Mom Forced to Show Breast Pump to Prove Not a Terrorist

In the latest ridiculous news story about shaming breastfeeding women, someone actually made this mom show her breast pump at the airport for an infuriating reason.

Mom Forced to Show Breast Pump to Prove Not a Terrorist Rose Carson/Shutterstock

It could have been a scene from one of the award-winning films about racial tension Valarie Kaur is known for making.

Kaur, a Sikh-American, was just trying to board her flight when she found herself in an insulting, humiliating situation: The mother, interfaith lawyer and filmmaker was about to board a flight to Los Angeles, where she was heading to celebrate her daughter's first birthday. She removed a tag from a piece of her luggage to access her breast pump—totally a normal thing to do at an airport, right?—when it happened.

"The passenger behind me raised his voice," Kaur posted on Facebook of the incident. "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 to know. Instead he told the other passengers in line."

Kaur went on to explain to the gate agent who arrived on the scene that she was a nursing mother—but ultimately, she had to pull out her breast pump to show the attendant before she was allowed to take her seat.

"All the passengers in first class watched and I smiled weakly to show them I wasn't a terrorist," Kaur said in her post about the incident. "I'm sitting on the flight now, shaken. I'm thinking of the countless subtle acts of profiling Muslim Sikh and brown bodies in the last 14 years."

There's one bright spot to the story: Kaur said that Delta, the airline she was on at the time of the incident, apologized profusely. Her Facebook post has garnered tons of support as well—still, it's a shame that anyone had to go through something so demeaning, especially over something as innocuous as pulling the luggage tag off her suitcase.

"I'm angry and shaken and sad," Kaur said in her post. "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 at this moment?"