Black passenger reacts after catching man sitting next to her sending ‘racist’ texts on flight

Taila Rouse says that she said to her fellow passenger that his messages made her feel uncomfortable

Sravasti Dasgupta
Monday 29 May 2023 18:01 BST

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A Black woman has claimed that she saw a fellow passenger writing racist text messages about her on a flight from Puerto Rico to Atlanta, Georgia last week.

In a video posted on TikTok on Friday, Taila Rouse said that she wanted to make the man feel as uncomfortable as she felt when she noticed the “disgusting” messages on the screen.

Ms Rouse has over 25,000 followers on the video sharing platform, where she mainly posts travel tips and hotel reviews.

She said that when she glanced over at the man’s phone she saw the words “big Black woman” in a text message, which made her want to keep reading the conversation.

“He and his family went on and on about the woes of being stuck next to Black and gay people,” she said.

“Then I see this man say he hopes airlines raise prices so these people get weeded out.”

She says that she said to her fellow passenger that his messages made her feel uncomfortable. She then says to him that she will not repeat what the texts said as everyone “doesn’t need to know, but I just want you to know that I know.”

In a subsequent video Ms Rouse shows the man’s phone that appears to show three outgoing text messages.

“Hopefully the airlines will continue to raise prices and weed out these people. Ryan is sitting next to a huge Black woman,” the messages say in the video.

In the video caption Ms Rouse wrote: “If you’re going to be bold enough to pull your phone out in the middle seat of an airplane and freely talk disrespectfully about Black people, then I’m going to be bold enough to say something to you.”

In the first video she says that she had said to the man that if airlines start “weeding people out,” then maybe he would have been able to afford to sit with his family.

While the man appears to offer her an apology at the end of the video, Ms Rouse says that he only said sorry because she happened to have seen the text messages.

“You don’t have to be sorry to me. You’re sorry because I saw it,” she said.

Ms Rouse’s co-passenger is not identified in the videos, and his face is not shown. In response to a question from a TikTok follower, she says they “continued to sit next to each other for the next four hours” after she confronted him over the messages.

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