American Airlines Lays Out Their Position On Black Lives Matter

American Airlines President Robert Isom spoke to a group of pilots last week. In his prepared remarks he laid out the carrier’s position on Black Lives Matter, as a way of framing controversy over the airline letting crewmembers wear Black Lives Matter pins.

  • Isom and the company believe the airline’s job is “bringing people together..making sure that everybody is served and nobody feels like they’re left out” and “it’s clear in this country, in our communities, and certainly in our company too, the feeling is everybody is not equal, everybody isn’t treated the same. We’ve got to take this seriously.”

  • The airline won’t back the political group Black Lives Matter, but allows employees to express the sentiment that black lives matter.

Isom challenged employees,

If you think that somehow people are all happy and feel treated as well as they should be, all I can tell is you is go talk to your colleagues, go talk to your friends…the stories that you hear are just so concerning, so disappointing and it will drive you to be attentive and want to make a change.

I take him in his talk with pilots to be saying that black lives do matter and it doesn’t mean signing onto a particular political agenda or program (such as decriminalizing sex work, slavery reparations) to say that.

The airline has taken heat from some customers and some employees for allowing employees to wear self-styled Black Lives Matter pins, but he wants to normalize that in his talk saying that despite “consternation” and “a lot of noise” about the pins they’re really just how they treat pins proposed by any Employee Resource Business Group and this is one that the Black Professional Network wants to be available.

At the same time the airline is allowing unofficial pins to be worn, in advance of an official pin, and that isn’t standard. This is clearly because leadership does believe there’s an important principle here. Isom offers,

It’s important that you go out and talk to your friends and colleagues, your black friends and colleagues out there, the stories not just in the community but in our company, in our coockpits, in our cabin, out on the ground in the terminals. It goes on every day in terms of outright blatant discrimination, unequal treatment, and it is something that we’ve got to be attentive to.

I do wonder whether the airline’s President admitting to “blatant discrimination” that “goes on every day” in his company’s workplace potentially creates liability, at least along the lines of the way that the Department of Education is trolling Princeton after its President admitted to systemic and long-standing discrimination within that institution.

In this regard it doesn’t even matter if the airline’s President is right and genuinely wants to do something about it. At the same time after the exit of Vice President for DFW Cedric Rockamore only three African Americans remain in leadership at American Airlines. There’s the Chief Diversity Officer, Vice Presidents of Compensation and Benefits and Vice President of Team Member Services. In other words, HR roles not airline roles.

Here’s the real challenge. It’s a perfectly reasonable distinction to “express[..] the sentiment and not some type of tie with a political group that we aren’t going to back” but I’m not sure a pin is the best way to make a distinction when the message is offered to employees and not customers. It’s a distinction that I wish more of us made but that judging from past blog comments it seems many do not.

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 InsideFlyer.com, 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. It seems well stated on the surface. The problem with saying you back a political group like BLM is like saying you back a group like the Black Panthers or KKK it’s not about civil rights where as supporting diversity and supporting the ideas that racial equality and black lives do matter is a much better approach. If nothing else it’s better than the tiresome virtue signaling we are seeing at so many companies that seem clueless.

  2. Interestingly, data suggests that the only ones who tie the idea of “Black lives matter” to the organization are basically hyperpartisans (on both sides). Individuals in the middle (which is a majority of the country, but getting smaller) take it at face value: Black lives matter just as much as everyone else. AA is taking a very middle-of-the-road stance, saying, “Hey, we don’t necessarily agree with the organization itself, but we agree with the principle.”

    It’s quite sad that the far left wants to cancel everyone who won’t go as far as them, and that the far right/partisan right takes supporting the idea that racism exists as a threat to the country and their own personal well-being.

  3. Me: “I wonder how many comments it will take to find one throwing a tantrum about marxism (which has nothing to do with BLM) or someone getting mad about “left wing cancel culture” (but of course the president telling people to boycott Goodyear, an American tire company because they didn’t allow political hats is not at all offensive and not cancel culture…?) because they *gasp* want to stop racism. Good to see people getting more offended by “left wing cancel culture” than they do about their fellow americans being murdered by police.

    Great job cowards.

  4. Isom and Parker should focus on making American the great airline it once was and stay out BLM! What is going to happen when a passenger wears a All Lives Matter or Blue Lives Matter pin. More delays and cancellations!

  5. Actually, only 2 African American VPs left now, one is VP of Team Member Services and the other “Chief Diversity Officer”. Both in HR, typical of large organizations, trying to make quotas.

  6. I don’t see why public companies with many shareholders should be taking a stance on any issue not related to the success of the business. I do appreciate American Airlines is not officially taking a stance on the BLM movement that pushes anti white hate/Marxism/attacks Christianity/supports arson & violence against civilians (none of these help to address the actual issue of police abuse which affects all races nor addresses black on black and black on white violence which plagues our cities). Many people find the BLM movement criminal, abusive, and immoral. These people would have no inclusion at American Airlines which prides itself on inclusion.

