Delta Just Showed What’s Important To Them (It’s Not Always Money)

by SharonKurheg

You could make an argument that airlines are only in it for the money. If you did, I don’t think anyone would contradict you. After all, they’ve gotten bailout after bailout over the years. And that’s on top of all the ways they’ve figured out to nickel and dime us for everything from checked luggage to choosing our seat. So yeah, as a business, I could see how money is very important to them.

And yet, I think Delta still has…a good set of morals and values? Yes, that’s it. Read on…

Demetria P. is a smart, enterprising woman who looks like she will have a great future ahead of her. An elementary school teacher by profession, she’s the founder and CEO of a tutoring company, Scholar School LLC, based in Minneapolis. And she’s only 25!

Demetria, who is Black, was on a Delta flight to Washington DC recently, when she became involved in a very uncomfortable racial situation. Here’s what she posted on her Facebook:

So on my way to DC Thursday, a white woman who I helped with her bags sat next to me on the plane. She left her sit and came back with a blue lives matter mask on and a pin to match. She proceeded to remain silent until take off but once we took off she started the conversation with me by saying, “I support blue lives because I support our officers.”

I explained to her blue lives do not exist. The life of an officer exist but there is no such thing as a blue life and that statement is nothing but a rebuttal to the fact that BLM has been disregarded time after time after time.

She proceed to make all types of statements like, “Africans from the west sold the most slaves,” “The reason Blacks we’re 3/4th was because the south would have too many votes,” “Having Blacks in America has been the best thing for them because they can work they way up.”

Long story short the white women and man who sat around us snapppped on this lady in my defense. The flight attendants came over to check on me and offered to move her. Once we landed in DC they told me that she would not be flying with Delta anymore because they do not personally or as a company stand for racism and discrimination.

So yesterday on my flight home I got a special delivery, my seat was upgraded before I even boarded, and I got some gifts from Delta.

I said all this to say that it’s time and situations like these were these companies need to take a stance! This furthers why I will only fly Delta Air Lines! At this point make me an ambassador Delta

I just thank God that this didn’t flip onto me because too many cases Black people are guilty until proven innocent

“I come as one but I stand as 10,000” -Maya Angelou

Here’s what Delta gave her:

Besides the seat upgrade and all the goodies, the best part was the pin Delta gave her:

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I’ve thought about what happened in the situation, from a business point of view. The flight attendants offering to move the bigoted woman so she wouldn’t bother Demetria could normally just be seen as a way to “put out a fire.” Giving Demetria the upgrade on the way home could arguably be seen as a simple gesture to soothe a customer who had a bad experience on one of their planes. You know, service recovery.

But putting the racist woman on their “Do Not Fly” list showed that Delta was willing to do the right thing. And the #BLM pin with the Delta logo? You KNOW they didn’t just have that made for Demetria – it shows that #BLM is an important part of Delta’s culture.

Y’know, as embarrassed as I am that someone with the same skin color as me could be so hateful, and as glad as I am that, in the end, Demetria wound up with a happy ending, I think my strongest emotion at the moment is pride and trust in Delta. You don’t always get to say that about airlines nowadays.

Screen Shot 2020-09-03 at 6.11.56 PM.png

Delta Air Lines: When we say Black lives matter, we mean it. You matter to us, Demetria.

*** Many thanks to Demetria for allowing us to share her words, photos and story.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary


Brian September 17, 2020 - 9:39 am

That is disappointing. I don’t know what all was said, but to accuse someone who wears a blue lives matter mask and pin of being a racist it’s very narrow-minded. BLM is a hate group, whose leader has repeatedly stated that she supports looting and the murder of police officers. And before any of you accuse me of being a racist you need to understand that I grew up in a mixed race family. We were taught that everyone had equal value and you never judge or value someone from the color of their skin.

Hopefully there was more to it than what what is described in this article. Perhaps Demetria was being polite by not explicitly indicating racist comments.

SharonKurheg September 17, 2020 - 10:09 am

Just like someone else did earlier, you hit the nail on the head. “We were taught that everyone had equal value and you never judge or value someone from the color of their skin.” Your parents instilled something wonderful in you and I hope you still follow through with that. If everyone had that mindset there would be no need for BLM.

