Race Card: Rep. Jackson Lee Says United Airplane Incident Happened Because She’s an ‘African-American Woman’

United Airlines reportedly issued an apology and a $500 voucher to passenger Jean-Marie Simon, who claimed that the airline gave Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) her seat in first class, but the passenger denied receiving an apology.

Over Christmas weekend a story broke of a woman who claimed to have had her first class airline seat taken from her only to see it given to Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee. By the day after Christmas, the pressure must have been too heavy for Lee to bear because she went on a tweet storm pointing fingers in all directions.

The story broke on Sunday, Dec. 24, with 63-year-old Jean-Marie Simon, a D.C. schoolteacher and attorney, alleging that United Airlines summarily removed her from her pre-paid, first class seat on a flight between Houston, Texas, and Washington DC. But, when she boarded the Dec. 18 flight, Simon said she discovered that the seat had been given away to Rep. Lee, a Texas Democrat.

Claims raged back and forth between Lee, the airline, and Simon with the airline insisting Simon initially tried to cancel her flight — thereby leaving the seat open — and then claiming it apologized to her. For her part, Simon denied both of the airline’s claims.

Simon said that she did receive a $500 voucher for the seat and that a low-level United employee apologized personally to her on the phone, but that she never got any official apology from United.

Meanwhile, as the media focused on what was occurring between Simon and the airline, Rep. Lee went on a tear on Twitter.

In her first tweet on the morning of Dec. 26, Lee almost seemed to blame the victim by alluding to a “Grinch” who was “trying to steal the spirit of the holiday”:

She then unleashed several tweets explaining the story from her vantage point and insisting she did “nothing wrong”:


Lee then threw the race card saying that the only reason her seating was questioned because she is black:

Next Lee prayed that “one day, we will accept our collective diversity”:

Then, Lee once again threw the race card and pleaded for “diversity”:

But Lee wasn’t done. There were a few more tweets yet to come:

Clearly the congresswoman was feeling the heat over the controversy.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.


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