Chicago ordered to hire black fire fighters so that their share of the jobs better reflects their share of the population

Hiring by racial quotas still occurs. The question is how this fits in with past Supreme Court decisions. He here something that I published in 2000 in Economic Inquiry explaining this issue:

Yet, since Richmond v. Croson [1989], the Supreme Court has held that these preferences must pass the difficult "strict scrutiny test" and will be invalidated unless they promote a "compelling" governmental interest. Remedial efforts to rectify past discrimination will only be approved if narrowly tailored to correct specific instances of discrimination. . . . "The [strict scrutiny] test also ensures that the means chosen 'fit' this compelling goal so closely that there is little or no possibility that the motive for classification was illegitimate racial preference or stereotype." . . . In the case of police, this means that minority police officers are being employed not because diversity is intrinsically valued but because it is believed to help lower the crime rate.

Now from the Chicago Sun-Times:

When results from the 1995 entrance exam were disappointing for minorities, the city established a cut-off score of 89 and hired randomly from the top 1,800 “well-qualified” candidates.

In 2005, a federal judge ruled that the city’s decision had the effect of perpetuating the predominantly white status quo, since 78 percent of those ‘“well-qualified’’ candidates were white.

Currently 19 percent of Chicago’s 5,000 firefighters and paramedics are African-American. The force is 68 percent white and 11 percent Hispanic.

“By comparison to the Police Department, African-Americans are dramatically under-represented. There will [now] be 111 additional African-Americans. That’s a very good thing,” Karsh said. . . .



Blogger Chas said...

They hired randomly from the top 1,800 “well-qualified” candidates? Randomly? I doubt it. It's more likely that they chose a cut-off that created a pool of 1,800 candidates that included their family members and friends, so that they could "randomly" practice nepotism and cronyism.

8/18/2011 7:05 AM  
Blogger Martin G. Schalz said...

Taking Chicago and politics out of this equation, I must say that being a former firefighter myself, I sure as heck would not want to depend on an individual who could not pass the entrance exam, and be allowed to pass through fire school with substandard grades just because someone wants to rectify past injustices.

Let us suppose that these types of 'rectifications' were imposed on our military's special operations units... How many of our folks would die as a result of poorly trained personnel because they had to be allowed to be a part of the team?

Being judged by one's merits and one's will to succeed is fair. Forcing unqualified indivduals onto teams that must have a high degree of training and skills, is not only dangerous, but is unfair to the person(s) being given the 'right' to be a low acheiver.

Allowing lesser skilled and educated folks to proceed into jobs or schools simply sets them up for failure, and reinforces (wrongly, I might add), the stereotype that certain races cannot be high achievers.

The Tuskegee Airman Experiment showed that the stereotypes of the day were not only wrong, but produced the 99th Pursuit Squadron which excelled in it's mission in spite of all of the obstacles that were placed in their way. Hell, those obstacles made those men and women far better at their jobs. That is not to say that obstacles should be employed, but that they refused to succumb to those whom wished to prove them wrong.

I am certain that if the social programs that created a permanent lower class did not exist, and that Dr. King's dream of folks being judged by the content of their character, and not the color of their skin came true, we would not be having this discussion.

The entrance exams are based upon test scores, not skin color! Why cannot many see the damage done by socialism? All we need to do, is ensure that all get a good education regardless of color, and we would not need so called 'affirmative action' rules that maintain the status quo of select groups not needing to excel, thereby perpetuating stereotypes...

8/19/2011 1:58 PM  

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