by Kelsey Stone
Last week news broke about activist Tamika Mallory was kicked off a American Airlines flight, after an argument with a pilot over a seat assignment. The news of this incident spread like wild fire and soon got the attention of news outlets and other political activist and leaders.
After the incident Mallory tweeted about the ordeal, stating, “Doesn’t matter how much we do and how hard we fight, white men are allowed to treat black women like s—t”, then later tweeting, ““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.” Mallory was on her way to Miami for the wedding of Al Sharpton’s daughter.
A few days later, news broke that American Airlines contacted Mallory to resolve the issue. Mallory took to twitter to say, “Got a call from an exec at @AmericanAir today,” Mallory tweeted. “A meeting will be scheduled in the near future. No resolution yet. Our voices had been heard.” No update has been announced, but there are still questions that have lingering in their heads. One of the questions that stand out is, will Tamika get justice?
With many incidents like this, we rarely see justice brought to light for people of color, especially for those who are activist. Most of our issues are ignored and other people within our community believe incidents like this are used to target and make leaders and activist scared to speak out. In other cases, such as police shootings, where the person who caused the situation to escalate is rarely punished and just given time off. No job loss, no reprimanding of any sort, just time off and a loss of a paycheck.
Although American Airlines is willing to contact and settle things with Tamika Mallory, I hope that this is a lesson for the airline company and hopefully the pilot involved will be punished. I hope that this goes beyond a paid leave and a slap on the wrist. Companies and employees need to start to learn about respect and customer service for all customers.
You never know who you’re encountering, how they will react, or what they are capable of doing. These businesses constantly ignore customers of color and treat our discrimination lightly but always wonder why they’re getting poor reviews and losing revenue. If they would take the time to see what’s going on at the consumer level and lower levels of their company, I firmly believe things would change for the better of the company and the community.
Could Tamika Mallory get justice? Hopefully so, but to the extent where all parties have learned their lesson and there are rule in place to prevent incidents like this in the future.
Image from Tamika Mallory’s Facebook page