FDNY White Firefighters: Diversity Lowers Standards
New York City’s fire department has a new entrance exam that is allowing them to hire new firefighters for the first time in five years. Some White firefighters are very angry about the new entrance exam because they say it lowers standards in an effort to increase diversity.
According to the Daily News, over 200 men from the FDNY were outside a courthouse in Brooklyn protesting the judge’s decision to make the department more diverse. Judge Nicholas Garaufis mandated the FDNY to conduct a “retroactive seniority and priority hiring of 293 minorities.”
It was expected that 180 White men would show up to the courthouse to express their anger and discontentment about the Judge’s ruling but only 36 men showed up.
One of the 36 men that showed up said,
”Seniority was earned in the dead of night when these benefactors were home sleeping.”
Last Friday, when the judge ruled that hiring would begin “immediately” many city officials were pleased with the decision. Among the city officials who expressed their approval of the ruling was FDNY Commissioner Salvatore Cassano.
“The FDNY’s strong commitment to diversity was evident in our recruitment campaign for this exam where 46 percent of the test takers were people of color-the same overall percentage of minorities at the top of this list. “
Even though the ruling met with a lot of opposition, it was a very significant victory for minorities who have been asking for equal employment. Only 3 percent of New York’s firefighters are black while 91 percent are white.
The Department of Justice joined an organization of black firefighters, the Vulcan Society and sued the city over racially biased exams that made it next to impossible for minorities to be admitted.
Last year Garaufis criticized the Bloomberg administration for being passive about FDNY’s lack of diversity.
According to The New York Times, Judge Garaufis said,
“The evidence adduced in this case gives the court little hope that Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg or any of his senior leadership has any intention of stepping up to the task of ending discrimination at the F.D.N.Y.Instead of facing hard facts and asking hard questions about the city’s abysmal track record of hiring black and Hispanic firefighters, the Bloomberg administration dug in and fought back.”