United Airlines is defending its plan to increase diversity among its pilots against angry social media users.
The airline said on Tuesday that it plans to train 5,000 pilots in its flight academy by 2030 and aims for half of those students to be women or people of color. United’s flight school is meant to provide training to pilots with little-to-no experience.
Some Twitter users are arguing that United Airlines should focus on hiring the best people for the job, not taking diversity into account. One social media user said the carrier is putting customers’ lives at risk “in the name of being woke.”
United Airlines is now prioritizing race and gender over qualifications for hiring future pilots.— Brigitte Gabriel (@ACTBrigitte) April 7, 2021
They are literally putting the lives of their customers at risk in the name of being woke.
Affirmative action pilot over the intercom: “The plane is going down. Brace for impact.”— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) April 7, 2021
Passengers: “We are grateful to die for the sake of diversity!”
This is incredibly stupid.— ZUBY: (@ZubyMusic) April 7, 2021
Hire the best person for the job. Period.
You think this is 'woke' but it's dangerous. Meritocracy all the way.
Yeah, I'm far more concerned with merit when it comes to one's ability to pilot a plane safely than with how that person looks. And you should be too, instead of pandering to wokeism.— Sarah A. Downey (@SarahADowney) April 7, 2021
Not a good move—and it’s actually quite scary!! You guys are more concerned about how you look then actually doing the right thing. How do you justify using racism and discrimination to fight racism and discrimination?— Danny Gokey (@dannygokey) April 7, 2021
In response, United Airlines has been clarifying that “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.”
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. ^MJ— United Airlines (@united) April 6, 2021
Allies on Twitter are standing up for the airline and mocking the outcry.
I can see that reading comprehension has reached yet another low...— Marija (@marija24) April 7, 2021
“Train” does not mean “hire.”
It simply means that they are encouraging women and POC to apply to the academy.
What is wrong with saying that being a pilot is not only for white men?
A United Airlines representative was not immediately available for additional comment.
This story first appeared on PRWeek US.