It IS indeed frustrating to many people that higher standards have been equated to "discrimination" by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), the FDNY Vulcan Society leadership AND federal judge Nicholas Garaufis, BUT that too often seems to be the rationale when the outcomes don't look the way some judges or politicians think they "should" look.
Even worse, in this case, are the outright lies being peddled about both the City of New York and the FDNY. Far from there any bigotry AGAINST non-Latino black New Yorkers within New York City's Municipal workforce, that group is the ONLY ethnic group in the city that is OVER-represented by MORE than 10% of their numbers in the general population!
Non-Latino blacks are 23% of New York City's population and 36% of the city's workforce. The only other group that's at all over-represented is non-Latino whites, who at 35% of the population are 38% of the city's workforce. Hispanics (28% of the population) are under-represented (18%) and Asians (12%) are the MOST under-represented (6%).
Perhaps, U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis’ decision that a court-appointed auditor will examine the recruitment, testing and hiring of entry-level firefighters for at least 10 years SHOULD BE expanded to New York City’s ENTIRE workforce as no New York City agency “LOOKS anything LIKE NYC” and with Asians and Hispanics so greatly UNDER-represented with one group (non-Latino black new Yorkers) so OVER-represented, some intervention to make the city’s entire workforce better “mirror New York” SHOULD BE supported by those who’ve fought for that position vis-à-vis the FDNY.
Indeed, if NYC's workforce "should look like NYC," then a lot of non-Latino black workers will have to make way for far more Asians and Hispanic workers!
Merit Matters has never supported that kind of "proportionalism" because we believe that people tend to gravitate to jobs they have an interest in and WANT to do....AND all jobs should have some basic standards/requirements, BUT if that is the standard to be imposed, then it MUST be imposed across-the-board. For this judge (Nicholas Garaufis) to claim "reading comprehension isn't important to firefighting" is absolutely absurd because virtually every aspect of firefighting today requires a serious commitment to reading and continued education.
With these recent FDNY entrance "exams" calibrated to Grammar School reading levels (7th and 8th grade levels), it SHOULD BE an insult to all African-Americans that some (like the Vulcan leadership and the CCR) are claiming that such standards "discriminate against blacks."
That SHOULD BE an outrage!
It's sad that it isn't.