The British Royal Air Force will compensate 31 men whose training was delayed because recruiters were put off by the color of their skin.
A newly leaked email from Jan. 19, 2021, revealed that Squadron Leader Andrew Harwin, who worked in the Officer and Aircrew Selection Center, expressed concern to recruiter colleagues “that the boards have recently been predominantly white male heavy,” reported the Telegraph.
“If we don’t have enough BAME [black, Asian, minority ethnic] and female to board then we need to make the decision to pause boarding and seek more BAME and female from the RF [recruitment force],” continued the letter.
Harwin reportedly further indicated it would be preferable to limit the number of trainees admitted to courses than to have too many pilots with undesirable racial traits.
“I don’t really need to see loads of useless white male pilots, let’s get as focused as possible, I am more than happy to reduce boarding if needed to have a balanced BAME/female/male board,” he wrote.
Selection boards are responsible for placing new recruits on courses, which are “a crucial part of maintaining the fighting strength of the RAF,” indicated Sky News.
Despite admitting in a second letter to canceling two boards because they comprised white men, Harwin noted that “the pot for BAME and female is drained. … The demand signal needs to go back to RF to focus now on sending all the BAME and female they have.”
The “email clearly demonstrates the endemic culture that was created by the senior leadership to chase ridiculous diversity statistics that were patently unachievable,” an RAF source told the Telegraph. “This culture extended to issuing orders that were illegal.”
TheBlaze reported last year that the British Ministry of Defense set a target to have 20% of all air force recruits be non-whites by 2030. The RAF, in particular, aimed to ensure 40% of all recruits were women in the same time frame.
Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston indicated that by the end of 2022, only 30 of the 1,500 pilots in the RAF were women and roughly 10 were from ethnic minorities.
The RAF’s head of recruitment at the time, then-Group Captain Elizabeth Nicholl, resigned in protest, having identified 160 cases of positive discrimination under the quota system. Nicholl, a female officer, claimed that the order to effectively pause the selection of white male recruits was “unlawful.”
The Telegraph’s source in the RAF indicated that the apparent racist recruitment strategy advanced by Harwin and others stunted the career progression of numerous white pilots.
“If the selection board didn’t have any ethnic minorities and women, they were cancelling those boards, which meant the white males who were in the system and were going for the Air Force, were held up effectively because you’re pausing them,” said the source. “If I’m due to be on a board tomorrow, but because I’m white male, and there’s no females and ethnic minorities and they cancel my board, then they are delaying me in the process.”
Those white male pilots ultimately admitted into the system were reportedly delayed in doing so, meaning they lost out on substantial pay in the interim.
Following the revelation that pilots may have had their careers stymied or ended on the basis of their race, the RAF announced that 31 white pilots would be compensated, reported the Times.
While maintaining that it will “continue doing everything we can to increase our recruiting intake from under-represented groups within the provisions of the law,” the RAF noted it had “identified 31 individuals that missed out on payments due to their entry/course dates being delayed. These individuals have been contacted and all have received the payments that they were due.”
The total amount to be paid out is allegedly a paltry $194,301.80, or $6,267.80 each.
Sky News reported that extra to the 31 unfairly discriminated against, hundreds more have been disadvantaged.
The U.K. Independence Party tweeted, “RAF put under ‘intolerable pressure’ to pause recruitment of white men to hit diversity targets. We don’t need diversity targets. Just employ the best qualified person for the job. Resist all this woke hogwash.”
The Social Democratic Party noted, “It turns out there is ‘systemic racism’ in the UK after all. Unconscionable.”
“White working-class boys and men throughout the years have been very good at fighting world wars, going over the trenches, dying in their millions. They’ve been pretty good at going down the pits and making the steel involved in manufacturing, getting the fish out of the sea. They’re pretty useful when it comes to that,” Conservative party deputy chair Lee Anderson told GB News.
The RAF previously appeared eager to have them, especially during the existential Battle of Britain.
According to the BBC, roughly 55,000 aircrew died in raids over Europe between 1939 and 1945, contributing to the 383,700 overall military dead. In that time, Britain lost over 30,045 fighter aircraft and 11,965 bombers. Those recruited faced no racial quotas.
Anderson added that recruiters in the civil service, the police force, and the military are ‘”far too busy ticking boxes, diversity boxes. They need to shut up, get on with the day job, and start doing the job they’re paid to do.”
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