Justice Isn't Always Swift

Tuesday, November 02, 2021

Image by Kevin Bosc, via Unsplash, license.
Suzanne Lucas writes a timely -- and in these witch-hunting days, necessary -- defense of Southwest Airlines for their handling of a recent incident in which a journalist alleged that a pilot used a phrase that has become a substitute for a vulgarism involving the President.

For the benefit of everyone -- from people who seem unaware that their zeal for instant punishment could come back to bite them one day if we start indulging it -- to anyone who has ever said something that has been misunderstood, taken out of context, or tolerated in the past for any reason -- Lucas gives a few good reasons Southwest is proceding with deliberation and that a firing might not be the outcome even if the allegation is true.

Lucas elaborates on each of these, but I will simply list them here:
  • Did the pilot actually say, "Let's go, Brandon!"?
  • Have other employees said the same or similar phrases to customers?
  • Have other political slogans been tolerated?
  • What does the [pilot's] union contract say?
It is as disturbing to see the same people who said Resist! for four years basically declaring war on any kind of dissent now, as it is disheartening to see the form that that dissent is taking.

It is fortunate that we have vestiges of self-interest (in the form of the need for Southwest to make a profit) and rule of law to impede the whims of our increasingly mobbish body politic.

My thanks to Lucas for taking the opportunity that represents to remind people of the value of deliberation.

-- CAV

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