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08-20-2011, 08:26 AM #11921Proud East Coast Traditionalist.
08-20-2011, 08:32 AM #11922
- Join Date
- Nov 2008
08-20-2011, 08:52 AM #11923
I will gladly have a legitimate discussion with you, discussing your supposed facts, when you drop the act, stop accusing us of falsely believing we think there is no more racism, and stop playing gotcha games. Until then, i will continue to treat your posts as morning amusement, not worthy of intelligent discussion. I flat out refuse to argue facts with someone who introduces straw men and false dichotomies during an exchange, sorry.
Last edited by nyckftbl; 08-20-2011 at 08:55 AM.Proud East Coast Traditionalist.
08-20-2011, 09:45 AM #11924
- Join Date
- Jul 2008
08-20-2011, 10:53 AM #11925
- Join Date
- May 1999
- Here, There, Everywhere
Merit Matters -- Press Release
August 18, 2011
While testifying under oath on August 16, 2011 retired FDNY Firefighter Lanaird Granger repeated a claim about finding a noose on his gear that he had originally made in 2005. I had a letter published in the Chief-Leader newspaper on April 7, 2006 which pointed out a number of contradictory statements made by FF Granger which cast doubt on the truthfulness of that claim. To date, no person or entity has responded to my refutation of his claim which lends credibility that the refutation is truthful.
In his recent testimony- again, given under oath- Granger appeared to make another contradictory claim; a claim that is easily proven false beyond the shadow of a doubt and one that apparently attempts to take advantage of the deaths of three FDNY members and the serious injury of four others. Consider this timeline:
January 19, 2005- Granger claims to have found the noose.
January 20, 2005 (the next day) - Granger testified he showed the noose to Vulcan President Captain Paul Washington and Lieutenant Michael Marshall. Granger stated they made the decision to delay filing a formal complaint because of the Line of Duty Deaths, referring to the Black Sunday tragedy.
January 23, 2005- the Black Sunday tragedy occurred, three days after Granger claimed it as the reason for the delay in filing a formal complaint.
February 10, 2005- Granger files a formal complaint. Note: there were no other FDNY Line of Duty deaths between January 19, 2005 and February 10, 2005.
February 18, 2005- a story appearing in the Chief-Leader reported that Granger “waited for three weeks to report it (discovery of the noose) because he couldn’t decide what to do”.
August 15, 2011- On the day before Granger’s testimony and casting further doubt on Granger’s claim as to the reason for the delay, Captain Paul Washington testified under oath that he could not recall what happened on Black Sunday. When pressed, and given some of the details of that day, he stated that he did remember some of the Bronx tragedy details but nothing about the death later that same day in Brooklyn. If Granger’s explanation for the delay is truthful it is very unlikely that Captain Washington would not be able to remember the facts of that tragic day.
Much is made of the fact that Granger’s noose claim has been substantiated but this determination is highly suspect. It was made by the FDNY EEO Unit, led at the time by Paulette Lundy, a civilian who once adamantly argued while advocating for more female firefighters that physical strength is not necessary for firefighting. In her ruling on this case she also noted that no one was identified as being directly involved in placing the noose but the motive was to retaliate against Granger for his association with the Vulcan Society. I questioned (in my April 7, 2006 letter) how she could discover a motive for an action when no one was found to have committed the action and I think for this reason, and the demonstrably false claim made by Granger recently, the investigation into this incident must be re-opened.
I also demand that an investigation be made into Granger’s possible perjury. Utilizing a potent, racially explosive symbol of terrorism in a false, misleading manner, exploiting the deaths of fellow firefighters for personal gain and lying under oath cannot go unpunished and if this is what Granger has done it must be investigated and, as Judge Garaufis has recently remarked, “let the chips fall where they may”.
1324 Forest Avenue
Staten Island, NY 10302
08-20-2011, 12:05 PM #11926
Take your agenda elsewhere.
Most of the people on here are trying and wanting to get hired by their own merit. Not the handouts you're inferring.
