Photo: Frank Ricci of the New Haven Fire Department
An important judgment on race-based governance is due from the Supreme Court soon. On April 22, the Court will hear Ricci v. DeStefano, a suit brought by a New Haven fireman--"firefighter" in postmodern parlance--against the city because it threw out the results of a promotion test based solely on the fact that there were no "African-Americans" among the top scorers, all white--"European-Americans?" except for one "Hispanic" (Hispanic-America?). As the New-York-American Times reports:
Frank Ricci has been a firefighter here for 11 years, and he would do just about anything to advance to lieutenant.
The last time the city offered a promotional exam, he said in a sworn statement, he gave up a second job and studied up to 13 hours a day. Mr. Ricci, who is dyslexic, paid an acquaintance more than $1,000 to read textbooks onto audiotapes. He made flashcards, took practice tests, worked with a study group and participated in mock interviews.
Mr. Ricci did well, he said, coming in sixth among the 77 candidates who took the exam. But the city threw out the test, because none of the 19 African-American firefighters who took it qualified for promotion. That decision prompted Mr. Ricci and 17 other white firefighters, including one Hispanic, to sue the city, alleging racial discrimination.
Their case, which will be argued before the Supreme Court on April 22, is the Roberts court’s first major confrontation with claims of racial discrimination in employment and will require the justices to choose between conflicting conceptions of the government’s role in ensuring fair treatment regardless of race.
The government's role in ensuring fair treatement regardless of race is to ensure access to the test regardless of race. Period. After that point, the government is playing social-engineer, if not God, and that's not fair. Also period.
Read the rest here. One line of poisonous illogic that shot out at me came from a spokesman, sorry, spokesperson (spokesperson-American?) from the International Association of Black Professional Fire Fighters (aren't they forgetting something?) who opposed the Ricci suit thus: “Young black and Latino kids have every right,” he said, “to see black and Latino officers on those fire trucks that are riding through their community. They have every right to look for a role model.”
The right to a role model: This is totalitarian thinking. But rights to role models aside--what happens to the probability of being saved from a burning building?