    I hope American isn’t opening the flood gates for politicization of air travel. If they allow employees to wear BLM pins, they have to allow employees to wear white pride, Christian pride, straight pride, conservative pride, hate gun control, hate infringement on free speech, hate endless foreign wars, hate the TSA, hate domestic spying, hate the FBI, and hate anti white hate pins. I rather leave this stuff to twitter and out of air travel.

  7. Maybe the easiest thing is not to wear BLM pins and just address the culture at your own company? the slogan BLM can not be distinguished from the group. I know he wants to try to have his cake and eat it too but he can’t. If they must have pins why can’t they come up with their own pin to endorse equality, why does it have to be BLM? Like I said if there is an issue at his airline then it seems like maybe that should be the more important thing to focus on instead of staff walking around wearing pins. Also, “It’s important that you go out and talk to your friends and colleagues, your black friends and colleagues out there”. Well maybe people’s black friends and colleagues don’t want to have these conversations with you and your white staff? Sorry but there are plenty of books on the topic, but why is he throwing this obligation on to black people to educate everyone? Its one thing if they want to volunteer to discuss it with people, but not everybody suddenly wants to have to explain issues of racial equality to coworkers. He didn’t even give them a choice on whether or not they wish to assume this role.

  8. “bringing people together..making sure that everybody is served and nobody feels like they’re left out”

    And yet by preventing employees from expressing themselves on controversial issues BESIDES BLM, they are doing just that. I’m sure employees who want to wear “Blue Lives Matter” or “Trump 2020” gear are feeling left out.

    And BLM is NOT a non-political issue. Just about everyone agrees that black lives matter, but most of us see quite clearly the destruction, mayhem, and misery caused by these people and their rioting. You can’t separate the two – not logically.

  9. Wow..I was raised different I guess, my Parents raised us to respect to get respect in return, no color in our home! That’s the way I raised my children. This is all socialist, political..do ur research folks! Guess when people quit flying becuz NO ONE can afford it..you’ll be jobless also..careful what u wish for

  10. Literally the only people ‘hurt’ by black people being treated the same as white Americans, are racists.

    Therefore, if you are hurt or offended by someone saying black lives matter, or seeing someone wear a blm pin — which is a peaceful way to advocate for that equality — you are a racist. You may not think you are, but you are.

  11. “If you think that somehow people are all happy and feel treated as well as they should be, all I can tell is you is go talk to your colleagues, go talk to your friends…the stories that you hear are just so concerning, so disappointing and it will drive you to be attentive and want to make a change.”

    Black Lives Matter haters don’t want to hear it. They are totally comfortable the way things are. The reality many live with varies from their preconceived notions and privileged personal experiences.

  12. Just reading the comments here is more than enough evidence that AA would be wise to stay the hell out of this. I don’t care how they paint it, it’s a very divisive issue.

  13. To Ryan ,
    You have no idea what your talking about .. BLM is all about Marxism , see who runs it and where all the money goes..
    Get informed and stop believing what they tell you on the fake news..

  14. The chief diversity officer is leaving. Was to have left around G Flloyds untimely passing. Better optics to have him stay.

  15. Did Joe really just say — “most of us see quite clearly the destruction, mayhem, and misery caused by these people and their rioting”. Who TF is he saying is “these people”? Supporting the principle of Black Lives Matter and wearing a pin saying BLM no more equates with rioters than wearing a MAGA cap associates someone with the white supremacist guy who shot up El Paso.

  16. Actually there is only the one black VP and it’s the VP of Team Member Services. Their Chief Diversity Officer leaving too.

  17. Here let me fix this for you @David:

    “I don’t care how they paint it, it’s a very divisive issue” with racists.

    Much clearer now.

