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When all else fails, play the victim.
A Black Lives Matter activist and award-winning poet said she was ejected from an American Airlines flight for questioning a flight attendant’s decision to replace a non-English speaking couple with an English-speaking one at an emergency exit.
(Maybe the reason was so someone who can actually understand instructions would be there in case of an emergency? Just a thought.)
Prior to a March 25 flight from Charlotte, North Carolina, to Atlanta, Georgia, a flight attendant asked the passengers sitting in an emergency exit row whether they understood English. When it was apparent one couple did not, she changed their seats with those of another couple, according to the New York Daily News.
Although their move was made without objection from either couple, Imani Cezanne, the 26-year-old poet and activist, objected for them, according to the New York Daily News.
Cezanne’s also a community organizer — who could have guessed?
“This is 2016, why don’t they have at least the translation in other languages to at least explain what’s going on … knowing they cater to people who speak other languages?” Cezanne complained.
“That couple looked frustrated and upset because they physically had to get up … I felt it was necessary for me to say something,” she said.
A 1990 flight regulation requires that passengers sitting in emergency exit rows speak English.
When discussing her complaint with a friend she’d called, and with passengers seated next to her, the flight attendant returned.
“Are you going to be a problem?” the attendant asked according to Cezanne.
“Are you going to be a problem?” Cezanne shot back. “Why would you ask me that?”
At that point, the flight attendant turned around and entered the flight deck where she was soon replaced by another crew member who knelt down and asked her to leave because the attendant felt “threatened.”
An American Airlines spokeswoman told the Daily News that Cezanne was an “unruly” passenger, and local police had to be called for her failure to comply with instructions.
She gave a running play-by-play of her account of the incident in this Twitter thread.
On the very day that she was ejected from the flight, her first thought was payoff. She tweeted.
Who knows a lawyer? Specifically one that is well versed in racism/discrimination. American Airlines bout to cash this Black girl out.
— Imani Cezanne (@imanicezanne) March 25, 2016
Finally, she used the incident as a springboard to this poem-rant she called “Flying While Black.”
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