Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about nursery rhymes and whether they are true or false.
NURSERY RHYME URBAN LEGEND: Airline passengers sued Southwest Airlines over the usage of a nursery rhyme by a flight attendant.
Few children’s rhymes have as rough a history as the simple “counting” rhyme, “Eeny, meeny, miny, moe.”
The most popular version of the rhyme goes:
Eeny, meeny, miny, moe,
Catch a tiger by the toe.
If he hollers let him go,
Eeny, meeny, miny, moe.
With the rhyme designed to “randomly” count out one person, for purposes of determining who goes first, who is “it,” etc.
However, years ago, a particularly American take on the rhyme was quite popular (up until the late 19th Century, it was the most popular version of the rhyme in the United States), and in this version, instead of the word “tiger,” a common racial epithet for black people was used.
Some versions of the rhyme went even further, with stuff like:
If he won’t work then let him go;
Skidum, skidee, skidoo.
In any event, because of the history with the rhyme, some black people have a real problem with the rhyme, no matter the current lyrics.
So keep that in mind when you hear that a pair of black passengers were boarding a Southwest Airlines flight in 2001 (on Southwest, the passengers pick their own seats), when a flight attendant told them either:
Continue reading “Did Airline Passengers Really Sue Southwest Airlines Over the Use of a Nursery Rhyme by a Flight Attendant?”