Southwest Airlines has opened an internal investigation into a flight attendant who allegedly suggested Black Lives Matter protestors should be shot. The flight attendant is claimed to have written in a now-deleted Facebook post “they all need shot (sic) in the head” a day after two BLM protestors were killed and a third was injured in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
“I’m honestly excited to see more news articles of fed-up citizens taking these rioters out,” the post continued, apparently referencing the alleged actions of 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse in the slaying of two innocent BLM supporters.
Protests had erupted in Kenosha following the shooting of Jacob Blake, a black man who sustained seven gunshot wounds in his back by police officers. Blake’s family say he is now paralysed from the waist down as a result of the shooting which was witnessed by his young children.
“At Southwest, we take great pride in our values, which include living by the Golden Rule and treating every individual with respect. The posts reportedly made by one of our Employees are not indicative of the care, respect, and civility we expect and do not reflect our values as a Company,” a Southwest spokesperson told us in an emailed statement on Sunday.
“In accordance with our internal policies and procedures, we are in the process of investigating this matter and take appropriate action if necessary,” the statement continued.
According to Southwest’s corporate website, the ‘Golden Rule’ refers to treating everyone in the same way as you would expect to be treated.
Responding to the BLM movement and the wider debate on racial inequality, Southwest commented:
“We stand alongside our Black Employees, Customers, and communities whose voices will no longer be silenced. There is plenty of work to be done, but we are committed to doing our part to drive change.”
“Our values, for all People, are based on the Golden Rule. Our Purpose is to connect People to what’s important in their lives. What’s happening in our nation is extremely important; it is a loud cry for us to listen, to see, and to truly understand. Then, we can and must do better.”
A photo of the deleted Facebook post which linked to a news article about the deadly shooting has been shared across social medial with some observers calling for the flight attendant to be fired. Southwest did not say whether the crew member remained working in a public-facing role while the investigation continued.
Last November, a Southwest flight attendant faced disciplinary action for openly criticising a Trump-supporting passenger on Facebook. Like many airlines and other corporations, Southwest enforces strict social media guidelines that can result in employees being disciplined for sharing privately held views in public.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.