White Mom Suspected of Trading Her 10-Year-Old Black Daughter during a Flight

Dayna Remus
Nov 10, 2021
12:00 P.M.

A mother was infuriated when, on a trip filled with grief for both she and her daughter, she was accused of human trafficking. The incident left her baby wholly devastated.


Recently and without warning, Mary MacCarthy's brother Michael, who was 46 years old, passed away from a blood clot. The white mother's 10-year-old Black daughter Moira had a deep bond with her uncle, the mom expressing:

“I'm a single mom, he's like a father figure to my daughter. So we were both very much in shock."

Mary MacCarthy and Moira.┃Source: twitter.com/MaryMacCarthy

Mary MacCarthy and Moira.┃Source: twitter.com/MaryMacCarthy

Both already grieving and tired, they decided to fly from Los Angeles, California, to Denver, Colorado, boarding a Southwest Airlines plane on October 22, 2021.



As the two were boarding, MacCarthy asked the attendants if there was any possibility that they could sit together as they were struggling to find seats next to one another. The mother recollected:

"I said to the flight attendants, 'We're traveling for a funeral, my daughter's just 10.'"

She stated that the cabin crew was accommodating, saying they could ask other passengers if they would be willing to move for them, which they kindly did. Little did MacCarthy know that this innocent behavior was what one airline host pegged as suspicious.


MacCarthy and Moira arrived in Denver only to be met by two police officers who informed the mother that she was now suspected of trafficking her 10-year-old. They stated that someone thought her conduct on the flight was questionable. Outraged, the mother has expressed:


“That's when everything clicked in my brain. I've been a mother to a biracial child for 10 years, I'm aware of racial profiling.”

Part of the behavior that a Southwest employee cited as dubious included the mom wanting to sit next to Moira in the flight and the young girl allegedly not being allowed to talk. MacCarthy has refuted this accusation of prohibiting her daughter from speaking and has demanded that the Airline apologize.



Since the incident, Southwest Airlines have released a statement indicating that they are launching an internal investigation into the matter. The statement partially read:

"We will be reaching out to the customer to address her concerns and offer our apologies for her experience traveling with us.”

Southwest has declined to reveal the identity of the individual who reported the mother for possible human trafficking.



David Lane, MacCarthy's lawyer, has also commented on the incident, disputing the insinuation that race had nothing to do with the airline employee's suspicions. The attorney stated:

"Had the child been white, there is absolutely no doubt that this would never have occurred."

Pegging it as a civil rights issue, Lane stated that they would be taking the matter to federal court. The saddened mother said her daughter was traumatized by the incident. She emphasized that in this day and age, individuals should be wary of their biases.

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