November 30, 2007

343

From the New York Post:

With a federal discrimination lawsuit looming, the FDNY announced yesterday that the last firefighter exam had produced the most diverse group of applicants in its history, with minorities expected to account for one-third of future hires.

"We are finally making strides in increasing diversity," declared Mayor Bloomberg at FDNY Headquarters in Downtown Brooklyn.

"This is an unprecedented result," agreed Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta. "The numbers are really quite spectacular."

Of 21,183 applicants who passed the written firefighter exam last January, 38 percent were minorities - nearly double the 21 percent who passed the previous exam, in 2002.

More importantly, according to the mayor, minorities held 33 percent of the slots among the 4,000 highest scorers, the group most likely to be hired off the civil-service list over the next four years.

The test was changed this year, said Martha Hirst, commissioner of the Department of Citywide Services, to reflect "basic aptitude abilities," such as judgment, ability to work with others, reading and memorization skills.

343.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

40 comments:

Anonymous said...

"basic aptitude abilities," such as judgment, ability to work with others, reading and memorization "

That sure is going to help with reading pressure gauges, figuring chemical components in a fire, estimating structural stability, calculating flow throughput etc. I guess the white and asian guys are going to have to do the heavy lifting while the minorities do the management.

Anonymous said...

I hope some journalist will take the initiative to obtain the original test, and compare it to the "improved" test, to see what the "improvements" entailed.

Could be very interesting.

lmg said...

Time for New Yorkers to stock up on fire extinguishers.

the Narrator... said...

"Citywide Services, to reflect "basic aptitude abilities," such as judgment, ability to work with others, reading and memorization skills."

lol..."Basic" being the operative word.
I guess "Judgment" means knowing Yellow from Green, or Stop from Go.
"Ability to work well with others" means 'Yes, I completed a Sensitivity Training program'.
And "memorization skills" means remembering your address and other "basic" abilities.
Whats really funny though is that New York City is nothing but minorities.

from city-data.com,
Races in New York:

* White Non-Hispanic (35.0%)
* Hispanic (27.0%)
* Black (26.6%)
* Other race (13.4%)
* Two or more races (4.9%)
* Chinese (4.5%)
* Asian Indian (2.1%)
* American Indian (1.1%)
* Korean (1.1%)
* Other Asian (1.0%)
* Filipino (0.7%)
(Total can be greater than 100% because Hispanics could be counted in other races)

And we know what a generous definition of white that both Federal and State government agencies use. So Non-whites easily out number whites in New York City, and yet still, even with the dumbing down of tests and discrimination against white males, non-whites only manage to makeup 30% of the new potential civil servants...

Ernest said...

"We are finally making strides in increasing diversity," declared Mayor Bloomberg at FDNY Headquarters in Downtown Brooklyn.

This is a good thing because?

Anonymous said...

I hope some journalist will take the initiative to obtain the original test, and compare it to the "improved" test, to see what the "improvements" entailed.

Could be very interesting.

Exactly!

When I read stuff like this I find it hard to believe ANYONE thinks this is a good thing.

The next feeling, to be perfectly honest, is----impatience.

I'm impatient to see the day when NYC, my home, my ex-home (for me it became unlivable by 2000 so I left) to see it strangle itself with the smug complacency it has with the whole diversity frenzy.

It is sort of like the feeling anyone has, as I did with my dear Grandmother, of watching a once vibrant soul slowly waste away. It is simply too painful.

For myself, and many in my family, it got to the point where I could not wait for God to take her.

In the summer 1978, on my 20th birthday, I stopped by her place to have a lemonade (a custom of ours). We sat on her small porch in Queens and she said in so many words that I should enjoy the City while I can, cause it's not long for this world. The thing that always got me was her tone of voice. Not negative or pessimistic, just very matter of fact.

When your young and you hear that stuff you take the "oh well, let's cross that bridge when we get to it" attitude.

So, at 42 in the year 2000, I crossed the bridge, literally and figurately, and more than likely, will never return.

It's just sad.

