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SCOTUS rules for white firefighters in reverse bias case

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Greed and Death
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Re: SCOTUS rules for white firefighters in reverse bias case

Postby Greed and Death » Tue Jun 30, 2009 11:27 am

Neo Art wrote:
Araraukar wrote:
Neo Art wrote:Maybe because nobody felt the need to explain something that should have been common knowledge to anyone with a highschool education.

Unless you're a non american...in which case, why assume before, you know, asking?


I'm not "American", and since the discussion started with a current event, I didn't think someone would dig up old, out-dated examples. No-one's saying racism wasn't really bad earlier on, just that sometimes it's too often raised as an issue in current events where it isn't an issue, like in the firefighter case.


because racism ended forever in 1965, right?


I prefer the French means of dealing with racism myself.
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Re: SCOTUS rules for white firefighters in reverse bias case

Postby Ferrous Oxide » Tue Jun 30, 2009 11:31 am

greed and death wrote:I prefer the French means of dealing with racism myself.


Which one's that? Ignoring it while Paris burns?

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Re: SCOTUS rules for white firefighters in reverse bias case

Postby Araraukar » Tue Jun 30, 2009 11:31 am

greed and death wrote:I prefer the French means of dealing with racism myself.


Segregating the "wrong sort of people" into urban ghettos and then silencing any raised voices by deathly force? :lol2:
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Re: SCOTUS rules for white firefighters in reverse bias case

Postby UnhealthyTruthseeker » Tue Jun 30, 2009 11:38 am

Ryadn wrote:
Zivenzia wrote:If asked why a particular group does poorly on a test, why is "racism" always the first answer? Is it a truism based on perpetuated stereotypes?


Unless you believe that people of different 'races' have brains that work in fundamentally different ways, there is no other clear answer for why different 'races' should produce disparate results.

The racism may very well be unintentional. It may be a result of differing culture, SEC, education, language, etc. It may be institutionalized. To say the test was racially biased was not to accuse the test makers or administrators of intentional racism--it's simply stating that there is an inequality at work somewhere, because if there wasn't, the results would not be so disparate.

Now, if you DO believe that people of different 'races' have different brains, there's no real argument anyone can make, because you are obviously not interested in science, facts, or rationality.


If the test only contained facts, and no black people passed it because blacks, as a whole, tend to have shittier schools and less educational opportunities, how does that point to racism in the test? Doesn't it instead point to racism in society? A math test, for example, can't be racist. That makes no fucking sense.
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Re: SCOTUS rules for white firefighters in reverse bias case

Postby Araraukar » Tue Jun 30, 2009 11:50 am

UnhealthyTruthseeker wrote:If the test only contained facts, and no black people passed it because blacks, as a whole, tend to have shittier schools and less educational opportunities, how does that point to racism in the test? Doesn't it instead point to racism in society? A math test, for example, can't be racist. That makes no fucking sense.


Which brings us back to educational bias, which does exist, often to the detriment of non-white people. But it's not inherently racial.
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Re: SCOTUS rules for white firefighters in reverse bias case

Postby Heinleinites » Tue Jun 30, 2009 1:25 pm

Baudette wrote:The whole issue is rediculous because the best qualified, i.e. highest scoring applicants, should be given the promotions regardless of race. If I'm in need of assistance from firemen, I don't care if they're black, white, brown, green or covered with purple stripes so long as they get me out. I want the best qualified, not the most diverse, group of firefighters coming to help.


I'm going to go with this here. If my house were on fire, I'd want the most qualified fire fighters to show up, and I wouldn't really give a damn whether or not they looked like they stepped out of Captain Planet and the Planeteers.
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Re: SCOTUS rules for white firefighters in reverse bias case

Postby New Mitanni » Tue Jun 30, 2009 1:29 pm

Right decision, but it didn't go far enough. It's time to abolish race-based preferences and reverse discrimination once and for all.
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Re: SCOTUS rules for white firefighters in reverse bias case

Postby Free Soviets » Tue Jun 30, 2009 1:31 pm

Heinleinites wrote:I'm going to go with this here. If my house were on fire, I'd want the most qualified fire fighters to show up, and I wouldn't really give a damn whether or not they looked like they stepped out of Captain Planet and the Planeteers.

and therefore you want to make sure that any tests given to determine qualification actually measures qualifications. which means when a test comes up with a suspicious outcome that you know will open you up to lawsuits, it just makes sense to not use those results, right?

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Re: SCOTUS rules for white firefighters in reverse bias case

Postby Vervaria » Tue Jun 30, 2009 1:32 pm

New Mitanni wrote:Right decision, but it didn't go far enough. It's time to abolish race-based preferences and reverse discrimination once and for all.

