Free Speech

The New Blacklist: "American Airlines Investigating Southlake Pilot's Social Media Activity That Criticizes Carroll ISD Diversity Plan"

Party like it's 1949.

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Dallas Morning News (Anna Caplan) reports:

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….

Because, you know, diversity and inclusion is all about getting people fired for expressing their views in a political debate.

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  1. What could one expect in a free country.

    1. Hi, Donnie. All PC is case. This farce is 100% the fault of the lawyer profession. This scumbag occupation must be crushed. Arrest its hierarchy for insurrection against the constitution. Try them an hour. The sole evidence would their legal utterances. Execute them in the courthouse basement.

      And shoosh about repetiveness. The country is totally sick of you.

      1. "100% the fault of the lawyer profession"
        Behar, you forgot your anti-psychotic medication this morning

      2. Mr. Behar, please note that without us attorneys, whatever you may think, you would not be able to spew your inane babble, and yet still have one of us come running to defend you were you condemned for it. So, please don't be an ass and try to apply a little prudence aforethought, if you can.

    2. More like in a fascist country because this is textbook fascism.

      A truly free country would respect diversity of opinion, would defend it. The America I grew up in was such a country.

      This is not going to end well -- people tend to forget that the right can be as intolerant as the left has become.

      1. Well it's not really textbook fascism because it's not the Gestapo or Stasi on his doorstep.

        1. More like the red guard.

        2. electronic blackshirt/brownshirt mobs.

          1. Apparently there's a large overlap between those who participate in such "electronic mobs" and those who participate in actual Antifa "actions" (dressing in black, forming mobs, breaking things, beating people up). Like you said -- today's equivalent of blackshirt / brownshirt mobs.

            1. Regarding threats from mobs, there's a picture of a guy with his arms folded, refusing to Heil Hitler, among a sea of countrymen doing so.

              Do we think he was brave because of fear of government retaliation, which may not even have existed at that point, or of mob violence? Or does mob violence and politicians realizing they can get away with things work hand in hand on a slippery slope?

              We are a heartbeat away from having a president who won the Democratic debates with the fiercest ideas and desires to punish companies for not censoring the way she wants.

        3. If you want to find better examples of fascism, you might look to the laws empowering poll watchers to challenge voters, excusing drivers who plow into protesters, and installing direct political interference into certifying elections. Oh, and then there's the threats from national politicians when companies refuse to tow the line. Classic fascist techniques.

          Some guy losing his job for being an unhinged nutjob on Twitter? It's not surprising to see a bunch of pseudonymous online cranks go to the mat for him. But fascism, it is not. Modern Republicans are following the playbook.

          1. Sheesh.

            1) Challenges are a long standing part of the process in many states.

            2) Oh, dear, we're not legally required to reenact Reginald Denny's death when rioters stop our cars.

            3) "and installing direct political interference into certifying elections." Cite?

      2. As Q says, “ Nothing can stop what is coming. Nothing. Now comes the pain.”

        1. Ouch, said Guy Midkiff.

      3. people tend to forget that the right can be as intolerant as the left has become.

        You need to get out more.

        1. I wrote "can be", not "is" -- not here, or at least not currently.

          1. So you're acknowledging the mistake?

        2. I suppose most people pick sides based in some part on what either other is willing to tolerate, and how closely it fits with what their own preferences. After all, some things are intolerable, others you're willing to hold your nose.

  2. The article is behind a paywall so I didn't read it.

    If I were running an airline then I would also closely monitor the mental health of the pilots. Like it or not white resentment and radicalization is a thing these days. It affects white people of all ages and there are a lot of cases of people who were perfectly sane for many years rapidly becoming nuts and doing things that are nuts in a rage they never exhibited before and probably do not understand. Many reports of families breaking up over it. Certain types of posts on social media are a symptom of it.

    And this is not something that has any business migrating to the cockpit of an airplane worth a half billion dollars with hundreds of people aboard. Damn right they should investigate.

