United Airlines is trending on Twitter because, in line with the “inclusivity” trend, it has announced that 50% of the pilots it will train in the next decade are going to be people of color and women.
Instead of seeking to hire and train the best candidates possible, United Airlines is arguing that being black or female is a better skill for an important job, such as a pilot, in which you are responsible for the safety of hundreds of passengers.
United Airlines’ announcement is irresponsible. One would think that a candidate’s merit, skills, and attitude to efficiently meet the requirements of being a pilot would be enough to determine whether that candidate is suitable for the position. What qualifications does one’s race or gender bring to the table that are more beneficial for the safety and well-being of passengers?
Corporations’ obsessions with forced diversity is absurd, and United Airlines is inherently putting passengers’ lives at risk. That is not to say that racial minorities or women are incapable of being pilots. The problem lays in the notion that racial minorities and women need some form of corporatist affirmative action to get these jobs as if their skills are not enough.
It’s a fair assessment that all passengers want good pilots, regardless of sex and race. Similarly, a person who is ill wants the assistance of a good doctor, not a black or white doctor. Someone’s race and gender is irrelevant as long as the person is qualified to do the job.
Societies that make all societal aspects about race or any other identity are doomed to fail.
Imagine if there is a business owner who feels that a particular racial minority, in this case black, has been discriminated against. Let’s say that this business owner now has to hire a new manager for his company. He, then, has two options: to hire a black candidate or a white candidate. It’s clear that it is in the business owner’s interest to hire the best and most qualified candidate.
It would be foolish, both for the business and the owner himself, to hire the least qualified person for the job. Based on this new corporatist diversity, the business owner would hire the black candidate, disregarding whether the white candidate was better suited for the job. If all businesses adopted this hiring practice, they would soon be out of business.
Now, amplify the wrong decision to the whole country. Imagine that in a whole country it is imposed on the companies to have a quota of a certain race and certain sex. In many cases, we will take a job away from a qualified person to give it to somebody else based on their sex and race. The clear outcome of privileging sex or race over merit is a straight-up disaster. Societies do not function well if they prioritize the needs of individuals based on their genders or race.
You can only have one priority. You can organize from highest to lowest ability or you can organize according to your priority of race or sex. If 50% of your choice is made based on race and sex preferred hire then you will be taking positions away from capable people who don’t meet those characteristics. United Airlines must make up its mind: do you want pilots with specific looks or do you want the best possible pilots?
Those who defend United Airlines’ move claim that adopting racial quotas does not lower standards but expands access to women and black Americans who cannot afford training. This, however, is a false premise, primarily because racial quotas prioritize sex and/or gender rather than skills.
These defenders should support a meritocratic selection process if the truly wanted to help those women and black candidates who cannot afford the training but have the needed qualifications,
That would be discriminating, it would be privileging a black over a white to give financial help, but it is a choice of the company that would not lower the quality standards of the staff because the choice always had as a priority the ability. That being the case there would be no quota and the end result could be women and blacks less or even more than 50%, that shouldn’t matter because we agree that we want the best no matter what they look like.
If United Airlines wants to help a specific group, it is their right to do so, but it is not smart, nor ethical, nor responsible, for them to decide to put skill second, in order to meet, however they can, a 50% quota of women or black people.