Racism is everywhere still. I'm not saying "live with it", but stop trying to imply that we're holding regular Clan meetings and conspiring to keep minorities out. That line of thinking is just as archaic.
08-20-2011, 12:22 PM #11927
- Join Date
- Aug 2010
I did google Sherita Sears when I first heard about her husband dying in the academy. This was about a month ago. And yes I did see that blatantly racist thread that is up online. But that is not evidence that the instructors at the academy had any racial motivations behind their training, unless the guys writing on that forum are the instructors themselves.
Suing for wrongful death on account of negligence or lack of proper safety / medical equipment makes sense but she did not sue for that. She sued alleging the death was part of a department-wide racial conspiracy. It seems far-fetched to me and once I saw the Vulcans had their hands in it, the claim seemed even more absurd. Everything bad that ever happens to any blacks on the job according to them, is because they are black.
If you look at the lawsuit brought by Meyran and Bellew, their widows sued because they were not equipped with safety ropes that the department stopped issuing in 2000, which they claimed could have saved both of their lives.
And lastly, I do not know if the Vulcans really care about minorities at all or if they exist just to cry racism. I believe it was Paul Washington that called the blacks and hispanics on 6019 that were set to get called for the next class "casualties of war". For someone who is fighting this "valiant fight" to protect us from discrimination, he wrote us off and told us tough sh*t pretty damn quick. If you really cared about minorities getting on the job, you would have let us minorities get on the job.
Instead we are victims of an imaginary war and your guess is as good as mine as to what the purpose of this "war" is. That leads me to think that though the vulcans claim to be about helping the minorities that took the test, the dont really care about the minorities that took the test, hence everything they do is fugazzi!
08-20-2011, 06:19 PM #11928
Probably posted already, but this article states the simple facts:
FDNY minority report
By MITCHEL MADDUX
Last Updated: 9:25 AM, August 10, 2011
Posted: 2:45 AM, August 10, 2011
What hiring gap? FDNY Commissioner Salvatore Cassano testified yesterday that the nation's largest fire department is making great strides toward increasing the number of minorities in its ranks.
Cassano took the stand at a special bench trial in Brooklyn federal court to gauge ways to attract more minorities to an agency where white men make up 93 percent of the force.
"We recruit as many minority candidates as we can . . . and then it's up to the candidates," he said after the hearing.
The trial grows out of a federal civil-rights suit by the Justice Department against the city over the FDNY's racial imbalance.
(Kind of preaching to the choir here though.)
08-22-2011, 07:28 AM #11929
- Join Date
- Feb 2008
Just throwing this out there...if you think about it it kinda makes sence. How many true minorities are there anymore? In my eyes if you were born in this country you are an AMERICAN, not what your family heritage is. It disgusts me to see people try and use thier heritage for personal leverage. Just think if everyone one had the mentality that "if you were born in The United States of America, you are an AMERICAN."
Unfortunaly people are too ignorant and still judge with thier eyes. Maybe if they just got rid of the whole "check which box is your ethnicity" and didnt make rediculous statistics on who passed what these problems wouldnt arise.
08-22-2011, 12:38 PM #11930
- Join Date
- Jul 2008
Court-ordered call for FDNY diversity costs $3.3M for new, unbiased civil service exams
The controversial upcoming FDNY exam will be the most expensive test in the city's history, the Daily News has learned.
The new civil service test, ordered by a Brooklyn federal judge who declared that previous FDNY exams discriminated against minorities, is expected to cost the city more than $3.3 million to develop and administer, officials said.
The cost of the previous Fire Department exam, given in 2007, was $1.3 million, according to officials at the Department of Citywide Administrative Services.
The huge jump in cost hasn't sat well in City Hall. "This litigation has forced some very costly mandates on the city for the development and administration of the test," said Julie Wood, spokeswoman for Mayor Bloomberg. "We have to pay for them."
