AFA Statement on Shootings: Break the Silence

Washington, DC (July 11, 2016) — The following is a statement from Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA) International President Sara Nelson on the recent shootings in Baton Rouge, St. Paul, Dallas and Berrien County, Michigan.

“More young black lives taken by police. Five police officers killed by a sniper with an assault rifle, two more by a gun. It has been a sad, sad week. But, maybe – just maybe – it will be remembered as the week America began to turn the corner on tackling hate that breeds violence.

“Our Flight Attendant community sends our heartfelt sympathy to the families and friends of all those who were killed or injured, and to all the people affected in Baton Rouge, St. Paul, Dallas and Berrien County, Michigan. Like those in Orlando, San Bernadino, Aurora, Newtown and so many others . . . we cannot know their sorrow so we simply send them our love.

“In our work we often care for people grieving who travel in times of loss. For those grieving, it is comforting to remember the best of who we miss and the love shared and multiplied through that human connection. We so often witness that even when the physical presence is gone, we can find comfort in the love that remains. But in these tragic events mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, sons and daughters must confront the fact that their loved one was struck down in hate. If we don't start talking about the reality of this epidemic more lives will be lost and more families will live in fear. Enough! No more silence. No more hate!

“These horrifying events have made clear, once again, some basic truths: murder is unacceptable no matter the circumstances. Killing is intolerable regardless of motives. All these deaths demand our sympathy; the victims’ families deserve our empathy. More than that, they deserve our action. All of us, and everyone who cannot bear another headline like those we’ve read this week, all of us must speak out against hate.

“Some in power have chosen to promote the loss of certain lives and silence discussion about the loss of others. This is the kind of intolerance that breeds hate and spreads it. Workers died this week. Some were black and some wear blue. All are loved by their families and all were cast down in hate. We cannot choose to honor one life over another, or pit one worker against another. It is well past time to speak candidly about the hate that has been promoted by those who wish to keep us divided.

“It is time for love, in action. Speak out against hate.”


The Association of Flight Attendants is the world’s largest Flight Attendant union. Focused 100 percent on Flight Attendant issues, AFA has been the leader in advancing the Flight Attendant profession for 70 years. Serving as the voice for Flight Attendants in the workplace, in the aviation industry, in the media and on Capitol Hill, AFA has transformed the Flight Attendant profession by raising wages, benefits and working conditions. Nearly 50,000 Flight Attendants come together to form AFA, part of the 700,000-member strong Communications Workers of America (CWA), AFL-CIO. Visit us at

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