Joel Osteen's associate pastor, John Gray, absolutely thinks the 2 flight attendants who went toe-to-toe with his wife would've handled things differently if she were white.
Rev. Gray -- a host on "The Preachers" -- and Aventer were on "TMZ Live" Friday trying to explain why she was singled out by the American Airlines crew when she attempted to switch seats with her nanny.
Check out the clip ... John stops just short of calling it straight up racism, but he clearly thinks Aventer was treated differently because of what she was wearing, and POSSIBLY because she's black.
We broke the story ... cops were called and Aventer was briefly removed from the flight. She was ultimately allowed back on, and the 2 flight attendants got booted.