Mr. Fleming argues that affirmative action was used to discriminate against white male airline pilots when he was training and flying. The airlines were integrated in 1964, 16 years after the U.S. military was. Prior to that, all black candidates were rejected -- not based on their skill, but based on their color: 994 former Tuskegee Airmen applied to every airline, and all 994 of them were rejected.
The discrimination back then wasn't against white males; the discrimination was against females, minorities and progress. Were it not for affirmative action, the best would have never been hired.
The sad truth is, it took the action of law to get people and companies like the airlines to do what was obviously the right thing to do, hire the best. Having the right hue was the standard back then, and sadly in some places now. And for that, and for now, affirmative action is necessary.