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The president of the North Carolina NAACP was removed from an American Airlines flight for causing a disturbance, but he believes there is another ‘real reason’ why he was escorted off of the plane.
The state’s Republican Party isn’t buying it and said this type of behavior is commonplace for Rev. William Barber who frequently leads protests and makes claims of racism.
Barber said in a statement that he got up from his seat to address a passenger sitting behind him who allegedly mocked his need for two seats because of his arthritis. The man set him off when he said that he didn’t get along with “those people,” the Bradenton Herald reported.
Barber said he had to get up to address the other passenger because his condition prevented him from turning around.
“As I heard these things, I became more and more uncomfortable, especially since he was behind me,” the reverend, who also leads the Moral Mondays civil disobedience protests in N.C., said in the statement. “The attitude with which he spoke, and my experiences with others who have directed similar harsh, sometimes threatening words, emails, and calls at me, came to my mind.”
“I am not at all happy about what I believe were the real reasons I was the one asked to leave,” he said. “My training and experiences with non-violent civil disobedience, and my deep faith, however, made my decision to peacefully comply with the order to get off the plane an easy one.”
Barber assumed that “those people” referred to black people and further assumed he was removed from the flight for reasons other than what the airline stated. Airline officials said it removed a “disruptive passenger” that caused the flight to be 40 minutes tardy to its destination.
Vice-chair of the state’s Republican Party Michele Nix said this is typical for Barber.
“I guess Rev. Barber thinks it’s ‘moral’ to inconvenience other passengers wanting to get home to see their families, because he once again thinks his ‘right’ to say and do whatever he wants is more important than other law abiding citizens who conduct themselves under society’s rules of civil behavior,” Nix said.
The reverend has handed the case over to his legal counsel.
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