It’s 2016, but it seems some people haven’t received the memo. Case in point, that time (just last week) when a Delta Airlines employee refused to allow a black, female doctor to assist a passenger during an emergency.
Dr. Tamika Cross is an OBGYN resident at Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital in Houston, Texas. Dr. Cross posted about a recent experience on a Delta Airlines flight which made her “blood boil.” She was on a Delta flight when a fellow passenger was in distress. She says:
“I naturally jumped into Doctor mode as no one else was getting up. Unbuckle my seatbelt and throw my tray table up and as I’m about to stand up, flight attendant says ‘everyone stay calm, it’s just a night terror, he is alright.'”
Cross continued to keep a mindful watch. A few minutes later, she says a flight attendant yells, “call overhead for a physician on board.”
What she describes next is infuriating.
“I raised my hand to grab her attention. She said to me ‘oh no sweetie put ur 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‘ I tried to inform her that I was a physician but I was continually cut off by condescending remarks.”
Based upon what evidence could this flight attendant possibly draw the instant conclusion that Dr. Cross wasn’t a doctor? Could it possibly be because she is a young, black woman, rather than an old, white man?
Some would say, wait! Don’t jump to that conclusion! Give them the benefit of the doubt.
And then, it happened. When the overhead page went out to the cabin of the plane, “any physician on board please press your button,” Dr. Cross pressed her button. The flight attendant, rather than apologize to the doctor, she said, “oh wow you’re an actual physician? Let me see your credentials. What type of Doctor are you? Where do you work? Why were you in Detroit?”
While Dr. Cross was blocked in her seat, another physician offers to help the ill man. She writes:
“Another ‘seasoned’ white male approaches the row and says he is a physician as well. She says to me ‘thanks for your help but he can help us, and he has his credentials.’ (Mind you he hasn’t shown anything to her. Just showed up and fit the “description of a doctor”) I stay seated. Mind blown. Blood boiling.”
Many struggle with the idea of white privilege. They often cite their own stagnate financial advancement as proof that white privilege is a farcical notion perpetuated by the “race-baiting” left.
In this situation, this woman’s gender and race absolutely played into the flight attendant’s actions. For whatever reason, this individual didn’t believe a physician could be a young black woman. Based completely on the race and gender of two individuals, she deemed the old white guy more credible than the young black woman.
That can’t be denied. It happened. And, don’t think for a second that this is an isolated incident. Recently a bank overly-scrutinized a young, black woman’s paycheck because they didn’t believe it could possibly be anything other than a fake check. Yeah, she was an architect. This happens daily. This IS a very real problem.
Just imagine how frustrating it would be if everyday you were forced to face such hyper-scrutiny. Really give that some thought. How would it impact your worldview?
Delta Airlines has released the standard anti-discrimination boilerplate and say they will be investigating the incident. NBC reports, “In response to criticism on Facebook, a Delta representative wrote the airline ‘condemns discrimination toward our customers in regards to age, race, nationality, religion, sexual orientation or gender.'”
You can read Dr. Tamika Cross’ full Facebook post, here:
Featured image via UT Health and Wikipedia