  18. TO: AMERICAN AIRLINES LEADERSHIP (28)
    (1) EXECUTIVE OFFICE:
    Mr. Doug Parker, Chairman and CEO; Mr. Robert Isom, President;
    Ms. Elise Eberwein, EVP – People and Communications; Mr. Stephen Johnson, EVP – Corporate Affairs
    Mr. Derek Kerr, Executive VP and CFO; Maya Leibman, Executive VP and CIO
    (2) BOARD OF DIRECTORS:
    W. Douglas Parker, Chairman & CEO American Airlines Group & American Airlines
    James F. Albaugh, Advisor, Global Advisory and Asset Management Firm
    Michael J. Embler, Former Chief Investment Officer, Franklin Mutual Advisors, LLC
    Martin H. Nesbitt, Co-CEO, The Vistria Group
    Jeffrey D. Benjamin, Senior Advisor, Cyrus Capital Partners, L.P.
    Matthew J. Hart, Retired President & CEO, Hilton Hotels Corporation
    Denise M. O’Leary, Private Venture Capital Investor
    John T. Cahill, Vice Chairman, The Kraft Heinz Company
    Susan D. Kronick, Retired Vice-Chairman, Macy’s, Inc.
    Ray M. Robinson, Non-Executive Chairman, Citizens Trust Bank
    (3) COMMUNICATIONS: Ms. Sarah Jantz, Senior Manager of Communications
    (4) FLIGHT SERVICES: Ms. Jill Surdek, Senior VP – Flight Services
    (5) “PROFESSIONAL WOMEN IN AVIATION” EBRG; (6) “BLACK PROFESSIONAL NETWORK” EBRG;
    (7) OFFICE OF DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION: Mr. Kenneth Charles, Chief Inclusion & Diversity Officer
    (8) COMMUNITY COUNCIL headed by AA President Mr. Robert Isom
    (9) INVESTOR RELATIONS: Mr. Daniel Cravens, Managing Director; Mr. Christopher Irvine, Sr. Manager
    Investor Relations, American Airlines Group, MD 5651, P.O. Box 619616, Dallas/Fort Worth Airport, TX 75261-9616
    Email: investor.relations@aa.com; (682) 278-0999 (tel)
    (10) CUSTOMER RELATIONS: Ms. Alice Curry, Vice President of Customer Care
    American Airlines Customer Relations, 4000 E. Sky Harbor Blvd., Phoenix, AZ 85034
    contact online: https://www.aa.com/contact/forms?topic=#/topics/CR/Complaint/OTHR
    (11) EMPLOYEE RELATIONS: Mr. James B. Weel, Managing Director of Employee Relations
    (12) LABOR RELATIONS: Ms. Cindi Simone, Managing Director of Labor Relations
    (13) GOVERNMENT/REGULATORY AFFAIRS: Mr. Nathan J. Gatten, Senior VP – Government Affairs
    (14) GENERAL COUNSEL: Ms. Priya Aiyar, Senior VP and General Counsel
    AMERICAN AIRLINES GROUP INC. HEADQUARTERS
    P.O. Box 619616, DFW Airport, TX 75261-9616; 1 Skyview Drive, Fort Worth, TX 76155; 817-963-1234 (tel)
    DATE: SEPTEMBER 11, 2020
    SUBJECT: CREW MEMBERS ON AA FLIGHTS BEING ALLOWED TO WEAR BLM LAPEL PINS

    Dear American Airlines Executives, Directors, Vice Presidents, other managers, and last but not least the more than 15,000 dedicated employees who show up and serve AA customers all over the world:

    I carefully decided to whom at American Airlines (“AA”) to send this letter, and after you read below the subject matter of my letter I hope that you will understand WHY you were selected to receive my letter.
    While I am signing this letter as “A Concerned American”, rest assured that I am just as committed to the peaceful, respectful, and good faith unpaid activism that I do (and have done my whole life starting at a very early age) as you are to the jobs that you do and get paid for. However, very unfortunately, the violence, hatred, and intolerance that I see in our America currently requires that I take additional steps to protect my security and more importantly the security of my family. With this introduction, let’s begin.

    I write to you today because I am concerned about the matter of flight crew member lapel pins that American Airlines allows crew members to wear on their uniforms while on duty, including the Black Lives Matter (BLM) lapel pins that American Airlines is now creating for its crew members to wear if they want (and in the process is allowing them to wear their own BLM pins) – see https://www.cbsnews.com/news/american-airlines-crew-black-lives-matter-pins/ ; https://www.aviationpros.com/airlines/news/21153525/american-airlines-is-making-black-lives-matter-pins-for-crew-members-upsetting-some-employees ; https://nypost.com/2020/09/06/american-airlines-policy-allowing-blm-pins-faces-backlash/ ; https://www.dallasnews.com/business/airlines/2020/09/08/american-airlines-is-making-black-lives-matter-pins-for-crew-members-upsetting-some-employees/ .

    Below I set forth 5 reasons WHY American Airlines’ approach to BLM lapel pins is a DANGEROUS one and therefore MUST be reconsidered as soon as possible by AA management for the SAFETY of both AA passengers and employees.

    (1) AA’s BLM lapel pin approach is DISCRIMINATORY AND ILLEGAL.
    In essence, AA very quickly (and without adequate consideration) approved the wearing of a BLM pin but . . . has NOT YET approved the wearing of a “Blue Lives Matter” pin in support of POLICE, an “All Lives Matter” pin in support of dignity for ALL human beings, or a WOMEN’s pin (see below), to name but a few.
    IF AA keeps on going in this DISCRIMINATORY and ILLEGAL direction wherein it supports one group (predominantly Blacks) at the expense of other important groups, it will face successful lawsuits over this matter since it will NOT be difficult for a good civil rights attorney and/or employment rights attorney to win such lawsuits.

