Saturday, August 7th, 2010
A federal judge (Nicholas Garaufis) recently ruled that multiple choice written exams “discriminate against black applicants” and charged the City of New York with “deliberate discrimination” for continuing to use such time-tested exams. That charge of “deliberate discrimination” sprang from the fact that “other remedies” (like replacing written exams with oral interviews) were suggested to the city after the racial quotas (“1 in 3”) were used on the 1971 entrance exam.
As insulting and racially defamatory as the view that blackness is somehow a "learning disability" is, there's still more!
How that one set of disparities is “actionable,” while others remain immune from such “remedies” is an interesting dilemma, in and of itself.
The primary reason seems to be political.
According to the attorney for the New Haven 20 (Karen Torre) the feds picked Fire Departments because "they believed firefighters wouldn't fight back,” given their track record of 'sucking it up' and dealing with things as they come.
The main reason given for such law suits and the remedies they result in is that “Our institutions should look more like the communities that they serve.” Certainly the primary reason behind this current lawsuit against the FDNY, as in all the previous ones has been over the vaunted “racial and gender disparity in its makeup.” The charge has log been that “the FDNY should look a lot more like New York City.”
What's really odd about this is that the FDNY is far from the most "racially out of balance" Department in the City of NY!
According to current demographics (SEE: http://www.wordiq.com/definition/New_York_City), whites are appx. 45% of the city’s population and 77% of the FDNY’s make-up, that’s a 1.67/1 ratio, or less than a 2 to 1 representation of whites within that population. Even if one takes that 77% figure and throws out the “far more diverse” office staff and takes into account only the in-field uniformed workforce, said to be appx. 90% white (with 3% black, 6% Hispanic and 1% other) that’s still a 2 to 1 ratio of whites relative to their numbers in NYC’s population!
By comparison, while blacks comprise appx. 27% of NYC’s population, they comprise 65% of the Dept of Corrections personnel, a 2.4/1 ratio, or nearly 2½X the black representation of their numbers within the city...and the Department of Juvenile Justice, which is 78% black is a staggering 2.92/1 ratio, or a nearly 3 to 1 representation of blacks relative to their numbers within the city!
Why aren’t those, even greater racial anomalies as large a concern as the FDNY’s much smaller racial disparity?
Is it simply because far more College educated whites take the exams for Emergency Services jobs, virtually assuring a disparate outcome on those exams? That’s certainly one possibility.
If so, then why aren’t the Dept of Justice’s and Nicholas Garaufis’ agendas not being viewed through a similar racial prism?
To do the math yourself, you’ll need two sets of statistics; (1) The racial makeup of New York city is 44.66% White, 26.59% Black or African American, 0.52% Native American, 9.83% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 13.42% from other races, and 4.92% from two or more races. 26.98% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
SEE: http://www.wordiq.com/definition/New_York_City and (2) the Demographics of City Agencies: http://www.citylimits.org/multimedia/257/new-york-city-s-agencies-by-race-ethnic-breakdown
There are two agencies in New York City that have over 1.5X the number of whites as there are in New York City's population. They are the FDNY and the Landmark's Commission, which actually has FEWER blacks and Hispanics than the FDNY does! There is only one other New York City agency in which whites comprise 60% of its workforce and that is the Office of Emergency Management (OEM).
There is even ONE New York City agency that records 0% Hispanics - the Office of Actuary! And that's in a city that is 27% Hispanic. Moreover, there are at least TWELVE New York City agencies in which Asians are 1/2 or LESS their numbers in New York City's population, including TWO agencies (The Civil Service Commission and, ironically enough, AGAIN, The Equal Employment Practices Commission) with 0% Asian employees and ONE agency with just 1% Asian employees in a city in which Asians comprise appx 10% of the population!
However, there are no less than 11 New York City agencies in which blacks are more than 1.5X their numbers in New York City's population!
* The Department of Aging is 42% black. (1.6X their numbers in NYC's population)
* The Department of Youth and Community Services is 43% black. (1.6X their numbers in NYC's population)
* The Department of Housing Preservation and Development is
45% black. (1.7X their numbers in NYC's population)
* NYC Parks Department is 49% black. (1.82X their numbers in NYC's population)
There are at least 7 New York City agencies in which there are more than double the number of black employees than their numbers in NYC's population.
* The Human Resources Administration is 61% black. (2.2X their numbers in NYC's population)
* The Equal Employment Practices Commission is 63% black (2.3X their numbers in NYC's population - there's an irony!)
* The Department of Homeless Services is 64% black (2.3X their numbers in NYC's population)
* The Department of Probation is 65% black (almost 2.5X their numbers in NYC's population)
* The Department of Corrections is 65% black (also nearly 2.5X their numbers in NYC's population)
* The Administration for Children's Services is 67% black (over 2.5X their numbers in NYC's population)
* and the REAL "singular embarrassment", as far as "looking like the population of New York City goes to the Department of Juvenile Justice at 78% black (nearly 3X their numbers in NYC's population).
So, if written and physical standards aren't appropriate barometers for Municipal employment (and if they aren't, what good are such "services"?) and the primary goal in such hiring is to have such agencies "look like New York City", then why are there still agencies with 0% of some very visible ethnic groups and why are there so many more New York City agencies that are far MORE "racially unbalanced" than the FDNY?!
If "looking like New York City" is key here, than there are dozens of New York City agencies that SHOULD HAVE been spending millions on recruitment decades ago!