City Journal Autumn 2014

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Heather Mac Donald
Fighting Fire with Quotas « Back to Story

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GREAT ARTICLE. WHEN DOES IT ALL END. YOU WOULD THINK AFTER THE QUOTA'S FROM THE SEPTEMBER 18TH 1971 EXAM THE VULCANS WOULD HAVE LEARN THERE LESSON. NEARLY 50% OFF THE MINORITY'S WERE FIRED OR LET GO. THE REAL PROBLEM IS THAT THERE ARE PEOPLE OUT THERE THAT WANT THIS JOB SO BAD THAT THETY WOULD JUUT ABOUT DO IT FOR FREE. A PROBLEM THE UFIRE UNIONS ARE TRYING HAVE TO DEAL WITH.
I feel that the judge and the vulcan society are the one,s that are prejudice. I'm a Lt. on this job and also Hispanic, I felt that the test I took to get on was fair, and i also worked and studied hard for the entrance exam test and also the Lt. test. The problem is that certain people want the job handed to them. You need to know how to read and write or else how would you read the fire dept. books with the numerous firefighting tactics. I do not beleive any of these test were made with the intensions of saying let's make this hard enough so we dont get any minorities on this job. Any of these test given were to rule out anybody who really didn't want to be here. If you did want to be here than you would study hard and pass the test like I have and anybody that believes that these test were not bias that are in the Vulcan Society. Mr. Washington had to study in order to get this job and to make it up the ranks to Captain. I wish the Judge would take that into account that he worked hard to make it where he is it just wasn't handed to him either.
I am disgusted that a single person's opinion (Judge Garaufis)can dictate the fate or future of the FDNY. The Vulcan society has done themselves and minority citizens a great disservice by insinuating that minorities are less intelligent than white test takers. This is obviously untrue. If the test was discriminatory how did the members of the Vulcan society get hired in the FDNY ? I know of a white Fire Department candidate who previously failed the test. Did he cry foul and look for preferential treatment NO! What he did do was hire a retired FDNY Captain to tutor him and a personal trainer to work with him to pass both the written and physical tests. He passed, and was called, only to have his dreams extinguished by a liberal leftist judge who thinks qualifications take a back seat to race. Whether White or Black it all depends how bad you want it. Those who want it more than anything will find a way to succeed. Those who sit on their couches and wait to be handed a job they don't have a passion for or willing to work for do not deserve to be counted among New York's Bravest.
I hope the mayor holds his ground. As a person of color, I want a QUALIFIED firefighter on duty should my situation demand, not one of a particular color or ethnic background.

An aside, reading skills are essential to almost any job in this day and age; especially one such as a firefighter that requires the ability to follow detailed instructions and master intricate lifesaving techniques.
Heather Mac Donald's artical so accurately describes the outrageous details of the Vulcan lawsuit against the City and FDNY, and the absurd decisions by Judge Garaufis.Plaintiffs and judge committing and defending blatant discrimination and shamefully calling it the law. When will so called minority communities and organisations and the US DOJ address the real problem truthfully. Corlor blind, merit based and fitness testing for civil service positions. Study and prepare , instead of entitlement based on color.
Racism is a better selling tool than sex and violence combined. So while im here allow me to indulge.

FRIDAY NOV. 26 2010
BLACK FRIDAY
3rd Aniv Spoken Word & Poetry Open Mic
@Afrikan Poetry Theater
176-03 Jamaica Ave.
Queens NY 11432
Sign Up:8:30Pm
Youtube.com/Showent

It would be ironic Karma if the Judge's house were to burn to the ground while the affirmative action City fire-fighter hire cogitated over whether to put the gloves or the helmet on next.
Congrats - another slamdunk piece MacDonald!

Out of curiosity, I wonder what the Asian passing rate is? Generally Asians score higher on all sorts of tests (SAT, IQ, etc.) than whites, so if they had a higher test score on the firefighter exam, this would render null the argument that whites have a higher passing rate than blacks/hispanics because of white bias. How would the judge wrap his head around that!?

Alas, as leftist judges' rulings are made to fit their foregone conclusions, I'm sure he'd find a way...
Tony Tricarico, Captain (Ret) FDNY October 26, 2010 at 6:30 AM
I think you are right Heather, it seems to be a crusade.

Why, I don't know, but there is a faction out thee that wants to bring down the FDNY, and New Yorkers are the ones that will pay the price.......with their lives!
@Robard - Because the primary purpose of the test is to demonstrate competency for your job. And despite years of effort to twist these tests into being politically correct they still haven't figured out a way to make it look like the black employees are equally capable as the white employees, much less devise a test that suggests the black employees are more competent.
Its time for whites to think about going are own way. Difficult, yes, but not an impossibility. If you can dream it, you can do it. Given demographic trends, this sort of discrimination will soon be politically mandated, not just judicially mandated.
Are you distressed by the student loan burdens that many people contracted?

This judical inability to fathom basic statistics is behind that. Because a degree requirement is allowed even if it has "disparate impact".

We need a new educational requirement: all judges must understand Statistics 101, with no grandfather clause. Then the student loan problem will dissolve on its own.
Why don't they simple devise a test that will favor blacks over whites?
The underlying problem here is twofold: (1) those in "the black community" (both leaders and peers) who pressure their own not to bother to succeed in grade school and high school, and (2) school systems that let them graduate anyway rather than confront the kids (and their parents) and raise heck about it (and which let troublemakers disrupt classes rather than expel them).