Mark Butterfield September 17, 2020 - 9:41 am

Interesting article. So basically if someone supports the police, they are anti-BLM? If someone disagrees with you, then they are a bigot? I think this is the biggest problem we have right now. We are supposed to respect everyone’s opinion. I also believe it’s OK to offer to them a different opinion for their consideration. Dialog is the only way to get people to become closer and respect each other.

SharonKurheg September 17, 2020 - 10:06 am

You can have dialog until you run out of breath. But unless you come into the dialog with an open mind, nothing is going to change. That woman’s mind was not the least bit open. But the people who stood up for Demetria while she had to go through that? And the Delta FAs’? Absolutely.

Neo Mac September 17, 2020 - 7:46 pm

Although if unsolicited by the nature of the conversation, (in which case both should have kept their mouths shut or changed the topic), two of assertions alleged to have been stated by the outspoken women were true or partly true. “Africans from the west sold the most slaves,” [True, no doubt about the facts there] “The reason Blacks we’re 3/4th was because the south would have too many votes,” [True except the ratio was smaller 3/5ths, which was even a better deal for the anti-slavery advocates who originally insisted on zero to make sure that the South could never win in the new Congress. In the end, the anti-slavery fore fathers settled for this compromise as the best means to the end of securing ratified Constitution complete with a Bill of Rights that by and through its own legality would eventually render it impossible for the slave states to be able to continue slavery] “Having Blacks in America has been the best thing for them because they can work they way up.” [This one sounds totally uncalled for. All who’ve managed to make their way to America, no matter how or why, have been blessed with the “best thing for them to be able to ‘work their way up'”so to speak, regardless of anything to do with skin color or ethnic origins. Some of my ancestors were essentially industrial age factory slaves in a large New England city area of Scottish origin living at first near or at poverty level until by their hard work and effort managed to as the women said to “work their way up”. On the other side, there where 7 brothers who marched to war in the 1860s to end slavery. Only one came back. I wonder, does that clear the bar for reparations eligibility, or at least merit a white privilege waiver? No need to ponder further on that rhetorical question. Finally, and most importantly, there is only one race and it is named the Human Race. Until the his glorious kingdom comes, may God always bless and keep strong Doctor Martin Luther King who I for one want very much to spend some time with.

Bob Sullivan September 17, 2020 - 9:47 am

I find this story, as written, to be very distrubing. The writer is reiterating that certain lives are more valuable than others. Her argument to refute the blue lives comments is an insinuationthat black lives matter more. Both of the women are wrong. All lives and all opportunities should be equal. Stressing a focus on a certain group is nothing more than a quota system of thought. It is not fair nor equal.

SharonKurheg September 17, 2020 - 9:55 am

You made the point of #BLM without even knowing it. “All lives and all opportunities should be equal.” If everyone acted like that, there would never have been a need for #BLM.

Mark Rascio September 17, 2020 - 10:22 am

I have a number of concerns with the events as they are portrayed in this post. First, when on aircraft or in other public places in tight quarters I’ve always shown respect for those around me by not being overtly controversial. I don’t begrudge anyone of their right to wear a particular mask, shirt etc. But to me the most important thing on an airplane is our safety and comfort for the short time we all as humans are together. To that end, I read my Bible or other Christian books, and engage in polite, respectful conversation with those around me. I find often my most intriguing conversations are with those I might not naturally agree with. I am offended by those who play music on their phones or movies without earphones, those who engage in disruptive behavior or get up when they are not supposed to. I’m equally concerned when other passengers elevate themselves to plane police and attempt to enforce rules they have no business doing. I feel banning people from flying must be for the most egregious cases such as fighting, repeated violations of rules or not obeying crew orders, vulgar language, making threats, verbal intimidation etc. I do feel that depending upon the tenor of the conversation and whether when asked then passenger tones it down or not makes a big difference but I couldn’t tell here all these details.