    It isn't a matter of free speech or hypocrisy over libtard values. You might as well rail against pilots not being allowed to smoke dope or drink alcohol and being required to pee in a cup to prove it. And it doesn't matter if he has had no problem for 32 years. The next flight is important.

    So, I didn't see what he posted or podcasted. Maybe he opined something perfectly anodyne and this was blown out of proportion. If so that is what the investigation should conclude or it can be contested. If, on the other hand it turns out that he is sliding into right-wing delusions and its attendant rage then I am 100% with them at taking it seriously.

    The above assumes the pilot is white. However it would equally apply if the individual was another race with their own pattern of problematic behaviors. Muslim, Indian, whatever. Remember flight MH370? You want that again?

    From what I see American Airlines is doing the right thing.

    1. Hi, Orbital. Where are you employed?

      1. now Dave. I'm sure if a pilot posted 100% legal proBLM opinions OM and his fellows would be perfectly fine with obvious attempts to intimidate them under the guise of investigation. I mean leftwing racialist theories have lead to far more directly attributable deaths than all the other boogymen the media talks about...combined. So you'd also be chomping at the bit to launch deep probing investigations about anyone involved in an important job who posted extensively about 'systemic racism' or 'white supremacy' or in favor of BLM for our safety wouldn't you OrbitalMechanic?

        1. People who work for organizations, including corporations, are likely to be leftists. Leftist means, believes in control from above.

          1. You need to get out more.

            1. Either that or he needs to be locked in

          2. Right. Like the U.S. military. Leftists all of them.

            In case you are interested, the Pentagon is doing the exact same thing that American Airlines is doing here and for the same reasons.

            https://theintercept.com/2021/05/17/military-pentagon-extremism-social-media/

    2. If we're going to monitor people we should also be monitoring them for all the crazy SJW delusions that negatively affect society orders of magnitude more than whatever is the outrage du jour. But 9/10 times we're only concerned with critics of the SJW cult. How is that fair?

      1. Being angry at the dangers of SJW negativity and delusions is probably a red flag for any intrusive and surveillance-happy HR department, but possibly not as big a red flag as, say, union organising. Better worker protections are the answer, in any case. You can have that SJW delusion for free.

        1. I'm pretty sure AA is already unionized pretty completely.
          Pilots, FAs, Rampers, Mechanics and Customer Service Agents are unionized.

          1. Well then where the hell is his union?!?

            They should be grieving this lest it establish a precedent that can be applied to shop stewards' postings...

            1. Grieving what?

          2. Then he'll hopfeully get a fair hearing.

    3. "It affects white people of all ages and there are a lot of cases of people who were perfectly sane for many years rapidly becoming nuts and doing things that are nuts in a rage they never exhibited before and probably do not understand."

      What does this have to do with Joe Biden?

    4. MH370 is just a theory.

    5. If an airline has concerns about the mental health of one of its pilots, that's a personnel matter that's generally handled privately. A public statement that they are investigating, not accompanied by a statement that the pilot would not be flying until the investigation is complete, suggests that American Airlines is concerned that the pilot may be acting in ways that could tarnish their corporate image, and not that he might be placing passengers at risk.

      Here is an article that is not behind a paywall: https://www.theblaze.com/news/american-airlines-investigating-pilot-who-criticized-school-districts-diversity-and-inclusion-plan

      1. Thanks for the link it fills in some details that I did not know before.

        If I read it correctly, the issue was not brought to the public by American Airlines. What they did was respond to publicly published complaints.

        Part of a job of a flight officer is beyond piloting the aircraft. They job description includes presenting an apolitical CONSERVATIVE face to the public as a representative of the airline. They are the visible avatars that projects confidence and stability to the public. If they don't then the airline has a real problem.

        1. " They [sic.] job description includes presenting an apolitical CONSERVATIVE face to the public as a representative of the airline. They are the visible avatars that projects confidence and stability to the public."

          Which is why they must all be White males -- heterosexual, cisgendered White males, preferably USAF veterans.

          We can't have any girl pilots, the public wouldn't have confidence in them. Likewise a Black pilot -- sorry, it's an image issue.

          And heaven forbid one of our pilots ever be seen coming out of a gay bay -- even if he didn't know it was a gay bar and left when he realized it was....

        2. Part of a job of a flight officer is beyond piloting the aircraft. They job description includes presenting an apolitical CONSERVATIVE face to the public as a representative of the airline. They are the visible avatars that projects confidence and stability to the public. If they don’t then the airline has a real problem.

          You're rationalizing. The public does not view pilots as corporate airline representatives, except perhaps when they're actually on the job. "Hmm. United has a flight to my destination on that date for $399, while American has one for $339. American it is — no, wait, I saw that one of their 15,000 pilots said something offensive on twitter, so I don't trust them to get me there safely," said no one ever.

      2. "If an airline has concerns about the mental health of one of its pilots, that’s a personnel matter that’s generally handled privately"

        Aren't they legally required to do so? HIPAA and all...

        How many times have we seen "we can't comment on personnel matters..."

        1. Aren’t they legally required to do so? HIPAA and all…

          No. Now that you've finally learned to spell it, maybe you might want to try learning something about it. An employer is not a HIPAA covered entity.

          1. Well, the FSCMA seems to disagree. https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/faq/will-my-employer-have-access-my-medical-evaluation

            Yes, I am presuming that the same rules apply to pilots -- it's the same DOT.

            I might not be quoting the correct reg(s) but I highly doubt employers can release license-required medical info.

    6. "So, I didn’t see what he posted or podcasted. Maybe he opined something perfectly anodyne and this was blown out of proportion."

      Essentially, that's what happened: https://twitter.com/SouthlakeARC/status/1391761389702848515?s=20

      Anonymous jack-boots accused him of "harassing students" for criticizing the pro-racism group.

      1. That's hilarious. The right has so normailsed making their arguments online via abusive, insulting and utterly dumb memes and childish sarcasm they have no idea how completely bizarre and demented they come across. Another keyboard warrior falls in battle.

        1. Kathy Griffin, noted right-wing memester. Oh, wait, that's not right.

          You have no idea how completely bizarre and demented you come across. Where do you work? Does your employer know how childish you are online?

          1. Is this supposed to be a defense of right-wing memesters? My lord, you first amendment warriors couldn't cancel Kathy Griffin fast enough.

            1. And then there is this -- jumping up and down on a police car is OK, but quietly sitting on the hood of one is not. (Personally, I think the image was photoshopped, the shadow from his torso isn't really there, but I digress...)

              https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/a-rapper-posed-on-a-swat-truck-during-the-capitol-riots-and-put-it-on-his-album-he-s-facing-federal-charges/ar-BB1gRk39

              1. You say 'then' as if these examples are flowing smoothly from one to the other instead of jumping around randomly with no pretence at relevance.

              2. Ed,
                I doubt that image is photoshopped. There are too many shadows and reflections in exactly the correct places. The edge transitions are without any noticeable flaws even at high magnification

        2. Quite unlike the abusive, insulting and utterly dumb memes and childish sarcasm used by the woke who have no idea how completely bizarre and demented they come across.

          I saw a comment on twitter which quoted an NYT article where someone referred to "the Hmongs, the colored and the gays". The tweeted said the community needed to "elect non-KKK type candidates"

          While the original statement is clunky the rest of the quoted statement is pushing back against "white privilege" being equated with racism.

          The language police are all over it. Someone should tell all those "People of Color" and the "National Association for the Advancement of Colored People".

          This was apparently in Wausau Wisconsin a city with 11% Asian residents, mostly Hmong and a mere 1.4% African Americans.

          1. 'Quite unlike the abusive, insulting and utterly dumb memes and childish sarcasm used by the woke who have no idea how completely bizarre and demented they come across.'

            Yes, quite unlike.

        3. Wow Nige, I was amusedly strolling down this string of comments until I collided with the wall of your shocking stupidity. The most pathetic attempt to win an argument or persuade anyone with half a mind is to foist your own weakness and insecurity upon them. Read Schopenhauer again, if you ever did in the first place. Yelling louder and belittling your opponent is only probative of your weakness and insecurity since you lack valid points. I think you should just go to your safe space with a Mocha something and let the adults talk.

          1. There you go again.

      2. Michael P thanks for the link.

        If I were on the review board for this pilot and this were all there was to it then I would reinstate the pilot. Probably with an expunged record if that was allowed.

        But that is not the same thing as saying the investigation should never have happened. I would have given an aside bit of advice on the order of "hey dude I know how you feel but be more careful, OK?"

        1. No, the review should happen, but the result should be like the letter that the FCC guy wrote (posted by EV elsewhere).

          Telling him to be "more careful" is silencing him.

    7. White radicalism is "a thing" like voter fraud is "a thing".

      But keep up your bigotry and race-baiting and you could well make it a thing.

      1. Yes, it will suddenly become 'a thing' as if completely out of nowhere, overnight, springing into existence fully formed, all because of OM.

        1. Oh, it won't be a thing all be because of OM. You're doing your share of race-baiting, too.

          But it's not a thing yet.

          1. Damn, I can't open my mouth without a white person threatening to get radical.

            1. "threatening to get radical"
              are you referring to righteous indignation

              1. Yes, only without anything real to get righteous or indignant about.

            2. OMG, Nige. I had just finished my last comment in reference to yours, when I scrolled down and saw this new and more boneheaded stupidity: "Damn, I can’t open my mouth without a white person threatening to get radical."
              When I answered you, I had no clue as to your racial identity, for all I know you could have been Scotch-Irish. Although I still don't know, it seems you may be black or other than white. Thank you for proving my statement about your weakness and insecurity. If you must play a race card on a blind forum, you are truly nothing without your crutch. A Coward and a piece of crap.

              1. Oh, don't worry, I'm as white as the moon, but maybe I was making assumptions about Rossami? All I know is I'm driving him to wild excesses of radicalism, apparently.

  3. "Party like it's 1949." Yes, but that is actually progress: in Virginia, we recently partied like it was 1923.

    Sarcasm aside, I am amazed at the smallness of modern movements: the tiny fringes have megaphones and are seldom revealed as the tiny fringes that they are. As bars reopen -- and as folks once again gather to discuss the issues of the day over beverages -- the narrative rapidly is changing.

    And, oh, as an example... even with Biden's mighty megaphone, full vaccination remains less popular than Walter Mondale.

  4. I will be learning about aviation law if this pilot is fired. Anyone can do lawfare, and keep it up for years.

    1. Back in your cave Behar, Hibernation time is not yet over for you.

  5. "Because, you know, diversity and inclusion is all about getting people fired for expressing their views in a political debate."

    Did it take you long to figure that out? Because it's been obvious for at least a decade.

    1. Way way longer than that, if you aren't a white conservative.

      1. Now Nige, no fair bringing reality into this.

      2. Getting fired for expressing your views in a political debate goes back a long ways. Having it be called "diversity and inclusion"? That's fairly recent.

        1. War is Peace
          Freedom is Slavery
          Ignorance is Strength
          Diversity is Conformity

          1. Armchair, in our post 1984 world I think it would be proper to add; Equity is Harmony.

        2. That's not what this is called, though. That's what he was criticising, or rather insulting and attacking. So, you could call it getting fired for being weirdly agressive and nasty towards people who disagreed with him politically online over racial issues.

        3. Leftists defending and cheerleading for practices they historically pretended to be against isn't new though.

          There must be two perspectives: (a) zealous true believers who still somehow think they’re the good guys and blacklists are justified and (b) haters who don't care what they've become. I wonder what the breakdown is.

          You'd think there would be a third group of leftist idealists who oppose the new tactics. But if they exist in any numbers they're being very, very quiet about their disapproval.

          1. Historically, getting fired for posting abusive memes on social media is surprisingly rare, so I question your sample size.

            1. You know you’re not convincing anyone, right?

              1. Is this about convincing people or the heady cut and thrust of political argument for its own sake?

                1. Personally, I’d like people to see blacklisting happening and decide they're still against it — like they might have said before the Obama Administration. And then maybe turn away from vindictive partisanship and stop supporting and defending haters.

                  I don’t know what your motives are. But no one is going to honestly go along with pretending social media makes blacklisting different now.

                  1. Is this blacklisting? People getting fired for social media posting doesn't really seem like blacklisting in any useful way. If you're going to draw on just one case for partisan purposes, rather than a proper survey and study of such incidents, then what's the point? It's just more cynical culture-war we're-the-victims nonsense.

                    1. If you want to claim it’s not blacklisting, then do that.

                      But trying to rename things (like you do in your other comments on this topic) probably isn’t going to persuade anyone.

                    2. Persuade anyone of what? That it's a wider issue than partisan performative martyrdom? That it's a social and moral issue, taking an old phenomena of getting, or trying to get, people fired for things they do outside of work onto social media, and not confined to poor wee conservatives posting weird memes at people over racial issues? (Thinking about it, though, 'getting a person blacklisted' is, on reflection, an appropriate descriptor.)

  6. From this article:

    The plan … called for the district to hire “equity and inclusion” officials, encourage students to report each other for “microaggressions,” and impose mandatory “diversity training” on students and staff.

    "Microaggressions" are supposedly tragic and must be punished. Meanwhile if you oppose their agenda in any way they'll try to get you fired from your job.

    If CRT is not sinister, why are CRT activists (at a local school district level) trying to get critics blacklisted from employment?

    Does the pilot have a winnable tortious interference claim against Southlake Anti-Racism Coalition if the airline acts against him?

    1. Probably not, because SARC seems to be an unincorporated association, and damages would not be recoverable even if he could sue the group. But I think he has a good case for whoever posted the tweet(s) to AA, and anyone else in the group who prompted them.

    2. Does the pilot have a winnable tortious interference claim against Southlake Anti-Racism Coalition if the airline acts against him?

      No. Criticizing someone is not tortious.

      1. I’d be interested to hear what would be.

        I’ve seen another case where a software developer with products in the market said he’d refuse to develop for a company's platform as long as a specific individual worked there.

        And I heard of an incident where someone got a job offer and then, before the term of employment started, another individual offered vague complaints about the new hire and the job offer was rescinded.

        1. I’d be interested to hear what would be.

          Well, defamatory comments would be the obvious example.

  7. So what's the fix Prof. Volokh?

    Go ahead and tell us there should be some sort of govt intervention here.

    Or are you also on the losing side of the culture war and this is just you whining?

    1. Artie? Is that you?

      1. Artie is not permitted to contribute here. He was banned by the Volokh Conspiracy Board of Censors for poking fun at conservatives.

        I am Arthur.

    2. The fix is Eugene demanding that private universities punish their liberal students for disrupting far right speech with their own speech. Man of the free expressions he is.

  8. I don't know. I feel sorry for the guy. His posts are emotional rants. They sound irrational and unbalanced.

    On the other hand, he's probably responding to irrational unbalanced stuff he sees online from the other side. Not everybody can be articulate and eloquent. Tweet storms bring out the worst in everyone.

    If we don't want everyone to crawl into their shells, keep their thoughts to themselves, and dream about insurrection, then we need to be pretty tolerant of ineptness when they do express their feelings.

    1. Unbalanced my arse -- they were sarcastic and actually kinda humorous, particularly the Gatsby one.

  9. If we follow the logic of the "common sense gun control" movement, the only option is common sense social media control.
    Until we can achieve a complete ban, at a minimum we must require anyone posting on social media to pay for a full background check, use their full legal name for all posts, take hours of training in proper use of the english language and libel laws, pay for a license each year, and submit to unannounced reviews of their posting history. In the spirit of assault weapons, no one needs more than one account on one platform, and no one should need to post more than once a week.
    Until then, I will continue to avoid the 'bad part of town', and remain social media free.

