USA Today Dragged for Asking If United Airlines Passenger Dr. Dao Is the 'Asian Rosa Parks'

(Photos from left: Universal History Archive/Getty Images, Jayse D. Anspach via Twitter)

USA Today Dragged for Asking If United Airlines Passenger Dr. Dao Is the 'Asian Rosa Parks'

The publication has since deleted the tweet.

Published April 14, 2017

The story of the United Airlines passenger who was dragged off an overbooked flight has been a national topic of discussion this week. The treatment of Dr. Dao has made many question the ethics and practices of airlines and private companies. 

In a recent press conference, Dao's attorney Thomas Demetrio spoke to the support the Dao family has received.

At one point, Demetrio said they've received letters comparing Dr. Dao to civil rights icon Rosa Parks. 

"Dr. Dao, I believe to his great credit, has come to understand that he is the guy, the guy to stand up for all passengers going forward," Demetrio said during a news conference Thursday. Demetrio added that he received an email calling Dao the “Asian version of Rosa Parks," yet he made sure to point out he didn't believe this incident was racially motivated. 

The comparison stated by Demetrio was covered by USA Today, who offered a provocative tweet asking if Dao is the Asian Rosa Parks. 

  1. Some believed Dao's treatment reminded them of Rosa Parks
  2. However, most people seemed appropriately appalled at the mere suggestion of comparison

    There's no denying the violence Dr. David Dao experienced was awful and inhumane; however, much like his lawyer stated, this could have happened to anyone. This was not a racially motivated incident, nor he was he standing up for civil rights denied to his people. 

    Dao surely highlighted an important revelation about the practices of airlines. However, conflating his situation with Rosa Parks, who faced jail time for refusing to give her bus seat to a white person, should be avoided at all costs. 

  3. Although they did not say why, USA Today deleted the tweet posing the question

    USA Today has not released a public statement speaking about the tweet. The story still remains on their website. 

Written by Rachel Herron

(Photos from left: Universal History Archive/Getty Images, Jayse D. Anspach via Twitter)

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