Ms. Tamika Mallory, NYC Activist/ co-chair for Women’s March Movement, was removed from an American Airlines flight after she changed her seat with a kiosk, from a middle seat to an aisle seat. She was given her original seat at boarding from an agent. Ms. Mallory described the agent as “disrespectful” and “nasty.” Apparently, the agent’s attitude was not helping the situation and to make matters worse, the flight’s pilot got involved.
“Are you going to behave?”, “You’re going to get yourself a one-way ticket off this plane,” the pilot reportedly said to Ms. Mallory.
It was as if the pilot was mocking how vulnerable Ms. Mallory was in the situation, throwing it in her face that HE had control over her and whether or not she was taking that flight.
Mallory recalled it as, “White male aggression…” simply because she was a woman of color and he was the pilot.
At no point in the altercation did Ms. Mallory get an explanation as to why she wasn’t getting her seat or as to why she was being thrown off the plane, after agreeing to take her original seat.
There have been many incidents where African Americans reported being mistreated or disrespected on many mainstream airlines. This situation in particular, would have never escalated if the employees would have given Ms. Mallory a proper explanation as to why there was an issue to begin with. The crew members were unprofessional from the start. They took advantage of their positions to shame. Nobody deserves to be spoken to like they are worthless.
It’s devastating to come to a realization that so many similar stories go hidden and stay silent due to racial dominance.
This is a racial issue. This is still a problem!
People will take advantage of their positions and feel as though they have authority to talk down on people with no compassion whatsoever. It’s unfortunate that the sad reality is people will treat you like you’re not human and think it’s acceptable just by judging the way you look, how you speak and in my case, what you speak.
We shouldn’t let others manipulate us into thinking that we are worthless or unable to speak out of fear. Ms. Mallory is taking initiative in making sure that this issue is not put to sleep.
I admire Ms. Mallory for using her voice to shine on an issue that many of us go through. This is a prime example of what women of color go through every day at school, work, & in public and it is in dire need of an ending.
Written By: Carolina Avila