A black nursery school teacher from Minneapolis is praising Delta Air Lines for standing up to racism after she was harassed by a white woman during a flight to Washington, DC, to take part in a civil rights rally.
Demetria Poe, 25, was flying to the capital to attend the “Commitment March: Get Your Knee Off Our Necks” on Aug. 28 when the woman, whom she had helped with her bags, swapped out her mask for one that read “Blue Lives Matter.”
“I support blue lives because I support our officers,” the woman said, according to Poe, who wrote in a lengthy post on Facebook about the incident.
“I explained to her blue lives do not exist. The life of an officer exist but there is no such thing as a blue life and that statement is nothing but a rebuttal to the fact that (Black Lives Matter) has been disregarded time after time after time,” she wrote.
Poe said the woman continued to harass her by making several inflammatory comments, including that being in America has been the best thing for blacks because they can work their way up.
She told USA Today that the woman also mentioned George Floyd, the black man who died from asphyxiation after a Minneapolis cop shoved his knee into his neck.
“Floyd didn’t die from suffocation. He was on drugs,” the woman said, according to Poe.
“The flight attendants came over to check on me and offered to move her. Once we landed in DC 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,” Poe wrote.
She added that on her flight back home, she received a seat upgrade and some gifts from Delta, including a BLM airline pin.
Delta’s official Facebook account commented on Poe’s post: “When we say Black lives matter, we mean it. You matter to us, Demetria.”
“That woman was trying to entice me into an argument because there was no need for her to flip that mask in my presence,” Poe told USA Today. “She didn’t do it for anyone else. It was as if she was making a statement and wanted me to know.”
She added: “I’m marching for 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.”
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