Peace Time: May 23, 2001


For the last year, the US Air Force has been trying to increase the proportion of black pilots in its ranks. While blacks comprise 12.2 percent of the population, only two percent of air force pilots are black. Black pilots from World War II (the "Tuskegee Airmen") wonder if it's racism. But black pilots of more recent vintage say it has more to do with a booming economy which provides more lucrative opportunities for black college graduates. One aspect of this that got little attention in the media is that few black men have the college degrees and interest in technology that is required for modern military pilots. Moreover, this shortage of well educated black men creates a supply and demand situation where companies trying to meet government and media calls for integration outbid the air force. Until the black male population raises it's education levels, there will continue to be a dearth of black pilots. 


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