Judge Nicholas Garaufis last year demanded that the city alter its method of recruiting firefighters and blocked the FDNY - which is 91% white - from hiring any candidates until a new test was created. The judge also mandated that the new test be created by an outside developer, instead of within DCAS - the agency that normally creates the city's exams.
The city hired California-based PSI Services to develop and give the test, which is expected to be given in the first few months of 2012.
The requirement to hire an expensive outside consultant has sent costs soaring, City Hall insiders grumbled.
The test will also for the first time be given on a computer and be overseen by a court-appointed special master, adding to the skyrocketing costs, officials said.
Typically, DCAS' in-house test writing team consults with agency supervisors and union leaders to develop an exam. This time, the agency is not involved with creating the test and is only coordinating communication between PSI and the FDNY.
The agency has so far paid PSI $526,000, according to a DCAS spokeswoman. Calls to PSI for comment were not returned.
The head of the Vulcan Society, the black firefighter organization that is suing the city over employment practices, believes the money is being well spent.
"That's the price we have to pay," said John Coombs. "The old system wasn't working and we have to find a system that will be equitable and fair. That system costs money."
The FDNY has also dramatically boosted its recruitment budget in an effort to attract more minority applicants - and escape Garaufis' wrath.
The Fire Department has spent more than $5 million on advertising and staffing for this test, up from the $2.2 million it spent before the 2007 exam, officials said. FDNY brass believe it's money well spent, as nearly 43% of the 21,000 people who have applied to take the test are candidates of color, up from 26% four years ago.
The deadline to apply for the exam is Sept. 15.
Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/...#ixzz1VmCnhGKW
08-23-2011, 10:56 AM #11931
- Join Date
- Jul 2008
Here are some stories around America's Police and Fire Departments that have been attacked by minorities. These stories come from http://adversity.net/horror.htm#5_police_fire
Austin, Texas: *White Male Officer Files Reverse Discrimination Lawsuit -- Austin police commander Harold Piatt is tired of being passed over for promotiion because he is white. *He filed a lawsuit against the Austin Police on June 26, 2007.
Los Angeles, California: *White Male WINS Reverse Discrimination Lawsuit -- LA Fire Captain Frank Lima made the mistake of holding a female recruit to the same standards as male recruits. *He was punished for his fairness, and he won $3.75 million for reverse discrimination and retaliation. (06-13-07)
New Haven, Connecticut: *Reverse Discrimination Against Firefighters -- New Haven refuses to promote the mostly white top scoring firefighters on the unbiased, race-neutral promotional exams for Captain and Lieutenant. *City is being sued for reverse discrimination. (12-11-06)
Dayton, Ohio Police Reverse Discrimination -- The City of Dayton learned that a chief cannot fire white officers to achieve forced diversity within its ranks. * Barbara Temple (a white officer) was awarded $1.2 million for reverse discrimination by the Dayton PD.
Pontiac, Michigan Firefighters -- The City of Pontiac, Michigan has been forced by the U.S. Justice Department to give white firefighters a fair and equal chance for employment within the department.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin Police -- Black police chief Arthur Jones hired mostly non-whites and non-males for this police department. *A federal jury found that Jones had engaged in illegal discrimination. *(Posted 06-09-05)
Flint, Michigan Fire Dept. -- Black fire chief referred to white firefighters as "honky" and "white boy". *White firefighter John Linker wins discrimination claim. * (Posted 11/25/03)
Boston Fire Dept. -- White Boston firefighters have won the right to employment without racial quotas! *Read this historic legal ruling.
Philadelphia Fire Dept. -- If you are white then this fire department cannot hire you! *Quotas at the Philadelphia Fire Department trump ability.
