Do Airlines Have a Double Standard for Black Passengers? Take Our Poll

Jun 24, 2011

On Wednesday June 15, Deshon Marman, 20, was being held at San Mateo County Jail for refusing to take orders from US Airways flight attendants to pull his pants up. But just six days before, a white male by the name of Howard was allowed to board a US Airways flight wearing  women’s lingerie. And only lingerie – blue bra and panties, thigh-high black stockings, high-heeled shoes and a transparent white sweater.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, US Airways staff asked Marman to pull up his pants before he boarded the plane, but he refused. Marman allegedly repeated his refusal after taking his seat on the plane. He then refused to get off the plane and was arrested for trespassing.

The San Francisco Police Department reports Marman’s pants "were below his buttocks but above the knees, and that much of his boxer shorts were exposed." Compare this description to the images of Howard. Why the double standard?

US Airways doesn’t have a formal dress code policy. It’s up the employees discretion to decide who’s dress appropriately and who’s not.

Valerie Wunder, a spokeswoman for U.S. Airways, said Marman was removed from the flight because he refused to comply with the crew’s instructions. Howard, in contrast, did no such thing because, well, he was never asked to cover himself up.

"Our crew is authorized to exercise discretion to ensure the comfort and safety of all our passengers,” Wunder added.

Marman’s mother says her son was targeted at the airport "because of the way he looks – young black man with dreads and baggy pants."


What do you think?