No, Kevin Smith is Not the Rosa Parks of Our Time

Rosa Parks and Kevin Smith, no comparison

This week, I wrote a piece for NewsReal about filmmaker Kevin Smith getting tossed off a Southwest Airlines flight because the crew determined he was to fat to fly in the single seat he had purchased.  I enjoy Smith’s films and think he’s a talented writer, but his huge sense of entitlement rubbed me the wrong way.

After making the case that flying is a privilege, not a right, I wrote:

Right now we only have Kevin Smith’s side of the story, and it’s unclear whether the flight attendant used appropriate discretion in approaching him about her safety concerns. I certainly have no desire to see an overweight person shamed for being fat, and I hope that wasn’t the intention.

But a little personal responsibility goes a long way. If Smith had simply paid for a second seat as required by airline policy, he could have avoided the embarrassing situation.  And according to Southwest’s “Customer of Size Q&A,” there’s a 98 percent chance the price of the extra ticket would have been refunded.

Smith went on to complain that because of the airline’s “size-ist policy” he was “being profiled.” I guess flying while fat is the new breaking-and-entering while black.  Beer summit, anyone?

You can read the rest at NewsReal.

The piece received a lot of traffic, and comments were pretty evenly divided on the issue.  Several people made the case that the airplane, owned by a private company, was actually public transportation (thus proving my point about people feeling overly entitled.)  One of those comments was particularly despicable:

According to your unscrupulous logic, Rosa Parks should have moved because it was the Bus drivers choice. Like you said – public transportation “is a privilege, not a right”.

Yes, this person actually had the gall to equate a hero of the black civil rights movement with a fat celebrity demanding that he be allowed to potentially compromise the safety of other passengers on a private airplane.

There’s no comparison between Rosa Parks and Kevin Smith. It just isn’t there.

And you know what else? Being fat isn’t the same as being black.

I can’t believe I had to write that. This is why I don’t spend too much time reading comments – if you’re not careful, the trolls will make you lose your faith in humanity.


6 Responses to “No, Kevin Smith is Not the Rosa Parks of Our Time”

  1. Ron Jones on February 20th, 2010 4:03 pm

    Whether your name is Rosa Parks, or Kevin Smith, the line of demarcation between “right” and “privilege” when it comes to a service…is ownership.

    If the Montgomery bus system upon which Ms. Parks was riding received any subsidy from the taxpayers, then she had a “right” to sit wherever she chose.

    If Southwest Airlines receives any taxpayer subsidy, then Mr Smith also has a “right” to fly on a ‘one ticket, one customer’ basis.

    On the other hand, if there is no taxpayer subsidy, then there is no right to services provided. A company that is not subsidized by taxpayer funds has the right not to sell its goods or services to any one for any reason at any time, without explanation.

  2. theblackcommenter on February 22nd, 2010 11:09 am

    “being fat is not the same as being black”

    I’ll have to remember that line!!

  3. Janis on February 25th, 2010 5:35 pm

    “being fat is not the same as being black” — Try convincing a fat feminist of this. According to them, thin women are practically men for all the “benefits” we get out of … being thin. Amazing to hear them all agreeing with the frat boys who think that being able to codge free (spiked) drinks out of stupid men is the be-all-and-end-all of female existence. *rolls eyes*

  4. Jenn Q. Public on February 26th, 2010 2:05 am

    Janis, good to see you around again! I haven’t been spending much time commenting at TNA, so I’ve missed your rants.

  5. Janis on February 26th, 2010 12:40 pm

    I haven’t spent a lot of time there, either. I’m sick of the whole “girl” thing. Women get what they think they deserve. Who am I to stand in the way of some jackass whos panic for a huzzbin and some nice shoes gets in the way of her rights?

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