In a message sent to American Airlines employees on Sunday, Parker explained the situation from his own perspective — explaining that he was flying Southwest because seats on his American Airlines flight were sold out.
“I felt wholly inadequate but I knew it was a special moment,” Parker wrote. “The best I could do was tell her that the book talks about how white people are horrible at talking about racism, and that what we need are real conversations. She agreed. I told her I was trying to learn and through tears and a mask, she said, ‘So am I.’”
Parker says that their chat was “an absolute gift” to him, and that before they had even deplaned he found that Hill’s mother had sent him an email thanking him for comforting her daughter. “I had done nothing, of course,” he writes. “JacqueRae was the brave one. I was sitting comfortably in the back sending you guys emails without thinking twice about what this young woman — and others like her — were going through.”
“These are trying times,” he continued. “Our people are hurting. I’m not certain what all of the answers are, but I know it involves talking to each other. And listening. And it takes courage and leadership to start the conversation and to stand up for what is right. JacqueRae taught me all that.”
Hill echoed his sentiments in the conclusion of her Facebook post: “There are so many different ways to effect change in the world. I stand with anyone who wants to make a difference no matter if it is how I would do it or not.”
She continued: “Doug Parker said that the premise of the book is that we need to have these conversations so here I am. My heart is open and my ears are open as well.”
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