Black doctor says Delta didn’t believe she was a doctor and someone almost died as a result

In “WTF is wrong with people” news (like you need more of it), Tamika Cross is saying that Delta didn’t believe she was a doctor because she was black. Oh, and this all happened while a man was having a medical emergency on her flight from Detroit to Minneapolis. She says they told her, “We’re looking for actual physicians,” which, uh, say what? Cross is an obstetrician and a gynecologist, or in other words, a physician. The doc wrote in a now viral Facebook post that she raised her hand to let the flight attendants know that she could help the man who was having an emergency and they allegedly told her, “Oh no, sweetie, put [your] hand down. We are looking for actual physicians or nurses or some type of medical personnel, we don’t have time to talk to you.”

The fact that she called her “sweetie” in addition to not buying that a young black woman could be a doctor really ties up the whole scene nicely (aka horribly). Cross wrote that she responded to a series of questions when she volunteered again, writing in her Facebook post, “[The flight attendant] said ‘let me see your credentials. What type of Doctor are you? Where do you work? Why were you in Detroit?” Cross writes that a white male also approached and said he was a physician. The flight attendant went with the white male, who also didn’t have “credentials” on him.

To make matters worse, Cross alleges that about 10-minutes later, the attendant (who Cross describes a little rudely as a “heifer,” but hey, when you’re mad and feel disrespected, sometimes you fight fire with fire, I guess) asked her to assist the white male doctor. Later, the flight attendant apologized and offered Cross “SkyMiles.” Cross said she, “kindly refused. This is going higher than her. I don’t want skymiles [sic] in exchange for blatant discrimination.” The OBGYN wrote, “Whether this was race, age, gender discrimination, it’s not right. She will not get away with this….and I will still get my skymiles [sic].” Damn straight she will.

Delta responded via Facebook comments to Cross, saying the incident “does not reflect the Delta culture. We condemn discrimination toward our customers.” Let’s hope so.

In response to Cross’s post, women and people of color are posting pics of themselves in uniform on social media with the hashtag #WhatDoctorsLookLike to raise awareness and demand more of an official apology from the airline.

A Facebook comment is nice, but a public statement about how the flight attendant was punished for unprofessional behavior (if they were) and their restating their stance on discrimination would go a much longer way.

Tags: race