George Francis Alexander / Lee County Jail

Archived: White Man Gets Arrested After Calling Black Flight Attendant a Racial Slur, Says She's 'Too Fat'

A flight attendant was harassed and insulted for being a Black woman while working.


During a flight from Philadelphia to Fort Myers, Fla., last week, 82-year-old George Francis Alexander approached the American Airlines flight attendant, who remains unnamed, from behind as she was serving drinks. He poked her in the back and told her to move, the News-Press reports.

According to the arrest report, he then called her a racial slur. And when the flight attendant asked him to stop, he said she was “too big for this job; you’re too fat for this, overweight.”

After the plane landed at Southwest Florida International Airport, Lee County Port Authority police arrested Alexander. He was charged with suspicion of battery and interference of aircraft operations.

Alexander, of Fort Myers, was released on bail, which was set at $1,000. He is scheduled to appear in court on June 26.

There is a history of Black flight attendants being subjected to racism. Casey Grant, who worked as a flight attendant for more than 30 years before retiring, wrote the book, “Stars in the Sky: Stories of the First African American Flight Attendants.”

“I began my career with Delta in 1971 and racism was still very common,” she told NBC News.

“Many people don’t realize that we endured overtly, racist treatment even well into the 1980s. For example, I tell the story of this pilot that used to have this rule, ‘no ni**ers, no night riders [Blacks] and no gays in the cockpit.'”

In regard to the behavior of white passengers toward Black flight attendants during that time, Grant said:

“Sometimes we would walk up to them and ask if they wanted a drink and they wouldn’t even look at us; they would actually turn their head the other way.

“We knew what that meant, so we’d just move on. Then a white flight attendant would walk up to that same passenger later and they would say that they didn’t want the Black flight attendants to serve them.”

Latest News

NOD Forum: Honoring the Disability Rights Movement

The road to disability rights has been a long one. One that started long before the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 was passed. In celebration of 40 years of the National Organization on Disability, disability leaders, supporters and activists gathered in Washington, D.C last week to discuss the…

5 Biggest News Stories of the Week: September 29

As the saying goes, the news never stops — but there’s a lot of it out there, and all of it doesn’t always pertain to our readers. In this weekly news roundup, we’ll cover the top news stories that matter most to our diversity focused audience. 1. Research Outlines Lack…

Marriott International building

Marriott International Receives 12 Platinum Honors at the MUSE Creative Awards

Originally published at news.marriott.com. Marriott International is a Hall of Fame company.   Marriott International’s unmatched portfolio of luxury brands earned 12 Platinum Awards representing 5 dynamic brands, across 10 categories in the 2022 MUSE Creative Awards — an international competition for creative professionals. The industry leader within the luxury…

Marriott International Debuts Its New Global Headquarters Focused on Wellbeing

Originally published at news.marriott.com. Marriott International is a Hall of Fame company.   After six years of planning, design and construction, Marriott International has opened its global headquarters in downtown Bethesda, Maryland. The 21-story, 785,000-square-foot, LEEDv4 Gold-certified building is the new workplace for corporate associates, supporting over 8,100 hotels in 139…