Earlier this week Dr. Tamika Cross wrote a Facebook post about her experience on a Delta flight that departed from Detroit Metro. It’s gone viral and as of today her post has been shared over 23,000 times, and it has over 7,500 comments.
After a passenger had become unresponsive, the flight crew began asking for medical professionals. However when Dr. Cross offered to help, she was rebuffed by the flight attendant.
“I raised my hand to grab her attention. She said to me ‘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.’ I tried to inform her that I was a physician but I was continually cut off by condescending remarks.”
Personally, this bothers me on multiple levels.
First of all, did this flight attendant assume that Dr. Cross couldn’t be a doctor because she is a women or because she is African American? Or was it both?
Secondly, the flight was coming from Detroit, so did she just think that there couldn’t be doctors here?
Dr. Cross was quick to give the flight attendant a heads up that we do in fact have doctors in Detroit, by the way.
I respond “OBGYN, work in Houston, in Detroit for a wedding, but believe it or not they DO HAVE doctors in Detroit. Now excuse me so I can help the man in need”. Another “seasoned” white male approaches the row and says he is a physician as well. She says to me “thanks for your help but he can help us, and he has his credentials”. (Mind you he hasn’t shown anything to her. Just showed up and fit the “description of a doctor”) I stay seated.
Hopefully, if this is indeed the case, the flight attendant will learn from this unfortunate situation, and it’s a reminder to all of us that there are a lot of situations that still happen in this country like this. It’s sometimes just not as clear, and sometimes it’s just not as talked about. But discrimination is still a real thing in 2016.
Update – Delta is responding to comments on their Facebook page as follows:
Discrimination of any kind is never acceptable. We’ve been in contact with Dr. Cross and one of our senior leaders is reaching out to assure her that we’re completing a full investigation.
You can read the entire original post below.