  10. But if you call someone a racist because they disagree with you on something that has nothing to do with race, that's fine.

  11. "Because, you know, diversity and inclusion is all about getting people fired for expressing their views in a political debate."

    . . . says the guy who regularly publishes vile racial slurs at a White, male blog; periodically imposes viewpoint-driven censorship on those with whom he disagrees; and operates a daily self-pity party for grievance-consumed White males.

    1. Yes, but has anyone here tried to get you fired? No? Then you really haven't refuted his point.

      If AA said he couldn't post that stuff on the company's internal message board, this wouldn't be a story. This is about punishing someone (with huge financial implications) because you disagree with their position.

      1. Or because of the way he said it. Like I said earlier, we should be tolerant of those who can't express themselves better, or who might post while intoxicated. If we suppress their speech, they'll plot insurrection.

        1. Not only will they plot insurrection, but they'll build conspiracy theories that wouldn't last ten seconds were they able to express them openly.

          Smart police departments know this and it is why they dedicate resources to rumor control and willingly release information that is not always flattering to the department -- they know that the rumors of what might have happened are going to be both far worse and far more damaging.

      2. "Yes, but has anyone here tried to get you fired? No? Then you really haven’t refuted his point."

        My point addressed the unsuitability of the messenger.

  12. If your view opposes diversity and inclusion, then yeah, firing you is all about diversity and inclusion.

    1. Why stop at firing? Why not set up a government agency to "rectify" such wrong-thinkers? We'll call it the Department of Diversity & Inclusion. Or maybe the Ministry of Love. Yes, that sounds nice.

      1. Because no one cares about bigots anymore. Just let them drive Uber or something.

  13. Judging from his tweets and the actual complaints, I'd wager that the guy was fired not for being critical of the diversity and inclusion initiative but rather for harassing people in a misogynistic and racist way.

    But I'll admit the standard of discourse on the right is such that it can be hard to distinguish that kind of rhetoric from good faith attempts to disagree on the substance. You guys don't really have anything apart from insults, harassment, and martyrdom complexes, huh?

    1. Pot, meet Kettle.

      1. I kind of feel like most of the comments here make my point for me.

        It's kind of amazing that the VC has a bunch of regular commenters that skew even worse than Reason's main page does.

    2. Basically. It's great that anytime it's in the news that someone was fired for being openly bigoted, you don't even have to mention what they said it their political views. The right naturally goes on defense. Everyone just knows.

      1. Because we all know leftists scream racism no matter what happens. During the Obama Administration you all forgot how to make any argument for or against anything and just started labeling people racist to shut them down. And your ability to listen to any hint of disagreement disappeared forever.

        1. No, it's just that the only contribution the right has to offer on the issue of race is 'the real racism is me not being able to say the n-word.'

          1. No one says that. Straw man argument.

        2. I can listen to disagreement. What I don't care to tolerate is idiocy like yours. That's the thing - that's all the right really seems to have to offer any more.

          1. Nor I yours.

            You claim to be able to listen and then two sentences later dismiss everything anyone might say.

      2. Opposing CRT is not being "openly bigoted". Critical Race Theory IS "openly bigoted".

    3. Publicly criticizing people on Twitter is not "harassing" them.

      1. It is next to impossible to get a fully clear picture of what he did, as most of what I found was either behind a paywall or from a seething right-wing misinformation pumper. I'm just able to see that some people accused him of targeting people for harassment, and then his obnoxious tweets. I don't know if that means he was DM'ing more direct threats or whatnot.

  14. Employers should not impose religious beliefs on their employees.

  15. "Because, you know, diversity and inclusion is all about getting people fired for expressing their views in a political debate."

    Yes. That's exactly what it is all about. Today, you get fired. Tomorrow, the mob shows up. That's how bad things are now.

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