It doesn’t matter if applicants for the NYC fire department are qualified as long as they are Black or Latino. Asians are not minorities even though there are very few of them on the FDNY and even though they are minorities.
That’s not me speaking, it’s what federal Judge Garaufis ruled in August. His ruling came after a five year FDNY hiring freeze which resulted from a government lawsuit.
The judge wants the test dumbed down or made non-existant. That’s very insulting to minorities, especially since a third of the top scorers on the test were minorities.
The action began on May 21, 2007 when the Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a lawsuit against the City of New York, charging it with discriminatory hiring practices against Black and Latino firefighter applicants. They said that Blacks and Latinos were underrepresented on the FDNY.
The lawsuit stemmed from complaints by the Center for Constitutional Rights’ (CCR) two Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charges of discrimination, one filed on behalf of the Vulcan Society in 2002, and the other filed in 2004 on behalf of a number of individual black and Latino candidates.
CCR wants the test standards changed to increase the number of blacks and Latinos. They also intend to force the FDNY to hire Blacks and Latinos who didn’t qualify, giving them back pay and retroactive seniority.
Judge Garaufis determined that the fire department entrance exam was unfair to Blacks and Latinos and he blasted Mayor Bloomberg for allegedly not doing enough to increase the numbers of Blacks and Latinos on the fire department. This judicial ruling was so absurd that it denied that Asians are minorities even though they are the least represented group in the FDNY.
Judge Garaufis told Mayor Bloomberg that he could use illegal race-based quotas until the city comes up with a test he (the judge) says is fair. The city’s corporation counsel, Michael A. Cardozo, in a letter to Garaufis said, “The city respectfully believes that using raced-based quotas to select firefighters is both illegal and unwise public policy. For these reasons, the city declines to select any one of the five proposals offered by the Court.”
The five proposals offered by Judge Garaufis, which make absolutely no sense, and which are blatantly illegal are –
- Select randomly from the top 2500 but include 17.5% Black and 18.5% Hispanic
- Replace eligible white test takers with 17.5% Black and 18.5% Hispanic applicants.
- Bring in a class of 221 applicants to include 22 Black and 33 Hispanic candidates and remove the lower scoring Whites who scored higher than the minorities. Another 13 Black and 4 Hispanics would have to be processed somehow.
- Hire the group of 300 right away but then hire a second class, making certain that the two classes combined reflect the judge’s arbitrary numbers.
- The last proposal states that a group of 117 would be hired from the list of 300. It would include 20 Blacks and 22 Hispanics. Read here: blackvoicenews
Understand that this would mean hiring some minorities who didn’t even pass the test.
Take a look at this FDNY exam study guide and you tell me what is unfair or inappropriate about any of these questions.
The questions are basic and test job-related abilities focused on keeping our firefighters safe and ensuring that they are capable of making the best decisions in life and death situations.
The judge obviously doesn’t care if they hire idiots on the FDNY as long as they are the proper race. Here is one of the sample questions that the Judge thinks is unfair –
Use the information in the following passage to answer questions 7 and 8.
At 2:30 A.M. on Saturday, Engine Companies 7 and 12 responded to a call from Mrs. Farrell, an elderly woman living in Cedarbook townhouses, apartment number 731. Upon arrival at Mrs. Farrell’s home, Lieutenant Decker noticed no flames or smoke, but smelled a strong burning odor. Lieutenant Decker asked Mrs. Farrell how long she had smelled the odor and if there were any other occupants in her apartment. Mrs. Farrell stated the odor woke her up at 2:15 A.M., just before she called the fired department and that she lived alone. Lieutenant Decker sent Firefighters Farbar and Fulton to investigate the source of the odor. As soon as they entered the living room, dark smoke began to seep up through the heating grates on the floor, so they went to the basement to investigate. Lieutenant Decker took Mrs. Farrell to one of the vehicles outside and sent two other firefighters to awaken and evacuate the individuals in the surrounding townhouse apartments. Upon entering the basement, Firefighters Farber and Fulton immediately discovered the source of the fire. Some old wooden furniture had been stored too close to the furnace and had caught fire. Firefighter Farber began to put out the flames with the fire extinguisher he had carried in with him. Firefighter Fulton went outside to get additional help.
7. Mrs. Farrell called the Fire Department because she awoke to:
A. the sight of flames
B. the sight of smoke
C. the sound of sparks
D. a burning odor
8. The fire in Mrs. Farrell’s apartment had started in:
A. the heating duct that led into the living room
B. some old furniture stored in the basement
C. Mrs. Farrell’s bedroom
Merit Matters, a civic organization of current and retired members of the FDNY, has launched a petition drive in support of the city’s lawsuit. Please click here to sign the petition on the Sullivan & Galleshaw website.
Sullivan & Galleshaw, Attorneys at Law, are working pro bono for Merit Matters, which is dedicated to preserving merit in the FDNY testing, hiring and promotion process. Their goal is to ensure standards are high, meaningful, equally applied and blind to race, gender or ethnicity.
They aim to ensure that written and physical exams are not pre-designed to pass unqualified applicants, but rather guarantee that the most qualified applicants are chosen.
On their website, Sullivan & Galleshaw states that they believe strongly in equal opportunity for all people and firmly believes that the health and safety of FDNY members and those whom they are charged with the responsibility of rescuing are not compromised by political agendas. Merit Matters is supported by the following FDNY fraternal organizations: The FDNY Emerald Society, St. George Society, The Honor Legion, Fire Flag, The Pulaski Society, Ner Tamid, Steuben Association and The Vikings.