A rapper has accused American Airlines of racism after encountering an extended flight delay and cancellation.
Olubowale Victor Akintimehin, more commonly known as Wale, was flying from New York JFK to Los Angeles on American Airlines in first class.
His flight was delayed and eventually cancelled. He complained to American on Twitter.
But when American responded, Wale added a twist to the story, accusing AA staff of racism:
AA asked for clarification and Wale stated:
Here u go . Y’all racist and I wanna know what happens now. Megumi and Don is their names.
American told Fox News it is “concerned about the comments from Mr. Akintimehin” and “reaching out to him to gather more information about what occurred.”
Discrimination has no place at American Airlines. From the team members we hire to the customers we serve, inclusion and diversity is a way of life at American. Every day, our team members work to make American a place where people of all generations, races, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations, religious affiliations and backgrounds feel welcome and valued.
I don’t dismiss his claims, nor do I doubt passengers of color may experience the same sort of discrimination that I experienced when I was kid and was routinely told I was in the wrong line when boarding with first class passengers. Not the same thing, but I know gate agents make faulty assumptions based on appearance, including age and race. That does not excuse behavior, but that’s not necessarily racism…prejudice or ignorance is not the same thing as racism.
I’m writing about this now in hopes that the story will be clarified. Two agents could lose their jobs because of this. Hopefully the truth will come out.
Let’s see if the NAACP reinstates its “travel advisory” against American Airlines…