Activist and co-chair of the Women’s March on Washington Tamika Mallory claims she was the victim of racist targeting after being kicked off a flight home to New York.
According to Mallory via an interview with the New York Daily News, a pilot followed her down the jet bridge to scold her over an argument she had with an agent at the gate.
He then asked her to leave her seat on the American Airlines flight set to takeoff from Miami and was subsequently removed. Apparently, the prior dispute with the gate agent was over seat assignment.
“It definitely was white male aggression,” she told the newspaper. “I was singled out, I was disrespected, and he was trying to intimidate me. I was discriminated against. It was so egregious, if you will, and there was no way that I could allow it to happen without me saying something.”
Currently active if gun control and civil rights movements, Mallory was in South Florida for the Revolt Music Conference and planned on attending Reverend Al Sharpton’s daughter’s wedding on Sunday afternoon, which she missed.
The point of original contention came when Mallory used a kiosk to change from a middle seat to and aisle seat, which she was able to do as a member of the airline’s platinum program.
When she arrived at the gate a new ticket had her sitting in the middle seat. When Mallory asked why she said she was met by a “nasty” and “disrespectful” response.
After that, she boarded the plane but the pilot apparently had other intentions and kicked her off after she threatened him with a poor experience customer report.
“Then he said to me, ‘Can you get on this flight? Are you going to be a problem on this flight?’ I said ‘No, I’m not. Actually, I’m fine. But I will write my complaint down,” Mallory said. “He looked at me and said, ‘You’re going to get yourself a one-way ticket off this plane.’”
Tamika Mallory later took to Twitter to air her grievances. “Doesn't matter how much we do and how hard we fight, white men are allowed to treat black women like s**t,” she tweeted. “Other ppl stand by and watch it happen because it doesn't affect them. If I have to fight alone, .@AmericanAir will NEVER GET AWAY W/ THIS.”
Mallory was reportedly never given an explanation as to why she was removed from the flight. American Airlines did issue a statement, which to her, is probably of little comfort at this point.
"Our team does not tolerate discrimination of any kind," Joshua Freed, American Airlines spokesman, said. "We take these allegations seriously, and we are in the process of reaching out to our colleagues in Miami, as well as Ms. Mallory, to obtain additional information on what transpired during the boarding process."
(Photo: Earl Gibson III/WireImage/Getty Images)