Talib Kweli has had a harrowing experience on an American Airlines flight this week, and he’s taken to Instagram to share the entire encounter.
In a series of videos posted on Wednesday (January 18), the Brooklyn native explained how a flight attendant not realizing his bag was able to fit under the seat in front of him ended with him being threatened to be arrested.
“Yesterday afternoon @americanair threatened to have me arrested for no reason at all,” Talib captioned his post. “After clearing my bag with the gate agent, flight attendant Sky Seaglass tells me my bag is too big and I must check it. I asked why, so he got annoyed and called his supervisor. The supervisor tells me it’s her decision whether I fly or not. That’s an important detail.”
While he didn’t have video of his interaction with Seaglass, the clips begin with the supervisor and a very calm Talib explaining why his bag should be fine.
“The supervisor sees that the attendant Seaglass was wrong about my bag and walks me to my seat and says l’m good to fly,” he continued. “Moments later the supervisor comes back and tells me that if I do not obey the flight attendant while in the air, I will go to jail. The whole time, Seaglass, who I’m not talking to at all, is telling people he feels ‘unsafe.'”
“Moments later the supervisor comes back and tells me I must leave the plane. I tell her I feel like that’s a violation of my human rights and my rights as a customer. She then tells me I must stop recording, even though earlier she said I could record, and was made to sit and wait as everyone exits the plane. I tried to go live 3 times but @instagram kept cutting my audio.”
Video of this part of the incident appears to show the supervisor not really having a decent explanation as to why Talib should disembark from the plane.
“They then send 3 police officers in. Police expressed surprise that @americanair crew threatened me with arrest and said only the police can make that call. Cops then say ‘we got called out for nothing’ and ‘you didn’t do anything wrong.’ It’s right there on video.”
The final post in the carousel was a photo of his luggage.
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Gillie Da Kid expressed a similar poor experience on American Airlines just months earlier. The Million Dollaz Worth of Game podcast host called the airline out on social media for perceived racial profiling after he was allegedly asked to be searched at a Texas airport in November.
“Plane full of white folks leaving Dallas and the only black man is ask does he have illegal narcotics in his bag,” Gillie wrote alongside the exchange on Instagram, tagging American Airlines. “U pick the wrong ni$$a today buddy.”
Gillie can be heard saying in the video, “What are you talking about? You wanna look in here? You asked me could you search [my bag] so I searched it for you.”
“Don’t lie to the camera sir,” the agent replied.
“Oh c’mon, man, don’t lie to the camera. You walked up, gonna pick me out. Get away from me man. You picked me out,” Gillie continued. “For what? I’m probably the richest person on this plane, get away from me man.”
The agent then interjected to accuse Gillie of “smelling like marijuana” and reminded the podcast host it was “illegal in Texas.”
“I smell like marijuana, are you serious? Are you serious? What do you mean be real. You be real,” Gillie said. “Picked the wrong one today, huh?”
Other artists that have called out American Airlines for racism in recent years include YG, Wale and Boosie Badazz.