A black Southwest Airways flight attendant had a heartfelt dialogue on race and racism with a white passenger who she solely later realized was Doug Parker, the CEO of rival American Airways — all as a result of she noticed him with a e book on the subject.
JacqueRae Hill, 38, of Dallas, drove to work Friday morning with a “heavy heart” over George Floyd’s police-custody loss of life in Minneapolis and the following protests, she advised ABC.
However her spirits lifted throughout the work day when she stopped to talk with Parker — who she didn’t acknowledge — however was intrigued by the e book he had with him, “White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism” by Robin DiAngelo.
“So how is the book?” Hill advised ABC she started the dialog, as she sat down subsequent to Parker.
Parker advised Hill he was midway via the e book, however it “really point[ed] out how important these conversations on race are,” Hill advised ABC.
“As I began to respond the tears just start[ed] falling,” she recalled.
“He was just like, ‘I’m so sorry, and it’s all our fault,’ ” Hill advised USA Immediately. “We have to have these conversations [about race]. I was like, ‘I’m so sorry. But thank you. Oh my God, thank you.’ ”
Parker stated in an e mail to different American Airways executives Saturday that he “felt wholly inadequate” however “knew it was a special moment.”
American Airways CEO Doug ParkerAFP through Getty Pictures“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,” in response to USA Immediately. “She agreed. I told her I was trying to learn and through tears and a mask, she said, ‘So am I.’ ”
It wasn’t till the top of the 10-minute dialog that Parker advised Hill his title and place with American Airways.
He was flying Southwest as a result of his airline’s flight to Panama Metropolis was booked, in response to USA Immediately.
Hill advised Parker her mom works for American, as a customer support supervisor at Reagan Nationwide Airport in Washington, DC.
Earlier than leaving the flight, Parker gave Hill a “thank you” be aware, hand-written on the again of his boarding cross.
“Thank you so much for coming back to speak with me,” says the be aware, shared by Hill in a now-viral Fb put up. “It was a gift from God and an inspiration to me.”
The be aware included Parker’s e mail handle, with an invite to succeed in out “if you’d like to continue the conversation.”
Hill’s mom, Patti, reached out to Parker, who responded that “your daughter’s visit was a gift to me.”
“Reading a book is one thing,” he wrote. “Spending time with a kind, strong, young black woman who is hurting and trying to learn from others is another thing altogether.”
“How did we let her go to Southwest?” he joked.