Chicago to hire 111 Black Firefighters

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

  1. Telemachus Rex Protesting Mod Stupidity Registered Senior Member

    The goal of affirmative action, apparently, is to be racist in a good way, and to gloss over the possibility that this may serve to extend the underlying problem further into the future.

    The motto might as well be "Affirmative Action: Racism done right!"

    The better way to handle it is legislative initiatives that correct problems before the fact, not after the fact, combined with lawsuits in which acts of actual invidious discrimination is proven to have played a role (not merely the existence of a "disparate impact" on a minority or female population). Many people disagree with that, but they are wrong.
  2. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  3. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

    Then lets see it

    I don't see it as an either or situation. Legislative suits are fine, but blacks can't wait forever for whites to recover from racism - the caste system for example went on for thousands of years and its only affirmative action that has finally made the difference.

    Meanwhile, there are plenty of things that can be done, both as a personal responsibility and as a civic duty to ensure that racism becomes untenable enough that blacks do not need to depend on affirmative action simply to participate in the society they live in. Especially since such induction still leaves them at the mercy of racists

    Chicago 1988:

    Chicago 2008:

    Chicago 2028?
  4. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  5. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    A different angle ....

    Well, just for instance, have you abandoned your Ricci inquiry, or did I miss your answer about how the Chicago outcome is supposed to jibe with the Ricci decision?

    Because, just for example, in the context of Quadraphonics' complaint that you don't acknowledge past discussions, I would think that, given the amount we discussed the case and decision, you would at least remember that it wasn't intended to set any precedent.

    "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.

    Did you forget? Were you not paying attention? Was your topic post deliberately intended to misrepresent the Ricci decision like that? What happened?

    And in this sense, yes, I find myself agreeing with our neighbor that your failure to acknowledge prior discussions of related subjects is problematic. In your topic post, you asked a question—"... how does this jibe with the Ricci decision by the Supreme Court?"—that doesn't really apply; its factual foundation, the implication that the Ricci decision was some sort of precedent, is untrue.

    How were you not aware that Ricci was an unusual decision bucking forty years of case law without setting any precedent or striking any part of the CRA?

    Or maybe my memory is wrong. In all your reading on Ricci at the time, and in all our discussions, perhaps you never encountered the proposition that Ricci set no precedent. To me, that would be unusual; the fact of the decision itself along with the idea that it was not supposed to change a damn thing about the over four decades of case law it deviated from is one of the things that makes the decision stand out.

    But you asked a question that really isn't applicable—"... how does this jibe with the Ricci decision by the Supreme Court?" That sticks out, I suppose, in light of Quadraphonics' note.

    If you had acknowledged in formulating your question previous discussions on the subject, perhaps you would not have asked the question at all, but, rather, found something relevant or, at least, applicable.
  6. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  7. madanthonywayne Morning in America Registered Senior Member

    My answer? That was the question.
    No, I don't remember that. Justice Sotomayer, for instance, didn't feel that way:
    Supreme Court's Ricci Ruling Set Up New Precedent, Sotomayor Argues

    "The Supreme Court, in looking and review that case, applied a new standard," Sotomayor said. "In fact, it announced that it was applying a standard from a different area of law and explaining to employers and the courts below how to look at this question in the future." ​

    And here's another article discussing the precedent set by Ricci:
    In Ricci, A Flawed Supreme Court Decision

    Other than you, I find no source stating that Ricci was not intended to set any precedent.
    I don't know whether or not you made such a claim in the past, but if you did I blew it off as so much rhetoric. Other than the Bush/Gore decision, I've never heard of a Supreme Court case meant to be applied in only one situation and then ignored.
  8. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    So what was that precedent?

    Perhaps you could tell me what precedent it sets.

    I can't tell from either of your sources what that precedent is.

    There is, of course, a reason for this: there is no precedent. Identify in either article you provided exactly what precedent the author is claiming the Court set.

    Well, I was making a point to someone else.

    The NHCSB followed the guidelines laid out in the CRA and forty-plus years of case law.

    It is unclear what, aside from a simple, "We choose not to believe anything you say," attitude on the part of the majority, what the decision is based on. Even one of the articles you pointed me to says that: "Justice Kennedy's opinion fails to give sufficient weight to a legitimate effort by the New Haven Civil Service Board to avoid a lawsuit for race discrimination in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act" (Carolan).

    That is the whole of the precedent. So how can anything jibe with the Ricci decision? You ask how does it jibe with the Ricci decision, and I ask how it's supposed to.

    I have a feeling you won't be able to tell me. Largely, that's because nobody can.

    So tell us, sir, what precedent did the Ricci ruling set as relates to the Civil Rights Act, the forty-some years of case law, and the proposition of racism in employment?

    The "precedent" Sotomayor describes, after all, isn't really that kind of precedent. What she is criticizing is the behavior of the majority, which threw out the relevant case law, ignored the standing law, and wrote its decision. Had the case set any legal precedent, it would have affected something other than the city of New Haven.

    But it doesn't.

    I would also note that the word "precedent" does not occur in Carolan's article.

    Even searching right now, as I write this, I cannot find anything that tells me what legal precedent Ricci set.

    "The Court's order and opinion, I anticipate, will not have staying power."

    —Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg


    Carolan, Bruce. "In Ricci, a Flawed Supreme Court Decision". Forbes. June 30, 2009. August 18, 2011.
  9. w1z4rd Valued Senior Member

    I live in a country where this type of state sanctioned racism is common. We call it Affirmative Action and Black economic empowerment. The biggest proponents of these policies are the Black Management Forum and the Black Business Forum (imagine how racist whites would be called if we called a management forum in South Africa the Whites Management Forum). Anyways, so even though we have laws that integrate racism into our society and even though white people are basically at the bottom of the hiring ladder we still continue.

