American Airlines Investigating Pilot For Criticizing Diversity

American Airlines reports they are “investigating” a pilot for his comments on social media and on a podcast about a diversity curriculum for his local Dallas-area school district.

American Airlines is investigating one of its pilots after social media users urged the company to review his posts and podcasts criticizing Carroll ISD’s proposed diversity and inclusion initiative and its supporters.

Guy Midkiff, 62, is a Southlake resident who has been a pilot at American for 32 years, according to his LinkedIn profile.

“We are troubled by the allegations made and have launched an investigation into the matter,” an American Airlines representative said Wednesday in an email….

The Carroll Independent School District created the “Cultural Competence Action Plan” for its Southlake, Texas schools after video circulated three years ago showing students using a derogatory epithet for African-Americans.

The pilot has blasted the curriculum online, and the Southlake Anti-Racism Coalition which supports it. They, in turn, went to American Airlines claiming their employee is harassing them and sought to cancel him:

While it doesn’t appear the pilot uses the highest form of rhetoric to engage in debate, the complaints against him do not cite a single instance where he even uses any individual’s name (“targeting individual minors”) or where he “accost[s]” anyone as the critics claim, he merely… criticizes them.

UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh comments on the case, “Because, you know, diversity and inclusion is all about getting people fired for expressing their views in a political debate.”

American Airlines CEO Doug Parker went viral last year for an encounter with a flight attendant on Southwest Airlines while reading White Fragility. Parker wears a Black Lives Matter wristband and is pushing for hate crime laws in all 50 states. Parker says that Republican voting law efforts target people of color (he’s not wrong).

This isn’t the first time recently that Parker has dunked on Republicans. He was a Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton donor, and while he’s given to Republicans in the past decade that’s tended to skew towards the politically useful such as home-state Senators and members of Congressional committees with influence over airlines.

Remember when you used to think that ‘big business’ was aligned with Republicans, and anti-progressive?

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Big business is wise not to alienate their employees and customers with outdated viewpoints, but I’m sure your readers will tell me why I’m wrong.

  2. “…Parker says that Republican voting law efforts target people of color (he’s not wrong)….”

    Oh Gary….. You couldn’t just post without inserting your opinion.

  3. Where is @Debit when you need that commentary 🙂

    32 years, pilot. Yeah, I’m sure he’ll care if they do something to him. Well, other than the time it will take to call the union and his lawyer.

  4. Yea,the scrutinization and judgement of all employees social media posts and personal views will really help employee and passenger morale. What could possibly go wrong with American Airlines becoming the arbiter of its employees speech??
    Although who cares when your sugar daddy government will just keep bailing you out as long as you keep saying and doing the “woke” things.

  5. BB, aren’t bloggers supposed to express opinions? Or just opinions you agree with?

  6. Where to start is the biggest question here

    Shall I start with first Gary is inserting his medical opinions on a travel blog and now he is a voter rights expert. What will tomorrow bring.

    Or shall I start with “Steve” who asks whether BB should express opinions. Of course but on the topic that the BB is; this is about travel, not the lies he tells about voter rights laws.

    maybe I could start with “jerry” and why we will tell him why he is wrong and why those viewpoints are in his opinion outdated LOL

    but I think I’ll start with these good for nothing fake anti-racist orgs whether it be Burn Loot and Murder, Antifa or in this case some fly by night South lakes anti-racism coalition; where they are the poster children of cancel culture. These orgs do nothing but make & take racism to extremes then blame the GOP for being racist.

    Well I’m here to support the pilot.

    Good for him and the fuck with all you left wing fake anti-racists. You people are whats wrong with this country. If you don’t like this country, get the fuck out and get out now. The worst racists out there are the ones that you idiots create

  7. The rational public is deeply concerned about the actions of American Airlines in investigating this pilot for having an opinion. Diversity just means less white people. Whites should forcefully fight diversity and diversity programs because it is a threat to the future and freedom of white people. Whites shouldn’t have to flagellate themselves just to appease haters. These diversity programs are extremely controversial to whites and 50% of the public. If American Airlines doesn’t investigate and punish those who support the controversial diversity programs, American shouldn’t investigate and punish those who oppose the controversial diversity programs.

    If American Airlines punishes this pilot for having an opinion that anti white hate is bad, American Airlines shouldn’t be allowed to fly.

  8. The issue is simply what control a company can have over its employees in their interactions in the public discussion arena esp. given that their leaders are entering into it.
    It doesn’t matter what political position is at stake. The issue is simply what organizations can impose on their members, regardless of the type of organization.

    I suspect the question will end up in the Supreme Court at some point.

  9. @Jackson Waterson – stop committing all the NYC hate crimes and just go to the Deep South already, you’ll be happier there among your fellow white nationalists

  10. Can not wait for our “pocket communists” like UA-NYC, Debit to be a victim of a “new world order”, meaning to be pushed under the moving subway car, or just attacked for looking the wrong way…..And then I will tell them: “C’mon you flakes. It’s nothing major……It’s just a broken [jaw, spine, skull, etc – fill in the blank]”. Only then they will understand.

