Thursday, January 15, 2009


White firefighters' race case headed to U.S. Supreme Court
The U.S. Supreme Court has decided to hear a case that could strike down laws that give special protections to minorities in the workplace. The case, Ricci vs. Destefano, is an appeal brought by a group of white firefighters in New Haven, Conn. Here’s the background: The white firefighters had earned the best scores on a civil service test, but didn’t get the promotions they believed they deserved. New Haven later threw out the civil service test and promoted three African Americans to supervisory jobs in the city’s fire department.
The white firefighters sued and a federal judge and the U.S. appeals court ruled for the city, saying federal civil rights law prohibits the use of tests that have a “disproportionate racial impact” on minorities.
But the firefighters took their case to the U.S. Supreme Court, accusing the city of playing “race politics.” The firefighters want the high court to rule that the city must follow an equal treatment standard, without regard to race in testing or promotion policies.
This week, the Bush Administration's Department of Justice announced a lawsuit against the city of Gary, Indiana, alleging that several black emergency medical technicians were hired on the basis of race alone in violation of the 1964 Civil Rights Act -- which was passed to combat discrimination against African Americans.
The suit alleges that the city told applicants that they would be offered a job based on the order they were ranked. But city officials seem to have ignored their own ordering and hired six African American applicants who placed lower than the white applicants.
Back to New Haven. There is no question that the white firefighters were discriminated against. They had the higher scores but were not placed in the supervisory roles.
The intent of the New Haven test was not to discriminate against the black firefighters but that was the outcome. Should the outcome matter? That is, should the racial makeup of a fire department reflect the residents it serves and protects?
Is there an argument to be made about the benefits of having a diverse fire department? One could argue that it's important to have a racially diverse police department because residents may be more forthcoming with information to solve a crime if they're talking to officers who look like them. Is there a similar argument to be made of a city's fire department?
One last thing, the Obama administration can intervene in this case. What should it do? The case is expected to go before the Supreme Court in April.
I’d like to hear from you.


Cpdcoppurr said...

Oh girls!!!!!!! You just had to put that pic up of a HOT FIREMAN!!! Naughty Naughty Girls!!!

copswife said...

I'm not sure how I feel about this. I do feel the best cantidate should get the job but also feel minorities should get chances too. It's a difficult subject.

Also, thanks for "following" me!

PS word verification apparently thinks I need a "conden". Maybe it's that hot fireman!

Hogday said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hogday said...

I did some police studies in The Netherlands 15 years ago, with particular interest in how the Dutch police forces were addressing under-representation of minorites.

Unlike the UK with its anti-discrimination legislation, the Dutch have a written constitution which in their case made things a lot easier to do what they did in Amsterdam to address this issue ...which was: They deemed that because of its excessive under representation of ethnic minorities and women, they would only recruit from these groups until they had an equitable, per capita mix. In simple terms, unless you were black and/or female, you wouldn't be considered for the Amsterdam Police until they'd got their target percentage ethnic/gender balance.

Now in England this action would be illegal because of the aforementioned anti-discrimination legislation, but in The Netherlands racial discrimination would be `unconstitutional`, thus allowing them to take this radical step. I think that the authors final comments were very sound in that to be able to really `look its community in the face` a police force or whatever public service should reflect that community and its ideals and values, otherwise it could be deemed an army of occupation - debate, anyone?)

PS: The Dutch are arguably one of the most liberal of democracies and they don't even have jury trials.

kateykakes said...

For a minute there, I could have sworn the article was about Philadelphia FF's and the same political/race BS they go through.

IMO, it should be the BEST candidate for the job and race shouldn't play any part in it whatsoever.

BTW, awesome eye candy. The FF is definitely a hottie! :)

Rue St. Michel said...

Look at how he's sucking in that gut. Disgusting!!!