New Haven Firefighters Deserved Promotion, Supreme Court Rules

The Supreme Court has ruled that the Caucasian firefighters in New Haven, Conn., were treated unfairly by being denied promotions because of their race .

This reverses a decision that newly-appointed Supreme Court Judge Sonia Sotomayor ruled in favor of.

The city disregarded the promotion exams’ results, to avoid lawsuits from the African-American and Hispanic firefighter who took the test. No African-Americans passed, two Hispanics did.

The city was abiding by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which states “it is unlawful to discriminate against any individual in regard to recruiting, hiring and promotion, … or any other term, condition, or privilege of employment.”

I’m not sure what to conclude about this case.

On one hand it’s messed up that someone can honestly pass an exam and not be allowed to reap the benefits of passing. But then it does seem suspicious if one set of people pass a test and another set fail. This is not to say that this could not happen, because it could. Is this the case with the New Haven firefighters case?

There are too many uncertainties about this case so the city took the appropriate action by dismissing the test results.

Perhaps the none of African-Americans and few of the Hispanics studied for the exam. Perhaps the test was biased because the people who designed the test were predisposed to racial bias.

Project Implicit, a collaborative project between Harvard, the University of Washington and the University of Virginia, has administered thousands of online tests designed to detect hidden racial biases. They found that three-quarters of whites have an implicit pro-white/anti-black bias. While Blacks showed racial biases, they split about evenly between pro-black and pro-white. Blacks were the most likely of all races to exhibit no bias at all.

SabreeThinks according to Title VII, the actions of the city were permissible and should not have been condemned by the court.

1 Comment

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One response to “New Haven Firefighters Deserved Promotion, Supreme Court Rules

  1. Dear Sabree

    The Supreme Court rules extremely close on this. In my opinion the test seems fishy. I have taken civil service exams. I took the NYPD police exam and scored high on it. I took the Suffolk police exam in my youth and got like a 85.

    From my understanding it is all politics. The white firefighters always resent minorities getting into the FD. The media makes them look like these guys are rocket scientists. I have a degree in Criminology and Criminal justice. I went to school with all white guys in my classes. They all wanted to be cops or firefighters. Half of them are not bright at all.

    So that leads me to believe that your daddy or your uncle help you get that job. There is no real concrete laws against this. Now that so many minorities apply to get in the FD they ‘switch the test up”. Now who mails out the “test preparation materials”? It can be rigged if you do not pay attention to it. I don’t think those black men that took the test was ‘aware”. All of them failing that has to be close to impossible or rigged.

    Some of the shit I have seen on civil service exams are no way friendly to minorities at all. The language is geared to whites.

    I would have to read the Supreme Court decision on this case. If it was a simple case of reverse discrimination it would have never reached the Supreme Court.

    Media spin as always.

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