Chicago to hire 111 Black Firefighters

Discussion in 'Ethics, Morality, & Justice' started by madanthonywayne, Aug 18, 2011.

  1. madanthonywayne Morning in America Registered Senior Member

    To settle a lawsuit, Chicago has agreed to pay $30 million and hire 111 black firefighters. What was the reason for the lawsuit? Chicago committed the racist act of hiring the applicants who had the highest score on an entrance exam.

    When results from the 1995 entrance exam were disappointing for minorities, the city established a cut-off score of 89 and hired randomly from the top 1,800 “well-qualified” candidates.

    In 2005, a federal judge ruled that the city’s decision had the effect of perpetuating the predominantly white status quo, since 78 percent of those ‘“well-qualified’’ candidates were white

    Is this right? Is it racist to hire the applicants with the highest score? And how is it not racist to hire 111 candidates based specifically on race?

    Furthermore, how does this jibe with the Ricci decision by the Supreme Court? In that case, the city of New Haven decided to not use the test results due to minority candidates doing poorly. They were subsequently sued by the candidates who did perform well on the exam and would have been promoted had they not been thrown out.

    The Supreme Court sided with the passed over applicants which would seem to suggest that throwing out test results based upon the racial makeup of the top performers is not allowed under US law. Yet in this case the city of Chicago was sued (and lost!) for not doing what the New Haven Civil Service Board was sued for doing.

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  3. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    How is anything supposed to jibe with the Ricci decision?

    How is it supposed to jibe? It left the law intact, found nothing unconstitutional; rather, the majority made an extraordinary effort to throw Ricci et al a bone while not completely fucking the Civil Rights Act.

    It wasn't supposed to be any sort of precedent. It wasn't supposed to say anything about over forty years worth of otherwise consistent case law. It wasn't supposed to strike a damn thing from the CRA. It was just a majority pretending that in the twenty-first century, all realities are equal regardless of one's ethnic heritage.

    It was an attempt to slap a public authority for complying with the law.

    It was as vapid and political a decision as the Supreme Court has ever written. Legal scholars don't have a clue what it means, because it is apparently not supposed to mean anything.

    How is anything supposed to jibe with the Ricci decision?
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  5. Bells Staff Member

    Wasn't it that they were supposed to higher randomnly from a pool or all who hired 65% and higher and instead picked the 89% figure because it was predominantly whites who had scored higher than 89%?

    In other words, they went against their own hiring practices and picked a random figure which they knew at the time would exclude a large number of minorities? Am I also to understand that it is not just minorities who were excluded, but also whites as well by this sudden change imposed by the CFD when they randomnly chose the 89 figure and that those who passed the rest and should have been hired or given the chance at a position (since they had passed the requirements as set by the FD) will now receive compensation?
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  7. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

    A meritocracy implies equal opportunities - do blacks have all the same opportunities as whites do in the United States? I've been to Chicago often. When you take the bus in Chicago its easy to tell when you've reached the affluent and well to do neighborhoods - there are no more black people left on the bus.

    Until there is equal opportunity for all people, there is no call for a meritocracy.

    Poverty map:

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    Racial segregation of neighborhoods in Chicago:

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    What these actions [hiring black firefighters for example] do, is just equalise the balance a little bit

    But there is still a long way to go before whites start demanding "equal treatment" with blacks.

    When this reads something different maybe

    Black names and racism in the hiring process
  8. Telemachus Rex Protesting Mod Stupidity Registered Senior Member

    I completely accept that inequality and inequity still exists. I am a libertarian, but not one of the libertarians who believes that the market would have snuffed out Jim Crow more effectively than the Voting Rights Act and Civil Rights Act did.

    That said, is the fire department entrance exam the right place to correct inequalities? This treats the symptom, rather than the underlying causes.

    First, the white candidates who did well on the test are hardly the people responsible for these inequities, yet they bear the whole of the cost of it.

    Second, whatever the underlying causes of the inequality, why would we want the less qualified candidates in an emergency responders' positions? Would any one of us accept being treated by a less qualified doctor who didn't do as well as an intern and in medical school as his or her counterparts simply because "too many" patients were going to the "highly qualified" doctors and not enough to "less qualified" ones?

    People of good conscience should all be happy to see those inequalities that lead to poor performance being addressed, but I don't see that advancing the less qualified accomplishes very much. It gives you an expectation of a lower quality of service (which in this case means more lives and properties lost to fires), and it creates an atmosphere where those whites who get passed over feel resentful, which imo perpetuates more problems in the long run.
  9. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member


    To the first, yes of course. Every single sphere of society in which blacks live should be equally accessible to them. If there are gaps in nutrition, housing, child care, health, education and employment due to discriminatory practices which undermine their performance, they have to be balanced by opportunities where such gaps are disregarded.

    To the second, I am reminded of a lecture I attended in Yale where the speaker who was a third generation alumni made a point of noting that her present status was due entirely to the profit of her ancestors from slavery. The reason she is doing so well, is because her ancestors profitted from the degradation of other human beings to empower their lives, providing themselves with greater opportunities, wealth, education, status and lifestyle, the accrued benefits of which were conferred onto their descendents

    I think this would apply to everyone who lives in such a society.

