What you say tp passengers could cost AMR plenty.

AAquila

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Sep 22, 2002
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Trial set in ''racist rhyme'' lawsuit accusing Southwest Airlines of discrimination
The Associated Press
2/10/03 8:33 PM
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) -- A judge has set a trial date in a discrimination lawsuit filed against Southwest Airlines by two black passengers who were upset when a flight attendant recited a version of a rhyme with a racist history.
Grace Fuller, 48, and her sister Louise Sawyer, 46, were returning from Las Vegas two years ago when flight attendant Jennifer Cundiff, trying to get passengers to sit down, said over the intercom, Eenie, meenie, minie, moe; pick a seat, we gotta go.
The sisters say the rhyme was directed at them and was a reference to its racist version that dates to before the civil rights era: Eenie, meenie, minie, moe; catch a n----- by his toe.
It was like I was too dumb to find a seat, Fuller said. Sawyer said fellow passengers snickered at the rhyme, which made her feel alienated.
The sisters are seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.
U.S. District Judge Kathryn Vratil last week dismissed the sisters'' claims of physical and emotional distress but set trial for March 4.
The court agrees with plaintiffs that because of its history, the phrase `eenie, meenie, minie, moe'' could reasonably be viewed as objectively racist and offensive, Vratil wrote. The second line of a modern version of the rhyme usually goes, Catch a tiger by the toe.
Airline attorney John Cowden said there was no intent to discriminate against any passenger.
Cundiff, who is white and was 22 at the time of the incident, said she had never heard the offensive version of the rhyme. She said she learned the Southwest version from co-workers and used it as a funny way of getting passengers -- who are not assigned seats on Southwest -- to sit down.
Plaintiffs'' attorney Scott Wissel said the sisters also want Southwest to stop using the rhyme and provide employee training to prevent such incidents.
 

sfb

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Aug 21, 2002
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They've GOT to be kidding.

I'm 33 and the only version I'd ever heard in my life had "tiger" in there, so I can easily believe the flight attendant didn't know. It sounds like yet another ambulance-chasing lawyer at work.
 
Aug 20, 2002
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This incident happened two years and the sisters are only now getting around to filing a lawsuit?

Imagine how many times since the original incident that a WN employee sang that tune on board!

Next will be the class-action filing...
 

WingNaPrayer

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Aug 20, 2002
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The whole chuckle is...no one uses the "N" word more than blacks themselves. Every comedian, music group/rapper, you name it. This case can't amount to much and any judge that would certify it for trial has to be an idiot.

I remember the rhyme, maybe I'm an old phart but I remember it with the "N" word in it also.

Sounds like these "ladies" want specific words to be for the exclusive use of their race only. I'll remember this the next time I'm told to "get your cracker-ass out of the way" on the New York subways.

This is a laugh riot, and these women will do more to set civil rights back 50 years than any rhyme.
 

coolflyingfool

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Aug 20, 2002
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Is anyone on here epileptic? Is there medication you can take? I understand it is a nervous disorder, but isn't epilepsy a nervous disorder that just seems to run its course and is not really affected by what happens to you?
Wait a minute. If she has epilepsy, she could have preboarded! That is a medical qualification to preboard, right? So why was she one of the last ones standing? Trying to get that last pull of the slot machine?
It is not my fault, so it must be someone elses!
 

jj

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Aug 20, 2002
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Sounds to me like they lost there a-- in LAS!And trying to recoup there loss.Wondered how long they were in LAS and if they win will they go back?
 

KCFlyer

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Aug 20, 2002
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Not only that, but according to the Kansas City Star:

(the plaintiff) who has epilepsy, said the comment upset her so much that her hands shook during the flight and that she has "unexplained memory gaps" about the flight. Later that night, she said, she had a "grand mal seizure" and was bedridden for three days. Because she did not have health insurance, she did not seek medical attention, she said.

Can't afford health insurance, but trips to Vegas are no problem? Misplaced priorities, anyone?
 

KCFlyer

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Actually, if you read between the lines of the KCStar article, you can see the "basis" for the lawsuit...

1. They arrived at the gate less than 10 minutes before the flight and were denied boarding (too busy playing the slots -hoping for one last payoff maybe). Their seats were forfeited. They are now pissed off

2. They were on "priority standby" for a later flight, no mention made if any penalty was charged - since it wasn't mentioned, I have to assume that they weren't charged. Since they were standby, they most likely were not eligible for preboarding. Strike two.

3. They heard the "eenie meeny miney moe" thing and were upset that they hadn't found a seat. Apparently, empty seats are hard to spot.

4. They complained to the company (most likely hoping for a free trip), and they were not satisfied with the companies response.

5. They now believe that the FA was a racist who was mocking them. Kudos to the FA for standing up to the "politically correct" crowd. She was quoted in the Star as saying:

In her report, (the FA) wrote, "The statement I made on Flight 524 was not racist or discriminating, and I am offended that because I have white skin suddenly I am a racist. Maybe those that run around pointing fingers yelling racist should stop and turn that finger around."

Bravo to her.