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    Default St. Louis Black Firefighters' Union

    I recently read an article on firehouse.com about a group calling themselves the Firefighters' Institute for Racial Equality seeking an injunction to block promotions in the City of St. Louis F.D. because they believed the tests were unfair. Frankly, I was appalled by this article. The article states that the top scorer on the battalion chiefs exam was black, along with 2 of the top 5 scorers and I belief 7 of the top 20 being black. Boy, that doesn't sound too unfair to me. Now, I'm not a racist person, but what gives the black firefighters in St. Louis the right to form their own black firefighters union? Isn't that reverse racism? What if the white firefighters in St. Louis decided to form a white firefighters union? You can bet that there would be plenty of people making a pretty big stink about that. Law suits would be flying all over the place. Luckily, a federal judge didn't see the issue the same way that the black firefighters union did, and he refused to issue a preliminary injunction to block the promotions.

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    Now, I'm not a racist person, but what gives the black firefighters in St. Louis the right to form their own black firefighters union?
    Because there's been a proven and disturbing system of racism by white people against African-Americans in this country for over two hundred years, perhaps?

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    I see where you are coming from ironmint, but it's not just there. I know I've heard of quite a few others. Back when I was in college, there was a Black Student Union, a Black Homecoming, etc....... We also had the sam kind of thing for hispanics, and maybe even asians......

    My personal opinion.........

    I think it's wrong. What happened 250 years ago or even 50 years ago isn't happening now.......... I think there is no need for it

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    I think it's wrong. What happened 250 years ago or even 50 years ago isn't happening now.......... I think there is no need for it
    While the numbers of blacks lynched in the streets or burned out of their homes and churches are certainly down from those of years ago, to believe racism doesn't exist today is being naive. I'm sure that if white Americans found themselves in the minority some day, they would sure want to empower themselves, as well. Unions are formed to look after the best interests of certain groups; groups who may have been discriminated against in the past. To say that black Americans don't need unions because racism "isn't happening now" like it did fifty years ago is like saying that the IAFF (or any blue-collar union, for that matter) shouldn't exist, because pay and workplace conditions are much better than they were in the early days. I, for one, do not feel threatened by such groups.

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    Default Racism?

    If there is any racism going on it by this black union. They are the ones practicing the very things that they supposedly are against. Not just this union alone but all these exclusive minority groups. What an uproar if there was a white union or a national orginization dedicated to only whites. I personally hate the hypenated terms that are given to minorities. Why aren't we all just AMERICANS. I am sure you libs out there want to rip me for not being with the PC crowd. Oh well it's just my opinion.

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    BUGGY5632
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    What an uproar if there was a white union or a national orginization dedicated to only whites.
    There is several of them that provide service to a certain group. Knights of Columbus, Ancient Order of Hibernians, Sons of Italy etc. I am sure there are other out there.

    As far as hyphenated names are concerned. Being African, Hispanic, Irish, Italian-American etc. pays respect and homage to your ancestors. Now I do believe I am an American first, but to have the title of my ancestry as well does not make anyone more or less PC than the other person. There would be no more Chinatowns, Little Italys, Harlem and Spanish Harlems. Now that would really suck wouldn't it. Do you know how much great food we would be missing out on????

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    Default ..........

    ..........
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    Originally posted by ThNozzleman

    While the numbers of blacks lynched in the streets or burned out of their homes and churches are certainly down from those of years ago, to believe racism doesn't exist today is being naive. I'm sure that if white Americans found themselves in the minority some day, they would sure want to empower themselves, as well. Unions are formed to look after the best interests of certain groups; groups who may have been discriminated against in the past. To say that black Americans don't need unions because racism "isn't happening now" like it did fifty years ago is like saying that the IAFF (or any blue-collar union, for that matter) shouldn't exist, because pay and workplace conditions are much better than they were in the early days. I, for one, do not feel threatened by such groups.
    Maybe I should have made it clearer. I never meant that racism doesn't exist. I also never said I was threatened by them. I just think it's wrong.

