October 25, 2010

"Fighting Fire with Quotas"

Heather Mac Donald writes in City Journal about the Vulcan Society disparate impact lawsuit and the Fire Department of New York.

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

The first reason MacDonald suggests for the racial discrepancy in hiring within the NYC fire deparment is lack of interest from minority populations. With only 7% of the applicants being black, she seems to have a point. The second reason is "black and Hispanic language and thinking skills". I don't think she needs to bring the second point into her argumentn at all. Isn't the 7% figure enough of an explanation in and of itself, especially considering how close the pass rates became between the races after the test was watered down.

Anonymous said...

Nothing on Murray's latest?

Anonymous said...

Alas, NYC & the US will have to learn the hard way, and the lessons will not be learned in a generation or two.

Big Bill said...

Pearbotham's Law. Again.

Anonymous said...

I thought Operation Head Start was supposed to close all these gaps (if anyone remembers). After all these years of missionary work on the part of the true believers most blacks who might be interested still can't even rise to the mental level required to become a fireman. Whew, all those billions squandered over the years in education, trying to close one gap or another, sure haven't been very cost effective. So, where do we go from here? Another fifty years of litigation, marches, riots, white flight, affirmative action, section eight sprawl, diversity training, whiteness studies, new education schemes, midnight basketball, more cease fire initiatives, more portrayals of blacks as geniuses in the media, etc etc?

Anonymous said...

why bother? they're only going to stand and fiddle anyway (at $200,000 a year).

Anonymous said...

Old news Steve, we know where Miss Heather McDonald stands on this.

Old News.

Anonymous said...

The arguments for disparate impact in cases like this are riddled with bizarre inconsistencies.

On the one hand, we are told that it is critical that we close the achievement gap between blacks and whites. It is so most importantly because it is essential that individuals develop certain cognitive skills if they are to succeed in today's jobs. These jobs increasingly require higher level capacity to absorb and act on information.

Yet, when it comes to any job that actually imposes such a requirement, and the legal question of disparate impact, we are told that such skills are irrelevant to successful performance.

How can one possibly square those two contradictory claims?

Note: this isn't an issue of whether or not differences between blacks and whites is based on genetics. It is based merely on the fact that, in today's society, for whatever reason, blacks in fact on average perform far less well on tests of cognitive skills than do whites, especially toward the end of their schooling.

Yet if they are well behind whites in, say, ability to read, and, as we are told in any educational context, ability to read is essential to successful performance on jobs in today's society, how can it not be that they would be far less well represented than whites in those jobs?

Anonymous said...

I am surprised that MacDonald was allowed to mention average IQ differences between the races.

Kylie said...

Long story short: this judge thinks blacks are too dumb to read but not too dumb to put out fires.

Furthermore, they aren't smart enough to do anything about it themselves except to appeal to him to change the rules in their favor.

How patronizing. I think Obama needs to weigh in on this. Surely individuals willing to risk life and limb to fight fires are as worthy of his support as some pedant who rides a tricycle and answers to "Skip".

Black Death said...

I've always felt that one of the flaws of the US constitution was the appointment and lifetime tenure of federal judges. Virtually all state judges have to eventually stand for some sort of an election. Why not the same for federal judges? In the colonial era, the American colonists felt that the judges were not impartial because they served at the pleasure of the Crown. So they went to the other extreme when they became independent and gave the judges lifetime tenure. Federal judges are rarely impeached, and then only for corruption, not for asinine decisions. And while Congress has the theoretical ability to override at least some of this nonsense, that body is so dysfunctional that it almost never happens. Remember forced busing? Congress never would have enacted such an absurd "remedy" for past discrimination, but judges do whatever they want.

keypusher said...

Good for her, and spineful of the Bloomberg administration. But still...the 2007 exam, with its 98% white pass rate, was obviously about as dumbed down as an exam can be. So basically what this fight is about is outright racial quotas v. vanishingly close to outright racial quotas. Not much difference between the city's policies and the judge's.

eh said...

Good for her, and spineful of the Bloomberg administration.

At the same time Bloomberg is opposing quotas in fire department hiring, he's guaranteeing they'll be needed -- at least in the short term -- by sticking to an absurd sanctuary policy. So it would be better if he had a brain as well as a spine.

Anonymous said...

First of all, Manhattan is dominated by high IQ whites. Whites that wouldn't dream of joining the fire department.

Isn't it possible that these high IQ whites know that a fire department staffed by NAMs is going to be slightly less effective at fighting fires than a fire department staffed by whites, but that the elite whites are willing to accept a worse fire department in order to feel generous towards NAMs?

I know many high IQ SWPL whites who feel good, in their heart, when they see NAM policemen and firemen. It is a form of charity.

It seems to me that if a member of the high IQ white elite doesn't like living in an all white state like West Virginia or Maine the right answer is to not change that state but for the high IQ elite white to move to Manhattan or Los Angeles.

Similarly, if a white lacks super high IQ and lacks elite values he should leave New York or Los Angeles and move to an all white place like Maine or West Virginia.


Let those that enjoy being ruled by the white elite live in the appropriate city and those that enjoy living ruled by the non elite live in a different city. It seems to me that there should be true Federalism in which certain political units are run according to the social rules of 1950s America and certain other political units are run according to the social rules of the elites.

This sorting has already happened, to some extent. If you want to live a more traditional lifestyle, places like Delta, Utah, or Provo, Utah, or Colorado Springs offer this traditional lifestyle. These places should be able to maintain their own unique traditional lifestyle without encroachment from the elites.

At the same time, it is perfectly appropriate for the elites to dominate places like New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. The majority of the people in those cities want to live by the cultural rules of the elites.

As has been commented upon many times here, the elites seem to have fertility levels far below replacement levels. While non elites, whether the non elite are Mormon, or Evangelical Christian seem to have above replacement fertility.

It seems that both should be able to coexist well.

Don't forget that the current arrangement of society in Silicon Valley, in Hollywood, in Cambridge works well for the elite. The elite prefers to bring high IQ Koreans and Brahmins to live in their communities and work in their companies as opposed to non elite Americans.

Fundamentally, the elite created Google, they created apple, they created facebook. They should be allowed to staff up their companies with whoever they want.

It is clear that the elites would rather associate with high IQ Brahmins and with high IQ Korean immigrants instead of with average IQ redneck prole Americans. Who are we to force the elite to associate with the redneck proles?

At the same time, the average IQ people in places like West Virginia should be free to propogate their culture their own way.


It seems to me that a general rule in our society is that the super high IQ super productive whites, the whites that create special things like Google or high technology or Hollywood movies that entertain the whole world want to live with high IQ people of all races. And also want to live with a good smattering of homosexual high IQ people.

It seems to me that the low IQ whites generally don't enjoy being around those with high IQ. Low IQ whites EITHER want to become super religious and associate with other super religious people, or they want to do prole things like Nascar and hunting. It seems to me that low IQ whites and high IQ whites naturally want to segregate out from each other.

There is a place for everyone here in America.

Anonymous said...

That is fine with me, isn't America big enough for the low IQ whites to go live in totally separate cities from the high IQ whites?

Long story short, if you are white and long for an all white environment, move to a whiteopia, or a traditional all white city. You will find traditional values and affordable family formation.

If you are white and want a low wage class of immigrants to do your menial work, and a super high IQ class of Brahmins and Northeast Asians to work with you at your company, move to a liberal elite city.

Whiskey said...

The last two anons miss key points. First, the elites are not that smart. David Stern, NBA Commissioner, certainly an elite, was featured in this past weekend's WSJ. He's boasting about how the NBA is globally popular, yet saying he's not making money from the global popularity so he has to contract the league. He seems to spend all his time promoting the NBA in China (zero expansion opportunities, very limited ancillary revenues) and none minding his store: expanded profitability at home.

Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, all took advantage of first/best mover advantage in a frontier. Most take advantage of externalities born by non-elite Whites. I.E. replacement of the upward path to mobility by H1-B Visa holders/outsourcing.

Next, the elites are not a cognitive aristocracy but mostly an inherited position of wealth. I would not call Tom Friedman a man blessed with cognitive ability, merely the right family. The only difference is the elites are not exclusively old-line WASPs like Prescott Bush and such.

Finally, there is no Whitopia. Elites preference to crowd out non-elite Whites (and particularly exclude smart non-elite Whites) means a total demographic transformation of America. Every place will look like Santa Ana or East LA: Mexico Norte.

Fred said...

"I am surprised that MacDonald was allowed to mention average IQ differences between the races."

She still acts as if they are entirely due to nurture, rather than nature. This came toward the end of her essay:

"The long-term solution to all such racial imbalances is for blacks and Hispanics to apply themselves more diligently in school."

Fred said...

"Isn't it possible that these high IQ whites know that a fire department staffed by NAMs is going to be slightly less effective at fighting fires than a fire department staffed by whites, but that the elite whites are willing to accept a worse fire department in order to feel generous towards NAMs?"

No. High IQ whites in Manhattan have tremendous respect for the men of the FDNY, who are (or at least have been, up to now) considered an elite group. Whites in Manhattan respect the FDNY sort of like the way whites in Georgia respect the 75th Ranger Regiment.

elvisd said...

"It is clear that the elites would rather associate with high IQ Brahmins and with high IQ Korean immigrants instead of with average IQ redneck prole Americans."

For just a second, I thought he/she/it was referring to the Boston "Brahmins". I'm surprised that I don't hear anything about the old Boston/Cape Cod Unitarian tribe on this post. They are the virtual inventors of PC.

Fred said...

"I would not call Tom Friedman a man blessed with cognitive ability, merely the right family."

Friedman's no genius, but to say he got where he is based on having the right family is nonsense. Friedman earned his first Pulitzer for war reporting from Lebanon. He was a good reporter. It also takes a certain talent to popularize concepts such as globalization, etc. (even if what he writes ends up being banal or wrong on closer inspection).

Svigor said...

Must...make...self...give...shit...about...quality...of...NYCFD...

Nope, can't do it. I say let quotas rule NYC from top to bottom. In fact, I say take all the crackers out of NYC government.

Anonymous said...

The new part of the quota story is that although middle class whites could largely afford to subsidize blacks (and to a lesser extent Hispanics) with public sector jobs when the private sector was booming, those days are long gone. Whites are more and more directly competing with legally preferred minorities for stable government jobs, and will be far less willing to take this discrimination lying down. That is a major reason for public interest in these stories.

ATBOTL said...

"The long-term solution to all such racial imbalances is for blacks and Hispanics to apply themselves more diligently in school."

We need to get to the point where people like Heather MacDonald are telling the truth about this.

Anonymous said...

keypusher: But still...the 2007 exam, with its 98% white pass rate, was obviously about as dumbed down as an exam can be.

For a mean IQ of 100 and a standard deviation of 15, the 2% of failures would live at or below IQ 69.1938.

Anonymous: The new part of the quota story is that although middle class whites could largely afford to subsidize blacks (and to a lesser extent Hispanics) with public sector jobs when the private sector was booming, those days are long gone.

Bingo.

There just aren't enough young whites and Asians in this country to pay the taxes necessary to keep the USS Gravy Train from sinking to the bottom of the ocean.

eh said...

Bingo.

Couldn't hurt to have another person helping to bring this information to the attention of Mr Sailer.

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

@Fred: "Friedman's no genius, but to say he got where he is based on having the right family is nonsense. Friedman earned his first Pulitzer for war reporting from Lebanon. He was a good reporter. It also takes a certain talent to popularize concepts such as globalization, etc. (even if what he writes ends up being banal or wrong on closer inspection)."

I like to mock Whiskey, so it's only fair I speak up when I think he's got it right. His point is correct: our ruling elites are smart, but they aren't as smart as some of you people seem to think they are; and family/social connections really do matter, a lot, to what kinds of jobs you can get. Especially elite jobs.

Being smart is important but not enough: the so-called "cognitive elites" (ruling elites would be a more precise term) do have plenty of opportunities that they would not have had without their family birth and social connections. And they do actively block the economic and social advancement of "lesser whites" who haven't been thoroughly brain-washed by elite universities, no matter how talented they may be.

Do you really think that the New York Times or any other mainstream news media organization is a meritocracy that hires the best no matter what their background is? Or that the Pulitzer Prize is really based on merit alone?

There's millions of 130+ IQ whites who will never go to university, never have any shot at any kind of elite job; so let's drop the pretense that our ruling elites are also our "cognitive" elite, and let's stop pretending that only low-IQ whites live in flyover country and dislike living with "high-IQ" whites in multi-racial cesspools like NYC. The very idea that our ruling elite is a cognitive elite is a lie since they actively suppress the wages and opportunities of non-elite whites of all IQ levels, most especially high IQ non-elite whites who are seen as a particular danger to our current ruling elites.

If Friedman, given the same IQ/talent, had started out as cub reporter from the backwoods of West Virginia and with a family name like Smith or Jones, do you really think he would have gotten that opportunity to be a war reporter in Lebanon in the first place? Maybe, but the odds would have been much worse, especially given Friedman's decidedly average analytical abilities.

Friedman got his job partly due to who he was, got promoted because of his modest ability, and keeps his job because he is talented at telling his readers (and his employers) what they want to hear - which is of course also what Friedman wants to hear. Being encapsulated his entire life in the SWPL/SJPL bubble, Friedman has the knack for "preaching to the choir", which a much more talented, but unconnected, gentile white boy from flyover country would never be able to do. So your family origins really do matter.

Whiskey is also correct that our ruling elites have no intention of allowing us any free space to live as whites, separate from the multi-racial lunacy. The intention is to force the globalist multi-culti miasma on all whites, without exception. Retreating to West Virginia or Maine is a temporary solution at best (remember those Somali refugees foisted on that little town in Maine a few years ago?).

Anonymous said...

Whiskey is also correct that our ruling elites have no intention of allowing us any free space to live as whites, separate from the multi-racial lunacy. The intention is to force the globalist multi-culti miasma on all whites, without exception. Retreating to West Virginia or Maine is a temporary solution at best (remember those Somali refugees foisted on that little town in Maine a few years ago?).

I sense that the tide is starting to turn on that front - I think this nation is a lot closer to a secessionist implosion than our elites yet realize.

Sheila said...

Last Anonymous - your points about Friedman and his career's progression as compared to the prospects of a White protestant from West Virginia were spot on. Fred's defense of Friedman reminds me of all those who decried the Journolist cabal for their liberalism - while determinedly ignoring the incredibly large contingent of a particular religious/cultural group.

MacDonald subverts her entire essay about midway, when she attributes the lack of Black firefighters not only to lack of interest on the part of Blacks, but also to the "reprehensible racism" of the White firefighters. She concludes, as another commenter noted, with the assumption that if Blacks merely applied themselves in school, we could put all this unpleasantness behind us. After all, race is only a social construct and HBD is an evil racist field of study.

Fred said...

"Friedman got his job partly due to who he was"

Which was what? Friedman grew up in suburban Minneapolis and went to a public high school, followed by U. of Minnesota, before transferring to Brandeis (before winning a Marshall scholarship to Oxford). Not exactly the pedigree of the Northeastern elite.

Severn said...

It is clear that the elites would rather associate with high IQ Brahmins and with high IQ Korean immigrants instead of with average IQ redneck prole Americans.



Or ever with high IQ redneck prole Americans.

Severn said...

High IQ whites in Manhattan have tremendous respect for the men of the FDNY


They didn't before 9/11, and as time passes and memory fades, they won't again.

ben tillman said...

"Friedman got his job partly due to who he was"

Which was what?


Jewish.

Friedman grew up in suburban Minneapolis and went to a public high school, followed by U. of Minnesota, before transferring to Brandeis (before winning a Marshall scholarship to Oxford). Not exactly the pedigree of the Northeastern elite.

We're not talking about the "Northeastern elite"; we're talking about the mass media, which for Jews amounts to a family business.

David said...

>High IQ whites in Manhattan have tremendous respect for the men of the FDNY<

Ask any of these "high IQ whites in Manhattan" if it's a good goal to diversify the FDNY with quotas. You'll see what his or her alleged respect is worth.