    @ UA – I have seen so many nasty Haredim in NY beating up innocent hip-hoppers daily……

    Sickening and disgusting.

    I have lived through two revolutions in my old country…..Trust me, it’s not pretty.

  11. The airline will a need a smoking gun comment to do anything. Most AA pilots especially DFW based are very conservative. If it seems like the airline tries to punish him based on his conservativr beliefs, there will be a major revolt in the pilot group.

    If you dont like slow taxi times and pilots timing out on purpose to cancel and delay your flight or compromise your connection, you need to keep pilots happy as well as their union.

    Plus this pilot is 62, age 65 is mandatory retirement. There isnt much the airline can really do to him anyways. Even if they fired him, a conservative corporate operator will hire him in minutes. Plus he will
    be a martyr and likely get a book deal or conservative media job of some kind.

  12. Serious question – What percent of black does someone have to be to be included in “BLM”? Is there a certain cutoff or degree of generation? What about other races like Latino or Asian? Is a Russian from Asian siberia considered asian? Is someone from Spain considered a person of color? How about from Israel?

  13. @Questioning Go Google Rachel Dolezal. A serious answer to a serious question.

    As for your comment about “someone from Spain” I have seen some universities include people from Spain & Portugal as Hispanic in their PoC quotas, and I have seen other universities exclude them. Go figure.

    @Ex-Soviet You win the “comment of the day” award.

  14. @UA-NYC

    The only hate crimes in NY are by the rapper class who terrorize whites, Jews, Asians, Indians, and etc. on subways, in buses, on the sidewalk, and all areas of life. I assume you’ve been locked in your home for 14 months due to COVID. Maybe you haven’t been to 8th Avenue lately and haven’t seen the constant harassment of regular people by thugs and homeless people who come from the Port Authority Bus Terminal. Maybe you aren’t aware of regular people being pushed the ground in subways. NYC is becoming more dangerous and it is not because of whites, Jews (directly), or Asians. Obviously, we wish cops focused on deterring actual violence instead of focusing on the war on drugs which leads to abusive police interaction all for possessing pills or powders. We need cops standing on every street corner focused on safety from violent criminals instead of nanny state policing and criminalizing of individual liberty and personal decision making.

    @Joseph N

    The way hispanics and latinos are defined is convoluted. If we are talking about history, the only true hispanics and latins are those in hispania (iberia) and who are from the native Latin speaking countries (Romania is latin as they like to say 100 times to anyone who says otherwise). It’s foolish to group Spanish speaking people together for demographic purposes. 50% of Puerto Rico is white. 50% of Argentina is white (Spanish, Italian, or german origin), 87% of Uruguay is White, and etc. The majority of the “Cubans” in Miami are white vs the majority of blacks who live on the island today. There should be more categories in demographic questions. I never check the hispanic box myself (aside for my college application) because I don’t want to cloud data gathering.

  15. @Gary – I know you’re for free speech and all, but everytime you talk about race on your blog, the comments look like a KKK country picnic.

    That reflects on you, and your blog, and your entire (probably diverse) readership. While I can’t imagine wasting my time trying to save you cancelled, I do think you should be genuinely concerned as to whether the myriad credit card companies that you flog, or the TV shows on which you appear, really would want to be associated with many of the comments on this page.

    Terms like “Rapper class”, questions about how Black one has to be to be Black, theories of race, and calling BLM “Burning, Looting and Murder” is pretty damn offensive. And that’s not even half of it.

    Think long and hard about whether this is the kind of dialogue you want to have, whatever your views on people’s right to say it.

  16. No employer should be legally able to take any adverse action against any employee for “lawful off-duty conduct”. I understand that’s the law in California and that ought to be the legal standard everywhere. The employee’s views on political or religious or other subjects of public or private interest should be none of the employer’s business.

  17. @John

    You seem to be afraid of the truth. When you are presented with facts and statistics, you never argue those because you can’t deny them. Instead you make absurd classifications and use name calling to denigrate anyone who doesn’t agree with your view. That’s typical of the left.

    It’s pertinent to a travel blog to discuss the crime wave hitting New York and the culprits. It’s pertinent for readers to discuss racial issues when it is the topic of the blog article. It’s a theme that comes up weekly on many blogs on boardingarea. If you want to silence reader discussion, it’s clear you think your side is hurt by the truth.

  18. I see BLM announced its support for Hamas. In a statement it said “Black Lives Matter stands in solidarity with Palestinians,” the group tweeted. “We are a movement committed to ending settler colonialism in all forms and will continue to advocate for Palestinian liberation. ( always have. And always will be ). #freepalestine.”
    American Airlines supports BLM and allows it’s employees to wear BLM pins. Does American Airlines support this position? If so, how could any person, especially those of Jewish persuasion, feel at all comfortable flying AA to Israel or how can the Israeli government feel comfortable allowing AA on its soil?

    It’s a slippery slope you’re playing on Doug.