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    I just think it's wrong.
    I suppose I was just trying to figure out exactly why you think it is wrong for a group of people who have been systematically discriminated against for years to form groups to support each other and their best interests. I don't know about where you are from, but here, racism and bigotry are alive and doing well. But I suppose certain people should just roll over and be thankful things are not as bad as they used to be.

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    Racism and bigotry comes in all colors...
    Last edited by CaptainGonzo; 08-01-2004 at 05:10 PM.
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    Originally posted by ThNozzleman

    I suppose I was just trying to figure out exactly why you think it is wrong for a group of people who have been systematically discriminated against for years to form groups to support each other and their best interests. I don't know about where you are from, but here, racism and bigotry are alive and doing well. But I suppose certain people should just roll over and be thankful things are not as bad as they used to be.
    So would it be OK if a group of caucasian firefighters formed a separate union in a predominantly minority department??? Because then the caucasians would be the minority?

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    Racism amd bigotry come in all colors...
    Well said!
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    Posted by ironmint
    The article states that the top scorer on the battalion chiefs exam was black, along with 2 of the top 5 scorers and I belief 7 of the top 20 being black.
    Maybe these well qualified candidates aren't "black" enough for F.I.R.E.?
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    Originally posted by ThNozzleman

    I suppose I was just trying to figure out exactly why you think it is wrong for a group of people who have been systematically discriminated against for years to form groups to support each other and their best interests. I don't know about where you are from, but here, racism and bigotry are alive and doing well. But I suppose certain people should just roll over and be thankful things are not as bad as they used to be.
    Of course racism is still out there. There are plenty of racist white people and there are also plenty of racist black people. Creating a "black" union is plain and simply RACISM. Fighting racism with racism doesn't make it right. There sure as heck aren't any "white" firefighter unions out there. As far as I'm concerned, I don't care if your black, white or green. As long as you can do the job, it doesn't matter what color you are. We're all the same when we put on the uniform. I don't think creating black firefighter unions, or black colleges, or black television channels is the answer to fight racism. The only thing it does is **** non-blacks off, because now the non-blacks are being discriminated against.

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    So would it be OK if a group of caucasian firefighters formed a separate union in a predominantly minority department??? Because then the caucasians would be the minority?
    Certainly; provided they can prove a long-standing sytem of inequity against white people, just because of the color of their skin. But, you're not going to find that, I'm afraid.
    Of course racism is still out there. There are plenty of racist white people and there are also plenty of racist black people.
    Sure; unfortunately, the racism of whites towards other races (especially by those in powerful positions) FAR exceeds the racism of African-Americans, whose "racism" in turn is mostly the result of hundreds of years of terrible treatment and civil abuse.
    Creating a "black" union is plain and simply RACISM.
    Again, I do not agree; African-Americans are obviously one particular group that has been, and continues to be, discriminated against on a large scale. Are relations better today than they were? Certainly. Are they where they need to be? Nowhere near.
    There sure as heck aren't any "white" firefighter unions out there.
    Perhaps, there is no reason for them, because white people have not suffered the mistreatment for the length of time that other races in this nation have. It's good to be king, huh?
    As far as I'm concerned, I don't care if your black, white or green. As long as you can do the job, it doesn't matter what color you are. We're all the same when we put on the uniform.
    If that's really how you feel, then it's unfortunate that others (especially those in powerful positions) don't think they way you do. But if you think that people are considered the "same" when they put on a uniform, you need to move to the South for a while. I assure you, they are NOT treated the same.
    I don't think creating black firefighter unions, or black colleges, or black television channels is the answer to fight racism. The only thing it does is **** non-blacks off, because now the non-blacks are being discriminated against.
    So, these people should stand idly by and let local issues of racism go unchecked, just so "non-blacks" don't get ****ed off? While I don't agree with the practice of hiring people based on who they are, instead of what they know and can do, I'm also not naive enough to even BEGIN to compare the so-called "discrimination" of white people to the pure misery and disgrace that other races and groups have been subjected to for hundreds of years. The intent of my post was not to address the particular hiring practices of any one department; only to defend the rights of one group (who have been discriminated against on a large scale) to form a union to address the particular issues affecting their well-being, today. And one of those issues is the continuing discrimination against them, based on something they cannot control.

