NAACP issues 'travel advisory' for American Airlines
The NAACP, the oldest civil rights organization in the country, has fallen on hard times lately. Its relevance has been questioned by many young people who are far more attracted to the street activism and radical rhetoric of Black Lives Matter.
In seeking to recapture black youth, the NAACP is employing tactics and rhetoric more suited to BLM than the more moderate approach the organization used to be known for.
For the first time since the 1950s, the national NAACP has issued a travel advisory – not for a location, but rather a company: American Airlines. The group says several incidents experienced by black passengers "suggest a corporate culture of racial insensitivity and possible racial bias."
"Booking and boarding flights on American Airlines could subject them [to] disrespectful, discriminatory or unsafe conditions," the advisory said.
American Airlines (AAL) CEO Doug Parker said in a memo to staff that the company was "disappointed" to hear about the NAACP warning.
"We fly over borders, walls and stereotypes to connect people from different races, religions, nationalities, economic backgrounds and sexual orientations," Parker wrote in the memo, which the company released to reporters. "We do not and will not tolerate discrimination of any kind."
He said the airline has reached out to the NAACP to meet with them. NAACP President Derrick Johnson had called for a meeting with the airline's leadership.
Poor American Airlines. Despite playing the political correctness game to the limit, it has discovered that good intentions will get it absolutely nowhere.
This is one of the "incidents" cited by the NAACP as evidence of bias:
The NAACP warning referenced four examples, including one involving a black woman who was removed from a New York-bound flight after she complained that her seat was changed without her consent.
Though the woman was not identified by the NAACP, she spoke to CNNMoney about the incident.
That woman, Tamika Mallory, said she had gotten into a heated exchange earlier this month with a gate attendant at the Miami airport who she described as "very disrespectful" and "very dismissive." Mallory said she told the attendant that she would file a report about the incident.
Mallory, a civil rights activist and the co-chair of the Women's March on Washington, said the pilot of the aircraft, a white man, witnessed the end of the encounter and pulled her aside.
"The first words to come out the pilot's mouth to me are, 'Respect is a two-way street,'" she said, adding that he asked her whether she could behave herself on the flight.
Mallory said she told him there would be no issue and boarded the plane. She said she sat quietly for 10 minutes before being asked to get up and leave.
As she left, Mallory said, she saw the pilot again.
"He looks at me and points and says, 'Yeah, her. Off.'"
Airline employees are thoroughly trained to handle difficult passengers. That the exchange was "heated" tells me that the heat was probably coming from one source. Customers – regardless of color – often mistake calmness on the part of a clerk or other employee as being "dismissive." I would not be surprised if this woman has had repeated run-ins with other businesses where she claimed discrimination.
As for her being ordered off the plane, this is a no-brainer. Flying at 30,000 feet at 600 mph in a pressurized tube with a couple of hundred people is dangerous enough. Add a volatile, perhaps unstable passenger, and the potential for disaster becomes very real. I doubt whether the color of her skin entered into the decision to force her to deplane. It was her behavior, not her color, that got her kicked off.
As for the NAACP, it's clear that it has chosen the path of hysterical radicalism. It will certainly get the NAACP more notice. But I doubt that it will be as effective as it was in previous generations.