She's a Black Doctor. Delta Staff Couldn't Believe It

Tamika Cross alleges 'blatant discrimination'
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 14, 2016 8:16 AM CDT
She's a Black Doctor. Delta Staff Couldn't Believe It
A Delta Air Lines plane arrives at Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport.   (AP Photo/Branden Camp)

When Tamika Cross heard a mid-flight call for a doctor to help an unresponsive passenger aboard a Delta flight from Detroit to Minneapolis, she immediately threw her hand in the air. "Oh no, sweetie, put [your] hand down, we are looking for actual physicians or nurses," the OB/GYN, who's black, says she was told by a flight attendant. The "blatant discrimination" didn't end there, Cross wrote in a Sunday Facebook post shared 36,000 times. Once she conveyed that she was in fact a doctor, Cross says the flight attendant bombarded her with questions about her credentials and why she'd been in Detroit before ushering a white male who said he was a physician and "fit the 'description of a doctor'" to the unresponsive passenger.

Cross says the flight attendant later returned to seek her advice on the passenger—who was treated by paramedics in Minneapolis, per MLive—and she assisted "despite the choice words I had saved up for her. The patient and his wife weren't the problem." The flight attendant later apologized and offered to give her Delta SkyMiles, but "I don't want SkyMiles in exchange for blatant discrimination," Cross says. "I'm sure many of my fellow young, corporate America working women of color can all understand my frustration when I say I'm sick of being disrespected." The Washington Post reports her post has inspired other black female doctors to speak out against stereotypes on Twitter using the hashtag #WhatADoctorLooksLike. Delta says it's investigating. (More Delta Air Lines stories.)

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