Monday, December 28, 2009

Food for thought: Jasper Schuringa, the hero of Flight 253, would not be allowed to sit next to an unaccompanied child on three airlines, because Jasper is male

British Airways, Qantas, and New Zealand have policies barring adult males from sitting next to unaccompanied child passengers.  This sort of gender profiling that assumes the worst about every male because of the conduct of a tiny percentage of males would not be tolerated with respect to any other class of citizens. Discrimination against men is the last acceptable form of prejudice.

Mr. Schuringa is not alone, of course.  The policy would also assume that Jesus Christ, Saint Paul, Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Abraham Lincoln, Captain Chesley Sullenberger, Barack Obama, Albert Schweitzer, every fireman who ever sacrificed his life running into a burning building to save someone, every serviceman who ever sacrificed his life -- and innumerable, countless other great men -- would not be worthy to sit next to an unaccompanied child on an airplane.

The absurdity of this policy is almost unfathomable, and it would be laughable were it not so hateful.