaviour and is probably a poor example. She may have been inebriated or high at the time, but don't quote me as I don't have the information about the incident handy--I just recalled that it happened. Nevertheless, I cited her because she was given the boot and said the airline stewards were "rude and inappropriate" with her. :shrug:

So when is it a celebrity behaving badly vs. the airline racially profiling, being rude, inappropriate or downright racist?

Also, are there times that african american celebrities "play the race card" when it really isn't appropriate to do so? When the incident really isn't a racially motivated incident?
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qanda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-07-06 10:26 AM
Response to Original message
12. One question
Why was she trying out for The View after the way they treated Star? I guess they need another big-boned black woman to be their token. I don't watch The View anymore since Star left, but if Mo'Nique gets the job that would be three comediennes on the panel and it would suck worse than words can explain.
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bliss_eternal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-08-06 06:22 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. Good question...
Edited on Tue Aug-08-06 06:25 PM by bliss_eternal
...now I wonder the same. Maybe some of her anger was perhaps misplaced? :shrug: Perhaps not...just throwng it out there as a possibility given the consideration of the question posed.

I know I would be pissed if I was called under such circumstances. Star once being a larger dress size that lost weight and was eventually (allegedly)asked to leave. Mo'nique being asked to try out after all of this. Mo'nique who just so happens to be a woman that is very vocal about self acceptance and happiness with who she is, where she is right now. That makes Mo'nique popular to much of the public. I know I like that about her. But overall the situation does reek--shame on Barbara Walters and the View.

I sincerely hope that Mo'niques 'size and appearance' did not play into why she was asked to audition. I hope she was asked not because they are trying to satisfy some demographic that Star no longer appealed to with the personal changes she's experienced the last few years.
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kwassa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 05:44 PM
Response to Original message
15. having flown United several times recently ...
We've had problems every time. Delayed planes, inadequate staffing ...

we waited 45 minutes in line to get to the ticket counter to check our bags, and another 45 minutes to get through the airport security line. Got to the airport very early and still almost missed the plane. A group of us were sprinting up to the gate as they were closing the doors to the plane, and the gate personnel had no idea of the problem.
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bliss_eternal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 06:17 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. United sucks...
...for lack of better words. :P

When researching airlines for a trip later this year, I found more negative reviews of United than any other airline. I wonder how much longer they will be in business...
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SemperEadem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-22-06 02:45 PM
Response to Original message
18. United airlines sucks anyway
I will never ever fly United and I will encourage anyone who asks to not fly them. Their employees are rude, hateful and mean. I have had 2 bad expeiences with them and I would rather drive or take a boat than to fly their stank airlines.

Frontier airlines is cool, s0n.
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ariellyn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-10-06 08:40 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. Agreed. I have lots of United frequent flyer miles which will never
be used. I think they lost me a few years ago when they let a lot of their loyal, long term employees go without notice or pension claiming bankruptcy. Many companies have done this under BushCo and I feel United jumped on the bandwagon. Too bad they have become profitable again--I was hoping they'd tank.
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