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February 28, 2013
Racism as an Antidote to Racism
In her essay "The Sad Irony of Affirmative Action," Gail Heriot, professor of law at the University of San Diego and a member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, highlights the "mismatch" of race-preferential admissions policies. Basing her information on the book entitled Mismatch: How Affirmative Action Hurts Students It's Intended to Help, and Why Universities Won't Admit It, Heriot asserts that it is "incumbent upon the Supreme Court to return to the principle that race discrimination should not be tolerated." Notwithstanding evidence showing that racial preferences in college admissions actually harm the intended beneficiaries, race-based policies have spilled over into every aspect of American life.
Enter the ongoing battle of Judge Nicholas Garaufis, who ruled "in 2009 that New York City discriminated on written tests [for firefighters] by requiring that Candidates know how to read."
Since 2007, Judge Garaufis has "presided over a lawsuit brought by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Vulcan Society, a fraternal organization of black firefighters. The suit charged the FDNY with discrimination against blacks."
Merit Matters, headed by President Paul Mannix, has continually highlighted the case. According to Mannix, as a result of Garaufis's ruling, the following have been permitted:
In fact, a 2011 Washington Times editorial notes:
Consequently, "Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.'s obsession with racial grievance-mongering could get Americans burnt to a crisp in their own homes" because the "DoJ is trying to force the FDNY to hire applicants who got 70% wrong on a basic, multiple choice, open book test."
According to Heather MacDonald, the ongoing litigation is predicated on the legal theory of "disparate impact," which "is defined by the United States Supreme Court as discrimination in which 'the employer simply treats some people less favorably than others because of their race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.' Whether or not an employer can be found liable 'depends on whether the protected trait ... actually motivated the employer's decision.'"
An important distinction needs to be made.
Yet New York City undertook major efforts to encourage minorities to join the FDNY. The initiatives included advertisements, personal recruiters, and black celebrities recruiting prospective candidates. Over $20 million was spent on recruitment since 1989, and yet Garaufis maintains that the FDNY is not integrated enough.
In fact, "an employer can be found guilty of discrimination simply if minority applicants don't score as well as whites on a job test." But sadly, statistics continue to show that there are racial disparities in average cognitive skills. Furthermore, "the low black representation in the fire department may also be the result more of low black interest in the job than of the lower black pass rate on the exam."
Notwithstanding these factors, the answer for some lies in lowering the requirements for passing the test. Exams have been "watered down" since Garaufis decided that the "firefighter exam required too high a reading level." Consistent with this specious rationale is the NAACP Legal Defense Fund "filing a federal civil rights complaint, challenging [New York City's] admissions process for eight specialized high schools, including Stuyvesant, Bronx Science and Brooklyn Tech." Daniel Greenfield asserts that what is occurring is "quota arm waving about diversity being our strength. You know what else is our strength? People who can pass tests without whining about it or demanding equal representation based on their race."
Yet the diversity experts maintain that "[i]t's time to end the discriminator use of test scores to determine Specialized High Schools admission[.]" Instead, they claim that "letters of recommendation, grades, community service and extracurricular activities" should be the determining factors in getting into these accelerated schools.
This dilution of standards is clearly evident by Ronnette Summers, a parent leader for the New York City Coalition for Educational Justice, who states, "Who needs to learn anything anyway? Just bring your letters of recommendation and your extracurriculars."
Common sense is no longer common -- rather, we have illogical reasoning and "racial turpitude" on the part of those who wish to deplete tests of any "cognitive challenges." It is fraudulent to continually water down tests; it is deceitful to demand less of some applicants to the fire department, and it is dishonest to claim "black underachievement as instances of white racism" when there is clear-cut evidence to the contrary.
Eileen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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