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Flight Attendant Unknowingly Engages in Heartfelt Racism Conversation with Airline CEO



Racism is an uncomfortable topic to talk about, especially following the murder of George Floyd, but the CEO of American Airlines and an African-American flight attendant working for Southwest Airlines showed hope is not lost.

In a post to her Facebook page, JacqueRae Hill described how sad she had been when she drove to work Monday following Floyd’s death and the subsequent protests, and how she spotted an older male passenger reading the book White Fragility on her flight.

Hill approached American CEO Doug Parker without knowing his identity to discuss the book, which brought her to tears. As the two people sat next to each other on the plane, they exchanged a dialogue about how important it is to address racism in the battle to stop it.

After about 10 minutes and plenty of tears, Parker revealed that he was the CEO of American Airlines and was on the Southwest flight to Panama City, Florida, since all of the American seats were sold out.

Hill reached out and hugged Parker, telling him that her mother works as a customer service manager for American at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Washington, D.C.

As Parker was leaving the plane, he walked past Hill and handed her a handwritten note with his email address letting her know he would be there if she wanted to continue their conversation.

The two snapped a photo with the CEO, which Hill shared on her Facebook page. She said about Parker, “We are not so different in what we want out of life. All we both wanted in that moment was peace and to be understood.”

In a letter to American Airlines executives, Parker said, “The best I could do was tell her that the book talks about how white people are horrible at talking about racism, and that what we need are real conversations. She agreed. I told her I was trying to learn and through tears and a mask, she said, ‘So am I.’”

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