The comments follow an announcement from United Airlines that the Chicago-based airline will be working on a new initiative that will prioritize training women and people of color as pilots in its Unite Aviate training academy. In efforts to “diversify the cockpit,” the initiative aims to hire at least 10,000 new pilots by 2030, half of whom will identify as women or people of color.
“Our flight deck should reflect the diverse group of people on board our planes every day,” the airline said on Twitter Tuesday.
According to CBS News, less than 6% of all pilots and flight engineers are women across the United States airline industry. Additionally, only about 10% of them are Black, Asian, Hispanic or Latino. United Airlines accounts for one of the airlines with the highest percentage of pilots who identify as women at just 7%. At this time, people of color make up only 13% of United’s pilots, United Airlines’ CEO Scott Kirby told CBS News.
In efforts to expand its diversity, the airline said it will work with historically Black colleges in the country, including Delaware State University, Elizabeth City State University, and Hampton University.
Carlson criticized the initiative, claiming that United Airlines was more concerned with “identity politics” than it was for safety. By prioritizing hiring women and people of color, he said the airline was depicting the “incurable brain disease called wokeness.”
“How does that make us safer? It divides and endangers us,” Carlson added, implying that only men—white men—could fly planes properly.
He then attempted to make a comparison of how while white men make up a majority of plane pilots, Black men make up 75% of NBA players. He used this statistic to claim that diversifying a field is a “diseased way of thinking,” because what would happen if racial equality quotes were introduced in sports like basketball?
“You do not want to live in a completely racialized country – where a person’s genetics are the most important thing about them, where you are reduced to your DNA, dehumanized,” he said.
Of course, he was not the only insecure white man who had issues with the announcement. Former air traffic controller Michael Pearson egged Carlson on by claiming that race and gender should not matter, but who is best at their job should.
“No one cares about the external characteristics of anyone involved in a safety occupation,” he told Carlson. “You simply care about, can they do their job, are they the best?”
He echoed Carlson in calling the announcement an attempt to “pander to the PC [political correctness] culture … The ugly specter of political correctness has invaded every area of our society, and now it’s invading or infecting areas that should be sacrosanct.” Pearson said.
What both of these racists are failing to realize is that United Airlines didn’t say they would hire just any woman or person of color, they just announced efforts in diversifying their staff.
“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,” United Airlines said on Twitter.
Despite your gender, race, or identity, the training associated with learning how to fly an airplane does not change. There’s no reason for Carlson and Pearson to assume that those who do not identify as white men will be any less skilled at their jobs.
But of course, being the racist man he is, Carlson could not comprehend that other races and genders can be trained to fly safely. He maintains his stance that the airline is “lying” because there is “one standard that matters, and it is not race, and it’s not gender. It’s competence.”
In regards to the comments made by Carlson and his racist buddy Pearson, United Airlines confirmed that this initiative would make their airline “better.”
“The United Aviate Academy’s commitment to diversity is about recruiting from the deepest pool possible of exceptional and qualified candidates who want to pursue a career as a commercial airline pilot, including those who otherwise may not have even tried due to financial barriers,” a United spokesperson told The Independent. “By looking everywhere for talent – while also upholding our high standards – we’ll be an even better airline.”
Watch the full segment below: