Over the weekend, activist Tamika Mallory said she was unfairly kicked off an American Airlines flight due to discrimination and "white male aggression." In a press conference on Tuesday, she gave an official statement on the matter - and made demands for American Airlines to do the right thing.
Joined by her attorney Royce Russell, rapper/activist Mysonne (who was also kicked off the flight), and other civil rights leaders, Mallory made several demands: an in-person meeting with upper brass at American Airlines, an apology for what happened, and policy changes that protect other people of color from what she described as a "humiliating" experience. Continue reading below.
"As a spiritual person, I understand that this happened to me because other people need to have their voices heard," Mallory said. "... I want to ensure that there are policies instituted in American Airlines that ensure that what happened to me will not happen to another person. And if it does, that there will be immediate action taken to reprimand to whoever disrespects and discriminates against a person."
Known for her work as a civil rights leader and as co-chair of the Women's March movement, Mallory was scheduled to fly back to New York following her attendance at the 2017 REVOLT Music Conference in Miami where she gave her insight at the conference's "Hip-Hop vs. Trump" panel. Continue reading below.
According to Mallory, things went left when she spoke with an American Airlines gate agent about her seat assignment change who she claims was disrespectful and rude to her.
"There will be some people that will say that the first woman that I encountered was a black woman, so 'how is this a racial incident?'" Mallory said. "The issue is she disrespected me. It was a ticket agent. I told her that I was going to write her name down and make a report. What happened after that is where the discrimination begins."
Following her exchange with the ticket agent, Mallory says a pilot from the flight came down to reprimand her and ask her if she knew how to "behave." He repeated such language, Mallory said, when sending a flight attendant to speak to her.
"I stood there and accepted that, knowing that I had been taught my entire life, as a freedom fighter, that no man should be asking me if I can behave," Mallory said, noting that she was mistreated despite being a paying customer and an American Airlines Platinum member. "... I had to basically tell massa that I was not going to be a runaway slave, and I went to my seat and I sat down and I was quiet for over 15 minutes."
Mallory alleges that after staying in her seat, her name was called over the intercom for her to come to the front of the plane, where she was kicked off the flight.
"I stepped to the front of the plane," Mallory said. "And a white man looked at another woman and said, 'Yeah, her. Off.' Like I was nothing. And at that point, I began to tell him he was every racist white man I have ever learned about in my life. And I definitely raised my voice and if I had to do it all over again I would say the same exact damn thing." Continue reading below.
"This happened to me because other people need to have their voices heard," said Mallory.
Mysonne, who witnessed the entire altercation, had this to say about the incident:
"Seeing my sister go through that and using the restraint I did, not even having any kind of conversation with the man, just asking 'is there a way we can resolve this?' and to be thrown off a plane for that, it's just, the whole thing was so...just watching her cry, understanding what it takes for her to get to that stage, watching a woman just disrespect her like she was nothing."
When asked what she would like seen happen in this situation, Mallory said, _"I want to make sure that what happened to me will not happen to another person and if it does, that there will be immediate action taken to reprimand whoever discriminates and disrespects a person, because I was discriminated against."
American Airlines has issued a statement saying the company "does not tolerate discrimination of any kind" and was investigating the incident, but Mallory said the company hasn't personally reached out.
Stay tuned to REVOLT TV for further updates in this story.