FROM: The American Thinker
Firefighters and Racism
By Eileen F. Toplansky
June 17th, 2012
Among the highlights in this MUST READ article is the author (Eileen Toplansky) referring often to the powerful Amicus Curiae Brief written and presented by Keith Sullvan & Jay Galleshaw;
"In June of 2009, Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis of the Federal District Court in Brooklyn ruled that two firefighting written examinations administered in 1999 and 2002 "unfairly excluded hundreds of qualified people of color from the opportunity to serve as New York City firefighters." This ruling was a result of a 2007 lawsuit by the Justice Department after a federal complaint by the Vulcan Society, an association of black firefighters.
"Then, on March 8, 2012, Judge Garaufis ordered New York City to pay $128 million to those firefighters who alleged that the city used the entrance exam to deliberately keep African-Americans and Latino Americans off the force. The "judge also ordered the FDNY to hire 293 black and Latino applicants."...
"...In the "Brief for Amicus Curiae Merit Matters" 11-5113-CV, the reader learns of Merit Matters, Inc, founded in April of 2012, which was created "out of concern for deteriorating standards for hiring and promoting within the FDNY." Merit Matters advocates:
“...for a strictly merit-based hiring system within the FDNY and strongly rejects the 'equal outcomes' approach to equal opportunity, and believes that Title VII lawsuits are often used as a vehicle through which legitimate, race-blind, employment examinations and race-neutral selection procedures are unfairly attacked by unqualified and unsuccessful job applicants who seek judicial invalidation of such procedures purely as a means to gain unfair preferences and advantages over others on the basis of their race or ethnicity.”
Furthermore, "Merit Matters believes that race-based hiring and promotional selection procedures imposed as a remedy for racial statistical disparities in qualifications are not only unlawful...but antithetical to the FDNY's mission. Moreover, imposition of such measures on public safety and first responder agencies has a deleterious effect on morale[.]"
"The Brief explains how the City met with firefighters to "evaluate, or 'link' critical job tasks such as search and rescue, scene evaluation, ventilation, and salvage," in order to create questions for these examinations...
"...Even more distressing, according to the Amicus, is that the "District Court has presumed the liability findings bestow the power to interfere with practices which were neither alleged by the Vulcans nor found to be discriminatory" in the first place. Thus, "the injunction is invasive judicial oversight of the FDNY for a minimum of ten years via a special monitor with no knowledge or experience in firefighting and disaster response."
Consequently, "[t]he District Court's judgment and injunction essentially require the City to lower standards and abandon efforts to achieve excellence. Merit-based hiring is being replaced with race-based or quota-based hiring." In fact, Merit Matters cites the situation where:
"...as part of the remedial measure aimed at combating the alleged intentional discrimination, the District Court ordered door-to-door home visits of black applicants who failed to properly complete the upcoming test application. During these personal visits a Vulcan Society member would assist the candidate in completing the application, to be re-submitted four months past the deadline. (DE #783). Merit Matters is troubled by the extension of such an undeniable privilege on the explicit basis of race, especially against the District Court's own racial rhetoric denouncing the FDNY as a bastion of white male privilege based on nothing but statistics. The fact that the District Court will deny the privilege of untimely submission of applications to candidates of another race raises troubling implications: it amounts to a judicial order for racially disparate treatment of applicants. Merit Matters believes firmly that a failure to properly complete and timely submit an application itself flags one's unfitness for the job. Notably, Merit Matters offered to conduct home visits to all candidates regardless of skin color. That offer was rejected."
Thus, in order to prevent racial discrimination, discrimination on the basis of race is being utilized!
.Merit Matters once AGAIN thanks Keith Sullivan and Jay Galleshaw of Sullivan & Galleshaw for their tireless and incomparable efforts on this issue. They've consistently taken the lead in this struggle and their Amicus Curiae Brief has been hailed as being more thorough, complete and concise than the City's own Notice of Appeal!