Tucker Carlson: Pilot ability no longer matters to United Airlines, but skin color does

Equity divides and endangers us, but that's what they want

On his very first day in office, Joe Biden signed something called an "Executive Order on Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities." You ought to read it and see if you can figure out what it means. The document uses the term "equity" a total of 21 times, yet, revealingly, never defines the word.

So, what is equity? Joe Biden never tells us, never even hints. His order proclaims that America will be getting "an ambitious whole-of-government equity agenda." So whatever it is, equity is ambitious, and it will be everywhere. We know that it will be everywhere. But we’re not allowed to know what it is. That’s odd.

For three months, we’ve been trying to guess: What is this "equity" that is now our country’s main reason for existing? We know it’s not the same as "equality," or even closely related. In the name of equity, for example, the Biden administration supports open discrimination against Asian college applicants. They’re Asian, therefore they can’t get in to school. It’s that simple. We used to call that kind of behavior "racism" and had laws against it. Now we call it "equity" and we have laws demanding it. It turns out that racism and equity are pretty much the same thing. Who knew?

Here’s the latest illustration of the principle, and it comes not from the Biden Administration, but from United Airlines. United used to be a conventional commercial air carrier. It flew airplanes from place to place, most of the time uneventfully. That was the old United Airlines. The new United is very different. It’s a combination of a hyper-aggressive corporate HR department, and a left-wing political action committee. The new United is big on moral pronouncements and mandatory social engineering. United has embraced equity. Here’s its latest directive, spelled out yesterday on Twitter:


"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."

United Airlines is mandating affirmative action quotas in its flight schools.

This is a big change for the country.

When Coca-Cola embraces some equity scheme, you can understand why: they’re hoping that by hiring more Black executives, no one will ask how many Black Americans have gotten diabetes from drinking Coke. For Coca-Cola, equity is purely a defensive PR move, and it makes sense.


But airlines are different. An airline pilot transports hundreds of people at a time in a thin-walled metal tube going nearly 600 miles an hour, 35,000 feet off the ground. Flying a commercial airliner is dangerous. Like performing heart surgery, no matter how many times you’ve done it, it’s inherently high stakes. People die if you screw up. In the airline business, as in medicine, not killing people is all that matters. So, how will racial and gender quotas make United Airlines safer? That’s the only question that matters. The company’s CEO went on CBS recently to explain.

CBS REPORTER: Only 7% of United pilots are women – one of the highest percentages in the industry. And only 13% of its pilots are people of color.

SCOTT KIRBY, UNITED CEO: They simply don’t have the access or the opportunity.

REPORTER: In an exclusive interview with CBS News, United CEO Scott Kirby is announcing a new effort to bring balance to the flight deck.

KIRBY: We’re excited to be announcing this academy to address the structural issues with the makeup of our pilots.

"Only 7% of United pilots are female!" fretted CBS. "Only 13% aren’t White!" OK, but why exactly should we care about those numbers? An airline pilot’s job is to land the plane safely. Everything else is irrelevant. If 100% of United pilots were Black women, or Malaysian Muslims, or for that matter, White men from Alabama, not a single sane person would complain about it as long as the airplanes didn’t crash. Safety is all that matters.

But you’ll notice the CEO of United didn’t mention safety. Safety is no longer that airline’s top concern. Identity politics is. United will dispute that characterization, of course. In fact, they disputed it in a statement to "Tucker Carlson Tonight" Wednesday.

"United Airlines will continue to uphold its high standards," they told us. But they’re lying. We know they’re lying — and you know it too — because in the airline business, there’s only one standard that matters, and it’s not race or gender. It’s competence. The way people look is totally irrelevant. How they perform is all that matters. Once you forget that, airplanes tend to crash.

Everyone knows that’s true, very much including the people who run this country. Many of them don’t fly United. They don’t fly commercial.


They use NetJets, the largest private airline in the world. Has NetJets embraced equity or hiring quotas? Of course not. Check out the NetJets website if you have a minute. They’ll tell you exactly what they’re looking for in an airline pilot they hire. Here’s the first line: "We seek individuals who demonstrate an unwavering dedication to safety." That’s the first requirement on their list. We couldn’t find any mention of race and gender. That shouldn’t surprise you, because once again, race and gender are literally irrelevant to who flies your airplane. Nancy Pelosi and John Kerry and the rest of our private-jet-dependent ruling class know that perfectly well. They won’t be demanding quotas at NetJets any time soon. Their families fly on NetJets airplanes.

