Sunday, January 3, 2010

Should the FDNY institute racial hiring quotas?

NEW YORK (AP) -- Lawyers for New York City and the Justice Department have urged a federal judge to reject one group's plan to diversify the city's fire department through a strict minority hiring quota.

A firefighters fraternal group called The Vulcan Society has proposed that the department should be forced to make six of every 10 new hires either black or Hispanic.

City lawyers say the plan would be unconstitutional.

The Justice Department has taken the city to court over the FDNY's hiring practices, saying its recent entry exams discriminated against minority candidates.

But federal authorities have also asked the judge to reject the Society's proposal, saying it is too broad.


steve said...

I have a novel idea.....

Spend money to advertise a test in all neighborhoods in city.

Give said test.

Hire in the order in which people performed.

Result = Merit prevails and those most beneficial to the department will be hired.

**Please note that in my open and transparent proposal, there was no mention of race.

Anonymous said...

Remember the New Haven firefighters promotion test? It was declared "racist" because black firefighters had a 50% lower pass rate than white firefighters.

Steve: If it turns out that blacks and hispanics score lower on the test you propose, that means nothing about the skills of blacks and hispanics. It meas that the test is racially biased and should be revised.

Anonymous said...

How can a test for a civil service exam be racially biased? Everyone can buy the study guides or take classes to pass.

Anonymous said...

"Remember the New Haven firefighters promotion test? It was declared "racist" because black firefighters had a 50% lower pass rate than white firefighters."

Yeah, and then the Supreme Court overruled that.

Anonymous said...

Like it or not, reading and writing are part of being a firefighter. One may have to understand regulations, know about building codes, fire hazards, explosive and toxic materials, etc.

Some of the rejected candidates might have been good men to have in the days when a dalmation ran alongside the truck.

This does not speak to their courage or character which may be ample, but "book learning" is part of the job too, alas.

Taxpayer said...

Anonymous said:
"Steve: If it turns out that blacks and hispanics score lower on the test you propose, that means nothing about the skills of blacks and hispanics. It meas that the test is racially biased and should be revised."

- - -

So, anonymous, you actually believe that blacks and Hispanics are genetically unable to learn things as well as members of other races.

And it is this genetic incompetence that must be rewarded so they feel good, even though fire victims may die or be terribly injured.

Why reward genetic incompetence of blacks and Hispanics?

Anonymous said...

Yes, only allow 95% of the Fire House to be Irish or Italian. The rest have to be something else.

Commenter of "Why reward genetic incompetence of blacks and Hispanics?"
I would like to meet you, just to kick you right in the nuts for that comment.

Queens Crapper said...

You want to kick him in the nuts for pointing out that Blacks and Hispanics are equal in intelligence to whites? Or are you illiterate? (Definitely can't have you on the FDNY.)

Nice to see you're still trolling with your "Irish and Italians" nonsense.

Anonymous said...

What a reversal of discrimination! Did you know the FDNY actually sent wake-up calls to some of those minoriities on the day of their physical exams?

Anonymous said...

I think its safe to assume most applicants had access to the same schooling (ie public schools). Not sure where the bias angle of this test comes in. Are they questions like what are the ingredients of an irish coffee? Pick out the picture of a ziti from this list, etc. I'm irish-italian, so I guess I missed my calling if they would rubberstamped me for passing b/c of my ethnicity. damn.

Anonymous said...

Yes, what a shame that the Irish and Italians have been set aside for the honor of perishing in fiery infernos or having buildings dropped on them.

I am sure that there is discrimination against African Americans and it starts with lousy schools which is a serious problem.

Nonetheless, you have to be able to read and understand technical information today like it or not.

This is a job-related skill that I suggest all interested African Americans who cannot pass the test address by drilling more intensively on the tests and also pursuing supplemental adult education if necessary.

There are schools and libraries with more information on this, or contact Workforce 1 which has Labor Department Contracts. The largest labor 1 office is in Harlem near the Apollo Theater.

Miles Mullin said...

I think the uniformed services should be residents of NYC and even (gasp!) live in the neighborhood.

Then selected based on merit.

They should wear their uniforms on the train (no not car or bike) or walk (gasp!) as they go to work. Just like the old days.

It worked then.

It would work today.

That should solve the problem.

Anonymous said...

Spend money to advertise a test in all neighborhoods in city.

Give said test.
That part was tried in the late 90's and it STILL failed to attract a number of minority candidates that the race-obsessed found satisfying. If certain people don't WANT a certain job, then there is nothing you can do to MAKE them take that job.

Anonymous said...

I have a novel idea.....

Agree. Hire those who qualify, period. Hire on any preferential basis such as sex preference, color creed, gender and underwear style worn simply leads to a less qualified individual overall.

May the fire Dept be represented by all of the above, only if they qualify at the highest of levels on mental, written and physical tests that is required to be selected as a fire Dept employee.

The public demands nothing short of perfection when our safety and the Dept.'s safety is at stake in performing fire duties.

Anonymous said...

Has it been shown that the Fire Department is deficient in certain areas that can only be remedied by hiring more minorities? If not, then why mess around with it?

Anonymous said...

The test is race neutral. Its either only whites made it through the hiring process or a majority of whites took the test.

Once you start imposing quotas you get incompetent people on the job. Take the most qualified.. don't go based on "oh we need a racial rainbow" bs

Anonymous said...

I am a white male,have spent 28 years in 2 different civil service titles and 1 promtional.I took every test there was.Passed all in the top 10 percentile.I new i would never become a san man or a firefighter,just wasn't in me.You can't force a person into a job they don't want.

Anonymous said...

