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.