Suffolk County, NY Police Dept. -- Under the Department of Justice's questionable "disparate-adverse impact" theory, if you are too intelligent or too white, then the Suffolk County Police Department cannot hire you. *(Updated and expanded 01-02-04)
Sumter, SC Police Dept. -- Police Officer fights reverse discrimination and is forced to retire. (Updated Oct. 22, 2000)
Seattle Fire Department does NOT tolerate criticism of racial quotas by white Fire Capt. Randy Hansen. *(Updated 9/21/98)
Fulton County, GA Sheriff -- Black sheriff Jackie Barrett says "If you're not black and/or not a black female, don't apply for work here!" *Loses lawsuit, costs county big bucks.
Illinois State Police -- State police illegally reject 5,000 white, male applicants over 20 years! *Forced by court to offer a new chance to all 5,000 rejected applicants. *(Updated 8/22/98)
Orange County, Florida -- 32 firefighters sue for reverse discrimination and win. These white firefighters were subjected to racial epithets from the County Chairman and ongoing racial harassment from their colleagues. (Updated 10/23/98)
08-23-2011, 07:58 PM #11932
- Join Date
- Oct 2008
So I know there is a lot of talk about the continuing trials on here but have we discussed the Tunnel 2 Towers run on Sept. 25th? Are we running it together like last year? Sorry, I have been back and forth on here and don't know if I missed the info about it. I just want to make sure I register for it while there is still time and if we are running together again (I'm sure we are.lol)List 14XX
08-24-2011, 07:39 AM #11933
- Join Date
- Feb 2010
08-24-2011, 12:57 PM #11934
The World Police & Fire Games coming up has been desperate for volunteers. Give them a shout too.
08-24-2011, 08:09 PM #11935
- Join Date
- Sep 2010
08-24-2011, 09:37 PM #11936
- Join Date
- Jul 2010
08-25-2011, 06:30 AM #11937
- Join Date
- Feb 2010
To me, that day is not about any of us- it is about remembering Stephen Siller and the other 342 firemen that were killed doing the job they loved, the job we all hope to do. The only reason I asked is because I don't want to distract from what we should be thinking about down there. I also thought it would be a nice show of solidarity to put everything aside and truly run in honor of them.
08-26-2011, 11:48 AM #11938
Hurricane Irene is causing havoc and she's not even here yet. All outdoor permits for the games for Sunday have been canceled and the trade show is shuttering early Saturday and closed Sunday now.
Come on down to the Javits Center and show some love to my buddies at Xtreme Valor before 3pm today and tomorrow. (Online and FB too)
Meanwhile, no new scuttlebutt.
08-28-2011, 05:19 PM #11939
- Join Date
- Nov 2008
Article in the Metro section the Sunday Times:
August 26, 2011
A Fire Department Under Pressure to Diversify
By ALAN FEUER
IT was heaving rain two weeks ago when Salvatore J. Cassano, New York City’s fire commissioner, showed up on a Sunday to pitch his department to the congregants at Concord Baptist Church of Christ on Marcy Avenue in Brooklyn. No doubt because of the weather — people had stayed home at “Bedside Baptist,” the pastor joked — Mr. Cassano, gamely dressed in pinstripes, was confronted by empty pews. A trumpeter had just played hymns to some restless boys, a few old men and clumps of hatted matrons. From a microphone, the commissioner delivered to the half-filled room what had become the most important, and thorniest, public message of his career.
“We’re going to be hiring,” he told the all-black crowd, listing benefits of what is known across New York as “the job”: a starting salary of $40,000, the chance to earn $100,000 after five years, four weeks of paid vacation, lifetime medical care, a generous city pension. “I raised five kids and four grandkids on this job, and starting at the bottom I became commissioner.” He added proudly, “When you join the Fire Department, you inherit a second family — a family where, if something happens, people rally around you, just like they do in this church.”
The trip to Concord Baptist, Mr. Cassano’s fifth this summer to a black church, was the latest personal effort in a drive to recruit minority applicants that is unprecedented in the department’s history. In 18 months, officials say, recruiters have sought black candidates at more than 6,100 events at high schools, colleges, shopping malls, boxing gyms, softball games and military picnics, all but begging them to apply for the next entrance test, in January, by the Sept. 15 deadline.