Italian and Irish nepotism is so rampant in the NYPD and FDNY it can only fill a person with anger. Only within the last 10 years has the demographics of most civil workers changed, other than that it's been virtually dominated straight down the line by Italians and Irish.

Anonymous said...

Re: Irish and Italian nepotism. Perhaps everyone doesn't want to run into burning buildings? The Department of Corrections is almost entirely African American, shall I start a race-riot?

Greek diners are dominated by GASP Greeks. Families get their children into family businesses and it is no surprise that something as off-the-wall as catching bullets for a living or chancing being a human barbecue would not appeal to the public at large, but would run in families.

Anonymous said...

so i guess asians don't count as a minority?

i f*cking hate social engineering

Anonymous said...

"Greek diners are dominated by GASP Greeks. Families get their children into family businesses."

The problem is that the FDNY isn't a "business," but a public agency funded by taxpayers that provides a vital service to the entire city. Therefore it's reasonable to want such an agency to reflect the people it serves. How you go about doing this is another story.

I wish it were as easy as better advertising, but that obviously hasn't been working. I personally don't believe in quotas or changing tests in a way that leads to unqualified people being hired. It's a real dilemma.

Steve said...

911: 911, what's your emergency?

"Vulcan society's" president: My house is on fire! My family is trapped on the top floor and can't get out! Help!

911: Fire Departments on the way, sir.

President: Uh, will the firefighters be a reflection of the rich cultural diversity found in New York City or will they be a bunch of whiteboy rednecks?

911: I'm unsure, sir, but there is a firehouse around the block from you and they will be there in less than a minute.

President: OK, but are they black is what I'm asking.

911: Sir, I don't know. Does it matter? Your kids are trapped!

President: Of course it matters. This is a BLACK community!!! How can a bunch of whiteboys possibly provide fire protection to a black or Hispanic neighborhood!!?!?!

911: Sir, they are all well-trained people who passed the course at probie school and will be there in 30 seconds. They are all the same.

President: Well, I'm sorry but unless they are a cross section of the dynamic diversity found in this city and an equal representation of all who live in it, even if people from certain groups opted not to pursue a career in the FDNY, I cannot allow my family to be rescued by them.

911: Sir, you have to get out!! Get your family out!!

President: We will wait for a fire crew that has an understanding of the unique plight of the minority group and who will foster a mutually supportive environment of cultural understanding. And aren't white. I will also be filing a lawsuit against you if I find out you are white. Only minority dispatchers should be assigned to minority nighborhoods... my, it's getting warm in here!

Anonymous said...

Steve, please read this article from Firehouse Magazine: Diversity in the Fire Service: Why Does It Matter?. While I agree with your opposition to quotas, there's no reason to mock the idea of diversity in the workplace. It comes down to a matter of trust. It's never a good situation when civilians are suspicious of the people who are supposed to be saving their lives, and the people doing the saving have no rapport with the community they are serving. A bunch of white guys can fight fires well, but a bunch of white, black, hispanic, and asian men and women can fight fires even more effectively in a city like New York. How we achieve diversity can be debated, but questioning its usefulness is foolish.

Anonymous said...

Hey while we're at it, how about racial and sex quotas in the NYPD Traffic department? It's all black women right now, and it could use some common sense.

Anonymous said...

So how will you get the Blacks, Spanish and Asians who don't want to do these jobs to serve? Press gangs?

You are assuming that the desire to do this is equally wide-spread across the community and it is not.

People from wealthier ethnic communities shy away from doing this because it is potentially fatal.

People from poorer ethnic communities are often ill-suited for the job because they have long criminal rap sheets, are purely educated or have found that it is easier to depend on Uncle Sugar than to dive headfirst into flames.

Furthermore, Corrections Officers are largely black, Postal Clerks are largely black, many medical positions are largely held by Carribean Immigrants, also black.

At one time, large numbers of Irish people held all of these position and many of them are civil service or depend on government money to exist.

Shall we demand that Irish people start taking those tests now? Shall we remove these people from their jobs or are only white people to have no way of earning their daily bread.

Anonymous said...

The problem comes down to pride.

Many of the old school FDNY took the job because it would (1) serve the community and (2) feed their family.

Look at many oft he minority groups today. Why risk burning up when you can sit at home in your gov't housing and collect a welfare check and WIC coupons? And serving their community? Surely you must be joking.

Anonymous said...

Well you just ADMITTED that blacks are inferior to whites and NEED special help.

So don't ever call a white person a racist ever again...ya hear that boy!

It was declared "racist" because black firefighters had a 50% lower pass rate than white firefighters.

Anonymous said...

I would feel very comfortable having a diminutive asian or female save my 6'2" 210lb fat ass from a burning building.

Anonymous said...

Well, actually a diminutive female cop saved a whole bunch of Marines at a Marine base recently.

If a woman can actually pass the physical, and some young, strong-as-an-ox women can, they should be welcome.

No watering down of any standards for anyone however, even if it means fewer members of the flavor of the week.

ginarenette said...

Steve, that 911 call is the funniest thing I have ever read EVER!

On the serious side, these jobs should go to the BEST person for the job...period. Not the blackest person, whitest person, Asian person. I have seen so many instances of a "minority" being hired over a white person who scored higher or was better qualified and it makes me sick. People say they want to be treated equally but then ask for handouts? I say NO WAY! I come from a very poor community and a poor family but I can't get college funding because I'm NOT a's ridiculous and unconstitutional. I had an inferior education and I simply went to the library and educated myself so that I could pass qualifying exams. DO THE WORK = GET THE JOB...handouts is NOT the American way!