    Then you are not paying attention.
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2011
  10. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

    It is racist to hire people based on the presumption of "race".

    The logical solution is to get rid of that judge.
  11. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

    Most tests aren't racist that I've ever taken. So how is it that they can even come up with the thinking that it is? A test is just a way to understand if anyone knows something about the job or work to which they are applying for. If one person is given any "extra" help just because of a skin color or religious background then the system is completely broken and something should be done to insure only top quality candidates can receive the jobs they are applying for. Unless that is done we will have a second or third rate medical, police and other agencies that should be getting the best of the rest not the middle of the road. No person should be helped in testing results they should earn their place without disgrace.

    Tests should always come from the same soursce material so that everyone has the same books and materials to read.
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2011
  12. murdoch Simply Psychic! Registered Senior Member

    I don't know from where does this racist thing came in when it is clear the authority concerned has taken hiring decisions solely based upon MERIT. Firefighting is critical job requiring high efficiency in service. It involves risking one's live if one go for reservation things.
  13. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

    Assuming of course, that those who score better in tests also do better in hands on emergency situations - the test scores, after all, only measure the ability to do well in a test.
  14. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

    While you are correct many tests require a physical ability test with the written part. So in the case of medical, many instruments as well as mathmatical understanding must be shown. So while written tests are a part of the prcedure other things are evaluated as well.
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2011
  15. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

    Thats one aspect of it. But in the context of racism, I refer to the effect of racism itself on test scores. Centuries of being treated like trash can become embedded in the psyche and people tend to have lower expectations of themselves if they are seen as less than human

    For example, consider this:

    Hence while a test score may measure the ability of the test taker to take the test, it may not really be an accurate measure of his or her proficiency.
  16. Mr MacGillivray Banned Banned

    Are they also going to hire some arabs?
  17. Read-Only Valued Senior Member

    I agree with you, cosmic.

    And you mentioned 'medical' - here's where the twisted logic seen displayed by that recent court decision (and repeated by some members here) would lead to if the same were applied to THAT field: Citizens would be FORCED to use lesser-qualified physicians of all fields if they happen to represent minority groups.

    Meaning that even if your insurance (or personal finances) allowed you to choose a highly-skilled surgeon with decades of experience, you would not be allowed to if there's a doctor from a minority group fresh out of medical school available - UNDER PUNISHMENT OF LAW.

    To me, that's practically insane!

    No! The proper way to resolve the inequality issues is to fix our badly failed educational system. Offer every single individual the best education possible - and what they do with it is up to them and their abilities.

    I do realize that's a very tall order but it IS the place to level the playing field for everyone regardless of race, color or creed. Any other - and I repeat: ANY OTHER - approach will do nothing more than perpetuate this same old, tired issue for generations to come.
  18. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

    They have to wait their turn - based on civil rights, voting and immigration allowances

    1. Blacks

    2. Women

    3. Irish? ---> shortcut by becoming white

    4. Asians

    5. Communists and Socialists

    6. Jews----> shortcut by becoming white

    7. Arabs

    After blacks, the women are gearing up

    Suit: Chicago Fire Department tests discriminate against women
  19. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

    Berkley better watch out then because they used to have a "Race" policy on entrance. "Blacks" (for lack of a better word) were afforded around 12% of the places. "Asians" made up less than 3% of the student population. "Whites" where 40%. They did away with Race discrimination and now Asians make up 40% of the student population (while only making up 3% of the general population). Blacks... you'll hardly find any now. What? Should they kick a couple aspiring "Asians" out in favor of "Blacks"? That's about as far from the American way as I can imagine. I don't mind if African Americans made up 80% of the total student population. Just as long as they compete and win.

    Can you imagine telling a black athlete he/she can't compete and play for the NBA... too many Blacks... too many tall people.... better get some small Asians in there to make it fair.

    That's asinine.

    And those tests probably assess more than just one's ability to score on the test. Often they assess one's ability to think logically, to quickly problem solve aka find a solution, visualize and spatially orientate object in your mind's eye quickly...
  20. nietzschefan Thread Killer Valued Senior Member

    Who gives a fuck, put them in the middle of the hose. All this did was make sure Blacks get treated like shit on the job.
  21. Grim_Reaper I Am Death Destroyer of Worlds Registered Senior Member

    Well I am not sure about all of you but I prefer my Firefighters with an education and for them to be smart. Just like I prefer my airline pilots to be the same way. IF A PERSON IS NOT INTELIGENT ENOUGH TO GET 89% THEN THEY DO NOT NEED TO BE WORKING TO SAVE MY LIFE.
  22. Pinwheel Banned Banned

    You could get a smart pyromaniac.
  23. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

    But that cannot punish those people today that can pass a test that everyone has the same abilities to study and review the tests they are given. You can't take away a persons right to be "smarter" than the next person or do you want a Communistic system whereby everyone gets the same results because they all have to treated as equals? That would mean the standards would be lowered to meet the lowest test results so everyone could get the same position. How then can you fill the one vacant position if everyone gets the same grades?:shrug:

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