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    Racism, of any color is pure ignorance. My department is extremely divided by race also. We have the International Association of Black Professional Firefighters Association here. They look out for their own also, they have succeeded in putting convicted felons on the job, and rendering our drug control policy obsolete. They also succeeded in having the written portion of our hiring process ruled culturally biased, even though they could cite no questions which were indeed biased. We now have persons who were hired 14 months ago who are recieving retro-active senority to 1993 because of the written test ruling. There by jumping over close to 400 members who have been hired since 1993, meaning they pick vacations and engine house assignments first, over those who have been with and served the department for the whole period of time in question here. We won't bother talking about the back pay each one recieved from the city, other than to ask if 10 years worth of back pay sounds alright to any of you.I guess racism is in the eye of the beholder. Just in my little corner of the world, the black firefighters association is useless, that is other than to further the divide along race lines. I cant speak for the brothers in St. Louis, but here the IABPFF is doing an outsanding job of hindering the elimination of racism. As I stated before, racism by any color is pure ignorance.
    Last edited by jasper45; 08-01-2004 at 06:17 PM.

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    By forming a union for Black Firefighters (or anything else for that matter) segregates them from the general population and vice versa........

    Funny, I thought segregation was abolished many years ago........

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    By forming a union for Black Firefighters (or anything else for that matter) segregates them from the general population and vice versa........
    I agree with societies, such as the Emerald Societies or the Vulcan Societies, but to have a "union" strictly for a certain race or nationality is not the way to accomplish things. As a society, the issues can be ironed out without turmoil.

    Of course racism is still out there. There are plenty of racist white people and there are also plenty of racist black people. Creating a "black" union is plain and simply RACISM. Fighting racism with racism doesn't make it right. There sure as heck aren't any "white" firefighter unions out there. As far as I'm concerned, I don't care if your black, white or green. As long as you can do the job, it doesn't matter what color you are. We're all the same when we put on the uniform. I don't think creating black firefighter unions, or black colleges, or black television channels is the answer to fight racism. The only thing it does is **** non-blacks off, because now the non-blacks are being discriminated against.
    The only part I agree with is about we all do the job the same no matter what color. BUT... When it comes to Black Television channels, colleges etc., you have to read into what and why these were put into place to begin with. Any non-black can get a job at BET, go to church at a predominantly Black Church, and get an education at a Historically Black College and University, and join NAACP. I have seen it firsthand. BET is no different that Univision or Telemundo for Hispanics. Or even Al-Jazeera for that matter, you are reaching a certain demographic.

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    I'm sure Chicago isn't unique but the Black Union in CFD has put the pressure on the department to the extent that actual criminal activities committed by Black firefighters have gotten swept under the carpet.
    We are all firefighters Black, White, Female etc. and as long as a FIREFIGHTER can do the job they are welcome by me. The second they can't then they need to go whatever the race or sex.
    Promotions based on race has hurt the CFD and policies created to force equality hurts the fireservice.

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    Originally posted by jasper45
    Racism, of any color is pure ignorance. My department is extremely divided by race also. We have the International Association of Black Professional Firefighters Association here. They look out for their own also, they have succeeded in putting convicted felons on the job, and rendering our drug control policy obsolete. They also succeeded in having the written portion of our hiring process ruled culturally biased, even though they could cite no questions which were indeed biased. We now have persons who were hired 14 months ago who are recieving retro-active senority to 1993 because of the written test ruling. There by jumping over close to 400 members who have been hired since 1993, meaning they pick vacations and engine house assignments first, over those who have been with and served the department for the whole period of time in question here. We won't bother talking about the back pay each one recieved from the city, other than to ask if 10 years worth of back pay sounds alright to any of you.[list]
    That's just absolutely ridiculous. I took a lot of firefighter exams in a few different states before I finally got on the job, and I never saw any that were racially or culturally bias. I hate to say it, but it seems that the racial issue thing is only an excuse for people that fail the exam. And to offer these guys 10 yrs of seniority and back pay! What kind of idiotic judge would make that kind of ruling? That is just completely asinine. Even if someone passes the written exam, there is still the rest of the proces to go through and there is no guarantee that they would even get hired.

