As the trucking industry falls into a crisis-level shortage of drivers, MSNBC's Tiffany Cross accused those who populate the industry as being "a lot of white men over the age of 55," alleging that racism is widespread amongst truck drivers.
"Cause I have to tell you, I talked to a lot of truck drivers in preparing for this segment. And most of these truck drivers are people of color. And they talked about, you know, hearing some of the racism over the CB [Citizens Band Radio]."
"You know, this is again, an industry populated by a lot of white men over the age of 55. This group of people overwhelmingly voted for Trump. Some people have talked about, you know, aggressive truck drivers, cutting them off or not being helpful. So obviously, the more populated is with people of color, I think you'll see less of that. But how can you encourage people to come and disrupt this space, when it seems a bit unwelcoming?" Cross continued.
MSNBC guest Pamela Day, owner and president of the Crosscountry Truck Driving School, told Cross that she had experienced "lots of racism" during her nearly eight years of tucking experience: "Well, I think just what you're doing, getting myself as a black female out there and letting people know, I drove for almost eight years. And yes, ran into lots of racism, but however, was out there to do my job."
"I think that women are definitely, the more we can just get the news out to them that trucking is an industry that will not only help them to get further in life, but their family and all that and present the package to them appropriately, regardless of what anybody else has to say, they're going to be in charge," Day said.
"They're going to be the person behind that steering wheel doing the job every single day and making it happen. So we just need to get the word out there. And I appreciate you for helping us get this word out. The women will be able to close this deficit if we can just let them know. Give them the space that they need to get into the industry," Day concluded.
The trucking industry is short at least 80,000 drivers, with around 72,000 of those drivers being taken off the roads since January of 2020 due to the implementation of new drug testing required by the Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse. Around 56 percent of those drug violations are due to marijuana consumption, a drug that despite being legal in many states, is still illegal at the federal level.
With a growing number of drivers being deemed ineligible to drive due to drug violations, and a large number of retirements every year, the American Trucking Assocaition estimates that nearly 1 million new truck drivers will be needed over the next decade, or 110,000 per year, to meet freight demands.