Like the silly "celebrating" about diversity from Bloomberg and others in this article.

al fin said...

If women can't lift and carry victims out of fire and smoke-filled environments, their relatives will have the comfort of knowing the Fire Department was appropriately diverse.

joshrandall said...

We just had a firemans test recently here in Chicago. The test was so dumbed down that 83% passed! Thats 83% of whatever the cat dragged in passed!! 83% are deemed worthy of being firemen!!!! Many of these testees would most likely run screaming from a solar eclipse,fearing that the sun was being eaten! yet theyre deemed worthy for this job! The war on white men,amd on America as a 1st world nation continues.

James Kabala said...

I find this post to be demagogic. Are you suggesting that black and Hispanic firemen would have shirked their duty run away from the World Trade Center? That's a pretty serious charge.

There are several people on the list of photos you linked to who appear to be black or Hispanic: Calixto Anaya, Vernon Cherry, Tarel Coleman, Ruben Correa, Ronnie Henderson, William Henry, Karl Joseph, Keithroy Maynard, Charles Mendez, Vernon Richard, Anthony Rodriguez, Gregory Saucedo, Leon Smith, Hector Tirado, and Sergio Villeneueva. I may have missed a few. I see no reason not to expect that future black and Hispanic firemen will do honor to these men's memory.

Anonymous said...

I hope and pray that the people who came up with this idea die horrible deaths in burning buildings.

c23

John Prester said...

Just think: If New York City can manage to find candidates who are gay, black, blind and use a wheelchair, the diversicrats won't have to bother with those sexist/misogynistic/racist/homophobic white guys any more!

On the other hand, I personally believe that it's going to take a major tragedy such as Bloomberg's aunt getting hit and killed by one of our esteemed driving while drunk "undocumented guest workers" for these Bozo politicians to ever wake up and realize what's going on.

Steve Sailer said...

"I find this post to be demagogic. Are you suggesting that black and Hispanic firemen would have shirked their duty run away from the World Trade Center? ... There are several people on the list of photos you linked to who appear to be black or Hispanic."

I'm suggesting that the old test produced firemen whose performance in the ultimate test in the history of their profession set a mark that, hopefully, will never be topped: 343.

APH said...

I have no doubt Heather MacDonald will roll up her sleeves and get to the bottom of this...Not going to change anything, but at least she'll raise hell.

Bill said...

A close family friend is a combat medic in Mosul right now because, although he passed all the tests, he couldn't get a job as a fireman as a white boy.

This kid is 6'7" and strong as an ox. He could easily throw a 200 pound man over his shoulder and carry him down a ladder. And he's got a good head on his shoulders. Now he's the biggest target in his unit, pulling people out of the line of fire with bullets flying all over the place.

If you're a white boy, you've got to serve in the armed forces to stand on an equal footing with minorities when applying for civil service jobs. Not many people mention it, but that's one of the biggest reasons white boys enlist.

Anonymous said...

Steve, I find this post a bit disingenuous coming from you, given your oft-stated lament that there aren't enough decent-paying blue collar jobs that Non Asian Minorities go out for. And you've presented no evidence beyond your assumptions that the tweaks to the entrance requirements are going to lead to inferior firefighters. And if they can keep the quality up while increasing the number of NAMs doing this essential job, isn't that a good thing? Don't you want big, muscular, non-college educated black and Hispanic guys becoming heroic firefighters instead of street corner thugs?

Steve Sailer said...

I'm not sure that high rise firefighting is quite as simple as you assume.

Evil Neocon said...

Anon --

Steve is correct, firefighting is very complex. Among other things, it is quite routine for firefighters to face decisions about how to respond to toxic/dangerous chemicals involved in warehouse and commercial buildings on fire. Let alone keeping a mental map in their head of the building layout, fire, likely progress of the fire, dangerous areas to avoid, and where their fellow firefighters are at.

Technology such as locaters, rebreathers, more powerful radios, etc. helps but ... you try navigating a smoke filled complex building you've never been in before.

It's not a trivial profession and taxpayers should expect to pay for only the best, not the most politically correct.