The teachers' unions and other voices of political correctness are to blame for (2), and the only cures for that are school choice or home-schooling. But the blame for (1) belongs to the Jesse Jacksons and Al Sharptons who tell blacks that Whitey is responsible for their problems and owes them a free ride. Maybe in the days of segregation, that was true, but no one born since the Civil Rights Act owes them a darn thing. Grow up!!!
Even here, MacDonald dutifully subscribes to the PC meme by attributing the historically low-interest/ability of blacks in fire fighting as due to "reprehensible" White racism. She then concludes that disparate pass rates are unavoidable "until" the cultural enrichers' cognitive skills improve - you know, with just a bit more money and focus on the part of those White racists. Admitting anything else would be part of the HBD heresy, which City Journal would never allow, as it's yet another bastion of pseudo-conservative thought.
Ms MacDonald could have saved us a lot of reading time by getting to the point in the first paragraph.
Question? We mention blacks, hispanics but not caucasians as a race.
WHY?

I'm tired of the multirace cult hysterics. Excuses for certain races and cultures in America not making the grade in our society is a cop-out.
I consider myself an informed person but not afraid to be politically incorrect. On PBS is a series on Latinos.
Their obsession with musical endeavors in my opinion sends the wrong message to their new generation.
Instead of staying in school and learning a trade or profession all they seem to want is to boggie. They are beautiful talented people and I enjoy their musical heritage. Maybe that is their downfall.
I'm sure anyone reading this gets my jest.
"The long-term solution to all such racial imbalances is for blacks and Hispanics to apply themselves more diligently in school."

Your assumption is that the reason blacks and Hispanics don't perform as well on cognitive tests is that they don't try hard enough?
That said it all,lets appeal it,ASAP
Great article up to this point...

"To be sure, the fact that a tradition of black firefighting did not take root generations ago was undoubtedly due in large part to the racism of white firefighters."

Was the author there generations ago to witness this racism? Or is this something the author heard/assumed was the case?

The previous lines right before the above quoted statement might be the answer to why the FDNY and Corrections look the way they do. It's not always racism.
Great article as usual, Heather Mac Donald!

I have to ask: Was Judge Nicholas Garaufis' appointment or hiring part of a fair and non-discriminatory process? What % of the judges at his level are white, or black or hispanic? One thing we do know is that blacks have a higher failure rate on the NY Bar exam than whites. Oops!
Can't we then claim that Garaufis should be barred from making any further decisions until the judicial system addresses it's own practice of discrimination against blacks and minorities?
What about race based hiring at the Department of Corrections?
Franklin Field - the short answer to your question is "William Jefferson Clinton."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicholas_Garaufis
Well done Ms. MacDonald
So Lincoln had it wrong.
Letter to the Editor & Ms. MacDonald.

Madam or Sir,

“Race – based hiring” elevates politics over public safety. But why no similar condemnation of quotas favoring women over men of greater physical capacity and ability?

“Disparate impact” is used to ‘gender – norm’ the SAT, GRE and similar ability evaluations leading to the preponderance of women in higher education and many careers. How about an investigation of the “reality” of ‘sex disparities in average cognitive skills’* and intellectual ability-gendering of America?

Condemnation of race quotas and silence on sex appears as opportunist feminist politics.

(*Average minus .3 - .5 SD/sigma cf. adult male.
I would be pleased to provide extensive evidence.)

Jeffrey Asher
Ottawa Canada
Wouldn't purely racial quotas at least get the best applicants from each race, and thus produce better firefighters than the current incredibly easy tests? But AFAIK racial quotas are actually illegal, too.
Thanks for this very thoughtful article.
I hope that you will look into race biased hiring, against white males, in large and medium city, county and regional transit agencies throught the country.
Being one of the 300 candidates who would have been in this next class I want to say thank you. I wrote a letter to Judge Garaufis and some of the points you discussed I talked about in my letter. Bottom line is that there are hundreds of men and women of all races that are now being denied their dream because of the actiions of this judge, the DOJ and the Vulcan Society. There is equal opportunity for everone in this world, it is simply a matter of what you do with it. Enough is enough!!!!
Great Article. How in the world did Garaufis get to be a judge?
Brilliant! And congratulations to Mayor Bloomberg for his admirable decision to refuse to kow tow to a rogue, power-seeking judge who, left unchecked, will ruin the greatest fire department in the world. Mayor Bloomberg rocks! I never much liked Bloomberg before, but now I think he's a modern hero of a mayor.
Stand your ground, Mayor Bloomberg. This judge is a tyrant and public danger - take him on and beat him, and let that be a lesson to these out-of-control judges not to mess with you or with common sense.
Why is the low percentage of blacks in FDNY a case for the courts, but the AMAZINGLY high % of corrections officers who are black (and correspondingly the white population must be underrepresented) not a case for the EEOC?
It is reminiscent of the ways in which medical schools strive for gender parity, but vet schools are 70% women and do not make any such effort.
If a mayor or a governor makes a controversial decision, he's expected to justify himself in a public forum.

Why are judges exempt from this scrutiny?

There must be a reason, but I'm wondering if it's a good one.
Brilliant!
What is the background of this judge? What is his ethnicity ? Was he born in the US? Were his parents born in the US? What makes him qualified to be de facto fire commissioner and why doesn't congress strip the federal courts of all jurisdicion on these matters?