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Delta Air Flight Attendant Under Investigation Following Racist Remarks

First Posted: Oct 18, 2016 06:20 AM EDT
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Tails of two Delta Air Lines jets are visible at their gates.
(Photo : Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

When Tamika Cross, a physician, boarded her flight from Detroit to Minneapolis, she didn't expect that her help would be needed. But sometime after takeoff, a man two rows in front of her became unresponsive, so she went into her "doctor mode."

What's even more unexpected, however, was that she would get a racist remark for attempting to treat a patient. According to the Chicago Tribune, when she flagged down one of the crew members to offer to help, the flight attendant told her, "Oh no, sweetie, put (your) hand down. We are looking for actual physicians or nurses or some type of medical personnel, we don't have time to talk to you."

For Cross, the attendant's skepticism translate to racism - because she's a black female in the field. Talking about the experience on a post on Facebook, she said that she was "sick of being disrespected" as a black woman in her profession, adding that the airline has been discriminating.

Delta, meanwhile, shared a statement that the company is conducting their own investigation on the incident, adding that they take accusations of discrimination very seriously. The company also stated that three medical professionals were actually identified in the flight in question, and only one was able to produce documentation of medical training. The statement is different from Cross's account of the incident, however, the physician told TIME that she personally did not see credentials being presented, nor did she see a third physician involved.

And while she believes that the incident was unique to one flight attendant, she said that she wants a public apology from Delta, adding that the incident can be a learning opportunity for everyone. This is especially important as it calls up incidents of people of color who claim to be racially profiled despite being professionals - including Sentaor Tim Scott, who made waves with a speech in Senate when he recounted being questioned by the police due to his race.

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