And put those damn Orcs and Uruk-Hai back in the ghettos where they belong.
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Re: SCOTUS rules for white firefighters in reverse bias case

Postby No Names Left Damn It » Tue Jun 30, 2009 1:33 pm

This reminds me of an incident over here in England. On the Scilly Isles, a small group of islands off the west coast of Cornwall, the local council was criticised for not having enough minorities in its fire brigades. Guess how many non-whites live on the Scillies?
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Re: SCOTUS rules for white firefighters in reverse bias case

Postby UnhealthyTruthseeker » Tue Jun 30, 2009 1:34 pm

Vervaria wrote:
New Mitanni wrote:Right decision, but it didn't go far enough. It's time to abolish race-based preferences and reverse discrimination once and for all.

And put those damn Orcs and Uruk-Hai back in the ghettos where they belong.


Hey, Orcs get +10 bonus to cotton-picking. :p
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Re: SCOTUS rules for white firefighters in reverse bias case

Postby Grays Harbor » Tue Jun 30, 2009 1:45 pm

Free Soviets wrote:
Heinleinites wrote:I'm going to go with this here. If my house were on fire, I'd want the most qualified fire fighters to show up, and I wouldn't really give a damn whether or not they looked like they stepped out of Captain Planet and the Planeteers.

and therefore you want to make sure that any tests given to determine qualification actually measures qualifications. which means when a test comes up with a suspicious outcome that you know will open you up to lawsuits, it just makes sense to not use those results, right?


How so? The allegation was that the test may have had a racial bias, not that it didn't measure the skills and knowledge required to assume leadership positions in fighting fires.
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Re: SCOTUS rules for white firefighters in reverse bias case

Postby Maurepas » Tue Jun 30, 2009 1:48 pm

I thought the court made the right decision, the reason for throwing the original promotions out in the first place was entirely based on race, and was therefore discriminatory, and wrong...

On the other hand though, I agreed with one of the opposing Justices who said that it was absurd for firefighters to be tested with pen and paper, to me, the only test the firefighters need to pass is the one where they run in a building and get the person out...

However, that is for New Haven to fix, not the courts, the fact is that the actions were discriminatory, Race should have never entered the equation, and shouldnt be asked at all, on anything...

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Re: SCOTUS rules for white firefighters in reverse bias case

Postby Grays Harbor » Tue Jun 30, 2009 1:55 pm

Maurepas wrote:On the other hand though, I agreed with one of the opposing Justices who said that it was absurd for firefighters to be tested with pen and paper, to me, the only test the firefighters need to pass is the one where they run in a building and get the person out...


for basic firefighters, yes, that is the case. but this was a test for lieutenants and captains, the leadership roles in firefighting, which covers alot more than just running into the building. Rather like the difference between an army private and a lieutenant, or a police officer and a police captain.
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Re: SCOTUS rules for white firefighters in reverse bias case

Postby The Cat-Tribe » Tue Jun 30, 2009 1:55 pm

OK.

First, let me admit I haven't read this entire thread, just skimmed parts of it. I may get back to specific posts later.

Second, I now that almost none of you have or will read the actual SCOTUS decision, especially as it and the dissent combine to over 90 pages. Nonetheless, here a link to the pdf: http://www.supremecourtus.gov/opinions/ ... 7-1428.pdf

Third, I have read the opinion and most of the back-and-forth on this thread is based on ignorance, ideology, and irrelevancies. The case was actually very complicated and the difference between the majority opinion and dissent was rather narrow. Both agreed that the whole problem could have been avoided if the City had used a better selection process. Both agreed this was different than either an affirmative action or a racial set-aside case. Both agreed that the actions taken by the City in not certifying the test results was subjectively in good faith, but nonetheless had a racial impact. Both agreed that the actions taken by the City could nonetheless have been justified by sufficient concern by the City that the tests were biased and they could have been liable for discrimination if they had just certified the tests. The majority held that the City needed to have "strong evidence" it would have been liable and, although the City had prima facie evidence that the test was biased, lacked such strong evidence. The dissent would have held that the City's actions were justified by "good cause" to believe it would be subject to disparate impact liability.

The facts of the case are complicated. There was a great deal of expert opinion that the test was not just facially biased, but fundamentally flawed.

I find the majority and the dissent both to be quite reasonable (with the exception of Justice Scalia and Alito's concurrences) and think the case may well have been correctly decided.
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Re: SCOTUS rules for white firefighters in reverse bias case

Postby The Cat-Tribe » Tue Jun 30, 2009 1:57 pm

Grays Harbor wrote:
Free Soviets wrote:
Heinleinites wrote:I'm going to go with this here. If my house were on fire, I'd want the most qualified fire fighters to show up, and I wouldn't really give a damn whether or not they looked like they stepped out of Captain Planet and the Planeteers.

and therefore you want to make sure that any tests given to determine qualification actually measures qualifications. which means when a test comes up with a suspicious outcome that you know will open you up to lawsuits, it just makes sense to not use those results, right?


How so? The allegation was that the test may have had a racial bias, not that it didn't measure the skills and knowledge required to assume leadership positions in fighting fires.


Actually, there was a great deal of evidence provided to the City before its decision that questioned whether they tests actually measured relevant skills and knowledge.

Your ideological reaction ignores inconvenient facts.
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The Cat-Tribe wrote:With that, I am done with these shenanigans. Do as thou wilt.

Can't miss you until you're gone, Ambassador. Seriously, your delegation is like one of those stores that has a "Going Out Of Business" sale for twenty years. Stay or go, already.*snip*
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Re: SCOTUS rules for white firefighters in reverse bias case

Postby Heinleinites » Tue Jun 30, 2009 1:58 pm

Free Soviets wrote:and therefore you want to make sure that any tests given to determine qualification actually measures qualifications.


Correct. I also would imagine the qualifications to be a firefighter would run something like this:

Can you climb a ladder?
Can you lug someone out of a building who may be unconscious and who may weigh up to 250 lbs?
Can you control a fire hose?
Can you attach one to a fire hydrant?
Can you drive a fire truck, or in the event of having to ride in the back of one, hang on?
Are you willing to risk your life by running into a building that is doing it's best to burn to the ground while you are still in it?
Do you like Dalmatians and chili?

If the answer to all those questions is 'yes', you should be hired, regardless of what color you are. I'd even give a pass on the last one. The guy who does the best on the above test gets to be fire-chief. Or you could do it by seniority, I don't care.
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Re: SCOTUS rules for white firefighters in reverse bias case

Postby Maurepas » Tue Jun 30, 2009 1:58 pm

Grays Harbor wrote:
Maurepas wrote:On the other hand though, I agreed with one of the opposing Justices who said that it was absurd for firefighters to be tested with pen and paper, to me, the only test the firefighters need to pass is the one where they run in a building and get the person out...


for basic firefighters, yes, that is the case. but this was a test for lieutenants and captains, the leadership roles in firefighting, which covers alot more than just running into the building. Rather like the difference between an army private and a lieutenant, or a police officer and a police captain.

True, But, id still say it be better to put them in a field test, leading a squad, or whatever, than a pen and paper test, I really dont care if my firefighters can pass exams, I care if they can lead them in, to rescue people and put out fires...

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Re: SCOTUS rules for white firefighters in reverse bias case

Postby The Cat-Tribe » Tue Jun 30, 2009 1:59 pm

Araraukar wrote:
Neo Art wrote:Maybe because nobody felt the need to explain something that should have been common knowledge to anyone with a highschool education.

Unless you're a non american...in which case, why assume before, you know, asking?


I'm not "American", and since the discussion started with a current event, I didn't think someone would dig up old, out-dated examples. No-one's saying racism wasn't really bad earlier on, just that sometimes it's too often raised as an issue in current events where it isn't an issue, like in the firefighter case.


Your ignorance of the continued existence of both active racism and the effects of past racism in the United States is just that IGNORANCE and doesn't constitute either an argument or a valid opinion.
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The Cat-Tribe wrote:With that, I am done with these shenanigans. Do as thou wilt.

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Re: SCOTUS rules for white firefighters in reverse bias case

Postby Grays Harbor » Tue Jun 30, 2009 2:03 pm

The Cat-Tribe wrote:
Grays Harbor wrote: How so? The allegation was that the test may have had a racial bias, not that it didn't measure the skills and knowledge required to assume leadership positions in fighting fires.


Actually, there was a great deal of evidence provided to the City before its decision that questioned whether they tests actually measured relevant skills and knowledge.

Your ideological reaction ignores inconvenient facts.


if that is a response to me, I believe you may have misread what I wrote. I was stating that skills and knowledge should be paramount. so that last bit was quite unneccessary.
Last edited by Grays Harbor on Tue Jun 30, 2009 2:07 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: SCOTUS rules for white firefighters in reverse bias case

Postby The Cat-Tribe » Tue Jun 30, 2009 2:05 pm

Grays Harbor wrote:
The Cat-Tribe wrote:
Grays Harbor wrote: How so? The allegation was that the test may have had a racial bias, not that it didn't measure the skills and knowledge required to assume leadership positions in fighting fires.


