'I feel very low': Elderly woman speaks out after racist abuse on flight
Published Monday, October 22, 2018 8:12AM EDT
Last Updated Monday, October 22, 2018 5:52PM EDT
WARNING: This story refers to disturbing language.
A 77-year-old recently widowed woman says she feels angry and depressed after a fellow passenger hurled racial abuse at her on a Ryanair plane as it prepared to depart for England.
A viral video of the incident posted to YouTube shows a man hurling racial insults at Delsie Gayle.
A flight attendant present for at least some of the argument can be seen on video telling the man he was being “rude” and that “needs to calm down.” The flight attendant can then be seen asking Gayle if she is willing to change seats. She agrees to move.
Gayle told Britain’s ITV that she hasn’t been able to eat or sleep since the incident, which occurred last week as she was leaving Spain following a three-day trip meant to take her mind off the recent loss of her husband.
“I travel a lot, I go to Canada every year and no one has ever said those words to me,” she told ITV.
“I feel very low,” she added. “Why did they abuse me for that? Due to the colour of my skin.”
Gayle’s daughter was on the flight with her and can be seen on video telling the yelling man that “she’s disabled” and demanding that he stop shouting. She told ITV that she is upset with how Ryanair has dealt with the incident.
“He should (have been) moved or taken off the plane and nothing was done,” she said.
“I know if that was a black person racially involving an elderly woman, police would have been involved,” she added.
Ryanair said that it is “aware of this video and have reported the matter to Essex Police.”
Gayle said she’s worried that the man, who has not been publicly identified, will “do it to somebody else.”
“I don’t know when I’m going to get over it because every time I remember, I cry,” she said.