What concerns me here is the airline’s response to this situation which is essentially getting in the middle of a personal conversation, judging it and casting judgement without opportunity for a defense. I didn’t read where the passenger threatened physical harm or disobeyed a flight attendant order. I read various opinions that we should be all able to debate without calling each other names. I agree that sometimes people have opinions that are based in misinformation but that is not a crime, perhaps irresponsible but not a crime or something worth banning people from flights. I wonder if Delta would ban a police officer for just wearing a thin blue line shirt?

Next, what is more offensive to me is Delta literally adopting the BLM acronym and branding it. It doesn’t take much research to understand that BLM ‘the movement’ is more about political change that simply defending all lives of the black race. Also, while Blue Lives don’t exist per se, there are many who feel our police are being unfairly attacked and law and order is being undermined. Does Delta not understand this? Do they not support our police and first responders?

By siding on one side of a debate or movement, Delta has signed into whatever that movement does or doesn’t do. I feel this is short sighted and misguided. In the end, I was not comfortable with the direct confrontation on an aircraft about a charged topic but hasn’t Delta done the same with taking sides instead of crafting all inclusive policies that don’t take sides in what is a policy debate in our country?

SharonKurheg September 17, 2020 - 10:33 am

Delta employs thousands upon thousands of people from all walks of life, including Black people and those from the LGBTQ+ community. I find nothing wrong – no, I think it’s wonderful – that they show their support of the employees who can be and sometimes are marginalized, be it pins, participating in gay pride, etc. The fact that they’re willing to do something about a passenger who insulted another passenger simply because of the color of her skin – who thinks, in this case, that Black people are “less than,” is equally as fabulous.

Mark Rascio September 17, 2020 - 10:49 am

Your response covers none of what my concerns are and makes no attempt to see another point of view. My comment shares concerns that you refuse to deal with. How Delta handles its personnel is one thing but anti-discrimination laws prohibit businesses from discriminating against people for numerous reasons and this is getting dangerously close to violating these laws….unless other rules were violated but I can’t tell from your article that they were. It would be helpful for the discussion if you would respond to these points.

SharonKurheg September 17, 2020 - 11:04 am

I’m not an expert in discrimination law so I have nothing to say there. As someone who is not a bigot, I think what the woman said to her was very inappropriate, and if she hadn’t done so, none of this would be an issue. But until a racist is willing to open his/her mind, be the change and treat everyone equally, these are the kinds of things that happen. Sometimes doing and saying bad things to other people has consequences.

Ryan C. Williams September 17, 2020 - 11:46 am

Sharon there is no need to be a discrimination expert, Delta lays their policies out clearly in the contract of carriage. I would direct Mark to Rule 7 D.

We can pull the heightened legalese out but unless we’re willing to actually do some reading and understanding it doesn’t amount to much.

Hope September 17, 2020 - 11:42 am

I agree with Marc. Delta by their actions are making a statement of taking sides. Blue Lives Matter is a movement.
It is becoming clear that BLM as an organization is not what it seems.
All Lives Matter period and Delta and AA producing BLM materials with the money we give them through sales of tickets and government bail out money is simply wrong. If they truly want to make a statement organize groups to go into the inner cities to help people and show all are respected as human beings.

SharonKurheg September 17, 2020 - 11:54 am

They already do that – check out and But obviously the word doesn’t get around that well. I mean, you didn’t know, right? 😉 So yep, with a little pin, airlines can show their support. Besides BLM, they also have ones to show support for Christians, veterans and LGBTQ people. It’s all good.

Margaret Lange f September 18, 2020 - 11:01 am

Sharon, you don’t show any understanding of a woman who wants to support police officers and law enforcement. One of the most breathtakingly bigoted comments I’ve ever read is that “blue lives don’t exist!” Of course they do. Without denying the heinous crimes committed by some officers, many police work very hard and honestly in a dangerous occupation to protect people and keep the peace. Many of the “black lives” protests were not peaceful at all. I support their right to protest, and I also support and want efforts to stop violent acts. I don’t think the the black woman had an open mind at all, and the white woman seems to have been insensitive and not too skilled in language expressing herself. But at least she didn’t say “black lives don’t exist!’ Delta was wrong to insert itself the way it did, and I like them less for it.

