Sometimes in business, when it comes to hot-button political issues, it’s best to simply stay out of it.
We believe this is very sound advice.
Sadly, we’ve watched in recent years as some businesses owners and corporations simply couldn’t help themselves from jumping into the fire and getting involved. Nike caved into fear-mongering when it pulled away from launching a Betsy Ross tennis shoe because former NFL football quarterback Colin Kaepernick privately criticized the design to Nike. Uncle Ben’s announced it’s rebranding its rice because there is a picture of an older black man on its packaging. The owner of Aunt Jemima is rebranding its syrup because it believes it has racial overtones with a black woman on the bottle. Winn-Dixie considered dropping Dixie from its name simply because of Dixie’s affiliation with the South.
We respectfully disagree with these business owners’ decisions to make these changes that no one has complained about for decades, but it’s their company and their prerogative.
Again, sometimes it’s best to just stay away from these hot-button issues and keep operating your respective businesses as they have been for decades.
American Airlines is another company that should try to follow this rule, but apparently its leaders couldn’t help themselves from launching into the culture war we’ve been watching for months now.
The airline in all its wisdom recently announced it will allow crew members to wear Black Lives Matter pins while on duty. The company said it is working to design its own pin that will show its symbolic support of a diverse and inclusive work environment.
We believe this is a very unfortunate move by American Airlines and will rightfully offend many passengers and crew members and for good reason.
The company, which is privately owned but receives federal funding when bailouts occur, has faced backlash from some of its crews who have relatives who serve as police officers and see BLM as an anti-police movement.
“I take offense to this,” one flight attendant said to airline management in an email obtained by The New York Post. “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,” she wrote. “How is that right? Well, I don’t feel included.”
Another flight attendant who spoke to Fox News said that if the BLM pins are allowed, many will wear President Donald Trump pins to show support for the commander in chief.
These are some really good points.
A lot of people in this country feel that elements of the BLM organization are anti-police. Some remember the BLM rally in New York City, where marchers chanted “What do you want? Dead cops!” Their rhetoric is inflammatory and can incite violence against law enforcement.
All of this is just more evidence that American Airlines should’ve remained neutral on this hot-button issue and gone on about its business.
By sticking its neck out like American Airlines did, it’s possible it could come back to bite them.
Only time will tell us the answer to that.