08asiana10-articleInlineLet’s face it, racism is everywhere. Pervasive racist attitudes continue to exist. As such, all of us will continue to experience hostility, anger and hatred. Remember, the world is full of highly educated men and women, comprised of all ethnic races and economic classes. Yet words like “n—er,” “ch–k,” and “f-g” are used throughout society.

Don’t believe me?

An 11-year-old boy’s rendition of the national anthem at Game 3 of the 2013 NBA brought tributes and the darker side of hate as racists lit up twitter:

  • “… they got a Mexican kid singing the national anthem (Daniel Gilmore).”
  • “… Who let this illegal alien sing our national anthem (Matt Cyrus)?”

Tweanty-Two year-old Tyler Gregory Okonma, known by his stage name Tyler, The Creator who sends forth such profound ignorance in his rap lyrics:

“… fuck bitches with no permission and tend to hate shit
And brag about the actions in a rhyming pattern matter.”

 And then the latest form of racism, Flight 214 involved hate tweets:

  • “… of course the Korean plane crashed, Asians can’t drive … (ASAP Yarby).”
  • “… I blame North Korea for blowing up the plane (Kylee Holt).”
  • “… apparently Asians can’t fly (Miriam)”
  • “… I’m wondering if the pilot of this plane that crashed from South Korea was Asian…they can’t drive anything. (Devin Rivers).”
  • “… airplane probably had an Asian pilot and he was squinting so much, he couldn’t see the runway (Eric Nelson).

With that, I choose to take a stand. To clarify, there were 77 Koreans, 141 Chinese, 61 Americans, 1 Japanese and 12 flight attendants on Asiana on Flight 214.

Leslie Mayo, an American Airlines flight attendant and spokeswoman for the Association of Professional Flight Attendants stated, “I can’t say enough about all of them because they — we — always work as a team. Whenever crew members talk about (incidents like this) on the training videos that we watch, they always say: ‘I have no idea where this came from, how I did that.’” Flight 214 cabin manager, Lee Yoon-hye, told journalists: “I wasn’t really thinking, but my body started carrying out the steps needed for an evacuation. I was only thinking about rescuing the next passenger.” Additionally, San Francisco police officer Jim Cunningham raced to join firefighters without any protective gear, handed out knives to the flight crew to help passengers escape, guided passengers to safety and even had the wherewithal to retrieve an iPhone left behind so that its owner could call family members.

From all news reports, there was no indication Flight crew members said, “Asians firsts, Americans last” and cabin manager Lee Yoon-hye was the last person to leave the burning plane. The flight crew of Asiana Flight 214 should be honored for their heroism, grace, guts and determination. They do not deserve racist tweets, bad jokes or thoughtless, stupid ignorance. In the face of death, the flight crew and first-responders stood together, stood firm and beat back the Angel of Death by saving countless lives.

They deserve our praise not our ignorance.