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Black Activist Booted Off American Airlines Flight By White Pilot


New York activist Tamika Mallory says she was booted from an American Airlines flight in Miami after a pilot inserted himself into a dispute over her seat assignment, reports the New York Daily News. Mallory, a co-chair of the Women’s March on Washington, was traveling home to New York when the pilot followed her down the jet bridge to scold her over an argument she had with a gate agent. He then had her summoned from her seat and kicked off the flight, she told the Daily News. “It definitely was white male aggression. I was singled out, I was disrespected, and he was trying to intimidate me. I was discriminated against,” she said. “It was so egregious, if you will, and there was no way that I could allow it to happen without me saying something.”

Mallory, who is active in movements for gun control and civil rights, was in Miami for the Revolt Music Conference and had planned to attend the wedding of Rev. Al Sharpton’s daughter Sunday afternoon — which she missed.

She said she arrived at Miami International Airport and used an airport kiosk to change from a middle to an aisle seat, which she was able to do at no charge as a platinum airline member.

At the gate, she was issued a new ticket that put her back in the middle seat. She asked an agent why, and said the employee’s response was “nasty” and “disrespectful.”

But Mallory thought the customer service dustup was over and headed onto the plane, until a pilot who had overheard the end of the exchange stopped her.

The pilot told her the airline worker had “nothing to do” with her seat getting changed and 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 said. “He looked at me and said, ‘You’re going to get yourself a one-way ticket off this plane.’”

Mallory was allowed onto the flight and settled into her middle seat, but an announcement was made telling her to come to the front of the plane.

When she got there, the pilot she had tangled with pointed at her and said, “Her, off.”

“I began to express my outrage,” Mallory said. “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.”

No one offered an explanation, but the cops soon arrived and Mallory left the plane. A person she was traveling with, who had remained in his seat the whole time, was also removed.

“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 after the incident. “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.”

American is one of several airlines that have sparked controversy this year for kicking passengers off flights. In one incident, a blind woman said the airline kicked her off when she tried to board with her service dog.

After she tweeted angrily at the airline, Mallory said a rep arrived to rebook her on a flight Sunday evening — but still never explained why she got the boot.