Black Trans Journalist Kicked Off United Flight for Black Panther Hat and Flag Shirt

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Journalist Amanda Stevens boarded a United flight to Chicago today, where she was told to remove her Black Panther baseball cap and her t-shirt because they made the pilot “uncomfortable.” Stevens’ shirt was an ASAP Rocky design featuring an upside-down flag. Stevens, rightfully upset, recounted the event through a series of tweets that end with her getting kicked off the flight. Here they are:

Racial profiling at airports is a common occurrence, but it’s not one that we should ever find ok or tolerable. The pilot’s “discomfort” and the danger he ascribed to Stevens’ attire is straight up racism and discrimination towards a trans woman of color. If anyone should have to get off that flight, it’s him.

io9 notes that United Airlines’ Twitter account reached out to Stevens and released this statement in response, which gets her name wrong and also fails to adequately addresses the actual problems with the interaction:

We have reached out to Ms. Campos to discuss her concerns. Our goal is to provide safe and comfortable travel for all of our customers and we regret that Ms. Campos was unhappy with the handling of the seat assignments on her flight. United holds our employees to the highest standards of professionalism and has zero tolerance for discrimination.

We spoke to a representative of Stevens, who tweeted that she’s currently experiencing anxiety from the experience. We’ll update the article with any new developments.

UPDATE: United Airlines has revised their statement to io9 via email, as their initial statement apparently referenced an unrelated incident two weeks ago:

We are in contact with Ms. Stevens to discuss this matter further. Both United and SkyWest hold our employees to the highest standards of professionalism and have zero tolerance for discrimination.

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