Sikh woman in US had to show her breast pump to prove she's not a terrorist
In an emotional Facebook post, Valarie Kaur shares that she was boarding a plane to Los Angeles when a white man behind her in line raised concerns over her behaviour.
Washington: As members of the Arab and Muslim communities in the United States fear a backlash in the wake of a terror attack in California, a Sikh-American woman has revealed her harrowing experience at the Minneapolis airport.
In an emotional Facebook post, Valarie Kaur, the Media and Justice Fellow at Stanford Law School, shared that she was boarding a plane to Los Angeles when a white man behind her in line raised concerns over her behaviour.
Read the full post here:
"A few minutes ago, while waiting in line to board a #Delta flight home to LA, I removed the luggage tag on my carry-on. It carried my breast pump, and I needed to make milk on the flight. The passenger behind me raised his voice. I turned around. He was a white man and his face was angry. He asked why I removed the tag. I offered to explain but he said he didn't want to know. Instead he told the other passengers in line. A gate agent arrived, alarmed and angered. I explained that I was a nursing mother, but she still didn't let me board with my bag. Her face was just as angry. I had to pull out the breast pump to show her. Only then was I allowed to take my seat. All the passengers in first class watched and I smiled weakly to show them I wasn't a terrorist.
I'm sitting on the flight now, shaken. I'm thinking of the countless subtle acts of profiling of Muslim Sikh and brown bodies in the last 14 years. The double-pain: I was reading tweets on my phone about the #SanBernardino shooting while in line, but my grieving was interrupted by a passenger seeing me as suspect.
I'm angry and shaken and sad. But I'm flying home for Kavi's 1st birthday tomorrow, and I know that the only social and political force powerful enough to fight hate is love, and I want to practice the loving response now. What does revolutionary love look like in this moment?
Update: Delta responded immediately over Twitter and offered an apology. The rest of the flight crew was truly professional and respectful. The responses to this post are overwhelming. Thank you!"