In recent years, “Diversity-First” proponents have found they’ve had to switch tactics and openly misrepresent their agenda to advance their cause.
The public rightly considers high standards for Police, Fire and other Emergency personnel paramount, as they want THEIR employees to be able to do the jobs their assigned well.
But that is often NOT the perspective of many elected officials. Short-term political gain forged on group preferences, will be paid for by future administrations left to clean up the ensuing mess.
It’s happened every time “diversity” has been put ahead of merit and fitness.
Before the enactment of the Civil Service Merit System, which codified job-specific testing procedures open to all, such jobs were routinely filled via nepotism and cronyism run by the political Party in power.
For better than half a century America’s Civil Service has been open to all comers, with the same standards (the SAME written and physical exams) equally applied to ALL.
But the Merit System has increasingly come under fire by both racial-grievance mongers and politicians looking to return the nation’s Civil Service System back into a political patronage mill.
Because fewer blacks and Hispanics tend to take the exams for Police and Fire Departments around the country and because far fewer College-educated minorities take those exams, relative to whites, the resulting “disparate impact” (more minorities applicants failing relative to whites) has opened the merit System to attack by those who support a new form of political patronage.
The Dayton Daily News recently did a story on a 21-year old black applicant named Zachary Williams whose appointment has been held up due to such challenges. (SEE: http://www.daytondailynews.com/news/black-applicant-protests-lowering-police-entrance-exam-scores-1099043.html?cxtype=fb_mlt).
Mr. Williams’ test results are pending the outcome of the Justice Department’s demand that the city lower its passing score for a police exam to allow for a larger pool of black applicants, while the city defends its traditional passing grade (70%) by claiming that it is merely trying to ensure it hires the most qualified candidates.
The Dayton Police Union President, Randy bean noted, “Not enough African-Americans are taking the exam and we need to get in the schools and talk to kids about being in law enforcement. What we are doing here (lowering standards) is the definition of insanity.”
For his part, Mr. Williams says, “You can’t blame the city for the lack of diversity. This isn’t your normal 9 to 5 job and you have to want it. I don’t want to be in a department where I was hired because of my skin color. I want it because I earned it.”
Though this is often perceived and presented as a “racial issue,” it is NOT...it is a political one. That fact is made clear by the increasing number of minority voices opposing lowering standards in the name of “diversity,” as they know that this ultimately plays into the stereotype of the “presumed incompetence” of blacks. Keith Lander, chairman of the local Southern Christian Leadership Conference, said the lowering of the test score “is a slap in the face to black people.
But the pro-patronage politicians aren’t concerned about race any more than they’re concerned about standards and competence.
Listen to the way U.S. District Court Judge Walter Rice convolutes the argument AGAINST set standards; “I cannot make a legal judgment on the Justice Department’s method, but there are lots of instances where competent people test poorly,” said Judge Rice, adding, “What can happen in these cases, minorities are incorrectly branded as less qualified when they are infinitely qualified.”
If that’s indeed so, then why do Law Schools and medical Schools take in those applicants with the best grades and test score? According to his own views, those criteria too, form an unfair barrier to ALL who failed to reach them.
Rice, in supporting a “remedy” called “banding,” said that changing the hiring rule is one of the biggest steps the city can take if it is serious about diversifying its workforce.
In Judge Rice’s view, “There is no difference in the competency of a person who is No. 1 and No. 10 on the hiring list,” (says WHO?) adding that, “Dayton needs a charter amendment like other jurisdictions who have rules of three, five or 10 so it can hire the employees that are the best benefit to the city.”
The DoJ seems to completely agree with Judge Rice on this score, as Justice Department spokeswoman Xochitl Hinojosa noted in an e-mail Friday the goal of the lawsuits is to uphold the Civil Rights Act by removing “unnecessary barriers” in hiring practices. She added the Justice Department does not file lawsuits “based solely on the (diversity) numbers.”
That last line is an outright untruth, as the Department of Justice (DoJ) HAS filed a lawsuit against the FDNY precisely on “diversity numbers.”
For his part, Dayton Commissioner Dean Lovelace along with leaders from the Dayton chapters of the NAACP, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and other minority groups called for such a change (“banding”) last summer.
His fellow commissioners said they are interested in discussing a change and Mayor Gary Leitzell said he would support it “if it benefits the majority of the citizens of the city of Dayton.”
But how to convince the good citizens of Dayton that standards are unimportant and that courts rather than equally applied set standards best know who is “best qualified.”
Department of Justice spokeswoman Xochitl Hinojosa stated, “We only challenge examinations when we determine that the employer has failed to demonstrate the exam will do a good job of selecting qualified candidates,” she said.
But that assertion is challenged by testing companies that’ve been approved by various U.S. Courts. Stanard & Associates Inc., which produced numerous approved Civil Service tests around the country, defended its test in a letter to its customers in August; “Despite the vast amount of research S&A has accumulated, documenting the relationship between (the test’s) content and the job of law enforcement officer...the DOJ appears ready to combat usage of any selection instrument resulting in any amount of adverse impact against protected groups, even if the job-relatedness and validity of the (tests) have been established.”
It is that charge (“the DOJ seems ready to combat usage of any selection instrument resulting in any amount of adverse impact against protected groups, even if the job-relatedness and validity of the (tests) have been established”) that BOTH undermines Merit (reducing the quality of any prospective lists hired under such provisions) and supports a return to the anachronistic and vile system of political patronage.
In the end, NONE of this is about race or “diversity,” it’s about politics and a spoiled and “entitled” political class seeking more power for themselves.
SEE Full Dayton Daily News Article: http://www.daytondailynews.com/news/black-applicant-protests-lowering-police-entrance-exam-scores-1099043.html?cxtype=fb_mlt
AND VIDEO HERE: