Activist Tamika Mallory was kicked off of a flight on Sunday while flying home to New York from the 2017 REVOLT Music Conference in Miami, and she says that she was mistreated by American Airlines.
"Two American Airlines employees disrespected, targeted, and discriminated against me," Mallory said in a statement to REVOLT. "One of the employees, a pilot, attempted to intimidate me and in an act of white male aggression, he had me removed from my flight without cause."
As previously reported, Mallory used an airport kiosk to change her seat from a middle seat to an aisle seat. Her new boarding ticket did not reflect the change, and she spoke to a gate agent about the issue.
Mallory said the gate agent was "nasty" and "disrespectful," but she was still allowed to board the flight. But before takeoff, the pilot had her kicked off of the flight, without explanation as to why. Rapper/activist Mysonne, who was traveling with her, was also booted from the plane, despite not getting personally involved.
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
Every @AmericanAir rep I've talked to told me the pilot mishandled the situation. He had no business getting involved in a seat dispute— Tamika D. Mallory (@TamikaDMallory) October 15, 2017
Only reason this pilot got involved was to assert his white male power over who he thought was just some uppity black girl. That's it.— Tamika D. Mallory (@TamikaDMallory) October 15, 2017
Mallory was the co-chair of the Women's March On Washington, and uses activism to address concerns of gun control and civil rights. She missed the wedding of Rev. Al Sharpton's daughter as a result of getting kicked off the plane. She told REVOLT that she was upset about what happened, but that people without her name recognition have it even worse.
"While it was a humiliating experience, I am more concerned about the mistreatment of people who do not have a platform to tell their stories," Mallory told REVOLT. "American Airlines must take responsibility for the conduct of their employees."
American Airlines told NY Daily News that it takes the allegations seriously, and is investigating the incident.
"Our team does not tolerate discrimination of any kind," American Airlines spokesman Joshua Freed 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."