Passenger Asks Flight Attendant to Move Him Because He Reportedly Didn’t Want to Sit Next to Black Girl

Illustration for article titled Passenger Asks Flight Attendant to Move Him Because He Reportedly Didn’t Want to Sit Next to Black Girl
Photo: Taylor Richardson

A negrophobic airline passenger was so concerned that blackness was a communicable disease that he reportedly asked a flight attendant to accommodate his Caucasian autoimmune disorder by moving him to another seat.


Sixteen-year-old Taylor Richardson was aboard a United Airlines flight from Denver to Jacksonville, Fla. when a gentleman of the enslaver persuasion objected to Taylor’s proximity to his personal space. The next day, Taylor decided to share her experience on Twitter:

Wait…That’s it?

Honestly, this isn’t very newsworthy. While the man’s actions can be misconstrued as racially insensitive by some, we must always remember that there are some people whose genes make them, to varying degrees, physically allergic to blackness. I don’t even know why The Root’s managing editor even asked me to write this story. Taylor didn’t even seem mad.

Oh, I see. Taylor is some kind of genius whiz kid.

She’s a future astronaut who raised enough money to send 1,000 girls to see Ava DuVernay’s A Wrinkle in Time. Not only is she an advocate of black girls becoming involved in STEM—science, technology, engineering and math—but she also fundraises to send girls to Space Camp and pushes her smart black girls agenda everywhere she goes. She was even selected to…


Oh, I see now!

Taylor Richardson was selected to The Root’s 2018 list of Young Futurists, which—and I’m not quite sure about this—technically makes her our niece. I’ll have to check with our founder, Henry Louis Gates, for the exact genealogy but I know we’re at least playcousins. This makes me uncomfortable, not because of the nepotism aspects, but because it’s not really a story. Taylor wasn’t even outraged about her brush with a man who apparently believes in Bluetooth racism.


In fact, when United asked for specifics about the incident, Taylor kindly noted that it wasn’t United’s fault.


And that is the story.

It is not newsworthy that even the purest, most excellent form of blackness is still despicable to some. The existence of racism does not necessitate a headline. But here is the thing:

Look at how beautiful Taylor Richardson is. Gaze at her remarkable kindness. Look at how she handled the situation with grace, dignity and poise.


That is blackness encapsulated.

To swallow hate and ingest inhumanity. To be demeaned and mistreated. To absorb all this violence all your life while you ain’t doing shit but trying to get to Jacksonville. And then, after gulping it all down…


You have to smile about it.

If I were Taylor Richardson, I’d want to leave this planet, too. Maybe there are no white people in space.


And that is the story.

World-renowned wypipologist. Getter and doer of "it." Never reneged, never will. Last real negus alive.


Nunna Yorz - American Justice Is A Joke

“Honestly, this isn’t very newsworthy.”

I’m inclined to agree. I’ve had more than one run in with white nonsense on a plane. One that comes to mind where someone asked to move was 11-12 years ago. We had just boarded a flight from Boston to Phoenix. I was sitting in my window seat minding my own business, when a late-teens or maybe early 20s generic white girl sits next to me. I go back to listening to Talib Kweli’s Eardrum album, and next thing I hear over the music is a deep voice saying “Don’t sit there. That looks like trouble.” I look up and see a pretty generic older white guy, his eyes darting back and forth between his daughter and me. He had a flight attendant move his daughter and I had an empty seat for the flight.

Yes I of course was offended. My first instinct was to want to make it clear to this dickhead that I am a person, not a fucking “that.” But I had to be mindful because a lot of times the person pointing out the racism gets treated as the problem instead of, you know, the actual person causing the problem. So like many others I swallowed this microaggression and kept it moving. It seems like nothing but let that shit kind of shit happen a few times and you’ll find yourself quickly getting fed up.

So white people, if you ever wonder why we come here and talk shit, its because most of us have a lifetime worth of stories they can tell you just like that one.