Monday, January 30, 2012

Urban Legend: Story Of Racist White Woman Not Wanting To Sit Next To Black Man On TAM Flight Is False, Rebutted By Snopes

A Stormfront poster has called our attention to a cutesy-poo story circulating on Facebook. In the story, a White woman who was flying economy class aboard TAM Airlines objected to being seated next to a Black man. The flight attendant checked but found that there were no other seats in economy class. She informed the woman that the only alternative was to be seated in first class, after which the flight attendant granted the woman's wish not to be seated next to the Black man -- by inviting the Black man to take a vacant seat in first class. The passengers reportedly cheered, and everyone live happily ever after.

Except -- the story is FALSE. It's been exposed as a hoax by Hoax-Slayer and Snopes. Snopes says this is the fourth incarnation of a story that originally was told in 1998, only it was a South Africa White lady aboard a British Airways flight from Johannesburg. In 2004, it was re-told as a White woman on a flight from Saskatoon to Calgary, and in 2005, told again, only this time it was White woman seated next to a yarmulke-wearing Jew in Atlanta.

Yet an anti-racist website, ValueWalk, regurgitated it as fact, only briefly adding at the end "I don’t know if this is true. But it’s a nice story with an awesome ending", and urging readers to share the story if they're "against racism".

Well, I shared it -- and exposed it as B.S. But it reminds me of some of those cutesy-poo Holocaust stories that also turned out to be urban legends, such as the so-called Holocaust survivor Misha Defonseca, who wrote a book claiming that a pack of wolves helped her survive the Holocaust, and Buchenwald detainee Herman Rosenblat, who claimed his girlfriend tossed him apples and bread over the fence to help him survive. There are also some inconsistencies with Elie Wiesel's book, "Night".

But gee, who cares if these stories are true, so long as they're "heartwarming" and, in the words of Herman Rosenblat, "bring happiness to people". Or as Misha Defonseca said, "It's not the true reality, but it is my reality". A lot of people weren't too happy when they found out about the "true reality"; Defonseca got embroiled in a legal battle with her publisher, Jean Daniel, tried to sue her, and ended up losing.


Anonymous said...

What a nice story. Say, did ya hear the one about the White person who was forced to be around blacks because of "civil rights laws" and the White person ended up getting killed, just for being White?
You know, like the Knoxville Murders, the Wichita massacre, and thousands of other cases? No, you hadn't? Hmmm, that's funny. Maybe they're all "urban legends" guess I'll go check snopes.

Eric Indiana said...

I'd like to apologize, on behalf of all people, for "Anonymous"'s stupid, racist, reactionary comment. However, this air flight story is similar to some urban legends I've been told as true by well-meaning people. Here are a few examples:

Anonymous said...

"Stupid, racist reactionary?" What was untrue about the crimes stated? You did not refute them. The truth hurts, eh? Plus, you just admitted that this airplane story is fake!
Go away troll.