Airlines Prioritize Wokeness Over Safety: But at What Cost?

My dad is a certified physician assistant. As such, he often shares spontaneous medical advice with me (although part of that is just because he’s my dad and cares about my wellbeing.) For instance, some advice he’s given me that he would give to anyone is if you or someone you know needs surgery or a medical procedure, be sure to ask the doctor in charge two questions: “How many times have you performed this operation? And when was the last time you did it?”

According to my dad, these questions are crucial to ask because you want to make sure you can fully trust the person who’s handling your safety and survival. And that can be said about nearly anything, right? The fear of flying, for instance, is extremely common. But I’m sure more people will come to feel the same as the pilots and airlines responsible for passenger safety and survival are increasingly untrustworthy.

Last week, an Alaska Airlines flight had to make an emergency landing after loose parts caused a portion of the plane’s body to blow off less than 20 minutes after takeoff. Passengers on that flight were terrified, and many thought they were “going to die.” Thankfully, there were no casualties, and even the boy closest to the danger was left relatively unharmed. Some, perhaps, consider it a miracle.

But here’s the reality: “To an incredibly dangerous extent,” wrote Daily Wire host Matt Walsh, “The airline industry is in the process of actively making itself less competent and reliable.” But why? It’s simple. The airline industry is prioritizing wokeness — in the name of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) — over safety and qualified personnel.

If your grandfather needed heart surgery, you want to know, as much as humanly possible, that you can trust the cardiothoracic surgeon holding the life of your loved one in their hands. Yes, tragedies do still occur sometimes, but the difference is taking every precaution you can up to that point. This same concept should apply to the pilots flying hundreds of people across oceans and continents. Pilots are very much responsible for the lives of those on board. And yet, airlines such as United and Alaska have decided their priorities must be fixated on skin color.

United, Alaska, and other airlines aren’t focused on hiring qualified individuals — those who not only received their pilot license, but truly earned it. Instead, these airlines only seem to care about what their employees look like. Or as Walsh put it, “[I]n their various public statements and press releases, United Airlines has made it very clear that they’re mainly interested in hiring pilots on the basis of skin color and gender, rather than competence.”

I find it hard to fathom that a staple in the industry, Boeing, cares more about scoring perfectly on tests that evaluate LGBT policies than whether their aircrafts are equipped to take off without crashing. Which, by the way, Boeing did score perfectly on the Human Rights Campaign’s 2023 Corporate Equality Index. Oh, and so did American, Southwest, Alaska, and some 545 other businesses. And while not everyone scored perfectly on their radical gender and sexuality quiz, most airlines at least share the same DEI goals. But at what cost?

The trend seems to be that any time woke principles are prioritized, people get hurt — physically or mentally. The transgender movement is a perfect example. Minors are told they’re born in the wrong body, and that the puberty they’re experiencing is actually a sign to defy basic biology. So, they proceed with the hormone blockers and the “gender-affirming care.” So-called medical professionals sign off on double mastectomies and testosterone for healthy teenage girls. And in the end, they suffer the consequences of constant pain, rashes, and infections for the rest of their lives.

Too often, it’s permanent, life-changing damage. It’s heartbreaking. And that’s the reality of prioritizing wokeness: It destroys lives. And the companies like Boeing thatemphasizing wokeness over safety will perhaps, sooner or later, be responsible for ending lives. That is, if they continue to hire pilots who don’t know how to fly and engineers who don’t know how to build.

Paul Fitzpatrick, president of 1792 Exchange, shared with The Washington Stand, “It’s time to free Boeing from their captivity to political activist groups so they can get back to building safe and innovative aircraft. Distractions are many at Boeing when they are pleasing and funding divisive and extreme ideologies.”

He continued, “To score 100% on Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index, Boeing allowed a political stakeholder to dictate policies on personnel, marketing, operations, and lobbying. Whether it is that issue set, divisive DEI policies, or climate extremism, Boeing should reject stakeholder capitalism and return their financial and mental focus to hiring the most qualified talent to produce the safest airplanes possible.”

To Boeing and all other companies who have misplaced priorities, Fitzpatrick reiterated, “[T]heir duty [is] to shareholders and customers. They must get back to business.”


Sarah Holliday

Sarah Holliday is a reporter at The Washington Stand.


EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.

The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

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