Actually, there was a great deal of evidence provided to the City before its decision that questioned whether they tests actually measured relevant skills and knowledge.

Your ideological reaction ignores inconvenient facts.


if that is a response to me, I believe you may have misread what I wrote. I was stating that skills and knowledge should be paramount. so that last bit was quite unneccessary.


Um. That last bit was quite necessary because of the utter lie that was in the statement to which I responded. The allegation WAS that the test didn't acurrately measure skills and knowledge required to assume leadership positions in fighting fires.
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The Cat-Tribe wrote:With that, I am done with these shenanigans. Do as thou wilt.

Can't miss you until you're gone, Ambassador. Seriously, your delegation is like one of those stores that has a "Going Out Of Business" sale for twenty years. Stay or go, already.*snip*
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Re: SCOTUS rules for white firefighters in reverse bias case

Postby Ryadn » Tue Jun 30, 2009 2:06 pm

Grays Harbor wrote:
Ryadn wrote:
Zivenzia wrote:If asked why a particular group does poorly on a test, why is "racism" always the first answer? Is it a truism based on perpetuated stereotypes?


Unless you believe that people of different 'races' have brains that work in fundamentally different ways, there is no other clear answer for why different 'races' should produce disparate results.

The racism may very well be unintentional. It may be a result of differing culture, SEC, education, language, etc. It may be institutionalized. To say the test was racially biased was not to accuse the test makers or administrators of intentional racism--it's simply stating that there is an inequality at work somewhere, because if there wasn't, the results would not be so disparate.

Now, if you DO believe that people of different 'races' have different brains, there's no real argument anyone can make, because you are obviously not interested in science, facts, or rationality.


I just got up and the coffee isn't ready yet, so I may be misreading your assertation, but are you arguing that the Eugenics studies of the late 19th and early 20th centuries were indeed correct?? Because, if you are, you are about a century out of date and really need to get new reference materiel.


No, that's exactly what I was NOT saying. Please read the last sentence again.
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Re: SCOTUS rules for white firefighters in reverse bias case

Postby Grays Harbor » Tue Jun 30, 2009 2:08 pm

The Cat-Tribe wrote:Um. That last bit was quite necessary because of the utter lie that was in the statement to which I responded. The allegation WAS that the test didn't acurrately measure skills and knowledge required to assume leadership positions in fighting fires.


1.) you have no clue as to what my ideology may be. its a web forum.

2.) and my only "ideological reaction" is that those most qualified get the positions, regardless of racial makeup. I could give a crap about what their ethnic background is, when it comes to fighting fires we need those most capable to lead to be in those positions.
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Re: SCOTUS rules for white firefighters in reverse bias case

Postby Ryadn » Tue Jun 30, 2009 2:09 pm

UnhealthyTruthseeker wrote:
Ryadn wrote:Unless you believe that people of different 'races' have brains that work in fundamentally different ways, there is no other clear answer for why different 'races' should produce disparate results.

The racism may very well be unintentional. It may be a result of differing culture, SEC, education, language, etc. It may be institutionalized. To say the test was racially biased was not to accuse the test makers or administrators of intentional racism--it's simply stating that there is an inequality at work somewhere, because if there wasn't, the results would not be so disparate.

Now, if you DO believe that people of different 'races' have different brains, there's no real argument anyone can make, because you are obviously not interested in science, facts, or rationality.


If the test only contained facts, and no black people passed it because blacks, as a whole, tend to have shittier schools and less educational opportunities, how does that point to racism in the test? Doesn't it instead point to racism in society? A math test, for example, can't be racist. That makes no fucking sense.


I may not have been clear--that's exactly the point I was trying to make. It may not even be a function of the test being poorly designed, but rather of a deeper, more wide-spread inequality. Now, how this relates to whether or not the results should be thrown out, I can not say. I'm simply arguing that disparate results are necessarily due to inequality in some form.
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Re: SCOTUS rules for white firefighters in reverse bias case

Postby Grays Harbor » Tue Jun 30, 2009 2:11 pm

Ryadn wrote:
Grays Harbor wrote: I just got up and the coffee isn't ready yet, so I may be misreading your assertation, but are you arguing that the Eugenics studies of the late 19th and early 20th centuries were indeed correct?? Because, if you are, you are about a century out of date and really need to get new reference materiel.


No, that's exactly what I was NOT saying. Please read the last sentence again.


I did, later. thats why I had the qualifiers at the beginning of my statement. don't get your knickers in a twist.
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