Black Engineer Supervised Boeing's Safest Plane, the 777, But Elon Musk and Fox Blame DEI for 737 Max Failures

January 12, 2024

The 2nd safest aircraft in the world, Boeing 777, with production supervised by a Black engineer Howard MacKenzie who was chosen as Boeing's Chief Engineer in 2023.

Elon Musk announced on X (formerly twitter) that Boeing’s push for DEI is causing plane crashes, such as the 737 Max that had a door plug blow-out in mid-flight, packed with passengers at 16,000 feet.

“People will die due to DEI,” the tech billionaire said.  Fox Business News and New York Post, both Rupert Murdoch media organs, have backed him up. 

DEI, or Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, is a collection of programs to increase the variety of the kinds of people in various companies and government agencies. Opponents claim it discriminates against White men. 

They pose their argument as a question: “Do you want to fly in a plane where they prioritized DEI over safety?” as Musk tweeted.

I have heard this “question” before, back on 60 Minutes in the 1970s, where the columnist James Kirkpatrick asked “would you want to ride in an elevator installed by a Black?” 

 He retracted the statement a week later, saying he meant to say that “would you want to ride in an elevator installed by a Black who was hired because of affirmative action?”

Kirkpatrick is long dead now, but his belief system lives on. 

Neither Musk nor the Rupert Murdoch news organs have offered evidence that any “diversity hires” worked on any 737 Max planes in general, or the most recent defective plane in particular.

Boeing’s DEI initiatives did not even start until 2020 with George Floyd’s murder, which was after two 737 Max planes nose-dived into the ground under the control of Boeing’s computerized anti-stalling technology, killing 346 people in 2018 and 2019. 

These crashes resulted in the 737 Max being grounded by many foreign airlines and then reluctantly by the U.S. as well. Currently, all 737 Max planes are grounded in the U.S. for the door plug blowing out in January 2024.

Boeing’s DEI push only started in 2022, long after onboard computers killed 346 people with aviation nosedives. 

By the way, there are exactly three Black men on Boeing’s 21-member Executive Council. One is  Chief engineer Howard MacKenzie, who started in 1987 as an engineering intern with McDonnel-Douglas, which was later bought by Boeing. 

MacKenzie later supervised design and production of the 777, which is the second-safest plane in the world, according to Both of the 777’s major crashes were the result of terrorism, not engineering failures.

Fox Business guest, economist Steve Moore asked “Does anyone want to get in an airplane, saying I wonder if the pilot was chosen because he has the best skills or sexual orientation or race or other factors that don’t have to do with performance.” 

Same questions, different century.

The Fox host Sean Duffy implied Boeing should be more concerned with engineering than DEI, yet one complaint about Boeing is that not enough engineers are in leadership positions in the company. 

Still, neither Musk nor Fox offered evidence that any non-Whites were on the flight or maintenance crews of the Alaska Airlines Flight 1282. 

This is racial scapegoating at its highest, or lowest. 

STOP THE HATE: to learn how to report a hate crime.


“Elon Musk is Right About Alaska Airlines Blowout–Boeing’s DEI Push Could Literally Kill People,” Editorial Board opinion, New York Post, January 12, 2024,

“Elon Musk Targets Alaska Airlines Over Safety After Door Scare,” The Bottom Line with Dagen and Duffy, Fox Business Channel, Youtube, January 12, 2024. 

“Executive Biography of Howard Mackenzie: Executive Vice President and Chief Engineer," for Boeing,

“World’s Safest Aircraft Named,” by Geoffrey Thomas, October 20, 2022,

Photo: Qatar Airways A7 BAA Boeing 7773DZ (ER), by Md Shaifuzzaman Ayon, Wikimedia Commons