A report from News Americas Now.
The 77-year-old Caribbean-born immigrant who was the victim of a racist tirade by a White male passenger of Ryanair has broken her silence on the attack as the video went viral.
Jamaican national and UK Windrush generation immigrant, Delsie Gayle, told ITV News, she is “really depressed about it.”
“I feel really depressed about it. I go to my bed and say, ‘What have I done?’ I haven’t done anything (for him) to attack me because of the colour of my skin,” she told ITV News of the verbal abuse, that happened as she was returning to the UK from Barcelona with her daughter.
Gayle, who moved to Britain in the 1960s, says she does not know when she would recover from the incident “because every time I remember I cry.”
The row apparently broke out after Gayle was unable to move out of her aisle seat quickly enough to let the man sit down in his window seat.
The video shows the man shouting at the woman to move seats, while her daughter angrily tells him her mother is disabled which is why she is moving slowly.
The man was filmed by a fellow passenger calling the woman an “ugly black bastard” and shouting “don’t talk to me in a foreign language” when she spoke to him in English with a Jamaican accent.
He can be heard shouting: “I don’t care whether she’s fucking disabled or not – if I tell her to get out she gets out.”
The man proceeds to tell staff to move the woman to another seat, adding: “If you don’t go to another seat I’ll push you to another seat.”
In the footage, cabin crew appear to be doing little initially to stop the man’s tirade, with a passenger in the row behind him telling him to stop the abuse. Then a cabin crew member can be heard saying to the man: “Don’t be so rude, you have to calm down,” while other passengers call for the man to be thrown off the flight.
The woman can be heard telling the man he stinks and needs a wash, before asking to be moved so she can sit next to her daughter.
UK resident David Lawrence filmed the incident, which happened on Friday on Ryanair flight FR015 from Barcelona to London Stansted, and shared it on social media, resulting in a barrage of criticism of the airline’s handling of the incident.
The budget airline tweeted on Sunday that it had seen the footage and reported the incident to Essex police. It added: “As this is now a police matter, we cannot comment further.”
A spokeswoman for Essex police said: “This incident, which we were made aware of this morning, is believed to have taken place on a plane at Barcelona airport. Essex police takes prejudice-based crime seriously and we want all incidents to be reported.
“We are working closely with Ryanair and the Spanish authorities on the investigation.”
The woman’s 53-year-old daughter told the Huffington Post that they were returning from a holiday designed to cheer her mother up, a year after the death of her father.
See the video here
Essex police say they have identified both parties in the incident and passed the information to Spanish authorities, who are investigating.
Barcelona’s mayor said the matter would be reported to the public prosecutor to see whether a hate crime had been committed.