The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the U.S. space agency that presumably should be following the science as its primary goal, has launched an initiative called Mission Equity that some critics have derisively called “critical space theory.”
Along with a brief video that was posted to social media featuring current NASA employees, NASA explained that its intent is to expand access to its programs, including how it selects vendors, to disadvantaged communities.
In a notice published in the Federal Register under the heading, “Request for information on advancing racial equity and support for underserved communities in NSA programs, contracts, and grant processes,” NASA is also seeking feedback from the public about how it can go about removing various barriers to entry as well as improving diversity and equal opportunity within the agency.
Climate change is also a component of Mission Equity because NASA wants to know “how agency resources and tools can assist in enhancing equity, including advancing environmental justice.”
“The agency’s new Mission Equity is a bold and necessary challenge for NASA to ensure our programs are accessible to all Americans and, especially, those living in historically underserved communities across the country. Because when NASA opens doors to talent previously left untapped, the universe is the limit,” NASA administrator and former astronaut Bill Nelson said.
We’re launching Mission Equity, a comprehensive effort to assess how to expand access to our programs and examine potential barriers and challenges that exist for historically underrepresented and underserved communities. Find out how to give feedback: https://t.co/IJ2wk7qh0z pic.twitter.com/R8DPNcskwy
— NASA (@NASA) June 15, 2021
Nelson was the former Democrat U.S. Senator from Florida who was defeated for reelection by Republican Rick Scott, the then-governor of the state.
Many see Mission Equity as another example of how the Biden administration is politicizing almost every corner of the government with a far-left, woke agenda.
As a precursor to Mission Equity perhaps, in August 2020, the agency announced that as guided by diversity/inclusion considerations, it was dropping cosmic nicknames for planets, galaxies, and nebulae that it considers insensitive, objectionable, unwelcoming, and possibly “actively harmful.”
The NASA video is more subtle and far less cringe-worthy than the much-ridiculed CIA recruitment video that was promulgated last month.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) May 9, 2021
Hiring decisions can sometimes seem arbitrary or unfair, and there is plenty of room for improvement generally. In practice, so-called equity often results in equality of outcome rather than opportunity, however, which means that box-checking diversity gatekeepers in both the public and private sectors can overlook highly qualified individuals (or businesses) from all backgrounds and walks of life. Safety-sensitive occupations also come into play.
As Fox News host Tucker Carlson said back in March, despite the lofty rhetoric, “equality challenges power; equity protects power.”
Mission Equity is hardly having a soft landing on Twitter. Here is a sampling:
Critical space theory
— Nicholas Jones (@NicholasBJones2) June 15, 2021
Do you think astronauts risking their lives and waiting to blast off are wondering whether there was enough equity amongst the people who built the rocket?
How about just have required standards that anyone can work toward meeting. If you need more, try blind job interviews.
— MikeWhiskey (@MikeRWhiskey) June 15, 2021
You are sending people into space. They could die. Lots of people can die.
You need the best of the best at every single level, at every station, at all times.
Hire for excellence, diligence, conscientiousness, and nothing else. Get your priorities in order. Heck.
— Galactic Chimp (@GalacticChimp) June 16, 2021
I want all individuals to be given a chance but I don’t want any individual eliminated or excluded because of their attributes.
— Cooterdwayne Enos (@cooterdwayne) June 16, 2021
1960s: The Right Stuff
2020s: The Right Colour
— LodgeDancer (@LodgeDancer) June 15, 2021
The long march through the institutions is no longer confining itself to Earth….
— ΔI ₳ristotle (@AiAristotle) June 16, 2021
Yes this is definitely a good idea. When travelling into space we should not take the absolute most qualified people, nope we need to check boxes first then cross our fingers and hope for the best
— Father of 3 (@whiter069) June 15, 2021
This is SJW nonsense. This is why people like Space X far more than NASA, which has just become a sad and pathetic organization.
— Artificial Gravity Space Stations (@space_stations) June 15, 2021
How about just hire the most qualified people to do the work?
— Winston (@Winston54982170) June 15, 2021
Great, now you guys are woke? We are never getting to Mars at this point.
— Harry Douglas (@swampveteran) June 15, 2021
Meanwhile, China and Russia are focusing on Mission Talent.
— Jay Feldblum (@yfeldblum) June 15, 2021
Do spacey stuff with qualified people. Leave off the social work.
— Planet, please pitch, play perfectly pleasantly (@PlayPleasantly) June 15, 2021
Can we not make space racist?
— Street Guru (@LordStreetGuru) June 16, 2021
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