Emmit Walker, a music executive, was casually waiting to board his flight at an airport in Virginia, US, when the woman behind him tried to cut him in line.
According to Walker, who posted the exchange on Facebook, the woman insisted on boarding the flight ahead of him as the line was "for priority boarding".
Her: Excuse me, I believe you may be in the wrong place. You need to let us through. This line is for priority boarding.
"Priority meaning first class correct?" Walker said he asked her.
"Yes ... now excuse me they will call y'all after we board," the woman reportedly replied.
Walker said he proceeded to show the woman his first class priority boarding pass and told her: "You can relax ma'am, I'm in the right spot, been here longer, so you can board after me."
However, the woman refused to back down.
"He must be military or something, but we paid for our seats so he still should have to wait," Walker heard the woman say.
"Nope, too big to ever be in anybody's military," he told her, adding: "I'm just a n****r with money."
According to the man, everyone else waiting in line began to clap.
His Facebook post was accompanied by a selfie showing the lady queuing behind him and the caption "this lady is funny lmao".
The post quickly went viral and has been shared nearly 250,000 times and liked more than 350,000 times in just a couple of days.
After the post went viral, Walker explains he didn't realise his post would capture so much interest and apologises to the woman for putting her in the spotlight.
He wrote: "When I posted that post on Facebook i didn't expect all that to come from it. I can honestly name the four or five people i thought would comment with something funny, and that will be it. This racist stuff is definitely a issue but this is not the solution to that issue.'
"It brings me no joy waking up in paradise to for my 37 bday and knowing that woman might be going threw hell. The story was definitely real, just like this issue is definitely real, but I now know that I myself should of handled it another way, or left it how it was, and not shared it publicly.'
"When dealing with people i always try to stay on the side of Right, so to make sure I never do anybody wrong, I try to always put myself in that persons shoes, and ask how would I feel if that person did this to me, and if I was her this morning I would be a total wreak today, and that doesn't help this situation, or her...it only makes them more angry, and bring more drama...
"SO I WOULD LIKE TO APOLOGIZE AGAIN TO THE WOMAN I HAD THIS ENCOUNTER WITH YESTERDAY. NO MATTER HOW WRONG YOUR ACTIONS YOU DON'T DESERVE THIS
"I BELIEVE IF YOU CAN'T HELP NOBODY AT THE VERY LEAST YOU SHOULD NEVER DO ANYTHING TO HURT THEM."
Many people commented saying he had nothing to apologise for, but clearly the issue was weighing on his conscience.