A JetBlue passenger was removed from a flight carrying Ivanka Trump on Thursday morning for reportedly berating the president-elect's daughter. Though the removed passenger's actions were hostile, threatening, and ineffective, they illustrate just how fearful many Americans are of Donald Trump's impending presidency.
JetBlue issued a statement addressing the incident:
Considering the customer in question did not want to be on the same flight as Ivanka, and presumably Ivanka did not want to be on the same flight as someone screaming at her and her children, JetBlue made the best call for both parties. No doubt, millions of Americans would love to give members of the Trump family a piece of their minds. But as this situation shows, screaming at them on a plane proves to be largely ineffective.
Many people, especially members of marginalized groups, are terrified of what their futures hold once Trump takes office. And this latest incident has sparked a debate online about what is and isn't an appropriate way to confront someone in power outside of a political context. Even those against Trump have come out to decry this method of protest:
The man who harassed Ivanka Trump was completely out of line. As much as I dread the Trump presidency, that behavior wasn't helpful.— Megan McGibney (@MeganMcGibney) December 22, 2016
So rude to attack Ivanka while she's with her kids on a flight home https://t.co/ZRfLN0w9s4— Anthony (@VileStyle) December 22, 2016
Regardless of what you think of Trump, don't harass Ivanka when she's with her kids. There are more appropriate times to heckle. Fs.— Kopite AJ (@goaliegirl6) December 22, 2016
While others have defended the way this passenger brought up his concerns:
Trump grabs women by the pussy and Eric said Ivanka's too strong and powerful to be sexually assaulted. Ivanka can handle being accosted.— Dreana (@dreanabeana) December 22, 2016
Also, just a reminder, Ivanka Trump has self-selected to not be a private citizen anymore. https://t.co/7mQfuBKWPB— JakeVK (@JakeVK) December 22, 2016
Still, others are mostly just puzzled as to why Ivanka was flying coach on a commercial airline:
Ivanka Trump flies commercial? And in COACH?! That's the bigger news story. https://t.co/pmUW46rX40— Elaine Bondra 🎄 (@EB_SOA) December 22, 2016
Headline: Ivanka Trump "harassed" on JetBlue flight (w/ pic)— Zack Peter (@justplainzack) December 22, 2016
Me: Ivanka Trump is flying coach on JetBlue? In a MIDDLE SEAT?
There's no question that an airline needs to take action when a customer, in this case Ivanka, feels threatened, and screaming at a person is generally never an effective way to get your message across. However, the issue of when it is and isn't appropriate to confront a political figure still remains, as does the matter of what constitutes as "appropriate." Debates around respectability politics will never be settled and will likely become more and more heated and critical if Trump enacts policies disenfranchising women and racial, religious, and sexual minorities.
But if there's one thing that all sides can possibly take away from this situation, it's that the Secret Service will have to do a better job covering the Trump family if they want to avoid confrontations like this going forward.