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Reverse Discrimination Case in CT

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by RightHand, Apr 23, 2009.

  1. RightHand

    RightHand Pioneer in a New World Moderator Founding Member

    04/22/2009 --

    As the Supreme Court heard oral arguments over New Haven's decision to scrap a promotion exam because too few minorities passed, the justices appeared divided. The question is whether the civil rights of top-scoring white applicants were violated and could have broad implications for how all employers handle the issue of race.

    The city tossed out findings from the test fearing it would open itself up to lawsuits from black firefighters, since none who took the test landed among the highest scorers.

    Instead, the city was sued by the group now known as the "New Haven 20" -- the 19 white firefighters and one Hispanic firefighter who were not promoted.


    The key may lie with Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy. "It looked at the results and classified successful and unsuccessful applicants by race," said Kennedy, who often frowns on racial classifications.

    But where Kennedy saw shades of gray, the rest of the court seemed to view the case clearly in terms of black and white.

    The court's conservative bloc seemed inclined to side with the white firefighters. "You had some applicants who were winners and their promotion was set aside," Associate Justice Antonin Scalia said.

    The liberals indicated that New Haven did nothing wrong by throwing out the test over concerns that it had a "disparate impact" on minorities in violation of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

    A ruling against the city, Associate Justice David Souter said, could leave employers in a "damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't situation." Souter's comment reflected the concern of business interests who said in a court filing that a decision in favor of the white firefighters would place employers in an untenable position of having to choose whether to face lawsuits from disgruntled white or minority workers.

    The federal appeals court in New York upheld a lower court ruling dismissing the lawsuit.

    The case has drawn input from interest groups across the ideological spectrum. The Obama administration has weighed in mainly on the city's side, although it recommends allowing the lawsuit to proceed on a limited basis.

    A decision will not be delivered until later this year.
  2. RightHand

    RightHand Pioneer in a New World Moderator Founding Member

    It begs the question "Why give the test at all?" Next thing you know the Department of Happiness and Department of Political Correctness will just pick one white, one black, and one hispanic. No one will have to achieve anything. Everybody happy?
  3. ancona

    ancona Monkey++

    I would like to know why this is being called reverse discrimination. Could it be that the PTB thinks that only blacks are discriminated against? Just try and get a position in a school or state house. By the time the minority, Hispanic, gay and women quotas are filled with people who most of the time are not the highest qualified applicants, there is nothing left.

    Sound a little bitter? You bet. I am sick and tired of the political correctness movement taking the quality out of our lives with forced hiring of people bases solely on skin color, sexual preference or nationality.

    Until we all grow a thicker layer of skin, and return to the values set forth in the Constitution, we will all be slaves to the mindless attitude that no one is ever permitted to be offended, and to do so is to be considered a crime.
  4. Tracy

    Tracy Insatiably Curious Moderator Founding Member

    "If everyone is super then no one will be"

    News like this tends to anger me. Why have a standard if it is to be lowered so that substandard performance is acceptable? I believe that (especially where First Responders are concerned) the bar should be set high.
  5. Cephus

    Cephus Monkey+++ Founding Member

    This a sore spot for me ,they keep lowering the standards on everything and this is the way our children learn it so why try harder to be better or achieve the best grades because they no longer matter in the real world of the PC .

    I will hate to see this country in the next 20 years should I be lucky enough to still be here !!!
  6. kckndrgn

    kckndrgn Moderator Moderator Founding Member

    I haven't heard how many years they had been doing promotions this way, then suddenly, it isn't good enough, let's throw the test out.

    I did read somewhere, that the test was provided by an outside company, and it is checked and rechecked to eliminate any "racial" bias. Now how can a test have racial bias?

    Yup, the dumbing down of this country continues. First with schools (can't use red ink, everybody "passes", no child left behind, etc.)
  7. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member


    "Affirmative action" was put in place to equalize opportunity for those that could take advantage. What it really accomplished was to enable gradeflation. A college degree is now nearly as meaningless as a kindergarten "graduation" certificate. Anyone can have a degree at any level they care to claim whether or not they got an education to go with it.

    Somehow, some way, the message that not everyone can have or benefit from a "meaningful" education or career has to be brought into mainstream attention. Why do you suppose so many small colleges opened up over the last 20 years or so? Could it be that it has something to do with "higher" education becoming so common that anyone can become a college professor if the "college" doesn't demand (or cannot command) performance from the PhDs that they hire? I guess that can easily be extended down to kindergarten without difficulty. Can't help wondering how many pseudo PhDs it takes to perform necessary services like run a trash truck or serve up spaghetti. Now that the illegals are getting displaced by American workers (yes, it is happening) it comes as no surprise to me that gardeners now have higher educations.

    Just about 5 years ago, I was able to place a friend with half a year of college credits in a job that the company was advertising as requiring a masters. An absolute match, as it worked out. The salary was by no means sufficient to carry a real master's ticket, and really was not a job for a master's, a half finished high school degree would have done it with a smattering of experience and gumption. Corporate America has lost its sense of balancing jobs vs. education by force fitting ill suited workers to jobs designed around the abilities of the hiree rather than finding a hiree that can do the job. Keeps pseudo MBAs busy revising org charts, I guess.

    Too many people fail to recognize that they are limitations on abilities, and that there is no shame in facts of genetics or economic situation; and they become despondent and mentally wounded if they can't achieve some sort of goal set by TPTB entitlements for them. Everybody is (read that as "has to be") a winner does not cut it for me. (See also Frank, the politically incorrect father in "Everybody Loves Raymond." He is a crude curmudgeon in many ways, but often right.)

    Contrary to what this rave might indicate to some, I am not an elitist, I am a realist. The reality is that affirmative action has the unintended consequences of producing exactly the case that is before the Connecticut courts on the firefighters now. I, for one, saw it coming as did others, but our voices weren't heard at any level above the bridge table. To my mind, there is (or not) only discrimination. "Reverse" is a non starter in this application, and an abuse of language to boot. Let's call it spin, because that is all the meaning it has.

    IMHO, and maybe mine only. Off rant.
  8. kckndrgn

    kckndrgn Moderator Moderator Founding Member

    Well said!!!

  9. Cephus

    Cephus Monkey+++ Founding Member


    You hit the nail right on the head ,a college degree is really nothing more than a high school diploma was back in the day after WWII .
    They have managed to dumb down the people to the point where they swallow anything the Gov. says .
  10. RightHand

    RightHand Pioneer in a New World Moderator Founding Member

    I am in absolute agreement with you ghrit. You have put words to a subject that is extremely important - but there is another aspect to remember. The world needs plumbers and electricians and trash haulers as well as PhD's and engineers and accountants. There is no shame to working in a trade or simply at a job.

    Anyone who took Sociology 101 will remember the exercise we all went through - the premise was that the population of the earth was going to be destroyed and from a pool of people offered to us, we would select the dozen or so who would rebuild and repopulate the world. Since I returned to school as an mature adult, I was more interested in observing the selection criteria used by a group of 18 and 19 year olds. What they valued was education and youth - not a big surprise - but to a person they failed to even consider the 50 yr old mechanic or the 60 year old woman who knew how to spin, sew, knit, bake bread. I ended up writing my paper on the students rather than the result of the exercise.

    I, for one, am most grateful that there is someone who stocks the shelves at the supermarket as well as for the person running the shop machine makes all the various "things" that make my life easier. Those people are no less important to my day to day life than the doctor who treats me when I am ill.

    I decided many years ago that I would not define myself by my income and that proved to be a good decision. What I value most is a life well lived not the letters that follow my name.
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