News October 22, 2018 at 09:00 am

A white man racially abused an elderly black woman on a plane, no airline official lifted a hand

Nduta Waweru October 22, 2018 at 09:00 am

October 22, 2018 at 09:00 am | News

Photo: Screengrab, David Lawrence/Facebook

A European airline has come under criticism for not addressing an incident on one of their flights, where a white man racially abused an elderly black woman and still kept his seat.

In a video that has now gone viral on social media, a white passenger in Ryanair flight from Barcelona, Spain, to London was seen making racist remarks against a black woman with whom he was sharing seats. He not only refused to sit next to her but also threatened to push the woman (now identified as Mrs Gayle, aged 77) to another seat if she refused to move.

Recorded by London-based musician David Lawrence, the video shows a number of passengers and an airline crew trying to intervene. Despite calls from the passengers to get the offender booted out of the plane, the flight took off on time.

“When you watch the footage, you’ll see it starts to unfold where this man starts a torrent of abuse, absolutely disgusting, despicable words thrown at this elderly black woman,” Lawrence told the CNN.

According to Mrs Gayle’s daughter, who was seated a few seats back, her mother had arthritis and was unable to get up as fast to allow the white passenger pass, leading to the barrage of insults and abuses.

“I know that if I was behaving like he was – or any other black person for that matter – police would have been called and we would have been kicked off the flight.”

“Mum’s really feeling upset and very stressed about this situation, on top of the grief she’s already experiencing. As for me, I’m upset about the whole thing too – the fact that the passenger wasn’t taken off the plane and how the situation was dealt with,” she told the Huffington Post

The airline ended up moving Mrs. Gayle.

After the video went viral, the airline tweeted that they have reported the incident to Essex Police.

Essex Police confirmed that it had been made aware of the incident.

“We are working closely with Ryanair and the Spanish authorities on the investigation,” reported the Telegraph. 

Many social media users have called out the airline for its inaction, with Labour MP David Lammy, who represents the Tottenham area of London, calling for a boycott.

 

 

 

 

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