Why we have OBAP........

k2774

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I don’t think a lot our aviation community understands the essence of why the Organization of Black Airline Pilots was formed. As a post civil rights baby, many blacks could not get in the door, much less get an interview with a major airline just because of the color of their skin. READ THE STORIES ABOUT THE TUSKEGEE AIRMEN. It seems that we have swept this part of history under the rug, but it still exist, and I’m sure that some of you older pilots, pilots who have older parents, fell into the category of discriminating against blacks and supported segregation. This was all done based on the color of our skin. There was no intellectual merit to this struggle.



So this organization was formed as an advocate of just giving us a chance, being equally qualified, if not more than our white counterpart. So if you support our goals and onjectives, go right ahead, but make sure you bring your heart with you.
 

Spooky 1

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First black airline pilot?

I was in Detroit last month and talking to a few of the guys that were in attendance at the convention. I asked this question of them, and now you, who was the first black airline pilot in the US? I was suprised that they were unable to answer this question correctly, so I guess some white guy had to teach a little black history. Good fun and seemed like a great bunch of guys. So who was the first black airline pilot?
 
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Cyclone

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back before the civil rights movements it was wrong to discriminate against someone because of the color of their skin. it still is wrong today. any organization that pushes for favoritism based on race is pushing for discrimination. therefore that organization is by definition a racist organization. call it what you want but all discrimination whether it is "positive" or "affirmative" is discrimination. it is wrong. organizations that sponsor racism are inherently bad.

hopefully the courts will swing back around and things will return to hiring and work rules that aren't as blatantly unfair as the ones we've lived with the past 20 years.
 
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spinproof

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k2774 said:
I don’t think a lot our aviation community understands the essence of why the Organization of Black Airline Pilots was formed. As a post civil rights baby, many blacks could not get in the door, much less get an interview with a major airline just because of the color of their skin. READ THE STORIES ABOUT THE TUSKEGEE AIRMEN. It seems that we have swept this part of history under the rug, but it still exist, and I’m sure that some of you older pilots, pilots who have older parents, fell into the category of discriminating against blacks and supported segregation. This was all done based on the color of our skin. There was no intellectual merit to this struggle.



So this organization was formed as an advocate of just giving us a chance, being equally qualified, if not more than our white counterpart. So if you support our goals and onjectives, go right ahead, but make sure you bring your heart with you.

This organization, and those like it, do nothing but continue to divide us all into race groups. If that is what you want then proceed. Remember as a group you do so at your own peril. As all people who would seek division!

That said The Tuskegee Airmen only wanted one thing. That was to be accepted as Airmen period! This does nothing to further that end.
 

oldxfr8dog

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Spooky 1 said:
I was in Detroit last month and talking to a few of the guys that were in attendance at the convention. I asked this question of them, and now you, who was the first black airline pilot in the US? I was suprised that they were unable to answer this question correctly, so I guess some white guy had to teach a little black history. Great fun and seemed like a great bunch of guys. So who was the first black airline pilot?

August "Augie" Martin. Seaboard Airlines. Killed flying Biafran relief in 1965.
Friend of my Dad's. I was a little boy when he came to our house for dinner in the early sixties.
I'm also a white guy, BTW. Not that there's anything wrong with that...
 

Spooky 1

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Okay I am impressed as you are 1st guy that has ever gotten that question right whether black or white. I was flying in the Congo back in 1962 for Interocean, (on leave or furlough perhaps from Seaboard), just before I got there. I think he was killed in a Connie while while landing on a dirt road, at night no less.
 
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oldxfr8dog

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Spooky 1 said:
Okay I am impressed as you are 1st guy that has ever gotten that question right whether black or white. I was flying in the Congo back in 1962 for Interocean, (on leave or furlough perhaps from Seaboard), just before I got there. I think he was killed in a Connie while while landing on a dirt road, at night no less.
Pretty sure you're right about the connie. It was night and raining! Congo, 1962? I'll bet you have a few stories...
 

Spooky 1

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Spooky 1 said:
Okay I am impressed as you are 1st guy that has ever gotten that question right whether black or white. I was flying in the Congo back in 1962 for Interocean, (on leave or furlough perhaps from Seaboard), just before I got there. I think he was killed in a Connie while while landing on a dirt road, at night no less.

Sloppy editing on my part. It was Auggie Martin that was either furloughed or on leave from Seaboard, not I. Sorry about the gaff.
 

