Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Letter to the Editor: Racial Gymnastics in the Chicago Fire, Police Hiring

The following from reader Thomas Evoy.
Read your recent reverse discrimination article. Don’t forget, it’s not just the people taking the tests-it is also the people who CANNOT take a test for years because of the holdups involved.

The Fire Department here in Chicago gave an exam a while back and graded the results, offering jobs to the top 30% or so of scorers in rank order. And that was uneven racially, and you know what happened next-- demonstrations, hearings, etc. No exams were given for about ten years-and people simply couldn’t join up without the exam. About half a generation of people couldn’t take the exam simply because the whole thing was in the courts -- as far as I know there are age limits for joining the fire department Our most recent exam had a different flavor: the cutoff was the top 70% or so of scores (presented to the public as the results of a “pass-fail” exam) and the hiring was done on a random basis from that pool. The usual whiners were a lot more satisfied: based solely on the numbers, of course. No comment on qualifications.

One of the most hilarious things in Chicago was the recent “testing” to decide who would be promoted from sergeant to lieutenant on the police force. Apparently in their zeal to bend over backwards in order to prove fairness, the testing group taped all the answers. And of course, some sort of foulup ensued, followed by the predicable lawsuit. So the solution to this problem was to re-administer the test. Using the very same questions. Yes, that sounds like a great way to figure out who can handle a volatile situation with a great probability of violence.

This follows the much earlier(perhaps the 1980’s) police test that was announced with great fanfare-huge cost, guaranteed to be fair, outside consultants, etc. The results came in that one race was overwhelmingly overrepresented (vis a vis the police department stats as well as the city demographics) among the most qualified. Huge demonstrations, city council hearings, etc. If I recall correctly, the thing was tied up for years in court and in politics.
We can say only one thing good about all these gymnastics: it is good that they used them instead of out-and-out racial preferences and quotas.

Still, how much healthier would it be if a clear standard of non-discrimination prevailed. Would blacks forever and always be unable to meet the standard?

Only a racist would believe that. But a lot of race card players and politically correct whites are, somewhere down deep inside, racist.

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