http://foxnews.com/story/0,2933,78139,00.htmlSisters Suing Southwest Over 'Racist Rhyme'
Grace Fuller, 48, and her sister Louis Sawyer, 46, were returning from Las Vegas two years ago when flight attendant Jennifer Cundiff, trying to get passengers to sit down, said over the intercom, "Eenie, meenie, minie, moe; pick a seat, we gotta go."
The sisters say the rhyme was directed at them and was a reference to its racist version that dates to before the civil rights era: "Eenie, meenie, minie, moe; catch a n----- by his toe."
"It was like I was too dumb to find a seat," Fuller said. Sawyer said fellow passengers snickered at the rhyme, which made her feel alienated.
The sisters are seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.
U.S. District Judge Kathryn Vratil last week dismissed the sisters' claims of physical and emotional distress but set trial for March 4.
"The court agrees with plaintiffs that because of its history, the phrase `eenie, meenie, minie, moe' could reasonably be viewed as objectively racist and offensive," Vratil wrote. The second line of a modern version of the rhyme usually goes, "Catch a tiger by the toe."
Airline attorney John Cowden said there was no intent to discriminate against any passenger.
Cundiff, who is white and was 22 at the time of the incident, said she had never heard the offensive version of the rhyme. She said she learned the Southwest version from co-workers and used it as a funny way of getting passengers who are not assigned seats on Southwest to sit down.
Plaintiffs' attorney Scott Wissel said the sisters also want Southwest to stop using the rhyme and provide employee training to prevent such incidents.