On a British Airways fright from Johannesburg, a middle-aged, well-to-do, white South African woman found herself sitting next to a black man. She called the cabin crew attendant over to complain about her seating.

‘What seems to the problem, Madam? Asked the attendant. “Can’t you see?” she said, “You’ve sat me next to a kafir. I can’t possibly sit next to this disgusting human. Find me another seat!” “Please calm down, Madam,” the stewardess replied. “The flight is very full today, but I’ll tell you what I’ll do. I’ll go and check to see if we have any seats available in club or first class.” The woman cocked a snooty look at the outraged black man beside her as well as toward many of the surrounding passengers.

A few minutes later the stewardess returned saying she had good news, which she delivered to the woman, who could not resist looking at the people around her with a smug and self-satisfied grin. “Madam, unfortunately, as I suspected, economy is full. I’ve spoken to the cabin services director, and club also full. However, we do have one seat in first class.

Before the lady had a chance to answer, the stewardess continued: “It is most extraordinary to make this kind of upgrade, however, and I have had to get special permission from the captain. But, given the circumstances, the captain felt that it was outrageous that someone should be forced to sit next to such an obnoxious person.” With that, she turned to the black man and said, “So if you’d like to gather your things, Sir, I have your first class seat ready for you.”

At which point, the surrounding passengers stood and gave a standing ovation as the man walked to the front of the plane.

*Kafir is an Arabic word meaning”rejecter” or “ingrate;” the term also means –infidel or pagan.

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