Flight recorders: Is it racist to call them “black boxes”? Or sexist? Or both?

From halfway around the world, the tragic Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crash last week dislodged a hornet’s nest of troubling questions for Boeing, the FAA and President Trump. While the media has mainly focused on Boeing 737 Max 8 planes and their continued use, there remains the larger and socially significant issue of whether calling a flight recorder a “black box” is racist or sexist … or both.

Does this box look black to you, bigot?

An analysis of news reports dating back several years finds very few references to flight recorders or “black boxes” except in the event of tragedy, finds a report by researchers at Culvert Community College. Because of this, flight recorders are usually only mentioned with negative connotations.
“It’s almost self explanatory from there,” explained CCC presenter Dr. Randall Kirger at a May 16 lecture at Flouter Hall during a presentation of his revolutionary study titled ‘OMG it’s 2019 Can We Stop Calling These Things Black Boxes Already?’.
“Any time you have something terrible, the media seems compelled to associate it with the color black, like they’ve done with The Black Death, Black Friday and the Black Eyed Peas. Inasmuch, these associations and connotations present not only a nuisance but a danger to the African-American community,” Kirger explained.
“Don’t we think that the black community has enough on their plates without the oppressive weight of collective guilt that comes with being held responsible for explaining airline crashes being piled on top of it?”
The study, which is published here, also pointed out that “box” is often used as a derogatory term for the vagina, and sometimes as a dismissive term for women themselves.
“We are so apt and ready to derail women by associating slang terms for women with negative things and events. Pandora’s box? Pussy-whipped? Cattle call? Women should absolutely be offended.”
It’s current year!” Dr. Kirger bellowed, slamming his fist to the podium. “Don’t we think we can be a little more grown up and educated about what kind of terminology we choose to use when we’re referring to completely sciencey stuff like this?”
As Dr. Kirger points out, the boxes are not actually black, but instead a bright orange color.
“As is common knowledge, orange is also the color of a clown’s jolly pom-pom buttons on his menacing, evil costume. In my professional opinion: with consideration to the clear and present danger that clowns present — which is a much more serious than that of African-Americans or virtually any tangible demographic — perhaps it’s time to consider giving the device a more accurate moniker, like the ‘devil clown recorder’ or ‘bad joke canister’,” Kirger suggested.

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