Upset about what it considers the profiling of South Asian passengers by Southwest Airlines, a civil rights group has terminated its relationship with Southwest.
The move by South Asian Americans Leading Together means the group will lose the airline’s $10,000 donation to its Young Leadership Institute program.
In making its move SAALT pointed to five well publicized examples of racial profiling by Southwest Airlines of Muslim, Arab and South Asian passengers.
In one case, a political science and Near Eastern studies student from UC Berkeley was returning from Los Angeles where he had attended a function at the World Affairs Council. He was pulled off the flight prior to take off and questioned by the FBI after being overheard by a passenger speaking in Arabic.
SAALT says after each of the five incidents, it reached out to the airlines, but considered the responses unsatisfactory.
“Southwest made it clear they would issue no apology to the affected passengers nor would it address profiling in their corporate training guidelines and complaint procedures,” SAALT said in a statement. “In short, we saw no effort by Southwest Airlines to establish protections against racial and religious profiling of passengers on its flights. The airline continues to deflect any responsibility for its actions, even as the level of hostility against our communities continues to increase nationwide.”
AsAmNews reached out to Southwest Airlines. If we hear back from them, we will include its response.
SAALT is reaching out to supporters and asking for help to make up for the loss of funding.
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