Guido Menzio, a 40 year old Italian economist, was on an American Airlines flight from Philadelphia to Syracuse, and was intensely scribbling on a piece of paper in his lap. He had a presentation to do in Ontario and was trying to prepare for it. His seatmate was a 30-something blond wearing flip-flops, who thought she would attempt to make small talk, but his responses to her queries were curt, one word answers. He didn't even look up from whatever it was he was doing on that piece of paper.
So, what was it? Did she actually think to herself "He looks like he could be a terrorist, and what's that he's writing? It's not English; could he be plotting something? Maybe to hijack this plane? I have to get out of here, get off this plane, and I need to tell someone!!" Whatever her reason was, she decided that he didn't look 'right', and felt she needed to be a 'Good Samaritan' and let someone know about this man who was acting so strangely and who didn't look up from the 'scribbles' he had been doing the whole time he was sitting next to her. She passed a note to a flight attendant, and then sat and waited... and waited... and waited... as did everyone else on the plane. Now, it was only supposed to be a 41 minute flight; they sat on the tarmac for hours, I guess while the crew and airport security tried to figure out how to handle the situation.
It's just my opinion, but I think the best thing to do would have been to simply find out who the man was supposed to be and run a check on him! Do what the police do; call wherever he supposedly is from and ask the police to send a picture of him. (He's got to have a drivers license or something at age 40!) Or just Google him, like the article said! Then they would know he is not Middle Eastern but Italian. Also, one of the flight crew could have gone up and asked him something and tried to get a look at the papers, or after his seatmate left, someone could have gone in and quietly sat down next to him and asked him point blank who he was. There are any number of ways they could have handled it besides having all the passengers on the plane held up so they miss their connections, and pulling him off the plane (which I'm sure was embarrassing) and interrogating him!
Maybe it's just that I'm fed up with how far downhill this society is sliding, and how most people aren't even questioning it; if anything, they're cheering it on! I mean, for one person's 'suspicions' to be allowed to disrupt the lives of an airplane full of passengers with no more proof than 'he's writing something and it's not in English' is ridiculous! It's like me walking up to a policeman and saying that someone just robbed me, and the police arresting whoever I say, then trying and convicting that person all on my word alone! This is what these 'Good Samaritans' are doing every time they report someone based on nothing more than "he looks like one of those Muslims'. They've tried and convicted that person based on what language they speak/write/read, or what they wear on their head.
Menzio handled it much better than I would have, I think because of the direction things are going in this country, and my rising ire at how easily society is letting it happen. (Look at how far Donald Trump has come.) Now undercover racists have a legitimate face to put on their bigotry, they can interfere with someone's life and get that person forever branded just by claiming they were protecting their country; being a patriotic 'Good Samaritan'. One of these days we're going to start hearing the reactions from some of the victims of these 'Good Samaritans', and it won't be pretty.