Monday, February 09, 2009

A racial firestorm

Many people remember the downfall of Al Campanis, general manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers who lost his job after stating in an April 6, 1987 Nightline interview, "Blacks may not have some of the necessities to be, let's say, a field manager, or, perhaps, a general manager." Even though Campanis was a good friend of Jackie Robinson, he was fired and was vilified for years as yet another racist white person in a position of power, sticking it to the black man.

I bring up Campanis's statement so it can be juxtaposed with this one:
“We don’t do as well on these multiple-choice tests,” said Capt. Otis Jordan, president of the Houston Black Firefighters Association... “I compare fighting a fire, riding an apparatus, to playing football. Your best athlete might not be the straight-A student.”
This statement was made in response to a lawsuit that has been filed in Houston, Texas by seven black firefighters against that city's fire department. The lawsuit contends that the department's 100-question multiple choice Captain's promotion exam is racially biased. How exactly a test like this can be racially biased, I am not sure, but biased is what these seven black firefighters claim it to be.

Apparently, the fact that the test is multiple-choice is too much for black people to handle. Hey, don't snarl at me for saying such a thing. Otis Jordan said it; just reread the quote above. What will always amaze me is how minorities are all too willing to denigrate themselves and their race, such as with statements and lawsuits like these, and also through the constant push for so-called affirmative action and other forms of quotas. How ironic that I, as a "typical white person" (to borrow the phrase from Barack Obama), have more faith in the abilities of these firefighters than they do.

Yes, yes, I know what comes next in this common dialogue: But minorities can't make it in the "white man's world" without certain programs and protections to give them a leg up. Yeah, I understand that point. I mean, after all, a minority has yet to even be elected presid... never mind.

Good Day to You, Sir

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