The Bush Justice Department is going after the New York City Fire Department because minorities can’t pass the FDNY written exam. Intrepid Heather Mac Donald blows the whistle on career DOJ bureaucrats chasing phantom racism:
How much longer are public and private institutions going to be held hostage to black and Hispanic academic failure? The Center for Constitutional Rights and other racial advocacy groups point to urban fire departments that have a higher percentage of minorities to prove that the FDNY is discriminating. But these departments have simply caved in to similar law suits and discarded their qualifications criteria to a degree that New York has not. Organizations around the country are under relentless pressure to change merit standards because of black and Hispanic underachievement, and most have capitulated to some degree. Almost none have been willing to make the case that disproportionate racial representation stems from the lack of qualified candidates, not from hidden sources of bias.
Many a police or fire department, under litigation pressure, has simply dropped its entrance requirements across the board, insuring a lower skill level for the entire department, rather than a sub-group within it. At some point, public safety will suffer…
…What is the Bush Administration thinking? The FDNY suit is clearly the product of career attorneys within the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the DOJ, whose life mission consists in going after phantom racism. But any such suit must surely be cleared with higher-ranked political appointees; indeed, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg says that he defended the department to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, according to the New York Daily News. Republican susceptibility to race-mongering is well-documented, but after 9/11, one might have thought that emergency responders would get a pass on racial pandering from an administration that claims preeminence in homeland security.
Racial and ethnic pandering that endangers homeland security and public safety. It’s becoming the Bush Legacy.
Speaking of which, the president will be holding a news conference shortly (scheduled for 11am) to push for the security-undermining, ethnic pandering shamnesty.
La Shawn Barber is all over the story and notes that “We’ve been down this road before:”
In New York City Fire Department to Lower Hiring Standards, I told you that FDNY decided to drop certain qualifications in 2006 and intended to water down the written test to recruit more minority applicants.
Tests that measure a job candidate’s ability to reason and comprehend are, in my opinion, more important than people think, and here is where people get it twisted. There is more to fighting fires than merely turning on a hose and pointing. Fire fighters must be able to understand written instructions, directions, and evacuation plans. They must be able to navigate buildings and generally have good spatial abilities. Reasoning skills come in handy when you’re under pressure, trying to save lives.
Evaluating an applicant’s ability to reason well and understand is not racist nor discriminatory. It is a legitimate part of the job, any job, even one as “simple” as putting out a fire.
Reader R.F. writes:
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My son (Caucasian) decided 2 years ago to become a firefighter. First he had to pass an Entrance Exam. He did (score 87%). Note: average is 69%. 70% is passing. He had to go to Junior College part-time (while working during the day to support himself) and get an AA Degree in Firefighting (2 yrs). He then had to take an EMT (emergency medical technician) course and pass (3 months). He then had to pass the National EMT test. He has now been accepted to the Firefighting Academy and is scheduled to attend for 3.5 months in August 07. He has been saving his money as he will not be able to work while he attends the Academy. In the meantime he is a volunteer for Anaheim, CA firefighting 1 day/week at no pay. He applied, in the meantime, to bolster his chances, and was accepted for employment by Care Ambulance Co. Care is employed by many firefighting city departments. He is paid a whopping $10.95 per hour.
Why should anyone receive preferential treatment? My son has had to work his tail off to get this far. This career needs to be color blind. Each person must be based on ability alone. Our lives depend on it.
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