SharonKurheg September 18, 2020 - 1:11 pm

I would suggest you re-read Darrell’s comment above (or below, I’m not sure how replies show up on your feed).

HRay September 18, 2020 - 10:58 am

The folks posting here demonizing BLM and stating that All Lives Matter just don’t get it: until Black Lives Matter as much as other lives matter, then all lives DON’T matter, do they? As a White parent of mixed-race children, I have had to have “that talk” with my boys about how to handle themselves in the world in order to come home alive. How many White family parents have had to do that? How many have had their White children pulled over for driving while white in a prosperous neighborhood? How many have gone shopping and had the non-white members of their family followed around the store, or ignored for White customers when they go to the register?
The lady’s comments were, if unsolicited, unnecessary, pointedly racist, and likely meant to antagonize her non-White seatmate. She can believe what she wants, but if she insists on trying to push her ideas on another passenger and denigrate her, she needs to be banned as it will prevent future incidents that could be more egregious.
And as of Blue Lives Matter–well, I believe there are good law enforcement officers and bad ones and also poorly trained ones. Police are no more than a cross-section of our society, and no matter the screening and training process, some that shouldn’t ever be police will slip through. We need to be diligent in calling out abuses in their ranks, whether they are race-based or otherwise. I have faith in Law Enforcement, but I don’t have BLIND faith in them. And there are no Blue Lives–there are White, Black, Brown, Asian lives that wear the blue and the good ones do serve and protect. Blue Lives Matter seems more like something Poppa Smurf should be saying…

Fanny Farkas September 17, 2020 - 10:23 am

It is a given that all lives matter. However as a white middle class woman I don’t worry about being stopped while driving. I am not followed in stores or refused service. This is what BLM stands for equal treatment and equal opportunity.

Wayne Johnson September 17, 2020 - 10:25 am

This conversation is exactly why it is best to say nothing at all or, in a worst case scenario, only the most innocuous of BRIEF statements. I, personally, do not want to say anything that could be interpreted as “racist”. I believe that taking your seat, and not saying anything on a flight is the best way to go. Initiating a conversation could only have a bad connotation in many cases.

SharonKurheg September 17, 2020 - 10:42 am

You make it sound as if it’s difficult to have a conversation and not sound racist. I’ve never had that problem – my conversations with Black people is exactly the same as it is with people with any other color skin, and nope, I’ve never been accused of being a racist. But if you think you might be interpreted as sounding like a racist, perhaps you need to do some self introspection and make whatever changes necessary.

Ryan C. Williams September 17, 2020 - 10:39 am

It’s truly sad that there are a number of individuals that have chosen to look past the blatant and egregious actions of the now banned passenger towards the aggrieved writer to try and find some tenuous string of hope to discredit the feelings, and understanding of the writer. The striking up of the conversation about the Blue Lives was intentional, and meant as an intimidation tactic. It’s the same as having birthday gift from the airline and another passenger shouting “I HAVE A BIRTHDAY TOO!” But, we will last that notion for a moment to address the remainder of the conversation — does it not scream of someone being tone deaf to the movement by using illogical and incendiary Rhetoric? The simple answer is yes. The true question is why you skipped passed that to try and make a case for there being many good people on both sides and to further denigrate the BLM movement with contrary talking points. It’s like seeing newlyweds on a flight and hearing someone say congrats, then you stand up and proclaim you’re married as well. Allow people to have their moment without inserting yourself. Understand and process the moment without trying to find a way to minimalize — a lack of proper decorum is what’s truly wrong today, but I don’t think a lot of people are ready for this conversation.

Michael McLean September 17, 2020 - 11:00 am

People are always going to have different perspectives on issues, and that includes Delta corporate. But I am unhappy to see the Delta logo on a pin supporting a Marxist organization. Supporting equality, yes. Supporting defunding the police, I won’t support.

William September 17, 2020 - 11:55 am

A few of things here. I disagree with the how the Blue lives matter lady behaved.

