Reason magazine eloquently observes that in woke corporate America, there's no statute of limitations on wrongthink. Neil Golightly, a senior Boeing executive and former Naval aviator, was forced by Boeing's diversity cabal and an anonymous employee complaint to resign in 2020 over an article he wrote back in 1987 arguing what was then a mainstream and broadly supported position — women should not be allowed to serve in the military's combat arms.
We cannot judge the past through the moral lens of the present. The past must be judged in the moral context of of the past.
Dov Sar, a female F-18 pilot in 1987, said that at the time she disagreed and even wrote a rebuttal, however she also said Golightly made excellent points and should have the right to his opinion without losing his job.
Likely hounded by Boeing's diversity police, Golightly had to make the same groveling apology and kowtow before the easily-offended that so many others have made.
My argument was embarrassingly wrong and offensive. The article is not a reflection of who I am; but nonetheless I have decided that in the interest of the company I will step down.So the question is why Golightly felt the need to make this apology if he knew he was on his way out. We can only speculate. Perhaps as an executive he was offered a deal to leave Boeing where he got compensated in return for making this statement so that remaining execs could try to save Boeing's tattered reputation.
Defending Boeing, Reuters reports that:
U.S. employers have been more responsive to complaints related to sex and racial equality and diversity fueled in part by the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment, and anti-racist activism following the slaying of black men by police.This is the media's way of saying that U.S. corporations have gone woke. Without going to deep into the weeds on each, the #metoo movement is really about presuming guilt rather than presuming innocence, and "the slaying of black men by police" alludes to Black Lives Matter (BLM), is largely false, and ignores black-on-black crime.
BLM's co-founder acknowledges that the BLM movement is rooted in Marxism.
If we are going to fire people for opinion pieces they wrote 33 years ago, then who is going write anything even remotely controversial? When does this nonsense stop? And who is going to make it stop?
Where you stand on this issue largely depends on future you want for America. Are we going to remain free, or will we sink into the abyss of a new dark age, made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the ugly specter of corporate fascism?
So no, Golightly need not have treaded lightly, and he should never have apologized.
The Golightly controversy highlights civilization's moral and ethical responsibilities, and signals what America is to become in the years and decades ahead — whether we will continue as a fundamentally free people or succumb to private sector censorship and its chilling of free speech — questions not of law, but of politics, ethics, and philosophy.
If your livelihood can be taken from you on the mere whim of an anonymous accusation because some corporate bureaucrat doesn't like an article you wrote 33 years ago, what has become of free speech? The open exchange of ideas? The human right to express an opinion or a rebuttal? The question is no longer who's doing the censorship; the question is when will Americans say enough is enough and put an end to it?
There is no free speech when corporations have virtually unchecked power to de-platform, shut down, discipline and/or fire those with whom they do not agree. It's far from sufficient to say, once you're fired, just get a lawyer and sue the company. The damage has already been done and average citizens are highly unlikely to prevail at law against big corporations; most lawyers won't even take the cases for financial reasons. For most people remedy at law doesn't exist.
We need due process imposed on corporations before they can terminate employees for merely expressing opinions. Replacing at-will employment doctrines by just-cause would be an excellent start. Establishing a "statute of limitations" so that corporations cannot act against an employee for opinions expressed before a certain date is another. We could stipulate that companies must perform HR due diligence with regard to expressed opinion before hiring — once an employee is hired, the company cannot fire an employee (or intimidate, bully, harass, force him to resign, etc.) for opinions stated before he was hired. Lawyers are smart people; these things aren't difficult to write into the law; what's difficult is to get politicians to agree to these changes and put them into law.
But as long as Bill Handel's reductionist and somewhat clumsy retort "Do you want to keep the job?" is the prevailing view, needed change will not happen. Corporations will continue to act as de-facto mini-governments and to trample on free speech.
Finally, private companies like Twitter de-platform an elected President of the United States, while America's enemies such as Chinese Communist Party and the Taliban — a terrorist organization — continue to have access to their platforms. What value do private corporations really place on the free speech rights of American citizens?
We cannot trust private corporations any more than we trust government to protect free speech, and we don't trust government. If we did, there would be no need for the First Amendment.
Private corporations have traditionally existed to make money. But now big companies are openly pushing Left-wing, woke, Communist, and anti-American agendas: being part of the private sector is no longer in and of itself a claim to moral virtue. Americans had better wake up before we find ourselves bereft of freedom.