Dav8tor

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I think most of you don't know a thing about OBAP. Think whatever you may...it is not only for Blacks...come to the convention, you will see Black, white and foreign Pilots from all over the world. Let me give a tidbit.
The organization is there to raise awareness in the inner cities youth about a career in aviation. They have ACE camp in many areas of the country in the summer bringing kids to the airport for their first flight (White or Black). Growing up in the inner cities, who do you ask a question about aviation...but with OBAP, one phone call could get your questions answered. OBAP is there to give back to the community.
We have Pilots in the schools teaching kids, again White or Black, about the importance of aviation.
Members of OBAP come from all over, Millitary, Regional, Fllight instructors, etc. They have to be qualified just like anyone else in order to be accepted by the airlines...affirmative action my foot.
This topic seems to POP UP whenever we have pilots on the street.
 

Big Beer Belly

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Dav8tor said:
I think most of you don't know a thing about OBAP. Think whatever you may...it is not only for Blacks...come to the convention, you will see Black, white and foreign Pilots from all over the world. Let me give a tidbit.
The organization is there to raise awareness in the inner cities youth about a career in aviation. They have ACE camp in many areas of the country in the summer bringing kids to the airport for their first flight (White or Black). Growing up in the inner cities, who do you ask a question about aviation...but with OBAP, one phone call could get your questions answered. OBAP is there to give back to the community.
We have Pilots in the schools teaching kids, again White or Black, about the importance of aviation.
Members of OBAP come from all over, Millitary, Regional, Fllight instructors, etc. They have to be qualified just like anyone else in order to be accepted by the airlines...affirmative action my foot.
This topic seems to POP UP whenever we have pilots on the street.

Just curious why this organization chose the name, Organization of BLACK Airline Pilots? The title of the organization sounds rather "exclusionary", wouldn't you agree?
 

ImRickJames

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Big Beer Belly said:
Just curious why this organization chose the name, Organization of BLACK Airline Pilots? The title of the organization sounds rather "exclusionary", wouldn't you agree?

To answer the question, here is a quick history on when and who started the organization: After WWII there were nearly 1,000 combat qualified black pilots that were left on the street and were refused hiring in the US by commercial operators. In 1963 the first US black commercial pilot was "allowed" to be hired only after it was fought all the way to the US Supreme Court. In 1976 when OBAP was formed there were only 80 black pilots in the US and obviously the few trying to get hired were facing diffuculties. This is how and why the organization was formed and why they have their name.

As stated earlier by others, it is an organization that has grown to a wide and diverse membership that aim to educate youth in the inner city and obviously has become a network for active members.
 

SirFlyALot

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Martin Luther King Jr said:
Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair. I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal." I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slaveowners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood. I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert state, sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today.

I understand perfectly well the aim and intention of OBAP. Blacks were discriminated against for a long time in this country. In some cases in the aviation world, they still are. However, regardless of whatever noble intentions it claims (and I do believe that they are genuinely good intentions), a group that names itself, "The Organization of Black Airline Pilots", not only implies, but screams racial discrimination and exclusivity. Contrary to what Dav8tor said, OBAP's main function is not raising the aviation awareness of inner city youth. Otherwise, OBAP would have instead called itself something like "Inner City Aviation Awareness Organization". That is not what OBAP chose to call itself. Why? Because OBAP exists mainly to establish, promote, and advance the careers of minorities in aviation. This is all well and good until it runs smack dab into MLK's fervent desire that his children, and that all of us and our children, be judged by the content of our character rather than the color of our skin. When OBAP pushes forward the cause of it's members over others who are equally qualified and whose only disadvantage is that they are white, it does nothing to bring America closer to the state of brotherhood that MLK so eloquently contemplated on that hot, muggy day in 1963. It breeds resentment.

I realize that OBAP membership is technically open to all races. However, it is an organization geared toward the advancement of minorities. Why can't it be an organization geared toward the elimination of race as any kind of a factor in a pilot's airline career? Why not mold the organization into one in alignment with MLK's vision where no one; white, black, or otherwise is adversely affected by the color of their skin? Why not change the name of the organization to "The Organization for Equal Opportunity in Aviation"? What is OBAP's official and unofficial position on racial quotas, affirmative action, and racial preference in hiring and human resources decisions? Would you minority pilots out there not be offended if some folks started a group called, "The Organization of White Airline Pilots (OWAP)"? Would it make it better if they explained, as an aside, that anyone was welcome to join? Would you, as a minority pilot, feel like your interests were being looked out for if you joined OWAP?