    In addition, while on the subject of ILLEGALITY, AA also needs to EVALUATE its “implicit bias training and education” programs (both written materials and in person and online lectures) mentioned at https://news.aa.com/news/news-details/2020/Charting-a-Course-to-Create-and-Sustain-Meaningful-Change-ID-BK-06/default.aspx to make sure that these programs are NOT discriminatory by their structure and implementation and specifically that:
    (a) these training/education programs are NOT in any way DISCRIMINATORY against NON-BLACKS
    (especially since racism is “alive and well” in Black communities also, but the above AA news article refers 11 times ONLY to racism AGAINST Blacks but not BY Blacks, which already confirms a predisposition to RACISM AGAINST non-Blacks);
    (b) these training/education programs are geared towards ALL AA employees (rather than select groups), that ALL AA employees are treated as the INDIVIDUALS that they are, and that ALL AA employees (as well as AA applicants for employment) have the right to choose whether to participate (or not participate) in these programs without any negative employment, hiring, or other consequences if they choose not to participate;
    (c) these training/education programs do NOT employ “Critical Race Theory” known as “CRT” (which in and of itself has both RACIST and MARXIST underpinnings) – see “8 Big Reasons Critical Race Theory Is Terrible for Dealing with Racism” and “What’s Wrong With Critical Race Theory: Reopening the Case for Middle-Class Values” at https://newdiscourses.com/2020/06/reasons-critical-race-theory-terrible-dealing-racism/ and https://scholarship.law.cornell.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1238&context=cjlpp ;
    (d) these training/education programs do NOT employ any type of ‘”INDOCTRINATION” techniques, with indoctrination defined as “the process of teaching a person or group to ACCEPT a set of beliefs UNCRITICALLY”;
    (e) these training/education programs allow for full DISCUSSION by AA employees of the subject matter presented without attempting to SUPPRESS any specific views of AA employees , respect DIFFERENCES OF OPINION expressed, and do NOT attempt to force AA employees to fulfill any task, answer any question, etc. that they do NOT want to fulfill or answer.
    On the subject of CRT, see also information from Peter Kirsanow, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights Commissioner, at https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2020/sep/2/civil-rights-official-calls-on-seattle-mayor-jenny/; https://www.post-gazette.com/opinion/2020/07/28/Peter-N-Kirsanow-The-systemic-racism-canard/stories/202007280022; and
    from Christopher Rufo, Director of the Discovery Institute’s Center on Wealth & Poverty, at
    https://christopherrufo.com/summary-of-critical-race-theory-investigations/ ; https://www.city-journal.org/contributor/christopher-f-rufo_1334 ;
    https://www.discovery.org/econ/2020/07/17/obscene-federal-diversity-training-scam-prospers-even-under-trump/ ;
    https://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/christopher-rufo-vs-critical-race-theory-goliath/ .

    (2) AA’s BLM lapel pin approach may uplift BLACKS but it practically ignores WOMEN and GIRLS.
    Reportedly according to media sources AA stated that its decision to approve the wearing of a BLM pin “underscores [its] belief that all people, regardless of race, GENDER or ethnicity, deserve to be treated with equality and respect.” This statement is quite interesting to me, especially as regards GENDER, since it is evident that AA is NOT treating WOMEN “with equality and respect”. As stated above, it is my understanding that currently AA has NOT approved EVEN ONE women’s lapel pin, yet our America is comprised of 50.8% females (compared with 13.4% Blacks).
    At the same time, according to media sources AA has approved pins for various other groups – veterans, Christians, LGBTQ, UNICEF charity, and WINGS Foundation charity. Since AA has a “ Professional Women in Aviation “Employee Business Resource Group” (EBRG) founded in 1997 (similar to AA’s Black Professional Network EBRG/formerly the African American Diversity Network EBRG founded one year earlier in 1996), it makes a whole lot of sense that AA would want to honor WOMEN with a lapel pin (all the more so when this is the celebratory “Women’s Suffrage Centennial”). This is especially true when options abound for such a pin and include, for example, an International Women’s Day (March 8th) pin; “Me Too” movement pin; 19th Amendment pin; “Women’s rights are human rights” pin; ERA pin; Feminist pin; Equal Pay for Equal Work pin; and an Amelia Earhart aviator/pilot pin.
    In deciding upon which pins (hopefully at least two to reflect female diversity) to include in the AA official pin list, the “Professional Women in Aviation” EBRG could help to organize a VOTE of ALL female AA employees regarding which pins they want on the list, and these pins could be reassessed in x number of years to allow for alternatives.

    (3) AA’s BLM lapel pin approach IN FACT supports BLM’s POLITICAL movement.
    According to media sources Ms. Sarah Jantz, AA Senior Communications Manager, stated that “fundamentally, we believe Black Lives Matter is an expression of equality, not a political statement.”
    However, the BLM official website totally and directly contradicts AA’s statement (see http://www.blacklivesmatter.com/herstory/):
    “In 2013, three radical black organizers – Alicia Garza [39 yo], Patrisse Cullors [37 yo], and Opal Tometi [36 yo] – created a Black-centered POLITICAL will and MOVEMENT building project called #BlackLivesMatter.” “Black Lives Matter is an ideological and POLITICAL intervention in a world where Black lives are systematically and intentionally targeted for demise.”
    Therefore, it is clear that AA’s official statement above is NOT CORRECT.
    And, in fact I wonder whether AA’s leadership has ever even spent any significant time reading and studying the BLM website, for IF it had it would have seen also the following statement:
    “We appreciate your support of the movement and our ongoing fight to [1] end State-sanctioned violence,
    [2] liberate Black people, and [3] end white supremacy forever.”
    Political movement is defined as “a collective attempt by a group of people to change government policy or society with mainly political goals. … While political parties are engaged with a multitude of issues, political movements tend to focus on only one major issue” (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_movement).
    Given the above definition, it is clear that BLM knew exactly what it was writing when it stated that BLM is IN FACT a POLITICAL movement.

