One would think that a racist airline passenger caught verbally assaulting an elderly black woman would be quickly booted off of the flight and made to walk and/or swim wherever he or she needed to go. Apparently, not so on Ryanair, an Irish low-cost airline currently being blasted for allowing a white passenger to continue on a flight from Barcelona, Spain to London, England, after doing just that.
According to CNN, UK police are searching for witnesses after the white man in question was captured on video hurling racist abuse at the older woman—who was traveling with her daughter—and threatening to push her onto another seat because he didn’t want to sit close to her.
The white man can be heard calling the older woman, who is a Jamaican immigrant, an “ugly black bastard” and also yelled “Don’t talk to me in a foreign language, you stupid ugly cow!”
He also resorted to threats. “I’ll tell you this,” the man said leaning towards the woman as she turns her back, “If you don’t go to another seat, I’ll put you into another seat.”
A man seated behind the white man tells him to stop, to which the white man retorts, “I will carry on as long as I can with this ugly black bastard!”
After briefly observing the exchange and noting that no one was coming to the woman’s defense, U.K. musician David Lawrence, who was also on the flight, began recording.
“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 told CNN.
Lawrence believes that a flight attendant could have called the captain and had the man put off of the flight, or at least called the police to intervene
“If that was another situation where that was a black man doing that to an elderly white woman, they would have escorted him off the flight,” Lawrence said. “He probably would have ended up in a Spanish jail even today.”
However, police overseeing the region around the London Stansted airport where the flight landed have gotten wind of the video and are taking it more seriously than Ryanair ever thought to.
“This incident, which we were made aware of yesterday morning, is believed to have taken place on a plane at Barcelona Airport,” the police said in a statement. “Essex Police takes prejudice-based crime seriously and we want all incidents to be reported. We are working closely with Ryanair and the Spanish authorities on the investigation. We would encourage anyone with information to contact us.”
Ryanair for its part has said that they “reported this matter” to Essex police but declined to comment further…including as to why they did not inform Spanish police or do anything to remove the cantankerous character from their flight.
Statement: We are aware of this video and have reported this matter to Essex Police
— Ryanair (@Ryanair) October 21, 2018
Meanwhile, officials in the UK remain equally unimpressed. Labour Member of Parliament David Lammy tweeted calling for a boycott of the airline, “if they think it’s OK for a racist man to abuse an elderly black woman and remain on the plane.”
“It’s 63 years since Rosa Parks said ‘No’ to sitting on the back of the bus and we ain’t going back,” Lammy added.
Ok boycott @Ryanair if they think it’s ok for a racist man to abuse an elderly black woman and remain on the plane. It’s 63 years since Rosa Parks said “No “ to sitting on the back of the Bus and we ain’t going back. https://t.co/IYczabgjMJ
— David Lammy (@DavidLammy) October 21, 2018
Read more at CNN.com.