Realizing they are still flying over a mountain range and have nowhere safe to put down, the pilot and co-pilot devise a plan to keep the plane aloft in the sky for everyone’s safety. The pilot grabs his microphone and announces to the passengers,
“Hello passengers, this is your captain speaking. As I’m sure some of you have noticed, one of the engines is sputtering black smoke and we are losing altitude at a somewhat alarming rate. I want to assure you that I have no intention of crashing into the mountains, so in an effort to remain in the sky we are going to dump the cargo to lighten the airplane. Once we are done, we will assess if further action is necessary. Thank you for flying with us today.”
Under the pilot’s orders, the flight crew empties the cargo hold of the plane. Unfortunately, while the plane is falling more slowly, it’s not enough. The pilot addresses the passengers again,
“Hello passengers, this is your captain speaking. We have successfully offloaded the cargo from the aircraft but unfortunately we are still losing altitude too quickly to make it to the nearest landing site. The only thing left we have to let go of is people- now, I want everyone to remain calm. My co-pilot and I have determined a fair way to select volunteers to equip parachutes and we are broadcasting drop locations with our distress call, rescue crews will come for you soon. Without further ado, it pains me to ask… The first letter is A, so would all the African Americans please make your way to the flight crew where they will escort you to the cargo bay for departure.”
The older man remains seated, while his grandson sulkingly starts to stand.
“Sit down, boy,” his grandfather says. “But grandpa, we’re African Americans.” “I said sit down, boy.”
After a few monents the captain comes back on,
“Hello passengers, this is your captain speaking. We’re making progress. Next is B, would the Black folks please make their way to the cargo bay for departure. Rescue crews will be on the way to you momentarily.”
The little boy goes to stand again, but his grandfather sternly says to him, “I said sit down, boy. How many times I got to tell you?” “But grandpa,” he protests, “We’re black!” “Sit down and shut your mouth, I mean it.” Confused, the boy sits again. After a few moments, the captain comes back on,
“Hello passengers, this is your captain speaking. Every brave soul is a hero, and we need more heroes. C is up next, would all the Coloured people please make their way to the cargo bay for departure. Thank you.”
The boy, once again, stands up.
“I said sit your ass down boy! Don’t make me say it again or I will wear your ass out right here right now! “BUT GRANDPA!” The boy shouts, “Aren’t we African American, Black, AND Coloured?”
Without skipping a beat his grandfather grabs him by the shoulders and stares straight into his eyes as he says,
“Not today boy. Today we are Niggers, and we ain’t gettin’ off this fuckin’ plane until the damned Mexicans do!”