A phone bank in Queens has placed more than 100,000 calls to minority residents who expressed even passing interest in the job. There is a recruitment Facebook page and advertisements in New York’s Caribbean newspapers. More than $1 million has been spent for radio spots on stations with heavily black audiences like Hot 97 and Kiss FM.
“No stone — not one — is going to be left unturned,” Francis X. Gribbon, a department spokesman, said.
The effort stems from an undisputed fact: more or less since its consolidation into a single city-run force in 1898, New York’s Fire Department, in a city that is now about 30 percent black, has been overwhelmingly white. Currently, the 14,000-member force is about 3 percent black, a figure that has remained unchanged for decades despite interventions reaching back to 1973, when a federal judge established a plan to hire one black firefighter for every third white one, and the city’s own attempts to integrate the department.
The latest challenge, a lawsuit championed by the Vulcan Society, a black firefighters’ organization, has been playing out this month in a bench trial in Federal District Court in Brooklyn. Last week, it entered a decisive phase: the judge, Nicholas G. Garaufis, began to consider remedies, which could include a court-appointed master to oversee recruitment.
The Vulcans, who claim the department discriminated through two civil-service tests, in 1999 and 2002, have asked Judge Garaufis to award financial damages to applicants who were not hired, or may later be hired after delays. The city has fought this claim with a panoply of unsuccessful arguments: that officials did not deliberately discriminate; that there cannot be pervasive bias in the city’s work force when some agencies, like the Correction Department, are mostly black; that the Fire Department should not be held accountable if blacks, because of poor educational opportunities, tend to score lower on standardized tests than whites. (Blacks are not the only underrepresented group in the department, where Latinos make up 7 percent and women less than 1 percent.)
Most profoundly, the suit has exposed the seemingly unbridgeable psychic gap between those who are certain that the department is an honorable meritocracy in which appointments and promotions are objectively decided by tests and those who believe it is a cronyish white man’s club that may not want more blacks and makes life uncomfortable for those already there.
Among those in the first camp is Commissioner Cassano, a 42-year veteran who has earned commendations at almost every rank from firefighter to top uniformed officer. After his speech, he sat near the church’s basketball court, where he avowed, remarkably, that while he had obviously always known the department was predominantly white, he never understood, until the suit was filed, that others viewed this whiteness through a lens of racial bias.
“It never dawned on anyone,” he said. “We never looked at white or black. We looked at good firefighter or not so good. Me? I made it in this department by what I did, not who I was. But then you suddenly realize: people may actually think we’re discriminatory.”
Looking almost hurt, he paused and said, “That’s why I’m here today.”
FROM the moment the trial began, on Aug. 1, it was clear that even minute details were going to be contested. A parade of witnesses — deputy commissioners, recruitment officers, black firefighters, Mr. Cassano himself — took the stand, explicating issues like the timing of radio ads and whether the department discriminates in its prehiring background checks.
The trial is only the latest action in the suit, which the Vulcan Society joined and carried forward after it was filed by the federal government in 2007. In his first decision in the case, two years ago, Judge Garaufis ruled that the department had indeed shown bias against minority candidates in the written exams, which whites passed in far greater numbers than blacks. Last year, he further ruled that the tests reflected a pattern of intentional bias, wielding words that made clear whom he blamed: “The history of the city’s efforts to remedy its discriminatory firefighter hiring policies can be summarized as follows — 34 years of intransigence and deliberate indifference.”
One afternoon after the trial let out, Capt. Paul Washington, a black officer in Engine Company 234, in Brooklyn, sat in the courthouse cafeteria with Firefighter John Coombs, president of the Vulcans. An hour earlier, Captain Washington had testified about racial insults he encountered on the job: the casual flinging of the N-word and the defacement of a flier for the Vulcans’ first memorial service after 9/11. Where the guest speaker’s name was printed, someone had scribbled other names: Buckwheat, Al Sharpton, Fat Albert.
