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Candace Owens, once again, is trending because of the outlandish things that fly out of her mouth. Recently, the conservative pundit defended Turning Point USA founder Charles “Charlie” Kirk’s statement about how he questioned Black pilot’s qualifications, claiming she felt the same with women pilots.

On Saturday, Jan. 27, Owens posted on YouTube a clip from the Candace Owens Podcast, where she addressed, defended and added to Kirk’s statement.

“I’m sorry. If I see a Black pilot, I’m going to be like, ‘Boy, I hope he’s qualified,’” Kirk said on The Charlie Kirk Show as part of his “Thought Crime” segment.

Owens agreed, adding she felt the same about women.

“I would be terrified if I got onto a plane and I saw a woman flying the plane,” she said.


Their bigoted sentiments stemmed from United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby’s 2021 initiative to diversify the United Aviate Academy by ensuring half of their 5,000 pilot trainees were at least women or people of color. 

Owens and Kirk believed Kirby prioritized fulfilling his DEI “quota” over hiring based on qualifications.

The 34-year-old conservative pundit became a hot topic on the internet, with many bashing her for her comments, causing her to speak about it again on her show.

“None of us should want to fly in the skies with pilots that have been installed there to fill a DEI initiative,” she said about United’s initiative.

“We’re going to wonder now when we see a Black person or woman whether or not they’re qualified or whether it’s just United CEO trying to hit his quota,” she said. “I don’t care what color they are. Just make sure they can fly this plane. That’s it!”

Owens spotlighted tweets bashing her, including several from a woman pilot who didn’t appreciate the Republican commentator disrespecting women aviators. 

The podcast host acknowledged how men (predominantly white men) dominated the aviation industry because their traits “gravitate” toward engineering, while women tend to gravitate toward more “nurturing” jobs like nursing and teaching because of their nurturing characteristics. She added that most women aren’t as interested in engineering as men.

Owens and Kirk don’t trust minority pilots because they believe airlines like United hire based on their DEI initiatives, not merit. 

Statistics (2023) show that 84.6% of all pilots in the nation are white, and only 2.2% are Black or African American. About 97% of America’s pilots are male, while 3% are female. And the 3% of female pilots were mainly white.

Still today, there’s a lack of diversity in the aviation industry, which perpetuates the stereotyping of minorities.

They’re used to white male pilots, driving the perception that minority pilots aren’t qualified because there’s no diversity in the industry, highlighting the need for DEI initiatives like Kirby enacted. Many minorities can have the same, if not better, qualifications as white male pilots, but the lack of diversity caters to the bigoted perceptions.

Owens’ statement on how women’s emotions contribute to her distrust of female pilots feeds the stereotypes female pilots face. 

In a study by RAND Corporation, one female student spoke about the need to fit the tight margins women aviators are forced into to avoid the stereotypes like women’s emotions possibly consuming once in the cockpit.

“As a single woman, you could be fun but promiscuous or not fun and uptight—those are two possible female stereotypes you could fall into. If you’re emotional in the flight room, that would also be bad. It’s a fine line you walk either way,” the woman said.

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