Looks like somebody didn't heed Michelle Obama's words to "go high." A couple was removed from a JetBlue flight on Thursday morning after reportedly getting into a verbal altercation with Obama's eventual successor, rumored acting-first lady Ivanka Trump and her family. I understand the temptation, really I do, but harassing Ivanka Trump is not OK, whether you think she and her father are adequately prepared to take over our democracy or not. According to TMZ, Ivanka was accompanied by her three children, who range in age from 5 to just 8 months old, which gives this story an extra level of ick.
Witnesses reported that a male passenger, who also had a child with him, allegedly screamed at Trump, "Your father is ruining the country" and "Why is she on our flight? She should be flying private." She and a number of relatives were reportedly seated in the coach section of a plane bound for Florida from New York. I, too, am curious about her travel choices, but you just can't scream in a woman's face like that.
JetBlue has since released the following statement on the matter:
The decision to remove a customer from a flight is not taken lightly. If the crew determines that a customer is causing conflict on the aircraft, the customer will be asked to deplane, especially if the crew feels the situation runs the risk of escalation during flight. Our team worked to re-accommodate the party on the next available flight.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, a man named Matthew Lasner, who appears to have been involved, live-Tweeted the incident. "Ivanka and Jared at JFK T5, flying commercial," his first tweet read. "My husband chasing them down to harass them." Later, he tweeted a photo (pictured above) captioned, "Ivanka just before @JetBlue kicked us off our flight when a flt attendant overheard my husband expressing displeasure about flying w/ Trumps." His last tweet read, "Ivanka and Jared on our flight. My husband expressed displeasure in a calm tone, JetBlue staff overheard, and they kicked us off the plane." His account has since been deleted.
I feel you, Matt. I'm also troubled by a woman who has no formal role in the U.S. government, elected or not, meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, taking phone calls with Argentine President Macri, using a 60 Minutes interview to sell $10,000 bracelets, and taking over the first lady's office in the East Wing. I'm concerned that the way she waters down her father's disturbing rhetoric by delivering it with poise and a flashy smile that might have been the reason a shockingly high number of white women were able to forgive him for his deplorable track record on women's issues, and interacting with women in general. But buddy, you can't verbally attack her.
Remember what our first lady told us back in July, at the Democratic National Convention:
When someone is cruel or acts like a bully, you don’t stoop to their level. No, our motto is: when they go low, we go high. With every word we utter, with every action we take, we know our kids are watching us. We, as parents, are the most important role models.
Enjoy your winter break in Florida, and when you get home, call and write your elected officials. March on Washington. Speak with your wallet, and donate to worthy causes. But don't harass people on a plane. We're better than that.