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PostWatch: An irregular correction to the Washington Post

Brought to you by Christopher Rake


Tuesday, November 19, 2002
2:19 PM

"Equality"... The Washington Post celebrates racial progress at the Transportation Security Administration:

The TSA was initially criticized for hiring a mostly white, male workforce, but as of October, 35 percent of the screeners were women and 40 percent were minorities.

So problem solved.

According to the latest TSA update, for the week of Oct. 22, minorities do indeed make up 40% of the screener force. I've read elsewhere that the total U.S. population is in the neighborhood of 70% white, depending on how you count it. But the hiring disparity is greater than that, because the same TSA update says 77.9% of the nation's workforce is white. That compares to 57% of TSA's screeners.

As I've said in one of the comments boxes, I can imagine perfectly reasonable explanations for the over-representation of minorities in the screener workforce. What I don't understand, except through the cynical lens of political correctness, is why TSA is so upbeat about a workforce that does not look like America:

With less than 10 months to recruit an entirely new type of federal airport security workforce, it is rewarding to report that as of Oct. 16, some 22 percent of TSA's screeners are African-American, a number twice that of the current civilian work force population. While 8 percent of the American work force is Hispanic, TSA's work force is already 11 percent Hispanic. Our numbers for hiring Native Americans reflect the labor force. Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders account for 4 percent of our screeners, compared with 2.8 percent of the civilian workforce. Although whites make up 77.9 percent of the workforce nationally, only 57 percent of TSA's work force is white.

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