    Now that I have set forth BLM’s stated political GOALS, I also set forth below examples of BLM’s stated VIOLENT ACTIONS that it deems ACCEPTABLE for achieving such goals.
    (a) In a June 3, 2020 newyorker.com interview with BLM co-founder Opal Tometi (see https://blacklivesmatter.com/our-co-founders/), Tometi stated the following in response to a question from journalist Isaac Chotiner (see https://www.newyorker.com/news/q-and-a/a-black-lives-matter-co-founder-explains-why-this-time-is-different )
    ISAAC CHOTINER’S QUESTION:
    “I have seen African-American activists say two things about THE PROTESTS BECOMING MORE VIOLENT—and in this case I don’t mean the violence from the police. The first is that talking about this is a distraction from what really matters, and the other is that it is bad and takes attention away from the peaceful majority.
    How do you feel about that conversation?”
    BLM CO-FOUNDER OPAL TOMETI’S ANSWER (emphasis added):
    “I think that conversation is complicated, and, generally speaking, I just don’t equate the loss of LIFE and the loss of PROPERTY. I can’t even hold those two in the same regard, and I think for far too long we have seen that happen. We have had these conversations where we are conflating very different realities and operating from different value systems. So, for me, that’s how I view it, and a lot of my colleagues and peers as well as mentors have SIMILAR views. We are really focused on how to get our demands out and stay focused on the main thing, which is people, and we want to value our love of people over PROPERTY.”
    While I too value people over property (for example, in the Chicago forest fires, as a firefighter I would want to save people over property IF I MUST choose between the two), Tometi’s statement is definitely NOT about putting out FIRES but rather about BLM intentionally starting fires and causing significant damage to and destroying public and private property in the process. I do NOT know what AA leadership thinks about Tometi’s statement and about the reality of what BLM is willing to do in a VIOLENT manner to achieve its goals, but I do know what the overwhelming majority of average Americans think about THEIR PRIVATE PROPERTY, i.e., Americans view their property as an EXTENSION of themselves, and they will FIGHT to PROTECT both themselves and their property.

    (b) A BLM Chicago organizer, 20-year-old Ariel Atkins, also is NOT concerned about respecting public and private property and in reference to August 2020 looting during Chicago riots (in which $ 60 million worth of property was damaged, 13 police officers were injured, 100 people were arrested, and massive store looting occurred) stated the following (emphasis added):
    “I don’t care if somebody decides to LOOT a Gucci’s or a Macy’s or a Nike because that makes sure that that person eats. That makes sure that that person has clothes. That’s a REPARATION. ANYTHING THEY WANT TO TAKE, TAKE IT, take it because these businesses have insurance” –
    see https://nypost.com/2020/08/11/black-lives-matter-organizer-calls-chicago-looting-reparation/
    “Winning has come through REVOLTS. Winning has come through RIOTS.”
    – see https://nypost.com/2020/08/13/blm-organizer-who-called-looting-reparations-doubles-down/ ; https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/blm-organizer-loot/ ; https://www.the-sun.com/news/1291010/ariel-atkins-black-lives-matter-chicago-looting/ .
    BLM Chicago’s official press release supports what Atkins said above – see https://www.blacklivesmatterchicago.com/press-release-on-the-englewood-police-shooting/ :
    “This morning, Mayor Lightfoot held a press conference. In a predictable and unfortunate move, she did not take this time to criticize her officers for shooting yet another Black man. Lightfoot instead spent her time attacking “looters.” The mayor clearly has not learned anything since May, and she would be wise to understand that the people will keep rising up until the CPD is ABOLISHED and our Black communities are FULLY invested in.
    Contrary to Mayor Lightfoot’s position, Black lives are and always will be more important than downtown corporations who siphon Tax Increment Financing (T.I.F.) money, while avoiding taxes, and exploiting the labor of Black and Brown Chicagoans. These corporations have “looted” more from our communities than a few protesters ever could, yet the Mayor reserves her anger for the latter. We will remain in the streets until our demands are met.”

