When Demetria Poe hopped onto her Delta Air Lines flight traveling from Minneapolis to Washington, D.C. to attend the Commitment March last month, she was met with some passive aggressiveness from a white woman seated next to her.
The Minnesota kindergarten teacher revealed that the airlines upgraded her flight following her experience and is praising Delta’s response.
Poe, 25, detailed the interaction on her Facebook page and said that she had helped the lady with her bags before boarding the flight. Once they were seated, the woman went to the bathroom and came back with a Blue Lives Matter mask and a pin to match.
Though Poe didn’t say anything to the white lady, the woman began to engage with Poe once the plane was in the air and explained that she supports Blue Lives Matter because she supports police officers.
“That woman was trying to entice me into an argument because there was no need for her to flip that mask in my presence,” Poe told USA Today. “She didn’t do it for anyone else. It was as if she was making a statement and wanted me to know.”
In response, the Minneapolis native told her that 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 wrote on the Facebook post explaining the incident.
According to Poe, the woman made inflammatory statements to her such as “Africans from the West sold the most slaves,” “The reason Blacks we’re 3/4th was because the South would have too many votes,” and “Having Blacks in America has been the best thing for them because they can work they way up.”
Other passengers came to Poe’s defense and a flight attendant offered to move the woman who continued to harass her.
“I’m marching for something that my grandparents had to march for, and I’m sitting here in the face of racism once again,” she added. “I can’t escape it. Now I’m having someone who is trying to test my humanity and my history all in one breath.”
As Poe got on her return flight back to Minnesota, she was pleasantly surprised to find that her seat had been upgraded. They also presented her with a goodie bag filled with gifts, including a Black Lives Matter pin stamped with Delta Air Line’s logo. Furthermore, the offending woman will no longer be able to fly Delta.
Poe is praising the airlines for how they handled the situation.
“When we say Black lives matter, we mean it,” Delta thoughtfully. commented on her Facebook post. “You matter to us, Demetria.”
Delta Air Lines spokesperson Morgan Durrant is crediting the Reagan Washington National Airport team for how they responded.
“The actions by our people in the air and on the ground are what really sets us apart as a company bringing humanity to air travel,” Durrant told USA Today.