Dr. Tisha Rowe, an African-American family physician from Houston, was pulled off a recent American Airlines flight and required to cover herself with a blanket before being allowed back on the plane, which was traveling from Jamaica to Miami. You can see above what Dr. Rowe was wearing, thanks to her angry tweet about the episode.
I have no idea why this outfit was found so objectionable; I’ve seen much worse on many flights. On the other hand, a little taste and decorum while flying in close quarters with strangers is basic manners and civility.
Yesterday she said that she had been humiliated in front of her 8-year-old son, and asserted that racial bias was behind the incident. “Had they seen that same issue in a woman who was not a woman of color, they would not have felt empowered to take me off the plane,” Dr. Rowe said. “In pop culture, especially black women with a body like mine, they’re often portrayed as video vixens. So I’ve had to deal with those stereotypes my whole life.”
SHE looks like a “video vixen?” Okay! Whatever you say, doctor!
I did a little checking. As I suspected, the vast, vast majority of women being told that their outfits were too revealing to fly have been white, perhaps, I suspect, because airlines are reluctant to be hit with race-baiting accusations like Rowe’s. Here is rejected female flying garb from earlier this month…
And another from May of this year…
But the squeaky race-baiter gets the grease, so American Airlines apologized and agreed to issue a refund to Dr. Rowe. I don’t argue that she didn’t deserve the apology or the refund. I object to her manner of getting it, which amounted to race-bullying. American even tacitly acknowledge that it was her groundless accusation of racial bias that prompted their action. A spokeswoman said,
“We were concerned about Dr. Rowe’s comments, and reached out to her and our team at the Kingston airport to gather more information about what occurredWe apologize to Dr. Rowe and her son for their experience, and have fully refunded their travel. We are proud to serve customers of all backgrounds.”
The lesson for airlines is, then, that white women can be held to the airlines’ minimal dress code standards, but black women will be able to get away with being a little bit sloppier, and a little bit more immodest. After all, African American always will have the race-card in reserve, and as Americans were taught under the Obama Presidency, they should never hesitate to play it as their “Get Out of Accountability Free” card.