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Black Woman Harassed by Seatmate: Delta Did Me Right

Demetria Poe says airline took care of her after white seatmate got confrontational
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 4, 2020 7:50 AM CDT

(Newser) – A young Black kindergarten teacher from Minnesota has a new favorite airline after the way it handled an unpleasant incident with a fellow passenger. Per USA Today, 25-year-old Demetria Poe took a Delta Air Lines flight last month from Minneapolis to Washington, DC, to attend the Commitment March for racial justice. On the way there, Poe says her white seatmate got confrontational, swapping out her American flag face mask for one that said "Blue Lives Matter" and then forcing Poe into a conversation she didn't want to have. After the woman put on her new face covering, Poe says she felt "uncomfortable" and "fearful," and that she tried to ignore her—but then the woman pushed the issue further. "I support blue lives because I support our officers," Poe says the woman informed her as soon as the plane took off, per Poe's Monday Facebook post describing what took place.

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Poe says she told the woman there was no such thing as "blue lives" and noted the wrongful deaths of Black Americans like George Floyd, and that the woman replied with lines like "Africans from the west sold the most slaves." "That woman was trying to entice me into an argument," Poe tells the paper. She says other passengers soon came to her rescue, and flight attendants offered to move Poe's seatmate and told Poe once they'd landed that the other woman "would not be flying with Delta anymore because they do not personally or as a company stand for racism and discrimination." They also upgraded Poe's seat for her return flight and gave her a goodie bag, which included a Black Lives Matter pin with the Delta logo. "When we say Black lives matter, we mean it. You matter to us, Demetria," the airline responded to Poe's online post. Poe's reaction: "If y'all need a brand ambassador let ME know. You matter to me too!" (Read more Delta Air Lines stories.)

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