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    Ok I hear both side here, and maybe iam just ignorant to the facts. But I thought we are all supposed to be bothers and sisters.I don't see how segragating yourself from any group will help. Your argument about empowering yourselves is great, but the alienation of everybody else that will eventually do more harm than good. (in my opinion) Iam a white male and can not begin to understand this racism thing. My wife (who is black) and I have conversations about these types of things but we both remain on common ground. Where i live black fire recruits are taken over white. Which i can understand if qualification where the same but some time they are not. This is where most of our discussions start. and they are disgusions we do not fight over this. I am just trying to under stand why we can all live together as people.

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    Last edited by randell; 08-02-2004 at 04:11 PM.

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    Lynn Adelman is the name of the judge in question. He is a Clinton appointee, nominated Septemeber 8, 1997. He has a history of "liberal" interpretations of the law. He has and continues to hold a series of controversial cases in the area, including overturning the confession of an admitted cop-killer. For him to make a decision on a case such as the one brought forward by the IABPFF, is not really a surprize to anyone locally.

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    nozzelman,
    Appearently you missed Barack Obama's speech at the DNC convention. He said there is no black americans, latin americans or white americans.

    I'm trying to understand just what you are for and what you are trying to change. How is giving black firefighters their own union fixing problems of the past or present? What is funny is if you were TOLD that you would have your own union you would be outraged. Some black people today have forgotten what all the work of Martin Luther King was all about. It was about equality. Only problem is you just want the best things of equality. You don't want the equality of getting turned down for a job or any other negative aspects in life that everyone experiences. Nothing should've made you negatively special in the past and nothing should make you positively special now. The things black people fought for in the 60's to get rid of you are demanding now. What you are doing is demanding your own water fountain, your own bathrooms, and your own special seats on the bus. Let's see if you're fullfilling his dream...

    But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
    Unfortunetly, black people today demand to be judged by the color of their skin. The words in his speeches was meant as much for blacks and it did for everyone else. But when blacks recieved the equality by the end of the 70's the NAACP and Jesse Jackson suddenly found themselves out of a job and without a cause to keep them in the limelight. Hence the birth of rights beyond equality.

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    Oh great. Here we go again. Poptart is playing the bleeding heart again. Of course he's right and everyone else is wrong (as usual).

    Ok, on to the issue. Unions that exclude any particular party for any reason are prejudiced and or racist. Having a black union is unnacceptable, along with having black entertainment television etc.

    Anyone with a little bit os sense would know that we could never have a white union or white entertainment television.

    If that's really how you feel, then it's unfortunate that others (especially those in powerful positions) don't think they way you do. But if you think that people are considered the "same" when they put on a uniform, you need to move to the South for a while. I assure you, they are NOT treated the same.
    I live in the south, and from what I have been able to tell no one really cares what color your skin if you save their house from burning down. You think someone would refuse to let a black medic work on them? Come down here to Gadsden County some time. Most of the population is black and most of the firefighters are white (in the volunteer stations). Do we refuse to put out a black-owned house? No. Do blacks refuse to let us put out their house or work on them? No.

    On another subject, how can you be an 'African-American' if you weren't born in Africa?

    Someone please quote me so Poptart can see what I have to say. Get down off of your soapbox boy.
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    Hey all I have to say is that the "racial" lawsuits are currently working in my favor. The Ohio Highway Patrol was sued not long ago because of their few minorities. Well my wife applied and we are waiting on testing times. My wife is also mexican so she is a "Coveted" double minority. If she gets hired she will be making more in her first year than I do in my fourth.


    I think that all hiring should be merit/qualification based. I don't care if you are white, black, brown, green, purple what ever......as long as you can hump hose, handle the knob and fight the beast its all good. But don't send me some dope dealing, murdering, ex-felon and tell me he is the guy I have to trust with my life.
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