Anonymous said...

"I guess the white and asian guys are going to have to do the heavy lifting while the minorities do the management."

There are almost no Asians in the NYFD.

Dent said...

"We are finally making strides in increasing diversity," declared Mayor Bloomberg at FDNY Headquarters in Downtown Brooklyn.

Someone asked "and this is a good thing why?"

Exactly. Just one time I'd like someone, anyone, to explain why increasing diversity is a good thing in and of itself. Just tell me HOW it is a good thing.

Personally, I think increasing excellence should be the goal. Diversity is not an inherently good thing (as far as I can tell), and seems to invariably cause strife and unrest among the various diverse groups.

Anonymous said...

Well, it couldn't be worse than the situation in the National Forests of California, where a judge ordered the Forest Service to classify fire fighters as "laborers," so that high school dropouts would qualify and the Forest Service could meet is Hispanic hiring target.

NYer said...

Narrator, non-hispanic whites are 44% of New York city population, not 35%.

Fred said...

"If you're a white boy, you've got to serve in the armed forces to stand on an equal footing with minorities when applying for civil service jobs. Not many people mention it, but that's one of the biggest reasons white boys enlist."

When I served in the Army Reserve, my unit had plenty of black and Latino troops (as well as whites) who had civil service day jobs (mainly police jobs). I'm not sure what the requirements are for the FDNY, but the NYPD requires either two years military service or two years college, so enlisting in the military at 18 is a good career move for men of all races who are interested in civil service jobs. The FDNY is harder to get into than the NYPD though, because it's only about a quarter the size.

Big Bill said...

Didn't Heather MacDonald do a piece on the New Jersey State Trooper's exam? They dumbed it down by degrees until they could pass everybody and handpick the number of blacks and Hispanics they wanted based on some "personal interview" stage of the examination process.

As I understand there are some blacks and Hispanics that are now challenging college course exams based on their "institutional racism" (i.e. blacks and Hispanics don't do so well, and it MUST be the professor).

Anonymous said...

Steve,

Here's an article idea for you about the quest for diversity at the highest levels of corporate America: It hasn't been a great year for diverse execs.

- Stan O'Neal (black), CEO of Merrill Lynch: forced to retire after leading the firm to massive 3Q sub prime losses.

- Zoe Cruz (woman, not Latino), co-president of Morgan Stanley: forced to retire over sub prime losses.

- Aylwin B. Lewis (black), CEO of Sears: Hasn't been canned, but Sears's 99% drop in quarterly earnings has tarnished the star of the company's billionaire investor chairman, Eddie Lampert.

- Richard Parsons (black), CEO of Time Warner: scheduled to retire at the end of the year after a lackluster tenure that included overpaying for AOL at the peak of the dot-com boom. Stock down 15% year to date.

beowulf said...

Man, what an interesting issue. The advice I give everyone applying for college or a government job, list your "race" as Hispanic. Hispanics are a cultural group that includes everyone from Hugo Chavez to Cameron Diaz-- its not like 'African-American' where fair skin is a dead giveaway you're listing the wrong race. You can explain away an obviously Northern European name by saying you're Hispanic on your mother's side.

The worse minority to fake is "American Indian". Because of a bureaucratic quirk, there are tribal identity cards that make it easy for the admissions office or HR department to check if they're suspicious.

Here's an article about "racial fraud" (what a great term!).
http://aad.english.ucsb.edu/docs/proof.html

francis k said...

>* White Non-Hispanic (35.0%)<

the 'white non-hispanic' u.s. government census category includes iraqis iranians afghans saudis lebanese meaning all sorts of middle easterners because american jews have lobbied the u.s. government to prevent a middle eastern racial category from ever coming into existence. in other words the category includes many peoples who do not identify as white and demonstrate hostility toward whites.

'white non-hispanic' is orwellian gibberish.

