Buttigieg Lectures About Racist Highways as Southwest Delays Another 2,000 Flights

Just months after Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg vowed an “extraordinary effort” to hold Southwest Airlines responsible for mass flight delays, the airline delayed another 2,100 flights on Tuesday, citing the failure of a “vendor-supplied firewall.” The incident is the latest in a long series of flight disruptions under Buttigieg’s watch, including the cancellation of more than 16,700 flights by Southwest last December. Buttigieg was forced to respond to the disturbance on Tuesday after a weekend spent sounding off about racism in America’s roadway infrastructure.

At 10:36 am on Tuesday, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) publicly acknowledged that Southwest Airlines had requested a full ground stop, reportedly due to data connectivity issues. The incident is at least the second grounding this year caused by data issues after the FAA’s Notice to Air Missions system went offline in January, disrupting more than 11,000 flights.

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After Southwest disrupted more than half of their scheduled flights during last December’s Holiday season, Buttigieg told CNN host Wolf Blitzer,

“I made clear that our department will be holding them accountable for their responsibilities to customers, both to get them through this situation and to make sure that this can’t happen again.”

According to CBS News, however, Buttigieg appears to have failed to live up to his promise, with more than half of Southwest’s schedule getting bumped during the Tuesday ground stop.

After facing repeated backlash for his slow response to the 2021 supply chain crisis and East Palestine train derailment, Buttigieg issued a public statement that he was “watching to ensure” passengers were taken care of, but not before first tweeting about racism in America’s roadway infrastructure.

“Roadway deaths have been on the rise across America – and major racial disparities are part of the pattern,” he wrote.

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Buttigieg shared a clip from an MSNBC interview of his last weekend, where he joined Al Sharpton to lecture about the need to address the systemic racism built into the nation’s highways. “A lot of people don’t understand, even down to road fatalities, it is not equal,” Sharpton said. Buttigieg responded,

“It’s something that deserves more attention, which is why I’m working to bring more attention to it. We have a crisis when it comes to roadway fatalities in America. We lose about 40,000 people every year. It’s a level that is comparable to gun violence. And we see a lot of racial disparities.”

The Transportation Secretary’s appearance follows the signing of a letter by more than two dozen Democrats calling on the department to reform “racist traffic enforcement.”

“On our nation’s roads and highways, Black motorists have experienced disproportionate scrutiny and excessive force under the guise of traffic enforcement,” the letter read

Unsurprisingly, Buttigieg’s neglect of America’s air and railway infrastructure in favor of woke initiatives has made him increasingly unpopular with the general public. According to a March poll by Rasmussen, 51 percent of voters want to see Buttigieg resign, compared to just 36 percent who believe he should stay.

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