Are you for real: Racism forever and always

Found this at Tongue Tied
Adventures in Jurisprudence
"A federal jury in Kansas City is hearing a lawsuit by two African-American sisters which claims that a flight attendant's use of the rhyme 'eenie, meenie, minie, moe' was racist and caused them physical and emotional distress, reports the Kansas City Star.

"Louise Sawyer and Grace Fuller said they were traumatized when a stewardess on a Southwest Airlines flight said over the intercom, 'Eenie, meenie, minie, moe; pick a seat, we gotta go,' in an effort to get passengers to take their seats.

"Some say the original child's rhyme ended with 'catch a nigger by his toe,' and the sisters say hearing it on the plane caused one of them to have a seizure later in the day. The flight attendant says she has only ever heard the version that ends 'catch a tiger by the toe.'"


I think I'm going to have to start a regular segment called, "Are you for real?" It would address all of the innocent things people routinely label as "racist". In this case a flight attendant trying to get people to take their seats on a plane. Why were these two women not laughed out of the courtroom? Why has this case dragged on for nearly three years? (These women first filed suit in August of 2001)

The Kansas City Star reports today,
Rhyme was degrading, jury told in airline lawsuit
"The two African-American women...contend the rhyme immediately struck them as a reference to a version with a racist reference. In their lawsuit against Southwest Airlines, they said they were discriminated against and suffered physical and emotional distress on the February 2001 flight."
The obvious problem here is two people who are prepared to see racism anywhere and everywhere. Physical and emotional distress indeed! Are we expected to believe that black people (or just these two women in particular) are so addle-pated as to be undone by what they infer to be a reference to something that might be construed as racist?

A February 2003 articlein the Kansas City Star reported,
"Fuller, 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."
How convenient, she can't remember what happened and there are no medical documents to backup her claims of "physical distress". I ask again, why weren't these women laughed out of court for presenting such a contrived and flimsy case?

"Sawyer and Fuller filed the lawsuit, without an attorney, in August 2001 after they didn't get a satisfactory response from Southwest." And I suppose a "satisfactory response" would have been to fire an innocent person and present them with a big fat check?

"...They are seeking injunctive relief to have Southwest stop using the rhyme and to provide employee training to prevent such things from happening again."

I wonder what that employee "training" would look like? "Now you be careful with those black folks. They are unstable and see racists everywhere so watch your step. Anything, and I do mean anything, could set them off. Just do whatever they say. Don't look them in the eye and don't talk back to them. If you're lucky they'll go away without causing you too much trouble."

It used to be that blacks lived in fear of the whim of white people. Now it seems like the tide has turned and whites must live in fear of the whim of blacks. Or at least it seems that some folks would like for things to be that way.

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