Earlier this week, disturbing footage of a United Airlines passenger being dragged off an overbooked flight hit the web. Viewers called for the airline company to heavily compensate Dr. David Dao, while others compared his experience to that of civil rights pioneer, Rosa Parks.
The statement was initially made by Dao’s attorney, who referred to his client as the modern-day “Asian version of Rosa Parks” based off of an email he received. Now, Parks’ niece, Urana McCauley, speaks out against the controversial remarks.
“Unfortunately, what happened to Dr. Dao is definitely wrong and it was definitely a mistreatment of him. But as someone who is her niece, and grew up with Rosa Parks, and knowing her on a personal level, knowing all that she endured and knowing what black people in this country endured at that time, I feel that you cannot compare the two,” she said to TMZ. She later continued, “I think that what Dr. Dao is going to do is probably change the policy of United Airlines, but actually what my aunt did was change history.”
Parks’ impact was solidified by her refusal to give up her seat to a white passenger on a Montgomery, Ala., bus in 1955. Her gesture served as an act of resistance against segregation in the south.