Let's Stop Racial Discrimination In Hiring And Promotion
A bunch of white firefighters were promoted ahead of black firefighters even though the black firefighters got better test scores. Outrageous, right? Disgusting, huh? Plain old wrong, isn't it?
Remember what Martin Luther King said: "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character..."
I'm with him. Which is why I'm as outraged by the real story as I'd be by the switcheroo'y one I posted above. The real deal is that white firefighters (and a few Hispanics) in New Haven, CT, scored much better than black firefighters, so New Haven found itself stuck. They threw out the test and promoted no one.
Adam Liptak writes in The New York Times:
NEW HAVEN -- Frank Ricci has been a firefighter here for 11 years, and he would do just about anything to advance to lieutenant.
The last time the city offered a promotional exam, he said in a sworn statement, he gave up a second job and studied up to 13 hours a day. Mr. Ricci, who is dyslexic, paid an acquaintance more than $1,000 to read textbooks onto audiotapes. He made flashcards, took practice tests, worked with a study group and participated in mock interviews.
Mr. Ricci did well, he said, coming in sixth among the 77 candidates who took the exam. But the city threw out the test, because none of the 19 African-American firefighters who took it qualified for promotion. That decision prompted Mr. Ricci and 17 other white firefighters, including one Hispanic, to sue the city, alleging racial discrimination.
Their case, which will be argued before the Supreme Court on April 22, is the Roberts court's first major confrontation with claims of racial discrimination in employment and will require the justices to choose between conflicting conceptions of the government's role in ensuring fair treatment regardless of race.
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. has repeatedly noted his hostility to what he has called the "sordid business" of "divvying us up by race." In 2007, diverging from an important Rehnquist court decision that allowed public universities to consider race in admissions decisions, the Roberts court forbade public school systems to take race explicitly into account to achieve or maintain integration.
"The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race," Chief Justice Roberts wrote.
I'm with him. There's more on the case here, at adversity.net, an organization dedicated, as I am, to stopping discrimination on the basis of race.