SFG said...

the 'white non-hispanic' u.s. government census category includes iraqis iranians afghans saudis lebanese meaning all sorts of middle easterners because american jews have lobbied the u.s. government to prevent a middle eastern racial category from ever coming into existence. in other words the category includes many peoples who do not identify as white and demonstrate hostility toward whites.
I doubt it. Most people don't consider Jews Middle Eastern anyway unless they're from Israel; the Ashkenazim have been in Europe for hundreds of years.

Jewish liberalism is partially involved in many things (immigration, liberalism, civil rights) but not that one.

Anonymous said...

James Kabala, no one is suggesting that the formerly unqualified non-whites have their hearts in the wrong place. The question is about their ability, not about their intentions. Demogoguery includes making straw man arguments cloaked in appeals to emotion.

none of the above said...

francis k: I'm finding it hard to get outraged over the failure to create one more affirmative action category. To the extent we're talking about social categories (true for discrimination, not for genetics), hispanic is a reasonable category, and Asians might as well be folded into whites.

Steve: Is there evidence that score on these tests has much to do with performance as firefighters? I'll admit I don't know much about firefighting, but it's clearly not a field that requires enormous intellect for most firefighters. At any rate, the results here track really nicely with La Griffe du Lion's post from awhile back, showing that you can select the white/black pass ratios by adjusting the passsing score up or down. (I think there were about five articles using the same trick on different measures, like "inherent criminality" and incarceration rate.)

Anonymous said...

If "diversity" is such a great thing, why don't we see a "fair share" of women and SE Asians playing for the NFL? Is playing for professional sports teams the only endeavor important enough to escape PC tampering?

Deena Flinchum

Steve Sailer said...

"Steve: Is there evidence that score on these tests has much to do with performance as firefighters?"

First, see the first comment above, and also Evil Neocon's lower down about how technical firefighting has become, especially in skyscrapers, of which New York has a few.

Second, the previously difficult selection process creates the kind of esprit de corps that we saw on 9/11. These guys know they are an elite and they acted like it -- noblesse oblige.

They get tangible benefits too from their well-tested status -- according to John Derbyshire, who lives in Long Island, FDNY men are ranked by blue collar women in the greater New York area as the top of the ladder in terms of desirable husband and father-of-my-children prospects, ranking above cops. (The firemen are good guys with fewer emotional problems than the cops on average.)

beowulf said...

About the fireman/policeman as desirable mates-- That certainly appears to be true. Maybe because no one gets a ticket from a fireman, everybody likes them more than cops.

And its no accident they appear to be nicer guys. I know a shrink who used to do psychological testing for a big city police department. Her advice to girl friends is, never date a cop.

Part of her role as a police shrink was rejecting men who were too empathetic and considerate for
the job. Its the nice guys who are too trusting that turn their back on a suspect, who then shoots them in the head.

Makes sense, NYPD Blue (based largely on producer Bill Clark's experience as a retired Detective) made the point every week that the abrasive jackass Andy Sipowicz was a lousy husband and father (at least until he sobered up), but was a damn near perfect cop.

Fred said...

"according to John Derbyshire, who lives in Long Island, FDNY men are ranked by blue collar women in the greater New York area as the top of the ladder in terms of desirable husband and father-of-my-children prospects"

FDNY men aren't just considered desirable by blue collar women; they do pretty well among the general female population. The department was well-respected before 9/11, but since then it's even more respected. A former coworker of my girlfriend left an operations job at the investment bank where she works to join the FDNY; he took a pay cut for the prestige, plus the job security and hours. I think he works two days per week now.

Anonymous said...

We're not rejoicing 200 miles to the south:
http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/local/baltimore_city/bal-te.md.ci.cheating01dec01,0,2834436.story

James Kabala said...

In my experience not only Jews but Lebanese consider themselves white. In fact, on the census most Jews identify their ancestry as Russian, German, etc. rather than Jewish. You can tell a heavily Jewish town or neighborhood not from direct data but from checking what the percentage of Russians is. So I can't imagine that a "Middle Eastern" category would provide any worthwhile data.

SFG said...

