HOBART, ARKANSAS — Clem O’Connell says he was on a flight recently that garnered some national buzz. This week, the story of a man being kicked off a Delta flight when, according to the man’s story, passengers became upset when he and his mother started speaking Arabic. Delta issued a statement saying the man had created a disturbance among approximately twenty other passengers, though the video the man posted as he was leaving the plane seemed to not show a whole lot of open hostility toward him from the other people on the plane.
O’Connell says he was in the bathroom “doing the normal pre-flight dumper” when he heard a commotion, finished up quickly, and came out. He said he watched as the man de-planed. Clem told our reporter he believes the man should’ve been removed for speaking Arabic on the plane because he doesn’t think the First Amendment covers that language being spoken, at least not on a plane in post-9/11 America.
“Look, the man should know better than to speak a Muslim language,” Clem said, “on an airplane in America. Would he go into a theater and shout ‘Fire!’ if there was no fire? Well, the First Amendment don’t cover Arabic, least not when you’re on a plane.”
Mr. O’Connell said that if it were up to him Congress would pass a law making English the official language and that all people when out in public have to speak English “for national security purposes.”
“If you’re gonna be in America,” Clem said, “you should talk English and talk it good. The burden of proof is on you to proof you’re not a Muslim terrorist. And speaking in Koranish or whatever isn’t going to help you prove your innocence, know what I mean?”
It’s not just Arabic that Clem finds suspect, either.
“Hell, if I’m on a plane and I hear someone speaking Mexican,” Clem said, “I’ll call the flight attendant over and tell her to contact the Department of Homeland Security and immigration control. I once got a girl kicked off a flight for ordering a taco off the in-flight menu. I just don’t trust no one. And it’s my Constitutional right to allow my paranoia to become so out of control I’m having people kicked off planes literally because I don’t speak their language.”
Clem also said since the man who was kicked off the Delta flight for speaking Arabic has been known to make provocative videos about American Islamaphobia, he “forfeits” his right to use satire as a form of political speech.
“Sure, some might say his videos are satirical takes on American Islamaphobia,” Clem said, “and sure, the video certainly proves that it’s entirely possible for a man to be kicked off a flight for speaking Arabic, but, he has forfeit his right to satire because a) he’s doing it in Arabic and Freedom of Speech doesn’t mean you can speak whatever language you want I’m pretty sure and b) this is post-9/11 America, and freedom ain’t what it used to be.”
There is one situation that Clem says he’d not have any problem with someone speaking in a language he doesn’t understand on a flight he’s on.
“If the spirit of the Good Lord is moving them to speak in tongues,” Clem said, “then I think that’s just fine. Of course, to my ears Arabic and someone speaking in tongues is kinda the same thing and I might still have them kicked off, but they’d understand. Can’t let someone’s freedom get in the way of my ignorance-based fear, can we? I didn’t think so. Besides, I VOTED FOR TRUMP. IT’S OUR TURN NOW, LIBTARDS!”
“Sorry,” Clem said, “that’s just a knee-jerk reaction I’ve been working to help me get through the next four years.”
Follow James on Twitter @JamboSchlarmbo.