‘She continues to be a light that guides me’, says airline boss of confronting systemic racism
Doug Parker, the CEO of American Airlines, was thanked for attending the wedding of a Black flight attendant who bonded with him during a mid-flight chat about racism last year.
“I want to highlight a family that have now become special friends of my family. The Parkers!’,” she wrote in the post. “Thank you and your family for showing up for so many people but also making the time to show up for ME on my special day.”
The American Airlines CEO also shared images from the 39-year-old’s wedding on Instagram, calling the Southwest flight attendant “a light that guides me”.
“She started a courageous conversation with me about race in America and it’s one I’ll never forget,”’ Mr Parker wrote in a caption. “She continues to be a light that guides me as we work to tear down barriers that create systemic racism.’”
The pair first met onboard a Southwest Airlines flight to Florida last year, when JacqueRae noticed the American Airlines CEO carrying a copy of a book: , “White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism,” by Robin DiAngelo.
Mr Parker, who was flying with Southwest Airlines because his own company’s flight to Florida was fully booked, chatted with JacqueRae about issues of racism and the death of George Floyd.
The flight attendant, who was apparently unaware that Mr Parker was the CEO of a rival airline, burst into tears during the conversation, and they afterwards kept in contact, according to USAToday.
She added in Monday’s Facebook post: “You have no idea how much it means to me to know someone that really walks out all of he talk out. Ya’ll Doug Parker is the real DEAL.’”