Starting now, American Airlines will allow flight attendants to don Black Lives Matter pins on their uniforms when they are on-duty. This news comes after Black employees stated that the airlines has a racist work environment. However, reports state that a “top official” in the airlines stated that she was “taken aback” when she heard about the widespread complaints from African American flight attendants who were faced with “implicit bias and direct racism from customers and other team members.”
“American is truly committed to having an inclusive culture that is welcoming to all and a reflection of our country and world,” American’s Senior Vice President for Flight Services Jill Surdek said in an email.
“One symbolic way to show our support is through a uniform pin,” she wrote. “We are working with our Black Professional Network on designing a specific pin that may be worn with the uniform. In the interim until this pin is produced, to recognize the significance of this moment in history, we are allowing people to wear a Black Lives Matter Pin.”
Interestingly, not all the workers are satisfied with this move. Many white staff members stated that they will begin to wear pins supporting law enforcement because of this new policy.
“I take offense to this,” an unnamed flight attendant wrote in an email to American’s management. “Serious offense. My husband is a LEO (Law Enforcement Officer), as was my deceased father and as far as I’m concerned ALL LIVES MATTER.”
“I am completely disgusted at the fact that we can’t show support for our GOD, our COUNTRY, our LEOs but when it comes to BLM organization (which is controversial in itself), American Airlines says that’s obviously different,” they continued. “And we can. How is that right? Well, I don’t feel included.”
John, who is another flight attendant, stated that Black Lives Matter is “a terrorist organization,” and that, because of this new policy, anyone who does not wear a pin, will “be ostracized and labeled as racist.”
“If this pin is sanctioned, I will wear my NYPD pin supporting the police department,” he said.
However, American Airlines refused to budge and stated that Black Lives Matter is “not as a political cause” but a “universal cause about humanity and equality.”
“Fundamentally, Black Lives Matter is an expression of equality,” the company said. “It doesn’t mean other lives don’t matter, rather that in our society Black lives should matter and be valued the same as others. That’s not political.”
The company is also working towards creating pins in support of charitable causes, Christians, veterans and LGBTQ groups.
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