NC NAACP president files discrimination lawsuit against American Airlines

Posted December 14, 2016
Updated December 15, 2016

— State NAACP President William Barber has filed a discrimination lawsuit against American Airlines. He claims he was removed from a flight in April because he is black.

Rev. William Barber was returning to Raleigh from Washington, D.C., when, he said, he was removed from the flight. Barber was scheduled to return after spending Friday in Washington, D.C. as a keynote speaker at a national interfaith event that launched the 2016 Ecumenical Advocacy Days, according to a statement released in April.

WRAL spoke with a passenger in April who was sitting 4 rows back who said Barber seemed upset, but was not angry or threatening. A short time later, an officer escorted Reverend Barber from the flight.

According to the lawsuit filed in Federal Court Wednesday, Barber alleges he was harassed by fellow passengers and a flight attendant. The lawsuit also claims Barber's cane was taken away, forcing him to walk to the gate in pain.

Barber is suing the airline for unspecified damages as well as demanding changes at the airline. The airline said in a statement it "does not tolerate discrimination of any kind."


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  • Jeff Franklin Dec 15, 2016
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    OK...I just read his statement, where over and over he talks about now nice the folks with American Airlines were and how helpful they were to him.

    Now this?


  • Betty Schmenks Dec 15, 2016
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    When this first happened, there was an more accurate incident report - in fact Barber grabbed a flight attendant's arm (he was trying to get up to talk to another passenger, and (supposedly) has chronic pain) and THAT'S what got him in trouble. But, he always play that race card to prey on "white guilt". The man's a charlatan, and continues to stuff his own pockets with money he hasn't had to work for, certainly doesn't appear he's giving any of it back to his community: http://civitasreview.com/politicians/william-barber-rakes-in-taxpayer-dollars-leads-moral-no-it-is-money-mondays/

  • Jeff Freuler Dec 15, 2016
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    I can't believe this is the best the NAACP can bring to the table for a president. But I guess he fits their theme and filing this suit shows that.

  • Elisa Barnes Dec 15, 2016
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    I've flown with Mr. Barber before. I watched him treat airline staff and airport staff as if he were some celebrity. Fetch this, grab this bag... waving his finger and issuing orders for the "little people" to serve him. I respect what the NAACP stands for, but this man is an attention hog, and a hypocrite. I suspect he ordered the wrong person around, and is now crying discrimination because he didn't get his way. You show your true colors in the way you treat people, especially service staff. I noticed, and I'm sure others did too.

  • James Jones Dec 15, 2016
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    When a person is in the public eye preaches on their beliefs. And other people who don't believe in the same thing as you preach on speak against you it isn't discrimination, its an called freedom of speech. This is the problem in America today if you do not agree with what a left or right wing person says, the disagree-res are automatically pictured as a raciest, anti American, incompetent fools. This is America if you do not like the policies a store don't shop their but quit forcing acceptance of ones beliefs on Americans who not share the same view as you.

  • Donnie Dietrich Dec 15, 2016
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    Knew that was coming. Just waiting for the other shoe to drop. He is a big baby. Somebody hand him his pacci and give him a safety pin.

  • Alfred Barnes Dec 15, 2016
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  • Kenneth Jones Dec 15, 2016
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    So sad......

  • Linda Tally Dec 15, 2016
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    View quoted thread

    If you look at the story from April (link available in this article) I believe it tells you what the basic racial breakdown was.

  • David Lewis Dec 15, 2016
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    It would be interesting to know how many black passengers on this flight were not removed because they were black.