In my experience not only Jews but Lebanese consider themselves white.
That's an interesting question. MacDonald is overboard with his conspiracy theories but most Jews I know, while technically considering themselves a subgroup of white, are more pro-immigration than, say, Italians or Irish. (Here in the NE, though, I think Italians and Irish consider themselves Italian and Irish rather than 'white'.) I'm not sure if it's a 'group evolutionary strategy' or indicative of a general liberalism that derives from the old antagonism of the European Right toward the Jews and a fear of being the only minority around. Even before Adolf there was the Dreyfus affair, etc. The modern right isn't terribly anti-Semitic, but that's a new development post-WWII.

Also, Jews consider evangelical attempts to convert them anti-Semitic (though of course it can be motivated by Christian loving kindness--you don't want to see people going to hell!); it's fear of Christianity, because unlike Italians or Irish the cultural heritage is heavily tied up with religion; being a Christian who doesn't eat pork isn't very meaningful as an ethnic identity. If a Jew becomes a Christian, he gives up his ethnic identity. It's like asking an Irishman to wear the Union Jack and sing 'God Save the Queen'.

Ali said...

AOL was Gerald Levin's mistake.

Anonymous said...

White New Yorkers were 35% of the population as of the 2000 census. Subtract out Persians, Arabs, North Africans, and Lebanese and that percentage is probably more like 33. Assuming whites have continued their steady NYC population decline in this decade, and whites are easily under 30%.

Urban whites tend to be a lot older than the minorities. Just look at the astonishingly low % of white kids in most urban high schools, including New York. So I would probably put young white men at under 20% of the general youth cohort.

So x<20% population continues to dominate the NYC fire department.

Anonymous said...

baltimoresun.com
Firehouse incident with noose was a hoax
Firefighter admits placing rope, note
By Justin Fenton

Sun reporter

December 2, 2007







A firefighter who reported finding a knotted rope and a threatening note with a drawing of a noose in an East Baltimore station house last month had placed the items there himself, city officials said yesterday.

The man was suspended last week for performance-related issues and will likely face additional punishment, fire officials said. Sterling Clifford, a spokesman for the Police Department and for Mayor Sheila Dixon, said the man admitted to the hoax and will not face criminal charges.

Officials identified the firefighter who they say acknowledged writing the note as Donald Maynard, a firefighter-paramedic apprentice who is black. Maynard could not be reached for comment.

The rope incident sparked outrage two weeks ago and prompted a federal investigation into possible civil rights violations. It was the latest in a series of incidents that have cast the Fire Department in a poor light over the past year, including the death of a recruit in a training exercise and accusations of racism.

excerpted from
www.baltimoresun.com/news/local/baltimore_city/bal-te.ci.probe02dec02,0,5563956.story?coll=bal_tab01_layout

David said...

This may be a worthless comment, but I've never been able to make this observation in the meat world for fear of being slapped, so will try to communicate it here.

There was a French documentary about the FDNY during the filming of which, 9/11 happened. (The docu might be titled "9/11.") The film showed the firefighters' response to 9/11. Basically, the filmmakers were unexpectedly "embedded" with the FDNY during this horrific attack. The film won awards and TV showed it in primetime at least once.

Well, I was not impressed. Judging strictly from this (pro-FDNY) film, the firefighters were slow and dopey. By the time they finally dragged up to the WTC (and their fire station was not far away), it was late in the game. They stood around in the lobby doing nothing for a long, long time. Then some of them decided they would have to climb the stairs. They consulted by walkie-talkie and confirmed and re-confirmed this decision. So a few started to climb the stairs. They slowly trudged a few flights up. Then they got the call to abandon the building. So, they trudged back down...having done (or shown to have done) nothing, except get winded. Mostly, the majority of them stood around talking like road construction workers on a hot day.

Then they were all back at the fire station a couple hours later talking about what a life-changing ordeal they had just gone through; about what heroes they were.

Rent that film and watch it with the volume turned down (removing the emotional background music). I don't fault the firefighters - who could have done better? nobody - but holy cow, they look awful in this thing. The FDNY should have sued the filmmakers...but since the film affected the FDNY's reputation only positively (for some strange reason), there weren't grounds, I suppose.