Although the concept might be hard for many to accept, racism and prejudice are still very much alive and well in the United States today. Mother Darlene Hiber was reminded of that the hard way in early February of 2015. The mother, accompanied by her four children, got on a Delta Airlines plane that was traveling from Florida to Michigan, where the Hiber family resides.
Hiber is a Muslim who wears a traditional headscarf. This made her religion apparent to another passenger on the plane. The female traveler, seemingly out of nowhere, started to throw abusive comments at Hiber and her family when they were up in the air. Her comments included “This is America.” Not only did she make cruel and racist statements, but she also threatened Hiber. Many other travelers on the plane were clearly bothered by what was going on. The majority of the other travelers attempted to help Hiber, notes the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee’s legal director. One fellow traveler even started crying at the sight of it all.
The flight attendant, however, wasn’t quite so sympathetic about Hiber’s distressing situation. She didn’t confront the racist passenger who was ostracizing Hiber and her family. She simply advised Hiber to round up her children and move to another part of the airplane. There’s even video footage of the flight attendant giving the Hibers a warning: if they don’t start being quieter she’s going to have them taken off the flight.
Although the flight attendant was being extremely confrontational with the Hibers, she had absolutely no words for the individual who started this entire mess — the racist passenger. In the end the Hibers had no choice but to move to a different area of the plane.