A Black flight attendant has filed a discrimination lawsuit against Delta airlines after she was allegedly terminated for sharing a cartoon of former President Donald Trump wearing a Ku Klux Klan hood on her personal social media account.
Leondra Taylor, a former Delta flight attendant, is seeking damages from the airline for what she's alleging was an act of racial discrimination and retaliation following the discovery of her anti-Trump post, according to a suit filed in a federal district court in Atlanta last week per the Washington Post.
In the lawsuit, Taylor admits to sharing the meme of Trump in a KKK hood on her personal Facebook page but contends the post was merely a "political statement" and did not amount to being “hateful or discriminatory" as the airline claimed when they fired her.
The image, created by editorial cartoonist Aislin and originally published in the fall of 2020, depicts Trump wearing the hood during a presidential debate with then-candidate Joe Biden, with the moderator telling Trump, “Thank you, Mr. President, for wearing your mask.”
The cartoon seemingly hints at Trump's infamous line of "Proud Boys, stand back and stand by," when asked to denounce white supremacy during a presidential debate that year.
According to the lawsuit, Taylor's post was discovered by a co-worker who reported it to one of their managers.
The airline found the content to be "in violation of its social media policy," which doesn't “tolerate, disrespectful, hateful or discriminatory posts,” the lawsuit alleges.
A manager cited her Facebook post as "racially motivated," which the company said was the cause of her firing in April 2021, the suit says.
However, the cartoon of Trump in the KKK hood shared by Taylor “simultaneously made a statement about Trump’s denial of the need for Covid protective measures, and that racial discrimination against African Americans was a systemic issue starting at the top, with the then president" and wasn't racially charged, per the suit.
The former flight attendant also argues that non-Black employees were not subject to “such harsh punishments" for the same online activity as their Black colleagues.
A spokesperson for Delta denied Taylor's allegations of discrimination and said her narrative of events was "not accurate or complete."
“When Delta employees intermix Delta’s brand with conduct or content that does not reflect our values of professionalism, inclusion, and respect, that conduct can result in discipline or termination,” the company spokesperson said in a statement to The Independent.
“While personnel issues are considered private between Delta and its employees, the circumstances described by our former employee are not an accurate or complete explanation of the company’s termination decision,” the statement continued.