Following the news about racism with MEA employees (click here) at Beirut’s International Airport (I refuse to call it by that other name), MEA has issued a statement. Of course, they were sort of forced to seeing as the story went viral.
This is their response:
To our loyal customers and fans,
We are aware of the purported incident that took place on the 6th October 2012 at Beirut International Airport, and appreciate your patience while a full investigation by MEA is underway. Please rest assured that MEAs policy is not to tolerate discriminatory or racist behavior in any form from our employees, and that appropriate measures will be taken once the facts of the incident are brought to light.
The MEA Team
Is it lackluster? Yes. Does it feel forced? You bet. Is it color by number? Definitely. Will it calm people down? Perhaps it will.
A couple of days from now, few will remember that there was an employee with MEA who insulted people just because of their citizenship, fully knowing that the passport those people have can get them access to much more countries than the miserable piece of identification she has stashed in her pocket. You know, that blue booklet with the cedar on it – our pride and joy. You can start crying out of pride now.
I really hope that people keep talking about this until MEA lets everyone know what those “appropriate measures” will be. Racism in Lebanon needs to be tackled sure. But raising awareness gets you nowhere. And if there’s anything that works with people like the Lebanese, it’s a tap on the wrist. Or a slap across the face. Once they see that being racist outloud will get them fired, they will think twice about publicizing their stupidity.
Let’s face it, bottled in racism exists everywhere – even in countries that proclaim they don’t have it.
And there’s nothing I’d rather see than that woman and the man who supported her fired. Am I harsh? Absolutely not. They deserve much more than that.