The NAACP is warning black travelers to be cautious if they are flying with American Airlines.
The civil rights organization issued the warning Tuesday night, saying that it stemmed from several “disturbing incidents reported by African-American passengers, specific to American Airlines.”
“All travelers must be guaranteed the right to travel without fear of threat, violence or harm,” Derrick Johnson, President and CEO of the NAACP, said. “The growing list of incidents suggesting racial bias reflects an unacceptable corporate culture and involves behavior that cannot be dismissed as normal or random…Until these and other concerns are addressed, this national travel advisory will stand.”
The advisory cites four different instances of misconduct on behalf of American Airlines employees, including one where a black man had to give up his purchased seats because he responded to two white passengers who were being disrespectful and discriminatory toward him, and another where a black woman and her child were removed from a flight because she asked if her stroller could be retrieved from checked baggage before the plane took off.
Following the release of the advisory, American Airlines CEO Doug Parker issued a memo to his staff.
“We fly over borders, walls and stereotypes to connect people from different races, religions, nationalities, economic backgrounds and sexual orientations,” Parker wrote. “We do not and will not tolerate discrimination of any kind.”
Parker said that the airline has reached out to the NAACP to meet with them, according to a report from CNN. Earlier this year the NAACP also issued a traveling warning for black people heading to Missouri.
The warning served as a response to Senate Bill 43, which was signed into law by Gov. Eric Greitens. The bill will make it more difficult to sue for housing or employment discrimination, especially for the latter. Now that the law has gone into effect, fired employees will have to prove that discrimination was the main reason for their firing and not just a contributing factor.
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