The 10 Whitest Things About the Woman Who Flushed Her Emotional-Support Hamster Down the Toilet at the Airport


Like sandwich cake, video games, Mary Kay distributing and trapping, there are levels to this whiteness shit. In Pittsburgh alone, there are at least 26 different grades of whiteness, including garden-variety Yinzer whiteness, Appalachian-adjacent whiteness, well-meaning Patagonia whiteness, Lululemon whiteness and Ben Roethlisberger.

And sometimes, as in the story about Belen Aldecosea—the Florida woman who, when allegedly told that she wasn’t allowed to bring her emotional-support hamster on a plane, allegedly flushed said hamster down the toilet—the levels of whiteness converge to form a whiteness soufflé. A whiteness manicotti. A whiteness Thai fried rice.

Anyway, there are too many levels of whiteness in this story to list at one time, so I’ll just name 10.


1. The fact that she has an emotional-support animal. Because the only emotional 0-support animals black people get are lice in prison bunk beds.

2. The fact that her emotional-support animal is a fucking hamster. Hamsters are cute and great and all, but there’s nothing about a hamster that has ever made me think, “I wish that hamster would give me a hug.” This must have been a charismatic-ass hamster. The Mahershala Ali of hamsters.

3. The fact that she attempted to bring a gotdamn rodent on a plane. The bulk of my adult life has been spent intentionally avoiding enclosed places where rodents might be. I’ve never, ever, ever, ever been in a place and thought, “You know what this space needs? More rodents.”

4. Again, the fact that she attempted to bring a gotdamn rodent on a plane. I’m so wary of airport security that I practically fly naked now and my only carry-on is a ziplock bag, and she’s trying to get gotdamn rats through the X-ray machine.


5. The fact that, after being told, “No, you cannot bring this rat on the plane with you, you silly motherfucker,” she reportedly flushed it down the toilet. Apparently, her rationale was that this was a humane way to get rid of it. But on my list of terrible ways to die, drowning to death in an airport toilet is pretty damn near the top. Also, why not just let him loose in a Chick-fil-A or something? Of course, he’d probably get caught and killed, but at least he’d die with a full stomach.



6. The fact that she has a gotdamn lawyer. Which means a lawsuit is a possibility.

7. The fact that her gotdamn lawyer was quoted as saying, “This was a highly stressful situation, and people react in a lot of different ways. She’s only 21 years old, a kid still,” despite the fact that she’s 21 FUCKING YEARS OLD, WHICH MEANS SHE IS NOT A KID STILL.


8. The fact that she apparently already has a new hamster, one that I’m sure she’ll also murder when told she’s not allowed to co-sign a loan for it.

9. The fact that SOMEONE SOLD ANOTHER HAMSTER TO AN INFAMOUS HAMSTER MURDERER. Niggas go to prison for 50 years for stealing Snickers Ice Cream Bars, and this known hamster murderer gets help.


10. The fact that her name is Belen Aldecosea, but what happened is so white that for now on I’m just going to call her Kirstjen Nielsen.

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB, a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times, and the author of What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker (Ecco/HarperCollins)

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I am so irked that Black kids are viewed as adults at 10 and white folks can be kids ti they are 30.