The disappearance of the submersible exploring the Titanic has dominated headlines this week. The sub takes people to the vessel’s final resting place on the bottom of the ocean. It’s a trip for the extremely rich and adventurous. The Titanic sits in 12,500 feet of water, the minivan-sized submersible has no safety certification, and each trip costs $250,000.
On Sunday, the submersible lost contact with its support boat shortly after submerging. As hours grew to days, fears grew that the five people onboard the Titan were lost to the sea. On Wednesday, dread turned to tentative hope when rescue operations detected banging noises in the area where it went missing. Search efforts continue.
The blame game began almost as soon as the submersible went missing. Most are highlighting the sub’s design and the fact that OceanGate never sought safety certification in spite of warnings from within and without the company.
Now people have come up with the least sensible reason yet for why the Titan disappeared: the chief executive officer was too woke. The sole shred of “evidence” is a video of OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush, who is also onboard the Titan, talking about not wanting to solely hire “50-year-old white guys” because they aren’t as “inspirational” to young people.
In the video, Rush said that most commercial submersible teams are mostly older white men, and he wanted his team to be younger.
“I’m not going to inspire a 16-year-old to go pursue marine technology, but a 25-year-old you know who’s a subpilot or a platform operator or one of our techs can be inspirational,” he said.
Rush didn’t say he wouldn’t hire older white guys, just that he wanted to also hire younger, more diverse crewmembers.
Conservatives seized on the clip. They think it’s evidence that the crash was caused by the crew being younger and nonwhite.
Right-wing podcaster Jeff Younger said, “Being woke makes you stupid and deadly.”
The conservative Media Research Center was among those blaming Rush’s purported hiring practices for the accident. “It seems that even underwater Titanic submersible companies aren’t safe from ESG and woke hiring practices. One has to wonder if hiring based on ‘inspiration’ instead of skill might have played a role in this tragedy.”
Another Twitter user jokingly referred to the possible deaths of the five men on the sub as a “diversity drowning.”
Others unearthed TikToks by a crewmember who is a young woman.
Many suggested her being on the crew means it’s incompetent.
“Cow ring & 2,000 fathoms below don’t mix,” quipped one, referring to her septum piercing.
Some people did push back on that claim, noting that the woman is a videographer.
It is also noteworthy that most submariners in the United States Navy are well below 50. A 2022 study of 26,000 Naval submariners leaving active duty reported that over half were under 30 years old when they left the service.
Accusations that Rush caused the wreck with woke hiring practices continued unabated throughout Wednesday.
This claim isn’t rooted in reality, however. All five of its top leaders, including 61-year-old Rush, appear to be white men over 50.
Photos of the Titan’s crew from 2021 show the crew was primarily people who appear to be older white men. It is unknown whether any of these men harbor views that would be considered “woke.”