The Washington Times had an excellent editorial yesterday on the follies of federal judge Nicholas Garaufis-something we have had a lot to say on over the past few months. The editorial highlights how political correctness sometimes harms exactly those folks who it's trying to help-this time the Black applicants to the FDNY: "Firefighters live to rescue, but political correctness is undermining this important mission in the Big Apple. Currently, 406 of 8,654 budgeted positions at the Firefighters Department of New York (FDNY) are unfilled because a federal judge and the Justice Department insist rescuing ability must bow to racial quotas. On Dec. 15, the left-wing Village Voice described the plight of several black firefighter candidates who aced the FDNY entrance exam, only to be blocked from entering the Fire Academy because U.S. district Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis decided the test was too tough for some minority candidates to pass."
Even the Voice, however, couldn't find just where the applicant exam was in any way discriminatory: "There’s no question that there is something very wrong with how the FDNY adds new employees...But is the entrance exam really to blame? And can it be called racist simply because blacks and Latinos don’t score as well as whites, even when the questions have no discernible racial component to them at all?"
Well, according to Garaufis it is because of the, "disparate impact," argument: "It’s hard to see any racial discrimination in the individual questions from past exams that the Voice was able to obtain. But that doesn’t change the fact that minority groups have fared worse in them. The court even has a legal term for it: “disparate impact.” And the thing is, it’s not against the law for a hiring test to create disparate impact, as long as that test evaluates the vital skills necessary for job performance. But the FDNY’s critics charge that its exams don’t really determine who will or will not turn out to be a good firefighter."
Tell that to the Black applicants who are being hosed-just like those in New Haven that the Supreme Court came to the rescue of. Listen to their plight: "Nafis Sabir is an African-American who wants to be a New York City firefighter. When he sat for the city’s most recent exam in January 2007, known as test “6019,” he scored in the top handful out of nearly 22,000 candidates. “I was 29 at the time,” the former Marine says, “and the test wasn’t that hard. You study for it, and it takes some discipline. But I already had a lot of life experience to do that. Maybe some younger guys don’t.” Sabir says the exam answers were often comically obvious. “They might ask, ‘Someone comes in the firehouse and looks at you with a crazy look. You can speak to him about it, talk to a supervisor, or punch him in the face. Which one should you not do?’ ” He laughs joylessly. If the test was easy, subsequent events have been difficult."
That's because Sabir, like the other minority applicants that made it, will now have to take the exam over again. But there's a rub-now he and some of his cohort will be too old to be admitted. What did the Vulcan Society-the group supposed to represent Black firefighters-have to say?
Dion Hines is another victim:-let him tell you: "Hines and his classmates seem to be nearly as frustrated with another group that’s supposed to be on their side: the Vulcans. Hines and Cargin were in a small group of African-American members from their class to meet with the organization of black firefighters. Hines says that the club’s president, John Coombs, “literally called us ‘casualties of war.’ That created a lot of tension, because I knew they were willing to sacrifice us.”
Nice, huh? And what is the Justice Department doing? Siding with the judge and the quota system. As the Wash Times points out: "
The lead Justice Department attorney in the FDNY case is Loretta King, who ordered the dismissal of most voter-intimidation charges against Black Panthers in Philadelphia and who is hip-deep in other race-based legal controversies. On Sept. 30, she wrote a memo to Judge Garaufis pitching four proposals to require "representative" or "proportional" quotas. Ms. King glosses over the professional challenges of firefighting to focus on whether minorities feel "stigmatized" or if black firefighters could further their "sense of fairness in their place of employment" if surrounded by more workers of their own race."
Oh, good grief! How about defending Sabir and Hines? And make no mistake about it, Garaufis is on a quota or bust venture: "Judge Garaufis is trying to impose quotas, and the Justice Department backs him. This push disregards a high-profile 2009 Supreme Court decision knocking down the same practices. In Ricci v. DeStefano, the court ruled the city of New Haven, Conn., could not discard the results of an objective, neutral firefighter test merely because of a racially disparate passage rate. To do so would be to deliberately choose or reject applicants on the basis of their race, and "this express, race-based decision-making violates Title VII" of the Civil Rights Act."
Not in the Holder Justice Department-where the civil rights division simply doesn't believe in the concept of race neutral-and the judge is, of course, nothing but a disgrace: "Judge Garaufis is trying to impose quotas, and the Justice Department backs him. This push disregards a high-profile 2009 Supreme Court decision knocking down the same practices. In Ricci v. DeStefano, the court ruled the city of New Haven, Conn., could not discard the results of an objective, neutral firefighter test merely because of a racially disparate passage rate. To do so would be to deliberately choose or reject applicants on the basis of their race, and "this express, race-based decision-making violates Title VII" of the Civil Rights Act."
We need the House Investigations Committee to take a long hard look at the Holder patterns over at Justice-and it can begin by bringing charges against all of the officials who lied before Congress on the Black Panther Case. In any sane world, we would be lauding the achievements of Firefighters Sabir and Hines-but that wouldn't be the world where Eric Holder lives.