Dragged Off: Refusing to Give Up My Seat on the Way to the American Dream
A Vietnamese Refugee, a Viral Video, and the United Airlines Scandal That Started It All
“His refusal to give up his seat on a United Airlines flight, and the ensuing assault he suffered, is emblematic of how far we, the people, still have to travel to create a world with liberty and justice for all.” --Marlena Fiol, PhD, globally recognized scholar and speaker and author of Nothing Bad Between Us
Dr. David Dao was dragged off United Express Flight 3411 on April 9, 2017 after refusing to give up his seat. In the tradition of contemporary immigrant stories comes a personal narrative of the many small but significant acts of racial discrimination faced on the way to the American Dream.
The unseen effects of discrimination. The United Airlines scandal of 2017 garnered over a million views on YouTube. A result of an overbooking overlook, security officials forcibly removed Dr. Dao after refusing to give up his seat. He awoke in the hospital to a concussion, a broken nose, several broken teeth, and worldwide attention. Things aren’t always fair for an immigrant, but according to Dr. Dao, you can prevail if you firmly advocate for yourself.
A response to a lifetime of oppressive acts. Why was Dr. Dao so adamant on his right to a seat? His entire life had led to that moment. A Vietnamese refugee, he fled his home country during the fall of Saigon. He was stranded in the Indian Ocean, immigrated to the United States, enrolled in medical school for a second time, built a practice, and started a family─all the while battling the effects of discrimination and what he had to embrace as a result. This is his story.
If you are moved by immigrant stories, or books like America for Americans, Minor Feelings, How to Be an Antiracist, or The Making of Asian America, then you’ll want to read Dr. David Dao's story, Dragged Off.