White Man Verbally Assaults Older Black Woman on Flight, Calls Her an ‘Ugly Black Bastard,’ Airline Does Nothing

Illustration for article titled White Man Verbally Assaults Older Black Woman on Flight, Calls Her an ‘Ugly Black Bastard,’ Airline Does Nothing
Screenshot: Facebook Video

Racism, once again, reared its ugly head in the form of a pasty-faced colonizer who had the nerve to call an elderly black woman he was seated near on a flight an “ugly black bastard.” And despite this display of verbal abuse the man was not, I repeat, was not, removed from the plane for acting the way his face looks—a whole entire ass.


Can you imagine if a black man spoke to an older white woman in this way? He would have been booted from that plane faster than Rosa Parks on a Montgomery bus.


Activists are calling for a boycott of Ryanair Airlines after its staff failed to remove the man after he reigned a torrent of abuse on the black woman on a flight from Barcelona to London.

According to a report from RTV-6, the 77-year-old Jamaican-British woman, identified as Mrs. Gayle, and her daughter were coming back from vacation to commemorate the first anniversary of her Mrs. Gayle’s husband’s death. The woman’s daughter said her parents had been married more than 50 years, and that her mother was arthritic and did not move fast enough for this demanding Caucrazy-ian.

When her daughter explained her mother was disabled, he replied, “I don’t care whether she’s fucking disabled or not—if I tell her to get out she gets out.”

The three passengers went back and forth after Mrs. Gayle’s daughter told the man not to yell at her mother.


“Don’t tell me what to do,” the man responded.

Later, he said: “I tell you, I hope somebody sits there because I don’t want to sit next to you,” and pointed to the seat between them. Then he called the woman an “ugly fucking cow.”


And then: “I’ll tell you this, if you don’t go to another seat, I’ll push you to another seat.”

When the woman spoke to him in a Jamaican accent, he responded, “Don’t talk to me in a fucking foreign language, you stupid, ugly cow.”


A passenger sitting behind the man tried to intervene and urged him to stop.

“I will carry on as far as I can with this ugly black bastard,” the man responded.


The useless flight attendant went to great lengths to appease the man—first asking the woman if she would like to move to another seat; the woman told him she would like to sit near her daughter (she also told the white man harassing her, “you stink,” and said she would kick him.)

The flight attendant told the man to calm down and said he would talk to his supervisor.


Ultimately, the woman was moved, and the belligerent man was able to remain on the flight.

Footage recorded by fellow passenger David Lawrence has as of Monday been shared more than 4.5 million times on Facebook.


The 56-year-old musician’s own parents, like Mrs. Gayle, were part of the Windrush generation, who came to the UK to help build the country and are now being shat upon.


Lawrence told CNN Sunday in a phone interview: “When you watch the footage, you’ll see it starts to unfold where this man starts a torrent of abuse, absolutely disgusting, despicable words thrown at this elderly black woman.”

Lawrence said the flight attendant could have called the captain, escorted the man off the flight or called the police.


“I have witnessed firsthand this type of racism here in Europe for years,” Lawrence said. “There was no way of us sharing that with the world.”

“Here I am, now, in this time, where I do have technology, and I’m able to use it in order to show people proof,” Lawrence said.


Ryanair, for its meaningless part, has just made a short statement so far, tweeting on Sunday: “We are aware of this video and have reported this matter to Essex Police.”

The latest report is that Essex police are investigating the matter.

As for Mrs. Gayle, neither she nor her family has heard from the airline as of press time.

Ms. Bronner Helm is the Senior Editorial Director at Colorlines. Mouthy Black Girl. Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Fellow. Shea Butter Feminist. Virgo Sun, Aries Moon.

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I can’t stand seeing this.  Only one person besides her daughter said anything.  Even the flight attendant was weak.  To the so called white allies, this is why we don’t believe y’all.  Only one person stepped in to stop it.  This woman did nothing wrong and had to deal with this foolishness.  People were walking around not caring and sitting not caring.  Say something. Get involved.  Stop folks from acting like this.