From: An Illinois Paleoconservative [Email him]
Having just read John Derbyshire’s great piece Kicking the Stone I particularly picked up on the job problems with hiring blacks. Especially where he refers to the dangerous jobs. I am a white Chicago area fireman (not “firefighter.) I have watched Chicago have to pay and appease both blacks and women in ridiculous ways, especially over the last ten years.
When I started my career over 17 years ago I knew I would never test to become a Chicago fireman! The biggest reason being, you have to live there. I grew up there and moved away for a reason. But then I also saw how much the Chicago white guys complained about being passed over time and time again in favor of lower scoring black Lieutenants.
Then a few years ago a bunch of blacks sued Chicago because the written test was race biased. Basically, it means they were too uneducated to test well! Chicago settled and offered these blacks jobs years after they were of hiring age (most departments cut off is 35) or a cash settlement. This opened the door! Many higher up whites on the hiring list were pushed back to let the blacks go through hiring and academy first.
About two years ago a bunch of women sued Chicago. This time about their poor performance on the physical test for hiring. They claimed it "wasn't realistic to the physical activity of the job". That's BS!
Having taken numerous tests I can assure you the job's physical requirements are much harder! Especially since the test is in a controlled environment and not a burning building where anything can happen and situations change quick. Again Chicago settled and pushed back another class of better suited firemen.
I've worked with blacks in my field and yes it's true; they are much slower moving even in a life and death situation. We take tests for numerous classes that have to be state certified.
At one such test, where members of multiple fire departments attend for certification, the test giver who was a stern old white guy went on how no breaks were allowed and no one walking in after the test began was admitted. The test started and 5 minutes later in walked six guys from the black Chicago suburb of Maywood. (All black—black suburbs don’t worry about diversity hiring.) And yes, they got to take the test!
See a previous letter from the same reader.