Fresh from attending the 2017 REVOLT Music Conference this past weekend in Miami Beach, activist Tamika Mallory was booted off her flight home early Sunday (Oct. 15), after a pilot chose to get involved with an inquiry over a seat change.
The day prior, Mallory, a co-chair of the Women's March on Washington, participated in an engaging dialogue during the conference's most impactful and culturally important panel, "Hip-Hop Vs. Trump," lending her insight and criticism regarding how to fight against oppression and discrimination. Hours before being discriminated against by the airline, Mallory thanked RMC for uplifting her spirits, explaining that the conference helped her to feel "ready to get back into the ring" and continue to fight against social injustice.
"I truly needed the love and support of every black and brown person who touched me," Mallory wrote earlier in the day, reflecting on her experience attending RMC. "My heart was heavy walking in to this conference, but my people were focused in an old school type of way, with new school energy and ideas on where we need to go. Allowed me to free my mind from those who spend time doubting, accusing, lying and faking their alliance/friendship."
After arriving to MIA, Mallory changed her seat from a middle seat to an aisle seat from an airport kiosk, with her new boarding ticket, which was printed at the gate, not reflecting the latest change. After inquiring with a gate agent as to why, the employee's response was "nasty" and "disrespectful," resulting in the pilot, who overheard the tailend of the exchange, choosing to get involved and single out Mallory.
"It definitely was white male aggression," Mallory shared, speaking of the unfortunate and upsetting incident with the NY Daily News. "I was singled out, I was disrespected, and he was trying to intimidate me. I was discriminated against."
After the pilot, a white male, told her that the airline worker had "nothing to do" with the seat change issue, he added that she was the one who behaved disrespectfully.
"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 recounted. "He looked at me and said, 'You're going to get yourself a one-way ticket off this plane.'"
Following this interaction, Mallory, was allowed to board the plane, but once seated, an announcement requested that she come to the front of the plane, leading to her getting booted off, with no explanation.
"I began to express my outrage," Mallory told reporters. "Then I asked why I was being removed. I asked why was this happening to me. I told him I felt completely disrespected. I began to weep."
Fellow artist and activist, Mysonne, who was traveling alongside Mallory and also attended the fourth-annual conference, was also removed from the plane, despite not personally getting involved with the situation at hand.
"Doesn't matter how much we do and how hard we fight, white men are allowed to treat black women like s--t," Mallory wrote on Twitter. "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."
Additionally, Mallory shared that she still did not receive an explanation as to why she was kicked off the plane, but that a rep did arrive to rebook her a flight out of Miami International Airport.
"Our team does not tolerate discrimination of any kind," American Airlines spokesman Joshua Freed told the NY Daily News in a statement. "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."
Later on in the evening, Mallory took to Facebook Live to explain the situation in detail and in her own words, holding back tears.
"They targeted me, I was already being thrown off the plane," she explained. "There was nothing else to discuss at that point. There was no reason at that point for me to be kind and continue to bow to master. I was disrespected, I was targeted."
"I told him he was a racist bastard and I didn't appreciate the way I was treated," she continued. "Today I let him know he f--ked with the wrong person because you don't know who I am."
Listen to Tamika Mallory recount her experience being discriminated against by American Airlines in the Facebook Live video below.
#americanairlinesPosted by Tamika Mallory on Sunday, October 15, 2017
.@americanairlines strikes again. But THIS time, I will not be too busy to deal with the way I was disrespected today.— Tamika D. Mallory (@TamikaDMallory) October 15, 2017
I was just removed from an .@americanairlines flight because of white make aggression. I will fight this until I die!— Tamika D. Mallory (@TamikaDMallory) October 15, 2017
Doesn't matter how much we do and how hard we fight, white men are allowed to treat black women like shit .@AmericanAir— Tamika D. Mallory (@TamikaDMallory) October 15, 2017
& 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— Tamika D. Mallory (@TamikaDMallory) October 15, 2017
Correction: I was DISRESPECTED by an .@americanair employee and a pilot today.— Tamika D. Mallory (@TamikaDMallory) October 15, 2017
This is not the first time ppl I know and love have been treated this way by .@AmericanAir. And by today, they have learned NOTHING!— Tamika D. Mallory (@TamikaDMallory) October 15, 2017
See the full video from the 2017 REVOLT Music Conference's "Hip-Hop Vs. Trump" panel below.