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NAACP Warns Travelers

TempThe NAACP issued warnings to African-American passengers flying on American Airlines. In a news release, the organization described four "troublesome issues." One is described below:

"An African-American man was required to relinquish his purchased seats aboard a flight from Washington, D.C. to Raleigh-Durham, merely because he responded to disrespectful and discriminatory comments directed toward him by two unruly white passengers."

The release explains the impetus for the warning:

"The NAACP for several months now has been monitoring a pattern of disturbing incidents reported by African-American passengers, specific to American Airlines. In light of these confrontations, we have today taken the action of issuing national advisory alerting travelers—especially African Americans—to exercise caution, in that booking and boarding flights on American Airlines could subject them disrespectful, discriminatory or unsafe conditions."

American Airlines didn't respond about the specific incidents but invited the NAACP to meet with headquarters staff. A spokesperson also said, "We do not and we will not tolerate discrimination of any kind. We have reached out to the NAACP and are eager to meet with them to listen to their issues and concerns." 

Discussion:

  • American Airlines isn't saying much. What else, if anything, should the airline do and say?
  • Read the four incidents described in the news release. What's your view of these situations? What else, if anything, would you like to know about these situations?
  • Assess the news release. What works well about the NAACP's argument, and what could be improved?