    It leads to some amazing antics, like us getting told that Rugby is too white, and we have to get rid of the best players of that sport cause theyre white so that we have the most politically correct team to compete instead of the best team.

    I understand this is to address the economic equality created by the past, but you would think after almost 20 years... if you havent worked out your stuff after pillaging the public coffers for that long... ure never ganna get it.

    Some black people in South Africa find AA and BEE insulting. It implies theyre too stupid to get the job on merit.
  10. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

    There's no way it can get more productive if you refuse to aknowledge all of the work that's already gone in. That doesn't mean that you have to agree with what others have argued previously. It does mean that you can't speak from a position of obliviousness to such.

    Fair enough - but what about discrimination without racism?

    There are other reasons to discriminate based on race, than the belief that one or another race is inherently better or worse. As we've discussed at length, previously.

    Are you asserting that discrimination is the only avenue through which racism can cause any negative outcomes?

    Even if you are (and it were true), consider this: the thing about being racist, is that you will inevitably find ways to discriminate. They can be very subtle - such that you may not even have to admit to yourself what you are really doing. You may even be able to set up perverse situations where you can claim to be opposing any and all racial discrimination, but in the process working directly to advance racial inequality and the privilege of your own race (which is a form of "discrimination," no?).

    You're doing that adequately already, as I said.

    It is if that certain group is a race, and you are speaking in terms of attributing inherent qualities to that race, as you were.

    And, again - the supposed foundation of your principled opposition to racial discrimination, was that it violates individual autonomy. Yet you turn around and speak in openly stereotypical terms - Asians are like this, etc. If discrimination is bad because it violates individual agency, then stereotyping is too, by the exact same reasoning.

    So, you build a test with a proxy for race - that gets you nowhere worth going. It's just a cheap pretense to avoid admitting what you're doing, that won't fool anyone.

    And in the first place, you assume that "knowledge of the subculture" is all there is to the qualification to work with it. That's silly, and overlooks the obvious: membership in the subculture may be crucial to effectively working with it, irrespective of "knowledge." We aren't talking about writing sociology studies here, but actual direct social work.

    But that doesn't mean the black kid wouldn't be inherently more effective at working with black inner-city kids, despite his absence of superior knowledge, simply by virtue of his race. In dealing with subcultures that are themselves racist or racially segregated, this stuff can go directly to effectiveness at the job.

    But most jobs - and pretty much every job worth working hard to get - cannot really be assessed through standardized testing of "knowledge." You may have noticed that standardized testing plays very little role in hiring, and most people never take another standardized test after the SAT. Most jobs are not simply matters of raw "knowledge," but require all manner of less readily quantifiable skills - time-management, dealing with people, creativity, etc. Jobs that are simply matters of accumulating and regurgitating "knowledge" can be done by computers.

    So this whole idea that we're going to create a post-racial America by handling everything with standardized tests is pretty loopy. It's an interesting consideration if we're talking about primary and secondary education, or a few very specific jobs, but basically an irrelevancy to the larger question.

    That should be "equal access to the same study materials," in light of the issues we've previously discussed along these lines.

    Again, this assumes that the relevant job performance can be saliently predicted via some standardized test. That is simply not true, for the voerwhelming majority of jobs. Unless, of course, the "test" is "we hire you and see how you actually do." But that's not a standardized test, and there is no systematic way to expunge racist considerations from the subjective scoring implied there.

    I can agree with that statement as written, but would draw a markedly different inference: for race to not be a factor in admissions, it requires more than color-blindness on the part of the admissions committee. It also requires race to cease to be a factor in academic preparedness in the first place - for actual racial equality to already exist.

    Otherwise, color-blindness on the parts of admissions committees doesn't result in race "not being a factor in admissions at all." Instead, the admissions process simply ends up entrenching the racial factors expressed in the applicant pool. Hence, affirmative action.

    And since racial equality does not yet exist, the insistence that admissions committees be totally color-blind is not at all an insistence that race not be a factor in admissions. It is the opposite: a demand that admissions work to entrench and perpetuate racial inequality.

    No, they don't. They most certainly do not want to be given the same set of opportunities that, say, black people are generally afforded. What they want, is the freedom to leverage their lifetimes of privileged opportunities to further their own advancement, without being hindered by considering those who suffered under drastically lesser opportunities.

    You'll notice that they aren't interested in advancing equal opportunity in any instance other than the specific one where it might hold them back. They aren't out there demanding better primary schools for inner-city black kids, or doing anything to address the various massive, systemic inequalities in opportunity that don't harm them directly.

    So you'd support, for example, the forced redistribution of all funds dedicated to education (whether public or private) to equalize the total per-pupil funding provided to every, say, primary school in the country, then? Because otherwise, you have an entire system of unequal opportunity, maintained exactly as such. If you believe in equal opportunity, then you can't support allowing people to systematically manufacture opportunities for their own. It all has to be done equally.

    Or do you only believe in equal opportunity to the extent that race should be "ignored" in college admissions?

    What do you actually favor doing, to meaningfully equalize the opportunities available to individuals in our society? Race-blind college admissions? Anything else?

    So you favor breaking down the various systems of white privilege that allocate benefits and opportunities based upon race, then? Great.

    Or is that stuff okay with you, since it isn't administered explicitly by "bean counters?"
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2011

Share This Page