Black Woman Harassed by White Passenger on a Delta Flight Given Gifts and Upgrade

Demetria Poe was harassed by a racist woman on her Delta flight. Delta quickly stepped in to remove the woman, ban her from Delta, and upgrade Demetria for her next flight.

Robin Zlotnick - Author

Sep. 8 2020, Updated 11:52 a.m. ET

Demetria Poe is a kindergarten teacher who lives in Minnesota. Recently, she traveled by plane to Washington D.C. to attend the Commitment March for civil rights. In a viral post on Facebook, she explains how she was harassed by a fellow passenger, a white woman with a "Blue Lives Matter" and the steps Delta Air Lines took to address it.

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She writes that she helped the white woman with her bags before she sat down next to her. She left her seat and then came back wearing a "Blue Lives Matter" mask and matching pin. She was silent until take off, but the moment the plane left the ground she started the conversation by saying to Demetria, "I support blue lives because I support our officers."

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Of course the woman waited until they were in the air before she started her racist rant. She knew she'd be thrown off the plane if they were still on the ground. In any case, Demetria responded by explaining that blue lives do not exist and that "Blue Lives Matter" is just "a rebuttal to the fact that BLM has been disregarded time after time after time."

Then, the woman went on to say some extremely outwardly racist stuff, including, "Having Blacks in American has been the best thing for them because they can work their way up." It got to the point where fellow passengers in the area started defending Demetria against this racist.

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Flight attendants came over to check on her, and they offered to move the racist woman to a different seat. "Once we landed in DC," Demetria wrote, "they told me that she would not be flying with Delta anymore because they do not personally or as a company stand for racism and discrimination."

You love to see a company stand up for its customers against racism and bigotry. But that's not where the story ends. On Demetria's flight home, she received another apology from Delta, this time in the form of an upgraded seat and a bag of gifts, including a notebook, a luggage tag, and even a Delta branded Black Lives Matter pin.

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Demetria shared her story because she was impressed that Delta took such a hard stance against racism and she wants to urge other companies to do the same. 

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She writes that in situations like hers, "Companies need to take a stance!" She will only fly Delta from now on because of the way she was treated. "At this point, make me an ambassador, Delta," she wrote.

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Speaking about the incident with USA Today, Demetria said, "It's so ironic because I got on this flight to go to the 'Commitment March.' I'm marching for my something that my grandparents had to march for, and I'm sitting here in the face of racism once again.

"I can't escape it. Now I'm having someone who is trying to test my humanity and my history all in one breath." Demetria felt like she shouldn't engage with the woman spouting racist nonsense at her, saying, "I feel like in that situation they do want to see a Black woman get angry."

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She is grateful that some of the other passengers and the flight attendants stepped in to defend her. "I felt the genuine and sincere concern the flight attendants had for me and the people around me," she said. 

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"I was shocked. I was happy, but I was still fearful. Living in Minnesota, I have seen how things get blown up. I just really wanted to get off the flight."

Of Delta's response to the situation, Demetria said, "This is a major corporation saying that Black lives matter. It was very heartwarming. I cried because I look at God using me for the movement." 

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