    (c) The BLM Greater New York President Hawk Newsome also defended BLM VIOLENCE – see https://nypost.com/2020/06/25/blm-leader-if-change-doesnt-happen-we-will-burn-down-this-system/ :
    “If this country doesn’t give us what we want, then we will BURN DOWN this system and replace it.
    All right? And I could be speaking figuratively. I could be speaking literally. It’s a matter of interpretation.”
    When asked what BLM hopes to achieve through VIOLENCE, Newsome responded:
    “Wow, it’s interesting that you would pose that question like that because this country is built upon violence.
    What was the American Revolution? What’s our diplomacy across the globe?”
    “We go in and we blow up countries and we replace their leaders with leaders who we like.
    So for any American to accuse us of being violent is extremely hypocritical”.

    Given all of the above unequivocal BLM statements, the bottom line for BLM appears to be that VIOLENCE IS TOTALLY ACCEPTABLE – NO OTHER RATIONAL CONCLUSION CAN BE DRAWN.
    For a good analysis of activist violence, read “Activist Violence in Context” by Shane Taylor at
    https://newdiscourses.com/2020/09/activist-violence-context/ , and for additional works of his see
    https://liberalnomad.com/author/agonisticliberal/ .

    Before concluding this section, I want to address the MARXIST leanings of BLM and what they mean for our America. According to BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors, both BLM co-founder Alicia Garza and she are “trained Marxists”:
    “The first thing, I think, is that we actually do have an IDEOLOGICAL frame. Myself and [co-founder] Alicia [Garza] in particular are trained organizers. WE ARE TRAINED MARXISTS. We are super-versed on, sort of, ideological theories. And I think that what we really tried to do is build a movement that could be utilized by many, many black folk”- see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p7C6tNjiRKY ; https://nypost.com/2020/06/25/blm-co-founder-describes-herself-as-trained-marxist/ ; https://www.discoverthenetworks.org/individuals/alicia-garza/ .
    BLM co-founder Cullors was a trained organizer with the Labor/Community Strategy Center (founded 1989), and the Center’s director, Eric Mann, was her mentor. The Center utilizes grassroots organizing to focus on Black and Latino communities, and it states that it is “fundamentally about a SOCIAL REVOLUTION” – see https://caseygrants.org/who-we-are/inside-mcf/the-labor-community-strategy-center-we-fight-to-win/ .
    52 years ago in 1968 Mann, a self-proclaimed communist revolutionary, was the New England coordinator for Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and then when a year later SDS splintered into three groups Mann joined a more radical Weathermen/Weather Underground (WU) group led by Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn which called for violent “direct action” civil disobedience and overthrow of the U.S. government, with the FBI classifying WU as a domestic terrorist group in 1969. Through the mid 1970s WU conducted a bombing campaign of local, state, and federal government buildings, several banks, and Harvard University – see https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2020/06/24/black-lives-matter-founder-mentored-by-ex-domestic-terrorist-who-worked-with-bill-ayers/ ; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weather_Underground ; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Weatherman_actions .

    WHY did I write the paragraph above about BLM’s MARXIST leanings? There are two reasons.
    First, IF indeed BLM is a Marxist-leaning political movement (which is also social and economic in nature), based upon what we have already seen in 2020 the likelihood is that BLM will become more and more radical in its use of violence and destruction of public and private property in an attempt to gain traction in this situation, especially since it appears that BLM supporters feel MORE AND MORE INSECURE about the results that they can potentially achieve because non-BLM supporters are getting more and more “FED UP” with all of the violence and destruction over the past several months and their visible resistance is growing. Such BLM violence and destruction will be successful ONLY IF two things happen:
    (1) state and local governments continue to allow the violence and destruction to happen (and refuse to cooperate with the federal government when backup is in fact needed); and
    (2) non-BLM supporters fail to provide a sufficient defense to the BLM violence and destruction.

    Second, and equally important, major corporations such as AA have an IMPORTANT role to play in decreasing the attractiveness to groups such as BLM of “a social, political and economic philosophy named after Karl Marx which examines the effect of capitalism on labor, productivity, and economic development and argues for a worker REVOLUTION to overturn capitalism in favor ultimately of communism”, with socialism being an intermediate stage between capitalism and communism. “Marxism posits that the struggle between social classes, specifically between the capitalists (bourgeoisie) and the workers (proletariat) defines economic relations in a capitalist economy and will inevitably lead to revolutionary communism.” Now here is where AA (and all other major American corporations) can decrease the attractivism of Marxism.
    All workers want to work in jobs that they like and are respected in, be in a positive work environment, be managed by people who are fair with them, be given the opportunity to climb up the corporate ladder, and make the money that they need to support themselves and their families in a strong and stable MIDDLE-CLASS environment.
    If AA indeed believes in capitalism and wants capitalism to continue to be an integral part of America’s success story, then it needs to make sure that it ALWAYS practices capitalism “with a friendly face” turned towards ALL of its employees.
    One of the major areas of contention in today’s work environment has to do with wages of “the rank and file”, especially when compared with the wages/pay packages of their managers and leaders. I hate to tell all of you leaders and managers this, but the fact is that there is NOT ONE CEO (or any other leader or manager) in the world who deserves 278 (!) times (options realized) a typical worker’s compensation – see https://www.epi.org/publication/ceo-compensation-2018/ .
    In contrast, the CEO-to-typical-worker compensation ratio was much less at 20-to-1 in 1965 and 58-to-1 in 1989.
    When leaders’ and managers’ wages/pay packages start being MUCH MORE BALANCED in comparison to their “rank and file” workers is when our capitalism will be one step closer to being “the friendly face” that workers deserve it to be.
    In addition, it is extremely important that workers today have good corporate medical insurance and that this insurance be extended to the broadest possible groups of workers, regardless of whether they are part-time or full-time, hourly or salaried workers, etc. When ANY worker at AA is constantly fighting for BASIC SURVIVAL because of his/her wages (except obviously in instances when the worker is financially irresponsible and living beyond his/her means) and/or lack of medical insurance, this is a VERY POOR REFLECTION upon AA.