Now, the two men explained that overt animus like that was fairly uncommon on the job. Instead, they complained of a corrosive obliviousness to race, discernible in acts as unsubtle as dinner-table condemnations of affirmative action and as seemingly innocuous as a recreation-room preference for Fox News.
“Our experience is different,” Captain Washington said. “There’s 50 white guys in a firehouse from the same background — middle-class, Long Island, the kids play soccer together — so, yeah, they’re having a ball. But if you’re the one black guy in the house, maybe you ain’t having so much fun.”
It is this experience of difference that forms the emotional underpinning of the suit. Firefighter Coombs said the city had not only ignored this shared experience, but had moved to combat it only under threat of legal action.
Well before the suit was filed, officials were put on notice that the results of the exams were racially imbalanced. In May 2000, the city’s Equal Employment Practices Commission wrote to Fire Commissioner Thomas Von Essen, informing him that 91 percent of the white applicants who took the 1999 written test had passed, compared with 61 percent of the black candidates. In 2002, 97 percent of whites passed, and 85 percent of blacks.
Over the next two years, the commission repeatedly asked the department to study the exam, but each time, Judge Garaufis wrote in his 2009 decision, nothing happened. In 2003, the commission went to Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, who initially responded, Judge Garaufis noted tersely, with “a two-paragraph letter that he was satisfied with the F.D.N.Y.’s compliance efforts.”
THE process of hiring firefighters in New York is legendarily byzantine and divisive. According to current rules, applicants are ranked according to their written scores and are further winnowed by a pass-fail physical exam. The department is required to hire, in order, the highest-ranking candidates, who receive additional points for having relatives who died in the line of duty while working for the department (which most often has occurred with whites), living in the city (which mostly benefits blacks) and serving in the military.
But now those rules are largely theoretical, because Judge Garaufis imposed a hiring freeze in October, after ruling that the 1999 and 2002 tests were biased. He did so, in a much-misunderstood aspect of the case, invoking a concept called “disparate impact,” in which discrimination can be inferred from statistics. While black firefighters have accused the city of purposefully drafting questions to benefit their white counterparts (many of whom are better educated and are exposed to firefighting tradecraft through friends and family), Judge Garaufis did not wade into such terrain.
“It does not follow that the plaintiffs are obligated to present ‘smoking-gun’ proof of intentional discrimination,” he wrote. “Direct proof of an employer’s state of mind is ‘hard to come by,’ and intentional discrimination may be revealed through circumstantial evidence alone.”
This ruling angered the department and its supporters, who argue, with sustained exasperation, that things are getting better. The department gave its last test in 2007. More than a third of all applicants were black or Hispanic; 93 percent of blacks passed; and, most important, 33 percent of the 4,000 people who scored well enough to be considered for the job were minority candidates. Despite these improvements, Judge Garaufis invalidated the 2007 test and appointed a special master, Mary Jo White, a former United States attorney in Manhattan, to oversee the writing of a new one.
“Was there a huge historical problem? Yes,” said William B. Eimicke, a public affairs professor at Columbia University who was a deputy fire commissioner from 2007 to 2010. “Did the department face that problem? Yes. So we beat up on them now for past wrongs? The reality is the department should look like the city it serves, and a majority of senior officers believes that’s true.”
They say they also believe — and fear — that Judge Garaufis will appoint a special master to oversee recruitment, which, some say, could increase diversity at the expense of hiring standards. Judge Garaufis has promised not to micromanage the department, but his questions have revealed an interest in administrative details.
One day, for instance, when Mr. Cassano was on the stand, the judge announced that he had seen, while driving to court that morning, a Fire Department Prius in a highway accident. It troubled him, he said, that some officials apparently had their own full-time department cars and could commute to work — as he assumed the official in the Prius was doing — when the recruitment office, he noted, was forced to borrow vehicles from the motor pool.
Mr. Cassano, disputing this assumption, told the judge he may have actually seen a recruitment worker returning a borrowed car the morning after a late assignment. “I suppose when I get back to work,” he said, “I’ll find out which car got hit.”
