Dignity takes a nose dive with United’s treatment of passenger

Yet another case of those in charge bullying ordinary citizens

The choice of United Airlines to bring in the “authorities” to use violence to remove a passenger is just the latest and most egregious example of how our institutions and leaders seem to be embracing the use of violence against ordinary citizens (“Removal of air traveler sparks outcry,” Page A1, April 11).

During the campaign, when faced with protesters at a rally, Donald Trump called on his security and others to “get ’em out of here.”


Since the election, hate attacks against minorities have increased dramatically.

There have been numerous attempts to ban protesters and to justify the use of violence and force against them.

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The Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement has been increasingly aggressive in deporting people who pose no threat to anyone from school settings, hospitals, and courthouses.

This violence by so-called authorities has been directed in large part against minorities and poor people. But as the United Airlines case illustrates, it can be directed at anyone who does not say, “Yes, sir, anything you say, sir.”

This is not the America I recognize. Authoritarianism has no place in a free society.

Pamela Levine


Is this what passes
for consumers’ rights?


I am
appalled, as are many others, at the action taken by United Airlines in forcibly removing a paying customer who had a seat. This is certainly not the “friendly skies,” not when police are used. This passenger was not a security threat.

If United has a problem getting employees to destinations, that is their problem. It was not the problem of someone who already had purchased his ticket.

Is this what is happening to our country — are there no more individual and consumer rights?

Dorothy Driscoll


Unless we amend Constitution, corporate clout will hold sway

The forcible removal of a passenger with a valid ticket from a United Airlines flight to make room for company employees is an outrageous example of the degree to which the rights of corporate America trump those of ordinary citizens. Other examples include the right of fossil fuel companies to run their pipelines across private property, and the right of multinational corporations to use their megabucks to drown out the voices of ordinary citizens in our political process.

We must amend the Constitution to establish that corporations are not people, and therefore should not be eligible for unalienable constitutional rights of living, breathing human beings, and that money is not speech, and therefore can be regulated to give everyone an equal voice in our democracy.

Until we do, we can expect legions of corporate attorneys and lobbyists to tilt the scales in favor of corporate rights over human rights.

Paul Lauenstein


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