I agree that there need to be safeguards against racial discrimination in aviation. I'm sure there are still a few out there who, given the chance, would turn away a minority candidate who was best qualified. However, I think that today it is as likely to go the other way (against the best qualified white candidate). I personally know of at least a couple of incidents where less qualified minority pilots have been interviewed and hired when more qualified white pilots haven't even gotten a call. Racial discrimination, whichever direction it goes, is a shamefuel blight on all of us. Shouldn't we all; white, black, yellow, etc work together to eliminate discrimination entirely rather than segregating ourselves and advancing the cause of one racial group over another? Isn't that the America we'd all like to see?
 
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pookie

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I am not black but i support OBAP and the many opportunities that it has given inner city kids. WHen i walk into the crew room, it is obvious that there is not many minorities in aviation relative to the general population. Matter of fact, there are more females than minorities. In my new hire class, we had one minority out of 40. Do you think that it is coincidental that there are not many minorities? Do you think that it is coincidental that there are many minority rampers but not in management?

Throughout american history, minorities had to fight to get equal treatment. Its ironic that many blacks were denied jobs based on their color of skin and now when blacks are given advantages to promote the injustice, whites are complaining that they are being discriminated against.

Fact....native americans and african americans have suffered more injustice in this country than any group of people and organizations such as OBAP are promoting their people to be equally represented and reflect america.
 

Flybwoy

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Well said!! I personally subscribe to brother Malcom's views. Never the less, these folks are quick to stand up and claim reverse discrimination but are not eager to cry fowl to the discriminatory practices of the country whose flag we salute and liberties we fight for daily!!!!
 

ImRickJames

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SirFlyALot said:
Otherwise, OBAP would have instead called itself something like "Inner City Aviation Awareness Organization". That is not what OBAP chose to call itself. Why? Because OBAP exists mainly to establish, promote, and advance the careers of minorities in aviation.

As I posted earlier, the organization found its name at a time when the main purpose was to fight for the rights of black commercial pilots who were well qualified and were not being hired. The name has stayed the same since.

SirFlyALot said:
However, it is an organization geared toward the advancement of minorities. Why can't it be an organization geared toward the elimination of race as any kind of a factor in a pilot's airline career?

You are right, idealistically that should not be a factor. I guarantee you though that no so called minority pilot feels as though he or she is owed a job.

SirFlyALot said:
What is OBAP's official and unofficial position on racial quotas, affirmative action, and racial preference in hiring and human resources decisions? Would you minority pilots out there not be offended if some folks started a group called, "The Organization of White Airline Pilots (OWAP)"? Would it make it better if they explained, as an aside, that anyone was welcome to join? Would you, as a minority pilot, feel like your interests were being looked out for if you joined OWAP?

I am not sure as a member what the position is on quotas, affirmative action because these words have never been spoken when I have dealt with the organization. As for hiring, they don't hire, the airlines do.
Out of 75,000 commercial pilots in the US, only 2% are minorities and 5% are women. The rest are White Airline Pilots, so in essence there is plenty of organizations that as a minority, one could look at and think, would I be welcome? Are my interests being looked after? I guess you answered my question because you think that if you were to join OBAP you would wonder if your interests are being looked at. Try being one of 1,500 out of 75,000. Personally it doesn't bother me because I know what I bring to the table.

SirFlyALot said:
I personally know of at least a couple of incidents where less qualified minority pilots have been interviewed and hired when more qualified white pilots haven't even gotten a call.

I'm not sure how you knew that was the case because I don't know of any airline that tells you who beat you out for a position and the reason unless its a small outfit hiring a few people and you all happen to be interviewing the same day. First, just because you have more time doesn't mean you are more qualified or entitled to a job. Just read the posts on Airline Interviews of those getting hired and those not. You will see that many lower time pilots are getting hired. More qualified does not only mean more time, more qualified means that what you bring to the table overall is better. That is the first problem, some believe that the job belongs to them. Secondly, you have to interview well for the job. So to assume that the only reason they so called got beat out for the job was simply because they were a minority, you insult that person because you assume they could not possibly have been sharper, more educated, more likeable and just an overall better candidate.
I'm sure a minority pilot colleague of mine who is an Ivy League grad and former Wall Street banker is more qualified even at his lower time. Don't assume you know what someone brings to the table because they might be more qualified than you.

I have a long time friend of mine who got hired at a Major with just the bare minimums because his father was the Chief Pilot and obviously he had the major hookup. This type of advantage happens more often than not, knowing someone inside, a good connection. Is that unfair because that person is being hired because they are blood. I think that is an advantage he had and he would be an idiot not to take advantage of it. I don't go around saying he took my job or my slot, I instead turn to him to network.