So if hiring on the basis of irrelevant criteria will, over time, get people killed, why are they demanding it? Because they don’t care. They’re ideologues. They’re suffering from an incurable brain disease called wokeness. Reality means nothing to them. It’s merely an impediment to their plans.

The new head of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, a Black supremacist called Kristen Clarke, admitted as much. As she told us a few years ago, equity is more important than safety:


CARLSON, MARCH 2018: Do you think that airlines should apply the same diversity rules you are calling for here? That they shouldn't take the people who score the highest on the pilot tests, but that they should hire also on appearance, the way people look?

CLARKE: Every workplace, whether you're talking about airlines –

CARLSON: Oh, so pilots, too? Heart surgeons, too?

CLARKE: Federal agencies should hire the best, but place a premium on diversity..

CARLSON: But what's very important, the way that you look or what you are capable of doing? So, like, when you are flying a plane, how important is it what you look like, your appearance?

CLARKE: Incredibly important.

CARLSON: Appearance is incredibly important.

CLARKE: It's also important that we place a premium on diversity.


What you look like is an essential quality, it’s "incredibly important" in an airline pilot. This is deluded, but it’s also pretty clearly a racial attack. Kristen Clarke is saying — the CEO of United is saying — that we need to replace the pilots currently flying airplanes because they’re the wrong skin color. Only diseased people think like this. Imagine if we applied this same standard to other professions. How about professional sports?

African-American men account for roughly 6% of the American population, yet about 75% of players in the National Basketball Association are Black men. That doesn’t sound like equity. It sounds like what Kristen Clarke refers to as disproportionate representation.

So what if, to remedy that lack of equity, the NBA announced tomorrow that going forward, at least half of its players had to be White, Asian, Hispanic or female to better represent the fans in the stands? How would we respond to that? We’d understand immediately, and we would say so, that it’s a racist policy. No one had even alleged that NBA players were doing a bad job. We’d all assumed, correctly, as we do with airline pilots, that the players were hired in the first place because they were the very best players the NBA could find. But nevertheless they had to be replaced because they were the wrong race and gender.


That’s sick. You think it couldn’t happen? Why wouldn’t it happen? By the logic of identity politics, it has to happen. NBA players make a lot more than airline pilots. At some point, someone will notice that. That’s the whole problem with this diseased way of thinking. You don’t want to live in a completely racialized country, where a person’s genetics are the most important thing about them. Where you are dehumanized and reduced to your DNA. But that’s exactly the society they’re creating. And what’s the result of what they’re doing? Every action provokes a reaction. That’s the most basic principle in physics. When you attack people for qualities they can’t control, over time you will make them radical. That’s guaranteed.

You’ve got to wonder if it’s ever occurred to the morons pushing this equity garbage that everyone on earth has an identity. If you make identity politics mandatory, and they have, how long until you get White identity politics? Ever consider that, you reckless fools? How long before there is no national identity at all, only warring tribes fighting each other for the spoils? Does anyone want to raise children in a society like that? Only the racists want that. But that’s exactly where they’re pushing us, and at high speed. 


A couple of years ago, we reported that the Federal Aviation Administration had lowered its standards in order to bring equity to air traffic control. As part of that initiative, the FAA began administering something called a "Biographical Questionnaire" to applicants. This is significant for all the people tempted to believe United, or the U.S. Military, when they say that they're not lowering standards by bringing equity to the process. They are, by definition. Candidates were asked whether they got mostly A's in high school. If they answered "yes," they got five points. Candidates were also asked if they'd been unemployed for the past three years. If they answered "yes" to that question, they got 10 points. They got double the points for three years of unemployment as they did for getting straight A’s. 

How does that make us safer? That’s a rhetorical question, obviously. It merely divides and endangers us. But that’s equity.

This article is adapted from Tucker Carlson's opening commentary on the April 7, 2021 edition of "Tucker Carlson Tonight."