Dr. Tisha Rowe, the Texas doctor who was forced to cover herself with a blanket in order to board an American Airlines flight, has gone on the record with ABC News.
The nine-minute interview demonstrates a calm and collected Rowe who adds more details to the story that unfolded on her recent flight from Kingston, Jamaica to Miami.
Rowe’s insight on the negative effect this incident will have on her son is sobering.
Her Attorney Speaks
Rowe’s attorney, Geoffrey Berg, added:
There was an outpouring on social media. And people posted photos of other travelers on American Airlines wearing a lot less who flew without incident, without a problem. And what was the difference? Well, the pictures we saw were all of white women.
We are waiting for American Airlines to make the next step. They have apologized, which is a good first step, but to simply apologize and hope for credit for apologizing without doing anything is just not acceptable. For American Airlines to tweet out “we are sorry” is it seems to me is the corporate equivalent of “thoughts and prayers”. It is meaningless. They have to change this. They have to make this right, so that other people, particularly women of color, do not have to experience what she experienced.
A couple points. First, I think his “thoughts and prayers” analogy is misplaced. This usually comes up after mass shootings when activists ridicule people, especially politicians, for expressing “thoughts and prayers” in light of the tragedy…versus changing policy. I would love to get guns off the street in the United States, but the Second Amendment stands as quite a barrier to that policy goal. It’s not like politicians even have the legal authority to remove many of the guns that are used when depraved people commit atrocities. This is quite different than American Airlines having full authority to enact dress code policy as it sees fit.
But I strongly agree with his broader point that just saying sorry is unacceptable. American needs to show that it takes this incident seriously. To do so, flight attendants must be trained, over and over again if necessary, that race or weight cannot factor into whether an outfit is appropriate or not. These sorts of incidents have no place in 2019.
I think Dr. Rowe does a tremendous job arguing why what happened to her is traumatic. She owes no one an explanation, but this interview offers further evidence that American Airlines mistreated her and must now make amends.