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Debates Forum

  1. 29 Jun '09 14:15
    The "reverse"descrimination case of these fire fighters has finally been heard by the U.S. supreme court. They judged in favor of the fire fighters overturning the 2nd courts decision(sonya sotamayor and 2 others)along w/the 2nd courts 1 paragraph explanation as to why they went w/ the lower court.
    Justice has been served! Descrimination is not a one way street!
  2. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    29 Jun '09 14:29
    Originally posted by utherpendragon
    The "reverse"descrimination case of these fire fighters has finally been heard by the U.S. supreme court. They judged in favor of the fire fighters overturning the 2nd courts decision(sonya sotamayor and 2 others)along w/the 2nd courts 1 paragraph explanation as to why they went w/ the lower court.
    Justice has been served! Descrimination is not a one way street!
    What New Haven did was pretty outrageous.

    They made a clearly facially neutral test that no one proved had any element of favoritism towards any race. They administered the test. They calculated the results. Then, they said "Oh gee, we don't like the results because whites did too well. Let's scrap the test and ignore the results."

    Absolutely disgusting. If they wanted to scrap the test for future administrations, fine. But to retroactively invalidate the results of the already taken exam simply because they didn't like the results? What about the people who worked hard to study for and do well on the test? "Sorry; you're too white."

    Sickening.
  3. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    29 Jun '09 14:35
    Originally posted by sh76
    What New Haven did was pretty outrageous.

    They made a clearly facially neutral test that no one proved had any element of favoritism towards any race. They administered the test. They calculated the results. Then, they said "Oh gee, we don't like the results because whites did too well. Let's scrap the test and ignore the results."

    Absolutely disgusting. ...[text shortened]... ked hard to study for and do well on the test? "Sorry; you're too white."

    Sickening.
    It's about time white people were protected from the outrageous discrimination against them in the US. Boy, do they get screwed!
  4. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    29 Jun '09 14:44
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    It's about time white people were protected from the outrageous discrimination against them in the US. Boy, do they get screwed!
    That's not the point and you know it.

    The fact that non-whites have gotten screwed in the past is not a reason to institute de jure discrimination against whites in the present.

    I don't like affirmative action, but I can live with some instances of it. This was not one of those instances. This was patently absurd.
  5. 29 Jun '09 15:28
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    It's about time white people were protected from the outrageous discrimination against them in the US. Boy, do they get screwed!
    Discrimination is discrimination, it doesn't matter what color you are.

    All people are supposed to be equal before the law.
  6. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    29 Jun '09 15:44
    Originally posted by generalissimo
    Discrimination is discrimination, it doesn't matter what color you are.

    All people are supposed to be equal before the law.
    Actually in the US the law is supposed to equally protect them.

    New Haven was perfectly justified IMO to throw out the results of a test which, if blindly followed, would have meant that not a single black person would have gotten a promotion in the foreseeable future. Such disparate impact violates Civil Rights law.
  7. 29 Jun '09 15:49
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    Actually in the US the law is supposed to equally protect them.

    New Haven was perfectly justified IMO to throw out the results of a test which, if blindly followed, would have meant that not a single black person would have gotten a promotion in the foreseeable future. Such disparate impact violates Civil Rights law.
    Well, holding people back because they're not a minority isn't exactly protecting them equally.

    Well, too bad for them. Isn't the US supposed to be a meritocracy? If you work hard you get what you want, and if you don't you don't.
  8. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    29 Jun '09 15:55 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    Actually in the US the law is supposed to equally protect them.

    New Haven was perfectly justified IMO to throw out the results of a test which, if blindly followed, would have meant that not a single black person would have gotten a promotion in the foreseeable future. Such disparate impact violates Civil Rights law.
    Couldn't they have changed the test going forward rather than ignore the results of a test already having been administered?

    Throwing out a test for the future based on disparate results is distasteful to me as I don't think any government policy should take race into account, but okay, I'll live with it. I understand the interest in maintaining a diverse workforce. Fine.

    But to throw out the results of an already administered test based on the fact that you don't like the results? You support that?
  9. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    29 Jun '09 16:06 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by sh76
    Couldn't they have changed the test going forward rather than ignore the results of a test already having been administered?

    Throwing out a test for the future based on disparate results is distasteful to me as I don't think any government policy should take race into account, but okay, I'll live with it. I understand the interest in maintaining a diverse w ...[text shortened]... ready administered test based on the fact that you don't like the results? You support that?
    How could you ever have a "disparate impact" analysis under your "do it right next time" standard?

