Raed Jarrar was asked to remove a t-shirt that contained the phrase “we will not be silent” in Arabic and English. He was in an airport, traveling from NY to LA and was harrased by airport security and JetBlue. After reading his account of what went down, I wrote an email to JetBlue.
I recently read about a passanger that was asked to remove his shirt because of the fact that it had arabic letters on it. I just wanted you to know that I will not be flying your airline in the future and I will recommend to all of my friends and business collegues that they also not fly JetBlue. Your decision to not recognize the passenger’s right to wear his shirt, which was clearly expressing a sentiment that touches on current events in the world, is inexcusable. We live in America, which is a democracy with consitutional rights. These rights allow us to wear such shirts. I am very disappointed in JetBlue and look forward to your public apology for treating this citizen in such a demeaning way based on his shirt and, I’m quite sure, the color of his skin.
These types of stories make me so angry and sad. I’m trying to figure out the most productive manor in which to express this.
Update: I received the follwing response from JetBlue
Dear Mr. Barrish,
Thank you for giving us an opportunity to address the situation reported on DemocracyNow.org and other sites. We are working with the TSA to fully understand the situation, and we have not concluded our fact-finding yet.
Our fundamental responsibility as an airline is to provide safe and secure travel for all of our customers. This requires us to be sensitive to the concerns of all of our customers, while also upholding the rights of the individual. We value diversity, among our customers as well as our crewmembers. We take our responsibility seriously, and should there be an opportunity to improve our effectiveness, we will take the appropriate action.
We appreciate your interest in this matter as well as your understanding of all our customers’ needs. We remain available should you have any further questions or concerns.
Director Customer Commitment