The life of a flight attendant can’t be easy, but we have very little sympathy for Joanne Wickenden, a 23-year-old who decided to Snapchat some jokes about Nigerians and how much she detests the journey from Heathrow to Abuja, Nigeria.
In the recordings, captioned with ‘I can’t cope with this flight’, Joanne spoke rapidly of her horror at having to work a Friday night. ‘Alright, so all of yous are there getting ready for your Friday night, getting in the pre-drinks, you know, as you do.
'And I'm here, getting ready to go to work, put on a yellow life jacket, point out the exits, hand out chicken or beef, what sort of Friday night is this for me? The upside is I'm going to Nigeria and there's gonna be bare BBC [big black cock] I’m joking, I’m joking.
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‘All the Nigerians are gonna be there like “gimme Coca-Cola, gimme me beef, why you have no beef left? I want beef”’ she continued, adding ‘And I'm just gonna be there like, “Sorry sir, we ran out of beef”
'All the Nigerians are gonna be there asking for fucking upgrades because they haven't got enough leg room because their BBCs are in their way. Big dicks like this swinging from side to side.’
The videos then leaked to the press, something a friend of Joanne’s told the* Daily Mail* says is ‘like someone had a vendetta [by releasing the video] instead of filing the complaint in a normal way.’
The friend continued: ‘She's not racist, it was a joke between two friends. It wasn't meant to be racist. She is not saying she dislikes Nigerians and she's not saying that anyone is better than anyone else.’
British Airways have released a statement to say: ‘We expect the utmost professionalism from our staff when they are representing British Airways. We are investigating this video’.
And that’s good - of course, it’s awful to stereotype all people of a country, even if that stereotype is as seemingly positive as black men having large penises. Because if you stereotype in one way, what’s to say you won’t stereotype in another, less than positive way?
What is interesting about the way this case is unfolding, though, is how quickly Joanne’s personal details are being sifted through. The Daily Mail have spoken about her Plenty of Fish profile as if her dating life is anything to do with her racism.
Also, remember Dapper Laughs? He kept his job as an estate agent for ages after it surfaced he was making videos of himself shouting ‘she’s moist’ at strangers, making homophobic jokes and lurking on women he didn’t know to tell them how fit they were. And while Joanne’s had journalists at her doorstep today (she’s refused to comment), it wasn’t until Dapper Laughs was a household name, willingly performing gigs in a bid to become famous, that the press went hunting for his personal details.
That’s not to excuse Joanne, but it’s a pretty robust exercise of contortion which sees right-wing papers taking down a racist woman in a way they never quite did with a sexist man…
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This article originally appeared on The Debrief.