    In conclusion, given the above and also the uncivilized state of politics in this country and various politicians’ and media groups’ distortion of the political situation and promotion of hatred, intolerance, and violence, allowing AA flight crew members to wear a BLM POLITICAL lapel pin is much more DANGEROUS than allowing a Blue Lives Matter lapel pin could ever be (especially since the overwhelming majority of Blacks know that their neighborhoods are safer with police patrolling them and in fact want them there – see https://news.gallup.com/poll/316571/black-americans-police-retain-local-presence.aspx?utm_source=tagrss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=syndication ).
    There are so many respected peace-oriented civil rights leaders of the 1960s who served our country for several generations and who did a tremendous amount of good for Blacks and for all of our America, and therefore if a Black-related pin is desired it would be much better to recognize a more unifying peace-oriented Black civil rights leader who is time-tested through his/her long history of service to Blacks and our country and who truly deserves the recognition.

    (4) Aside from BLM being a POLITICAL movement and deeming VIOLENT actions to be acceptable to further its cause, BLM at times is IN FACT quite DIVISIVE, HOSTILE, and VIOLENT in its TACTICS, and plenty of AA’s own flight attendants are very concerned about AA’s promotion of BLM – see, for example:
    https://nypost.com/2020/09/06/american-airlines-policy-allowing-blm-pins-faces-backlash/;
    https://www.lawenforcementtoday.com/american-airlines-will-allow-blm-pins-on-uniforms-while-on-duty/ .
    Given the fact that there are numerous instances of EXCESSIVE ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION ON FLIGHTS which AA is totally aware of and a COMBUSTIVE POLITICAL SITUATION in our country, promotion of BLM by AA in any way, shape, or form is a DISASTER WAITING TO HAPPEN. Consider these two totally UNRELATED (but relevant for purposes of discussion) incidents that were reported just last week.

    (a) Allegations that a 13-year-old girl was sexually assaulted by a 25-year-old intoxicated passenger
    A Texas mother recently filed a lawsuit against Southwest Airlines alleging that her 13-year-old daughter was sexually assaulted by an intoxicated passenger who was sold three beers and a shot of tequila after getting on the plane drunk (after buying as many as 7 alcoholic beverages at an airport bar) -https://www.heraldmailmedia.com/news/nation/texas-mom-says-southwest-airlines-kept-serving-alcohol-to-a-drunken-man-who-groped-her/article_7f7e2358-a028-5603-8209-56c8cb936c33.html .
    And, it appears that this type of situation happens too often – see a somewhat similar situation involving an American Airlines flight in 2016 – https://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/oregon-man-pleads-guilty-groping-13-year-old-girl-flight-article-1.2951246 . I use these two examples because ALCOHOL was involved in both situations.
    In addition, it should be noted that according to IATA “alcohol was a factor in 27% of incidents and UK reports refer to it frequently” – see https://www.ft.com/content/cea5777c-9f26-11e9-b8ce-8b459ed04726 .
    And, according to an older 2009 article, “in the UK, alcohol was identified as a contributory factor in 45% of the incidents reported to the government between 1999 and 2003” and “when US officials analyzed a year’s worth of voluntary reports on passenger misconduct, ‘overindulgence in alcoholic beverages’ emerged as ‘the most prevalent contributory factor by far’” – see https://academic.oup.com/jtm/article/16/5/311/1817350.

    (b) Allegations that “Next Generation Action Network” (NGAN) founder Dominique Alexander and other NGAN activists who support BLM assaulted “WalkAway” (WA) founder Brandon Straka, a WA security guard, and WA supporters during a WA event in Dallas
    On Saturday, September 5, 2020, there was a “WalkAway” event in Dallas involving WA supporters and Brandon Straka, the former liberal New York hairstylist founder of the “WalkAway” campaign in May 2018 which “encourages and supports those on the Left to walk away from the divisive tenets endorsed and mandated by the Democratic Party of today” – see https://www.walkawaycampaign.com/ .
    Straka and WA supporters claim (and offer video evidence to support their claims) that Dominique Alexander and other NGAN activists who support BLM assaulted Straka, a WA security guard, and WA supporters – see article and video “Violent Black Lives Matter agitators disrupt peaceful WalkAway rally in Dallas – punch security guards” at https://www.lawenforcementtoday.com/violent-blm-agitators-disrupt-peaceful-walkaway-rally-in-dallas/; see also “#WalkAway Dallas attack – more details emerge” at https://uncoverdc.com/2020/09/08/walkaway-dallas-attack-more-details-emerge/ .

