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This week, United Airlines announced that they will be working to increase the number of women and people of color who become pilots, setting a goal for 50% of the 5,000 pilots trained in the next decade.
The airline made the announcement on Twitter, writing, “Our flight deck should reflect the diverse group of people on board our planes every day. That’s why we plan for 50% of the 5,000 pilots we train in the next decade to be women or people of color.”
Our flight deck should reflect the diverse group of people on board our planes every day. That’s why we plan for 50% of the 5,000 pilots we train in the next decade to be women or people of color. Learn more and apply now: https://t.co/VbOFvFOksB pic.twitter.com/r0ScH6MQAJ
— United Airlines (@united) April 6, 2021
This is obviously ridiculous. When you’re flying in a metal tube, hurtling through the air at 500 miles per hour, 35,000 feet above nothing, the last thing that should be on anyone’s mind is the color of the pilot’s skin or whether they have male or female genitalia.
Affirmative action generally comes with the concern that standards are intentionally adjusted to fit various quotas. To apply such an ideology to a literal matter of life and death shows just how dedicated to “wokeness” corporations like United Airlines have become.
Unless airlines are specifically turning down qualified candidates because of their race or gender — which is already illegal given current equality laws — there is simply no problem here which must be fixed.
Lack of diversity among any profession is only a “problem” when people who are qualified for the role are being prevented from achieving their potential by nature of their sex or race. If diversity happens to be lacking, unless there is some form of underlying discrimination, we simply shouldn’t care.
After all, the NBA is hardly diverse. The majority of basketball players in the NBA are black. Even more shockingly, by the Left’s standards, every NBA player is male. And yet, protests of “anti-white” discrimination or “anti-female” discrimination in the NBA are lacking. Why?
The reason is that this is all a virtue signaling stunt. Rather than setting standards and letting anyone — regardless of race or sex — attempt to meet those standards, corporations are giving in to pressure from the Left to act as identity puppet masters for certain industries, while leaving pure meritocracy to rule in others.
And when it comes to flying a plane, meritocracy should be the only factor we care about.
After the immediate and obvious backlash, United followed up, saying, “All the highly qualified candidates we accept into the Academy, regardless of race or sex, will have met or exceeded the standards we set for admittance.”
This followup proves just how absurd United’s virtue signaling statement was. If all the candidates accepted into their academy are “highly qualified,” then what’s the problem? If all the candidates “regardless of race or sex” have “met or exceeded the standards” set for admittance, what’s the problem?
In this case, United is stuck between a rock and a hard place of their own making. Either they’re going to purposefully select candidates based on race and sex in order to hit their goal of 2,500 trainees being “women of color,” or they’re going to ignore race and sex and simply select the best candidates, regardless of whether they are women of color or not.
I don’t care whether my pilot is black or white, male or female, as long as they can fly the plane. Maybe United should focus on that?
Ian Haworth is an Editor and Writer for The Daily Wire. Follow him on Twitter at @ighaworth.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.