  19. At least Jackson explicitly states the fear that motivates him — “white replacement” — the honesty is refreshing.

  20. @Fat Lip
    It starts with the tone at the top. In this case on January 20th in the Oval Office

  21. @ Jackson Waterson – I think you misunderstand. I have no desire to stop you saying what you think. It is not up to me to tell you what you can and can’t believe. No one is telling you or anyone else that they shouldn’t be talking about race, in any context.

    But please don’t talk to me about “facts” about race that I apparently ignore. I am only suggesting that much of what you and some of your fellow commenters are saying is offensive to me, and thus probably to many others.

    It’s Gary’s call what he lets appear on his blog. But using the terms that many of his readers do, it’s not a constructive or interesting or intellectually rigorous debate about travel; it’s a bunch of people who feel very comfortable making broad, racist generalizations. There are no “facts” – just opinions.

    All fine, in our land of free speech. But does Chase or Capital One or American Airlines really want to be selling stuff in a forum where commenters are saying “Diversity just means less white people”?

    My mom once told me that you can tell a lot about someone by the company they keep. I’m merely asking Gary to reflect on it.

  22. The pilot is not the problem Parker is! He started this political stuff with BLM, voted rights, etc. The Board of Directors need to wake up and fire Parker!

  23. @John
    The truth/facts hurt your feelings? You must be a hit at parties.

  24. Apparently American Airlines pilots aren’t allowed to have their own opinions. I wonder if this junk airline feels the same about their customers?

  25. Parker and big business have Biden in their back pocket! The science is settled. Look at Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand and others – closed borders with mandatory government quarantine saves lives, period. First the Trump debacle. Now how many variant-related deaths is Biden responsible for?

  26. Excuse me but what he does on his own time is his damm business. As long as he is not on company time or is bringing up his employer during his discussions. It really is none of AA business. Stop this cancel culture already! We supposedly live in a free country.

  27. Knowing what a pure opportunist Parker has shown himself to be, his latest incursion into political theatre is a joke, given his lack of concern for customer satisfaction, e.g., most uncomfortable seats, pathetic miniature bathrooms, trash for meals, etc. Indeed, he probably has already filed for rights to fly to Teheran from JFK.

    The real issue that should concern everybody is the silence of the ACLU? Back in 1976, the ACLU supported the right of the American Nazi Party to march in Skokie, IL, a Chicago suburb home to many Holocaust survivors. Surely this AA pilot has a case worthy of intervention by the ACLU, or, have they thrown out their charter in the rush to act “woke” and appease today’s crowd?

  28. American Airlines has absolutely NO business in inserting itself into some policing role over the activities of its employees outside of the work place. Its is a sign of how low they have sunk – led by the spineless and incredibly politically motivated opportunist Parker – that they would allow for some left wing political movement to exert any pressure, let alone take action, perpetuated by outside “social justice” freaks and even consider taking any action they have no legal right to take. Hopefully, the APA throws their full firepower into protecting the Captain!! Maybe some lapel pin or bracelet supporting him would be in order.

  29. @Liz
    According to Senator Tim Scott this is not a racist country. Ha Ha Ha! Like you, he is a Chump Fool and will say anything to make Chump look good. You know the same applies to you. Why don’t you get the fuck out of this country. Plenty of white racist countries in Europe that you can go to. One less white racist would be good,

  30. Sorry to you angry old white men. Your bigotry, ignorance and misogyny will have to be addressed. No more hiding behind anonymity to spout your Neanderthal viewpoints. The world is changing. Adopt and adapt or get steamrolled by science, evolution and progress. Go cry your manly tears, you spoiled babies.

  31. @Marv – Is it any wonder that people loathe SJWs like you? You’re so ugly and full of hate. It must be absolutely miserable to be you. I would pity you, but you’re so thoroughly unlikeable that I cannot even manage that. As a white guy, let me tell you that we’re not going anywhere, we’re not changing and you’re going to spend the rest of your pathetic, hateful life dealing with us. Have a good one!

  32. Ah good old anonymous Marv, still trying to move up the queue in the March of Progress. Not on merit, but by dragging those down in front of him. As futile as it is humorous.

  33. @ John C spot on

    @Roger… I’m sure you are one the ones calling him an Oreo, Uncle Tim etc. That is what you people do. If what he says [or anyone says] does not agree with your pre-set agenda, they are racist. So now, when everyone is called a racist, that means no one is a racist. Great come back on telling me to get out of the country. Hope you didn’t take too much time with that clever come back. You definitely seem like you fit in with the useless thugs that make up Antifa or Burn Loot & Murder. Your type of crowd and you are trying to turn this place into your own branch of Burn Loot & Murder. One less thug like you would make this place that much more wonderful.

    @Marv, yes the world is changing. For the worse. All of you SJW’s just divide this country more and more each day. It’s SJW’s like you that are the cause of the problems in this country. Look in a mirror the next time you wonder whats wrong with the world. You will see your answer.

    @Gary – You started this entire off-topic thread with your political input. people come here for travel information yet you have played the role of a doctor, a voters rights expert etc in the past day or two. This is what you get when you insert controversial non-travel opinions in a travel blog.

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