Next, we seem to have lost the distinction between being a bigot and a racist. Some things that should be deemed bigoted are being called racist. “Racist” is now automatically used for everything, Because it is, it seems to have lost some of it’s salt by being overused. The lady made assumptions based on skin color. This is bigoted, it would only be deemed racist if she did it out for the reason that she felt superior because of skin color (which may or may not have been the case based on the interaction provided),

Finally, I thing that we need to distinguish the sentiment of black lives matter (which they do) from the organization of the same name.

The organization Black Lives Matter has shown itself to socialist, Marxist at the very least. They in themselves either through inaction or action, appear to be racist (based on the true definition of the word). Any organization that advocates for the overthrow of our system using violence and intimidation should not be tolerated. There tactics (aside from the peaceful protests) are in fact illegal.

jsn55 September 17, 2020 - 1:05 pm

I have little interest in politics or causes, except those causes who directly help people. But I do have an avid interest in travel. Delta has climbed to the top of the customer service lineup for sure. I’ve had a couple of very positive experiences with Delta recently, and I’m an advocate on a travel forum. We have been hearing positive stories about Delta for quite some time. So there’s hope that UA and AA will wake up and smell the coffee!

EMB September 17, 2020 - 1:06 pm

I think the point about blue lives matter was glossed over or missed. What Demetria said was ‘blue lives do not exist. The life of an officer exist but there is no such thing as a blue life’. She was not dismissing the woman but calling attention to what seems like a made-up cause as a rebuttal to the BLM movement; and I agree with Demetria. If a police officer is black, does he get treated better than another black person? No…because he’s black; and what most people see first is the color of your skin – not the content of your character. Delta’s handling of the situation was appropriate; they didn’t choose sides – what is a blue side anyway?
If we could/would treat each other with respect, that’s earned or due, based on character, we would not need a BLM or WLM movement.

Paul September 17, 2020 - 3:43 pm

All lives matter and that is precisely the point of Black Lives Matter. If Black Lives Matter as much as every one else’s life, it would be an unnecessary to have a specific movement. We see from the numbers that people of color are not treated the same way by the “system”. There is inequality and damage created by systemic racism and it is not limited to the police.

It is interesting to how many “entitled” are willing to show their misguided and uninformed opinions, but at least we are having the conversations and some may learn from them.

Darrell September 17, 2020 - 4:09 pm

I grew up poor. My neighborhood was gentrified. I remember waiting through my neighborhood and hearing rich, affluent individuals say things like, “why do they let people like that in our neighborhood?” I was born in that neighborhood. Over the years I learned to dress better, work harder and try to fit in with the people taking over my neighborhood.

The police would target my friend and I. If something went wrong in the neighborhood, we were immediately suspected. A few times my best friend would come home to find the police waiting for him. Just had a few questions. Cops would assume we were guilty. We’d run from the cops because we knew they were going to beat the crap out of us. Didn’t matter if we did anything wrong.

I’m at a place in my life where I don’t worry about my past. I’m a middle aged white man. The expression “fake it until you make it” has significant meaning to me. People I work with are shocked when I talk about shootings, prison and other illegal behavior. No one could imagine I grew up like that. I now earn a 6 figure income.

I was treated badly because I was poor and it showed. I dressed better and people accepted me. I put my past behind me.

A lot of guys I grew up with didn’t like the police. You see a cop in uniform and you’d walk the other way. Now if that cop was going out after work for a meal, we didn’t notice him in the restaurant. He was just some guy at a restaurant. He could stop being a cop by taking off the uniform.

If I’m treated badly because I’m black, changing my clothes doesn’t hide the fact I’m black. Not wearing my work clothes doesn’t hide the fact I’m black. You can’t fake being white.

So I understand that Blue Lives don’t exist. Being a cop is a job. It isn’t the color of your skin. In the eyes of other people, you aren’t a cop 24/7.

It is my understanding that black people in America experience racism and there is no getting away from it. All lives do matter. BLM movement isn’t saying black lives are more important. It is saying that “all lives” doesn’t really include “black lives” but it should. That is my understanding.

I was born poor but I overcame it by hiding the fact I was poor. If I was born black, I’m black until the day I die.

Paul September 17, 2020 - 5:37 pm

Well said, Darrell.


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