Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Shock: Civil Rights Law Protects Whites

When Congress passed the 1964 Civil Rights Act, it was explicit that it protected whites as well as blacks, and men as well as women (although in that pre-feminist era, nobody was paying much attention to the gender aspect).

The Act, remember, had opponents. Some were simply racists (or pandering to racists, which is worse). But some, like Barry Goldwater, had a principled fear about handing such powers over to the Federal government.

The opponents said that the Act might lead to racial quotas, or to “reverse discrimination.” The proponents of the Act made it clear that those things would be impossible. They insisted that any discrimination against whites would be outlawed just as any discrimination against blacks would be.

Of course, the proponents of “civil rights” quickly moved to discriminate against whites, and institute de facto quotas. But the Act (and other civil rights laws) remains what it is.

From the Journal-Sentinel:
The city would pay $2.65 million to 17 current and former Milwaukee police lieutenants who successfully argued they were passed over for promotion because they were white men, under a settlement backed Monday by a Common Council committee.

If the full council agrees July 31, each of the men would be paid $103,922 to end their federal discrimination lawsuit against former Police Chief Arthur Jones and the Fire and Police Commission. Their attorney, William Rettko, would be paid $833,333, nearly one-third of the total.

The lieutenants filed suit in 2003, accusing the city’s first permanent black police chief of discriminating against them by repeatedly promoting minority and female officers ahead of them. During Jones’ tenure, about 80% of Milwaukee police lieutenants were white men, but about half the 41 people he promoted to captain were minorities or women.

In their suit, the lieutenants sought $300,000 each, or $5.1 million, in addition to unspecified punitive damages.

A federal jury ruled in their favor in 2005, finding that between them, the officers were discriminated against a total of 144 times. The jury and U.S. District Judge Thomas J. Curran awarded $3.7 million in damages. Curran later awarded attorney’s fees that brought the total to about $4.6 million, Deputy City Attorney Rudolph Konrad said in a memo to the council’s Judiciary and Legislation Committee.

In January of this year, a federal appeals court upheld the verdict but sent the damages back to the district court in Milwaukee to be recalculated. Both sides agreed to mediation, which produced Monday’s deal, said Assistant City Attorney Miriam Horwitz.
We would strongly urge white males who think they have been victims of discrimination to go to court and sue. Make life dangerous for those who discriminate.

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