    Having set forth the above two examples, now just imagine that one (or more) AA flight crew member wears a BLM lapel pin during a fairly long international (or even domestic) flight. A man (or woman) sits in his seat and enjoys quite a few alcoholic drinks and becomes significantly “tipsy”, to say the least. The man is a fairly INTOLERANT person regarding people having contrary views to his on important (to him) matters, and he “has it in his head” that BLM is “a radical and violent group”. The man notices the AA employee’s BLM lapel pin and “goes berserk”, to put it mildly. The man beats up the AA employee and chaos ensues, with a few other passengers around them taking sides and jumping in physically to help each side. I will be honest with you. I DO fly internationally approx. 6 times a year, and I would definitely NOT want to be in such a situation. Why? Because simply stated it is TOO UNPREDICTABLE.
    In essence, IF something like this were to happen on the street or even in the airport I could act quickly to get away from the situation (and make sure that the police/security arrive ASAP). However, on an airplane, my alternatives to flee are limited (basically zero), and in addition situations like this can quickly get out of control and potentially even destabilize the whole flight and endanger everyone – in this regard see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_rage .
    Why do I believe that this scenario is realistic? For two reasons. First, currently we see similar scenarios EVERY DAY in our own cities and in the news (Democrats, Republicans, Liberals, Conservatives, BLM and similar orgs, WalkAway and similar orgs, etc.). Second, politicans and the media FROM BOTH SIDES “day in and day out” distort what really happens and thereby when passengers and crew members get on that plane all of them already have plenty of “notions” in their minds that may or may not be consistent with actual reality. THEREFORE, when AA decides on a specific selection of lapel pins for its flight crew members to choose from and wear if they want, AA should take into consideration HOW these pins can be perceived by a QUITE DIVERSE customer base and employee base in a CLOSED AIRPLANE ENVIRONMENT that is already aviophobic/ claustrophobic (min. 6.5% of Americans which is approx. 20 million people) and where STRESS LEVELS are already HIGHER THAN USUAL in such an environment.

    (5) Finally, if AA can support a BLM pin irrespective of the concrete and legitimate concerns set forth in this letter (or hopefully will instead consider supporting a more unifying peace-oriented Black civil rights leader of the 1960s who is time-tested through his/her long history of service to Blacks and our country), then surely AA can also easily support a “Blue Lives Matter” pin for the following important consideration that AA appears to have completely overlooked. AA would NOT be in the airline business IF it were NOT for the MANY law enforcement and security professionals who PROTECT passengers AND the many AA employees who serve them from the time that they set foot in departure airports, enjoy the comfort of various airport facilities while they wait for their flights, fly on airplanes, go through passport control and customs, and finally leave the arrival airports. Since AA is headquartered in Ft. Worth, it surely knows that the DFW Airport Police Department alone has more than 200 police (and this may be an old figure). In addition, since AA is headquartered in Ft. Worth, it would be interesting to know how many police/security personnel AA itself has at its headquarters. Have ANY of you even thought to ask yourself the question, “Would I want to be “on the beat” day in and day out in various “hot spots” around the country right now?” Well, we all know the answer to that question. As the saying goes, “don’t bite the hands that feed you”, and AA has plenty of police/security hands “feeding it” the SECURITY that its employees and customers needs.

    In closing, I expect AA to take into consideration all of my above comments and to reconsider this situation of a BLM lapel pin in favor of providing for MORE SECURITY for AA passengers and crew member on flights and less UNNECESSARY DANGER. Regardless, I am NOT stopping with sending this letter only to AA but rather will pursue additional peaceful and respectful means to make sure that FIRST AND FOREMOST AA takes the interests of its more than 200 MILLION passengers into the UTMOST CONCERN in making its final decision regarding whether to allow AA flight crew members to wear BLM lapel pins during any and all flights. ALL AA passengers when they take their seats on AA airplanes deserve to know that they are NOT going to POTENTIALLY BE PUT IN HARM’S WAY because of a BLM lapel pin (or any other controversial lapel pin).

    I hope that AA employees and their families are safe and healthy during this COVID-19 pandemic crisis and beyond. God bless all of you, and God bless our America and ALL of us Americans with more peace, love, tolerance, goodwill, respect, security, and . . . much better communication skills! Thank you for allowing me to SHARE with you what is in my intellectual head and on my soft heart regarding our America and ALL Americans (and others) whom I LOVE, RESPECT, and WANT TO FLOURISH IN LIFE AND BE SAFE IN THE PROCESS.

    Respectfully submitted,
    A Concerned American

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