In a series of videos on her TikTok account, Taila Rouse recorded herself confronting the man.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: US woman on board flight from Puerto Rico to Atlanta confronts racist passenger.
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“Sitting next to a racist on my four-hour flight from Puerto Rico to Atlanta this week,” she captioned the first video. “Yes, I could’ve minded my own business, but why should I let him slide?”
In the video, Rouse turned to the man and said: “I wasn’t going to say anything, but I decided I want you to feel as uncomfortable as I do.”
“And I want you to know that I saw your text messages and I think you’re disgusting.”
The man apologised to Rouse, who replied: “You don’t have to be sorry to me.”
“You’re sorry because I saw it.”
In follow-up videos, Rouse shows a photo of the man’s text messages.
“Hopefully the airlines will continue to raise prices and weed out these people,” one message from the man said.
“Ryan is sitting next to a huge black woman.”
A reply to the man from another family member said they had changed seats.
Rouse alleged other texts included homophobic rhetoric as well.
Another video shows Rouse holding up her phone multiple times to record, deliberating whether to confront him.
The man sat with his back to her for the duration of the flight, she said.
Rouse said she “happened to glance over” and saw the words “big black woman” in the message, so continued reading.
“He and his family went on and on about the woes of being stuck sitting next to Black and gay people,” she said.
“Then I see this man say he hopes airlines continue to raise prices, so these people get weeded out.
“If you’re gonna be bold enough to pull your phone out in the middle seat of an airplane (sic) and freely talk disrespectfully about Black people, then I’m going to be bold enough to say something to you.”
Outpouring of support
The comment section was flooded with support for Rouse.
“Girl bravo! You are so damn brave,” one person said. “I would have probably cried but you handled this beautifully.”
“Thank-you for speaking up,” another comment read. “It’s not easy, but you’re inspiring the rest of us.”
“You showed incredible grace and restraint,” another person said. “I’m sorry you were treated so badly!”
“This is horrible!”
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