In the wake of the Jan. 6 domestic terrorist attack in the US, in which Trump supporters stormed the Capitol in an attempt to subvert a free and fair election, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a warning to the insurgents. “Federal law prohibits you from physically assaulting or threatening to physically assault the crew, and anyone else,” the FAA tweeted over the weekend. “You could be subject to fines of up to $35K (roughly £25.7K) and imprisonment for such conduct.” And in a statement issued by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, President Sara Nelson called for those who participated in the attempted coup to be banned from flying, saying they posed a threat “to the safety and security of every single person onboard.”
Now, as violent MAGA rioters are attempting to travel back home, they’re learning that they are subject to existing airline zero-tolerance policies that mandate mask-wearing and bar harassment and unruly behaviour against airline crew members and passengers alike. Needless to say, they are not happy.
One Twitter user, @RayRedacted, shared a now-viral video of a white man crying in an airport, yelling, “This is what they do to us. They kicked me off a flight, they call me a f*cking terrorist, and they want to rule my life.” The tweet was captioned, “People who broke into the Capitol Wednesday are now learning they are on No-Fly lists pending the full investigation. They are not happy about this.”
Another Twitter user shared a video of a white woman exiting an airplane. In the video, a man claims that they’re “all on a no-fly list for being radical white terrorists.”
But the factual reason for the removal of specific passengers is being disputed. Snopes described one of the viral videos of a man reportedly kicked off a plane for attending the riot at the Capitol as “mislabeled,” stating that the original video was shared on TikTok with a caption describing the man as having a “toddler level meltdown” after he was asked to wear a mask. And Yashar Ali, a HuffPost and New York Magazine contributor, quote-tweeted the video, writing, “This has nothing to do with the US Capitol Building or no-fly lists as it relates to domestic terrorism.” In a statement to Newsweek, a spokesperson for the Transportation Security Administration said they don’t discuss details surrounding passenger removal for “security reasons.”
Whether these terrible 2-year-old type tantrums are the result of being placed on a no-fly list for participating in a coup attempt, or the selfish refusal to wear a mask the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as countless infectious disease experts, has said reduces the spread of COVID-19 (which is now killing more than 3,000 Americans a day), one thing is clear: Republicans and/or conservatives are steadfast in their faux victimhood: They’re either convinced they should be free to fly to D.C., stage a deadly insurgency, then fly back home and pick up their lives as if they were returning from a weekend in the Poconos, or they believe they have the innate right to sneeze in a pressurised metal tube.
The self-victimization of the Republican party has long been on display. Most recently, you can find it in First Lady Melania Trump’s statement on the Jan. 6 insurgency, the slew of Republican politicians and pundits lamenting social media companies finally holding people accountable for inciting violence, and domestic terrorists themselves — who, in the middle of an attempted coup told reporters, “This is not America. They’re shooting at us. They’re supposed to shoot BLM, but they’re shooting the patriots.”
And given the number of high-ranking Republican politicians who care more about losing Twitter followers than they do an attempt to overthrow the government or over 370,000 Americans dying from COVID-19, this victimization is, sadly, here to stay. Perhaps the only silver lining here are the videos of MAGA trolls insulting Lindsey Graham.