• 31 May, 2024
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Three black passengers sued American Airlines against discrimination. 

Three black men, namely Alvin Jackson, Emmanuel Jean Joseph, and Xavier Veal, have filed an impeachment against American Airlines for the discrimination they faced on their flight. The suers or plaintiffs claimed that they were discriminated against on the basis of their race and added to the fact that they were forced along with eight other passengers for a complaint of body odor of an unidentified passenger. 

The flight was scheduled to travel from Phoenix in Arizona to New York, departing from the John F Kennedy International Airport on January 05, 2024. The plaintiffs, along with five other black male passengers, were asked to deboard the American Airlines 832 Flight. After removing them from the plane, they were let know by the representative that they were removed against a complaint made by a white about a passenger’s body odor. 

The complaint against American Airlines says that “(O)nce they reached the jet bridge, they saw that several other Black men were also being removed from the plane. In fact, it appeared to Plaintiffs that American had ordered all of the Black male passengers on Flight 832 off the plane.”

However, after an hour, the passengers were allowed to reboard the flight as there were no more flights to New York JFK Airport on the same day. And for this, the lawsuit says, “ “Plaintiffs then had to reboard the plane and endure the stares of the largely white passengers who viewed them as the cause of the substantial delay. They suffered during the entire flight home, and the entire incident was traumatic, upsetting, scary, humiliating, and degrading”. 

All three suitors also say that all that happened was wrong, and they were embarrassed and humiliated because they were removed from the flight. 

One among the suitors, Johnson, said that "Let’s be clear - traveling while Black should not be characterized by humiliation and disparate interruptions. While we recognize a brand’s ability to evolve beyond past mistakes, part of that evolution includes continued accountability for any deviation from core values,” in an interview with NPR.  

The suitors didn’t know each other before the flight and were complete strangers to one another; neither were they siting together. However, they were asked to reboard after an hour and they had to face much more. 

They, thus, also say the following to The Guardian, “What happened to us was wrong. Imagine a flight attendant ordering every white person off a plane because of a complaint about one white person. That would never happen. But that is what happened to us,” and “There is no explanation other than the color of our skin. American Airlines singled us out for being Black, embarrassed us, and humiliated us. Clearly, this was discrimination”. 

While talking to CBS News, American Airlines said that “We take all claims of discrimination very seriously and want our customers to have a positive experience when they choose to fly with us. Our teams are currently investigating the matter, as the claims do not reflect our core values or our purpose of caring for people.”

The suitors after this have claimed “declaratory relief, just compensation for their pain and suffering, a punitive damage award sufficient to deter American from discriminating against Black passengers in the future,” as well as attorneys fees for the embarrassment they faced due to the “ridiculous behavior” of the airline. 

What does racial discrimination mean? 

Racism is a sort of prejudice that typically consists of unfavorable emotional responses to fellow members of a group, accepting unfavorable stereotypes, and discriminating against people based on their race; in extreme circumstances, it can result in violence. When someone is treated unfairly due to the color of their skin or their heritage, it is racism.