‘People will die due to DEI’: aviation in the spotlight after Alaska Airlines fuselage blowout

“Do you want to fly in an airplane where they prioritized DEI hiring over your safety?”

This was the question posed by tech tycoon Elon Musk on X, after a piece of fuselage was ripped from an Alaska Airlines passenger jet in the skies above Oregon last Friday.

People will die due to DEI,” Musk also warned.

The frightening Alaska Airlines incident took place just seven minutes after takeoff, forcing the depressurised Boeing 737 Max 9 plane, carrying 171 passengers and six crew en route to California, to return to Portland International Airport.

According to Fox 12 / KPTV,

“One passenger we talked to at the airport said that a kid had to be held in his seat by his mom, and people lost their phones, which were sucked out of the plane.

“That same child closest to the damaged part of the plane lost his shirt due to the violent and sudden depressurization, but otherwise everyone on board appeared to be OK.”

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has since ordered the immediate grounding of similar Boeing jets for inspection, affecting some 170 aircraft globally.

Ideology over safety

Musk has come under fire for his comments, with critics arguing that DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) hiring policies merely remove unwanted barriers impeding minority applicants from employment.

However, Musk’s critics are the ones in need of correction: it is already unlawful, under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, to practice employment discrimination against minorities.

What DEI has achieved is not a broadening but a narrowing of the hiring pool, making it less likely — and, in some cases, impossible — for the best applicant for a position to be hired if they are straight, white, able-bodied and/or male.

It is, of course, a stretch to suggest that DEI hiring practices are to blame for last week’s Alaska Airlines incident — nor was that Musk’s argument.

However, it is indisputable that life-threatening accidents will become more commonplace in the aviation industry, so long as woke corporations prioritise diversity over pure merit in their consideration of which professionals to hire — especially for high-stakes roles.

And it is hard to image an industry with more high-stakes roles than aviation — whether pilots, air traffic controllers, maintenance technicians, safety inspectors or cabin crew.

Fear of flying is a common anxiety, making aviation the last industry the public would want to see overrun with DEI nonsense, yet airline companies and even the FAA itself are riddled with this ideological poison.


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Just two days after the Alaska Airlines incident, Fox News reported that the FAA “is actively recruiting workers who suffer ‘severe intellectual’ disabilities, psychiatric problems and other mental and physical conditions under a diversity and inclusion hiring initiative spelled out on the agency’s website”.

The FAA, which is overseen by superwoke Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and employs some 45,000 people, is especially interested in recruiting workers whose disabilities include “hearing, vision, missing extremities, partial paralysis, complete paralysis, epilepsy, severe intellectual disability, psychiatric disability and dwarfism”.

Flight risk

On its website, the FAA argues that its Diversity and Inclusion hiring plan, which was last updated in March 2022, is “integral to achieving FAA’s mission of ensuring safe and efficient travel” — though exactly how that sentimental square is circled has been left unexplained by the agency.

Meanwhile, in 2023, both Alaska Airlines and Boeing Co. achieved the much-coveted Human Rights Campaign’s Equality 100 Award, earning a perfect 100-point score by jumping through a maze of hoops to make them leaders in “LGBTQ+ workplace inclusion”.

Alaska Airlines has long been noted for its commitment to wokeness, as early as 2021 sacking two Christian employees for questioning the company’s public support of the controversial Equality Act.

For its part, Boeing bragged in a 2023 report, Our goal was to achieve diverse interview slates for at least 90% of manager and executive openings,” with an actual 92% of interview slates being diverse, resulting in 47% diverse hires.”

United Airlines is another “industry leader” when it comes to wokery, its CEO Scott Kirby recently boasting that race and gender are among the key considerations United uses in deciding who pilots its planes.

Did I mention that Scott Kirby also likes to dress in drag? No, I’m not joking.

The downfall of the aviation industry would be hilarious if it weren’t so deeply concerning.

The plane crashed, but at least it was flown by a drag queen is not a consolation most customers would welcome, if that day ever comes.

But it’s one they might soon expect — until and unless the DEI industrial complex is splintered into a thousand pieces and scattered to the winds.

Kurt Mahlburg is a writer and author, and an emerging Australian voice on culture and the Christian faith. He has a passion for both the philosophical and the personal, drawing on his background as a graduate architect, a primary school teacher, a missionary, and a young adult pastor.

Image: cartoon by Brian Doyle 


Showing 6 reactions

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  • Juan Llor Baños
    commented 2024-01-22 00:52:17 +1100
    Irresponsibility is always criminal
  • mrscracker
    This gives me a new view of United Airlines for sure.
  • Peter Fährmann
    I think I’ll fly Emirates or Qatar on my next international flight. Bet there’s no DEI with those airlines!
  • Michael Cook
    commented 2024-01-19 21:54:11 +1100
    A controversial issue! Forward it to your friends!
  • Elva Kindler
    commented 2024-01-19 21:46:47 +1100
    Yikes! Thank you for the excellent article!
  • Julian Cheslow
    commented 2024-01-19 16:57:56 +1100
    Safety standards dropping at Boeing has nothing to do with more inclusive hiring practices. Safety standards have dropped because those at the top have been squeezing as much profit as they can with no regard to what it does to the quality of the products. The only reason blame is being shifted to inclusive hiring practices is because that fits more neatly into the culture war narrative bigots love to push.