Not a black and white issue
The question of race is again at the forefront as the Supreme Court finds for the white New Haven firefighters. It’s obviously not a straightforward case, but I seem to be allied with the plaintiffs in this case.
In 2003 New Haven subjected its firefighters to an exam that was intended to determine promotion. No blacks and only two Hispanics passed the exam and it was therefore subsequently thrown out. A group of white firefighters subsequently alleged discrimination and they have finally been vindicated by the Supreme Court decision.
My lawyer son pointed out that there are questions as to whether the test in any way addressed a firefighter’s ability to do his job. My response to that was that this question should have been raised BEFORE the test was given and not after the results were in.
This historic decision sets a precedent for hiring and promotion practices across the country, where reverse race discrimination is currently being claimed. It may also potentially affect the confirmation of Sotomayor. The liberal justices on the Supreme Count came out strongly against the decision, claiming that it completely deflates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.
It would seem the important impact of this case should be to affirm that the CORRECT screening is being done for hiring and promotion. Perhaps changes need to be made to achieve that and to more fairly consider those in the running.
I would love to think there will be a day in this country when the race card will not be played one way or the other. But we still struggle with when to notice and when not.