    Ginsberg's dissent sets out the history of the New Haven firefighters and it ain't pretty:

    By order of this Court, New Haven, a city in which African-Americans and Hispanics account for nearly 60 percent of the population, must today be served—as it was in the days of undisguised discrimination—by a fire department in which members of racial and ethnic minorities are rarely seen in command positions. . . . .
    A
    The Court’s recitation of the facts leaves out importantparts of the story. Firefighting is a profession in which the legacy of racial discrimination casts an especially long shadow. In extending Title VII to state and local government employers in 1972, Congress took note of a U. S.
    ——————
    Commission on Civil Rights (USCCR) report finding racial discrimination in municipal employment even “more pervasive than in the private sector.” H. R. Rep. No. 92– 238, p. 17 (1971). According to the report, overt racism was partly to blame, but so too was a failure on the part of municipal employers to apply merit-based employment principles. In making hiring and promotion decisions, public employers often “rel[ied] on criteria unrelated to job performance,” including nepotism or political patronage. 118 Cong. Rec. 1817 (1972). Such flawed selection methods served to entrench preexisting racial hierarchies. The USCCR report singled out police and fire departments for having “barriers to equal employment . . . greater . . . than in any other area of State or local government,” with African-Americans “hold[ing] almost no positions in the officer ranks.” Ibid. See also National Commission on Fire Prevention and Control, America Burning 5 (1973) (“Racial minorities are under-represented in the fire de-partments in nearly every community in which they live.&rdquo.
    The city of New Haven (City) was no exception. In the early 1970’s, African-Americans and Hispanics composed 30 percent of New Haven’s population, but only 3.6 per-cent of the City’s 502 firefighters. The racial disparity inthe officer ranks was even more pronounced: “[O]f the 107 officers in the Department only one was black, and he held the lowest rank above private.” Firebird Soc. of New Haven, Inc. v. New Haven Bd. of Fire Comm’rs, 66 F. R. D. 457, 460 (Conn. 1975).
    Following a lawsuit and settlement agreement, see ibid., the City initiated efforts to increase minority representation in the New Haven Fire Department (Department). Those litigation-induced efforts produced some positivec hange. New Haven’s population includes a greater proportion of minorities today than it did in the 1970’s: Nearly 40 percent of the City’s residents are African-
    American and more than 20 percent are Hispanic. Among entry-level firefighters, minorities are still underrepresented, but not starkly so. As of 2003, African-Americans and Hispanics constituted 30 percent and 16 percent of the City’s firefighters, respectively. In supervisory positions,however, significant disparities remain. Overall, the senior officer ranks (captain and higher) are nine percent African-American and nine percent Hispanic. Only one of the Department’s 21 fire captains is African-American.See App. in No. 06–4996–cv (CA2), p. A1588 (hereinafter CA2 App.). It is against this backdrop of entrenched inequality that the promotion process at issue in thislitigation should be assessed.

    http://www.supremecourtus.gov/opinions/08pdf/07-1428.pdf
  10. 29 Jun '09 18:48
    a major issue here would be whether the test was an accurate measure of skills that were ESSENTIAL (or extremely important) for the job position.

    If so, then the current reality is that for whatever reason, the black applicants (along with everyone else who failed the test) in New Haven lacked the necessary skills. A city should not be forced to hire incompetent people just to achieve "racial balance".

    But if the test doesn't measure such skills (or measures them badly), then the test is a waste of time. The test serves only to unfairly discriminate against otherwise competent people who are bad at taking this particular test.
  11. 29 Jun '09 18:52
    how could a test for fire fighters be racially bias? It is absurd.
  12. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    29 Jun '09 18:53
    Originally posted by Melanerpes
    a major issue here would be whether the test was an accurate measure of skills that were ESSENTIAL (or extremely important) for the job position.

    If so, then the current reality is that for whatever reason, the black applicants (along with everyone else who failed the test) in New Haven lacked the necessary skills. A city should not be forced to hire ...[text shortened]... y discriminate against otherwise competent people who are bad at taking this particular test.
    I'm sure the "fact" is somewhere in the middle. The test was probably very relevant but probably not the most narrowly drawn up test to test the relevant skills possible.

    If you want to fine tune the test for next time, great! Do it. The major problem I have was invalidating the results, which changed the rules of the game after the game was over. Not cool.
  13. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    29 Jun '09 18:53 / 4 edits
    Originally posted by Melanerpes
    If so, then the current reality is that for whatever reason, the black applicants (along with everyone else who failed the test) in New Haven lacked the necessary skills. A city should not be forced to hire incompetent people just to achieve "racial balance".
    <gasps>

    You racist, you!

    How could you?

    How dare you attribute the failure of any minority seeking a goal to anything other than oppression by the white man!?
  14. 29 Jun '09 18:58
    Originally posted by sh76
    <gasps>

    You racist, you!

    How could you?

    How dare you attribute the failure of any minority seeking a goal to anything other than oppression by the white man!?
    where and when do all these white men meet to discuss oppressing minorities. they must be very organized.
  15. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    29 Jun '09 18:59 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by sh76
    <gasps>

    You racist, you!

    How could you?

    How dare you attribute the failure of any minority seeking a goal to anything other than oppression by the white man!?
    I sincerely doubt that virtually any of the people who took the test were "incompetent".

    I see that you ignored my post giving the history of racial discrimination and under representation of minorities in higher level positions in the New Haven Fire Department. Interesting, but not surprising.