SirFlyALot said:
Shouldn't we all; white, black, yellow, etc work together to eliminate discrimination entirely rather than segregating ourselves and advancing the cause of one racial group over another? Isn't that the America we'd all like to see?

Once again you are right on equalling the playing field. I don't think you have much to worry about the 1,500 minority commercial pilots, you might want to keep an eye on the other 73,500.
 

NookyBooky

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pookie said:
Its ironic that many blacks were denied jobs based on their color of skin and now when blacks are given advantages to promote the injustice, whites are complaining that they are being discriminated against.

You gotta be fu*king kidding me. Do you really think that white people should bend over and take it in the arse, because of what .01% of their great grandaddys may have done?

I have never owned a slave, or denied opportunity to anyone. Why the fu*k would I be glad about being discriminated against? It is no more just to discriminate against me than it is for me to discriminate against someone of another race.
 

hbrow15

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Big Beer Belly said:
Just curious why this organization chose the name, Organization of BLACK Airline Pilots? The title of the organization sounds rather "exclusionary", wouldn't you agree?

You are correct the title is quite exclusionary and the reason this particular name was chosen because when the organization was founded these fine gentlemen were excluded. For instance the Tuskegee Airmen were apart of the 332nd Pursuit squadron, A unit that was excluded or segregated as it was termed then, even with the honor of being the escort squadron that never lost a bomber.

spinproof said:
This organization, and those like it, do nothing but continue to divide us all into race groups. If that is what you want then proceed. Remember as a group you do so at your own peril. As all people who would seek division!

That said The Tuskegee Airmen only wanted one thing. That was to be accepted as Airmen period! This does nothing to further that end.

OBAP is not divisionary by any means just ask any of our non black members. All are welcome to join and participate, we have white members and many hispanic members. As Dav8tor stated OBAP is there to give inner city kids a perspective into a career we have found rewarding that many would not have access. which is evident by all of the recent firsts that have occured, a few years ago the first black female Marine Corps Aviator, a few months ago first black female Coast Guard Aviator. Most airlines do not agree with you that OBAP divides, as many are big supporters of the organization. No one at Obap ever pushes for anyone to be hired with less time because he or she is black, however if someone wants to give me an interview with less time I certianly will not say no anymore than you would turn down an interview with less time because you have buddy that works at a company.
 

Cyclone

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if only hiring practices could be race and gender blind...that would be cool. you get hired based on your skills.

OBAP doesn't want this...they want the scales tilted to favor hiring blacks...that is divisive, it is blatantly racist, and it also fosters the unhealthy attitude among some blacks that "i deserve to be treated better." which oh by the way fosters a ton of resentment and it hurts the very people it was designed to help. WIA suffers the same.

this is a classic "elistist liberal academic" vs. conservative argument...how do we solve the fact that there are fewer minorities in certain jobs etc? a lot of stuff that the libs wanted to jam down our throats in the 60s didn't work worth a hill of beans (busing, title IX, etc). affirmative action was a social experiment designed to discriminate "for" in a positive way to help blacks, other minorities and women. it has a very evil side that the academic elites don't see. lets all hope that john roberts and the rest put it to bed in the next 10 years. OBAP would like nothing better than to see ruth bader ginsburg bet the nod as chief justice under ms clinton's presidency.

if blacks want respect and success...and if they're smart...they will see the light that these programs only hold them back...they foster the mindset "he got the job because he's black" (even if it's not true).
 
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dash8driver

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its seems that pookie and flybwoy arent after equal treatment for equal people, but instead seek revenge. using pookie-logic(tm), jewish people should be able to kill germans when they feel like it because of what their parents/grandparents were put through. imagine being in a relationship with one of these two. you do something wrong, say your sorry then have to put up with whatever they do to you for who knows how long as they hold your error over your head.

citing stats from a new hire class is hardly valid. i dont think we have to discuss the definition of what a representitive sample is, so lets move on. after that, its probably more related to income these days than skin color. of these minorities, how many were from the lower income brackets? we all know aviation is a "rich mans" endeavour.

if you wanted to use some kind of stat to make your point of racial discrimination in hiring, you'd be better of comparing the percentage of <insert pet catagory here> available (in aviation) to the percent that got hired by airlines. of course you'll have to make some other calculations to be accurate since the top end of the aviation roster is obviously representative of past hiring practices and not current practices.

if they really want to make a difference, they'd push for equal treatment for all and champion the poor... no matter what their race.




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