A FEW days after the trial began, Deputy Chief Paul Mannix, the president of Merit Matters, an advocacy group dedicated to “preserving merit” in Fire Department tests, was eating lunch in the back room of Connolly’s Corner, an Irish bar and grill in Maspeth, Queens. It was, at least according to cliché, the sort of place you would expect to find a veteran white member of the department: golf played on the television in the bar, which is co-owned by a fire lieutenant. Chief Mannix’s attitude toward race, however, was nuanced. “I have black guys who support me; my sergeant-at-arms is Hispanic,” he said. “I hate even having to saying that, though, because it implies we’re defensive or racist, and we’re not.”
In op-ed pieces and letters to the editor, Chief Mannix has loudly made himself a spokesman for the idea that impartial performance standards are crucial in the dangerous job of fighting fires and for the corollary notion that to “bend over backwards,” as he put it, to hire blacks is sometimes to discriminate against whites.
His advice to minority candidates, contained in a letter five years ago to The Chief, the city’s civil-service newspaper, was bracingly Churchillian: “Study for the written test, train for the physical test, take advantage of the equal opportunity afforded by the civil-service system, and take personal responsibility for your efforts, good or bad.”
Chief Mannix, who is linebacker large, said he did not know why the proportion of black firefighters had remained at 3 percent, but added, “I can tell you the false narrative that the department has worked against integration is just that — a false narrative.”
To ask white firefighters about the 3 percent figure is to hear whispers that more college-educated whites apply than college-educated blacks, or that blacks live in poorer neighborhoods than whites — where more fires occur — and thus are less inclined to make a career of running into burning buildings. This last sentiment was echoed, perhaps surprisingly, by John J. Gilstrap, a black fire lieutenant’s son who has been working for years on “Black Smoke, Black Skin,” a documentary about black firefighters in New York.
Mr. Gilstrap, one of the few New Yorkers who grew up thinking that the Fire Department was a black institution (his uncle was a firefighter, too), said: “It’s a hard job — it’s life on the line. There’s just less demand from the community for that job.”
He added that “a cognitive dissonance” between blacks and firefighters had lessened the demand. “Black youths think ‘fireman’ is a white man’s job, a mysterious cult,” he said. “You know what a cop looks like, or a postman. They’re on the street. But you don’t understand the culture of the firehouse. It’s insular. The doors are literally closed.”
Mr. Gilstrap had a personal answer to a question murmured by white firefighters, who are often accused of recruiting around the dinner table: If we, they say, are knocked for passing the job to relatives, why don’t black firefighters do the same? “Black firemen join the department to help their kids leapfrog out of that life,” Mr. Gilstrap said. “You do it so your kids don’t have to. For white firemen, it’s about legacy and history. It’s culture.”
Firefighter Coombs, the Vulcan Society president, recalled how he once asked white colleagues why they did the job. “They said, ‘Ah, camaraderie! Brotherhood!’ ” he recounted. “I said: ‘Are you guys insane? Has any of that ever paid your mortgage?’ Of course, I cleared the kitchen out with that one.”
The dispute’s most troubling complication may be Judge Garaufis’s decision to toss out the promising 2007 test results, which thrust hundreds of black applicants who scored well into limbo. They must apply for January’s test, with no guarantee they will score as highly the second time around.
Firefighter Coombs contends the city is at fault for stranding this diverse crop of candidates: the judge offered five ways to hire off the 2007 list, but each was rejected by the city because it was perceived to be a form of racial quota.
None of which matters to David Cargin, 29, who scored a perfect 100 in 2007 and was quite likely to have been hired.
“We’re the casualties of this stalemate,” said Mr. Cargin, who is black and now works as a letter carrier. “At the end of the day, there are no winners here, just losers.”
08-28-2011, 08:19 PM #11940
Cleared the kitchen on that one? It takes a lot more than that to do so.
Pompous a s s.
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