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United's 'Fly the Woke Skies' Nosedive

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AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File

You are not going to believe the latest attempt by a major American corporation to jump up and down in the back of the room, waving its arms and shouting, "Look at me! Look at me! I'm woke, too!  Pay attention to meeeeee!!!!!"


United Airlines felt the burning desire to one-up Delta's grandstanding, political announcement last week. If you missed it, Delta declared its outrage over the state of Georgia taking reasonable steps to expand voting access while maintaining some semblance of election integrity. Apparently, United couldn't risk losing business from all the discerning customers who don't choose their airlines based on safety, service, on-time performance, and fares. Apparently, the vast majority of airline passengers look to the "wokest" airline board room before booking their tickets (I wonder if Orbitz is going to add a search filter related to this...).

United's announcement via social media should never have made it past the various layers of public relations and marketing approval squads that I'd like to think a major corporation maintains so as not to embarrass and damage its precious brand. But, somehow, the geniuses in the executive suite thought this would be a good idea: 

"Our flight deck should reflect the diverse group of people on board our planes every day. That’s why we plan for 50% of the 5,000 pilots we train in the next decade to be women or people of color." The company tweeted with a link for any potential airline pilots to click and complete the application process. 


Now, maybe it's just me, but when I'm hurtling through the earth's atmosphere at 35,000 feet above terra firma, I'm not entirely interested in what boxes on the Critical Race Theory checklist the person at the helm of my magic flying silver-bird successfully checked. 

I'll put it another way: If the choice is between the Latinx, transgender pilot who barely scraped by on the entrance exam but filled United's quota demand versus the best damn pilot in the world who also happens to be an anti-Semitic member of the Nation of Islam, I'll pick Captain Elijah X. Khalid every day. 

And, I doubt I'm alone. When your plane hits turbulence the next time your flying United, will you pray that the pilot has the experience, training, and temperament to safely guide the 70-ton machine you're sitting in to safety? Or in the back of your mind, will you wonder if the person with your family's life in their hands got the gig because they met United's blatant quota requirements? 

Do you notice how airlines rarely try to market their safety records to potential customers? Why do you think that is? Why don't airlines compete for your business by proclaiming, "We don't crash as much as the other guys!" or "Our pilots are more qualified and have a better safety record than the competition!" 

Think about it... why isn't this part of what your airline brags about? 


Because this one selling point should be a given

It's like a burger joint going out of its way to tell you its hamburger patties are actual beef and won't give you food poisoning. A restaurant doesn't sell you on the fact that its food-handlers follow basic safety protocols because it doesn't even want to plant the seed in your mind that there may be some risk with unqualified cooks in the kitchen... that should be a base-line expectation in the industry, just like having the very best, most qualified pilots with hundreds of lives in their hands. 

But now, United has planted that very seed. It has announced to the world that it's examining one element of the talent pool for potential pilots and not only prioritizing diversity but literally laying out a quota that it's committed to filling. 

Fifty percent of the pilots United trains will be women or persons of color. That's its priority. That's its stated quota. 

Fly the Woke Skies. 

How did we get here? Partly, it's due to the Critical Race Theory/Anti-racist diversity training that has permeated corporate America in the last several years. United executives have been told that it isn't enough for their company to not exhibit racist attitudes or policies. Not being racist is not enough. The anti-racist mantra and expectation are that a person or corporation must demonstrate their outward signs of anti-racism or they are complicit in racism itself. 


You and your company may believe you are not racist because you don't think or do racist things, but in the world of anti-racist dogma, that's not enough. Unless you proactively attack racism, you are just as guilty. And, of course, racism in our society is no longer what you and I grew up to believe is racism. 

The Georgia voting law is racist, not because it is objectively, provably racist. It is racist because the intelligence within the political Left who use race to define their movement and demonize their political opponents has deemed it racist. And, therefore, if you don't go out of your way to condemn it, you are racist as well. 

This explains why United felt compelled to jump on the PR bandwagon and publicly one-up Delta by openly declaring that its most important job function, safely flying and landing planes, will be filled with racial and gender quotas, implying that qualifications are secondary to this critical hiring practice. 

When does it end? When these corporations feel more pain from their divisive and insulting public pronouncements than they feel by not jumping through the political hoops their race and gender obsessed "consultants" demand. 

The overwhelmingly negative response to United's foolish statement may have already left a mark. United clumsily amended its quota statement on Twitter: 


That statement could be seen as a contradiction to its original demand for racial and gender quotas. United has more explaining to do, which is probably not where it wants to be in the realm of public relations in the midst of such a competitive environment. Whoever advised United executives to come out with this statement should probably be fired. Unless, of course, they got their job due to some diversity quota... in that case, hell of a job, pal. 

Larry O'Connor hosts a 2-hour radio program on KABC in Los Angeles and a separate, 3-hour radio program on WMAL in Washington DC. Both shows are heard daily, Monday through Friday and the podcasts can be found here. 

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