Sunday, April 16, 2017

What Would Elaine Do?

I, like thousands of others, watched the video of the poor man being dragged off his United airlines flight. I was horrified to see it. Like everyone else, I believe United Airlines made some terrible mistakes in this entire situation.
And today I celebrated the resurrection of Jesus, my God, a man who was executed by the state for no reason.
When I watched the video of the passenger being dragged off the plane (and in case you haven't seen it, I'm not exaggerating - he was literally dragged), one thing that caught my eye was the dozens of camera phones sticking into the aisle. Every passenger was filming the disaster, it seemed.
Let's think about this. Everyone knows that this one man is the last holdout: that once he is off the flight, they will be able to continue their journey. United has already offered $1000 to anyone who volunteers to get off the flight. And yet, not one person thought to offer to take his place. Not one person stood up and said, "Hey, don't beat him up. I'll get off the plane."

Would I have done that? I don't know. 

If I had been on that plane with my family, I think it's a possibility that my husband would have volunteered to get off the plane, to allow this man to stay on. That would have been fine with me. If I had been flying alone, I might have volunteered.
We talk a good game about justice, but when faced with actual injustice, not one person on that plane took action to spare the man. Has our addition to social media blinded us to what real action looks like? Do we think that by filming injustice and posting it publicly, we are somehow morally superior to the officers dragging a passenger down a plane aisle? We are happy to point and scream and wag our fingers, but did anyone consider taking action to actually help that man in the moment? Do we even remember that we can put down our phones and DO things?

I ask this question of myself more than anyone else. 

We so often ask glibly, "What Would Jesus Do?" but maybe the question ought to be "What Would I Do?" Would I stand up and volunteer once the passenger refused to get up? Would I be so courageous? I doubt it.

And so I conclude my week long celebration of Easter by looking at myself and my own decisions. Am I truly taking all the action I can do combat injustice and bring God's kingdom to earth? 

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