Alaska Airlines

It doesn’t take much for far-right political creeps to get ugly.

After a section of a Boeing 737 Max blew out during an Alaska Airlines flight, Elon Musk and others took to social media to lay the blame on the Federal Aviation Administration’s diversity measures, implying that people of color are less qualified employees than those who are white.

But it didn’t stop there.

Right-wing media outfits, including Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News and New York Post, took this a step further, implying that quality issues might also be the fault of the FAA hiring people with intellectual disabilities. (If you’re interested, this link will take you to info on the FAA’s National Outreach Program for Diversity and Inclusion.)

After throwing this out like red meat, the article also included a statement from the FAA:

“The FAA employs tens of thousands of people for a wide range of positions, from administrative roles to oversight and execution of critical safety functions. Like many large employers, the agency proactively seeks qualified candidates from as many sources as possible, all of whom must meet rigorous qualifications that of course will vary by position,” the FAA said.

Still, others jumped on, including former Alaska governor Sarah Palin.

More reputable media outlets pushed back with actual reporting, some noting the willful ignoring of parts defects by one of the aircraft’s manufacturers.

Additionally, “both Boeing and its supplier, Spirit AeroSystems, are not particularly diverse,” reports Popular Information. “In 2022, minorities made up 35% of the workforce. At Spirit AeroSystems, minority representation was at 26% in 2022. This number shrinks as you move up the corporate ladder.”

I’m torn about amplifying extremist positions that go for the lowest common denominator, but with the presidential elections coming up I feel obligated to note that, as Maya Angelou wrote, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”

Photo: Flickr

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