Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Smith too fat to fly? His choice

Article By: Tom Logan

As a fellow nerd I have to say that I love Kevin Smith. I love Dogma, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, and Clerks. I’ve read some of the comics he’s written and loved them as well. That being said, calling his ejection from a Southwest Airlines flight due to being overweight a violation of civil rights is absurd.

First off, I think we should define a civil rights violation. A civil rights violation is denying someone any of the rights and privileges he or she is entitled to because of something that is beyond his or her control, such as race or gender. Being overweight, however, is not something that is beyond a person’s control. According to Smith, this “Too Fat to Fly” business is like herpes, he’ll have to carry it around for the rest of his life. So I take it dieting and exercise is out of the question?

My problem with this case isn’t with Kevin Smith or whether or not he was too fat to fly, but that it leads to the idea that being overweight is the same thing as being an African-American or being male or female. I hear people all the time saying it’s wrong to make fun of someone because of their weight, yet those people have seen no problem in making fun of me for being a nerd. People like to claim it’s not their fault they’re overweight, but really it is. You choose to be overweight the same way I choose to be a nerd; it’s not a life commitment. You can change from fat to fit, from nerd to normal. It may not be an easy change, but it is possible.

I will say this in Smith’s defense: the way in which Southwest Airlines handled the situation was terrible. I don’t think they were wrong in ejecting someone because of their weight, but it was wrong to do so after the person was already seated and it was obvious that the person could fit into a single seat with the arm rests down without disturbing the comfort of the other passengers.

So does Kevin Smith have a right to be angry at being thrown off the plane? Of course he does, no one likes to be humiliated. Is there anything wrong with being overweight? Of course not; if you choose to be overweight, then more power to you. Is it okay for airliners to eject people who have already been seated? No, that’s irresponsible and humiliating to the person. Is it okay for airlines to charge overweight people for two seats? Yes, if you choose to be overweight then you have to understand that there are certain physical restrictions with the potential to cause others discomfort. Is Kevin Smith’s ejection a violation of his civil rights? Not at all; Kevin Smith chose to be fat, therefore accepting the consequences that come along with it.

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Smith too fat to fly? His choice