The rhetoric of hate and the politics of racial and religious discrimination are hitting right here at home: Rabeeya Khan, a 32BJ member and terminal cleaner at JFK Airport was assaulted and verbally threatened while working at the Delta Air Lines Sky Club at JFK Airport. Her assailant invoked President Trump and allegedly targeted Ms. Khan for being Muslim. This comes just days after the New York City Human Rights Commission announced allegations of racial discrimination by a JFK airport subcontractor, Pax Assist, against its airport workers. We denounce these horrific, un-American attacks, which remind us that discrimination can happen anywhere — on the streets or at work — and we denounce those creating the environment in which hate speech and discrimination are on the rise.
Like Rabeeya Khan, who has real reason to be afraid, too many American working families are living in fear as the Trump administration unrolls its nationalist agenda of persecution and division targeting immigrants, refugees and those of Muslim faith. It is up to all of us to stand up and protect those who are attacked and disrespected, and to actively oppose hateful and discriminatory policies. Our airports are international hubs, as diverse as New York itself, and airport workers are on the front lines keeping millions of passengers safe and secure. They deserve our appreciation and respect along with our unwavering support. 32BJ and our allies will continue to do everything we can make to New York airports — and the world beyond — a safe place for workers, passengers, and all Americans.