Recently a number of members have brought up the literal translation of the DoJ’s request for the “objection Letters,” noting, that according to the precise way the request is written, “the objection letters should probably be focused on objecting to the fairness of the awards and NOT the decision/judgment itself.”
And to be sure, that's an interesting point, and as I've read the guidelines, they could very well be interpreted to mean exactly that; "Assuming that the discrimination (against black applicants to the FDNY) charged is a given, what is your objection to this award?"
However such an interpretation is accepting a flawed assumption, like the physics problem that begins, "Assuming we have a perfect vacuum."
My own contention is that the premise (the decision/judgment) itself is so flawed as to render the award itself absurd.
It's like arguing, "Disregarding the fact that the cop's radar gun was broken, assuming the subject was speeding, do you disagree with the stated penalty?"
You see? IF I were to assume that "perfect vacuum" and were to ignore the cop's "broken radar gun," then I would have no issue with the awards or the punishments assessed, given of course, that I first accepted those flawed premises.
If it had been shown, for instance, that some applicants were given a test in a language they didn’t understand, or an exam significantly harder than other candidates and thus that group could be proven to have been demonstrably discriminated against, I’d accept the existing award as entirely legitimate, BUT the inconvenient truth here is that non-Latino blacks are the ONLY ethnic group OVER-represented by more than 10% their numbers in New York City’s population in the City's Municipal workforce (they are 23% of the population and 36% of the city’s Municipal workforce – an appx. 60% over-representation) AND, regardless of the overall level of educational achievement, the fact is inner city schools across the nation are funded significantly better than suburban schools around the country. Moreover, there is no demonstrable case of any actual “discrimination” against an ethnic group that has unprecedented preferences based entirely upon their skin color for over 4 decades!
There may well be an endemic culture of failure within certain communities, but there’s no evidence, nor indication that that is due, in any way, to any actual “discrimination,” neither overt, nor even non-intentional.
From my view, it's the SAME here. I’d have NO issue with the current award IF I assumed that the discrimination in question was proven. My contention....my SOLE contention is that such “discrimination” was NOT proven and the faulty premise it's based upon - the "disparate impact" premise that "ALL applicants come into this exam with equal abilities and equally prepared" (their own words) - is so patently ridiculous, so fatally flawed as to be self-evidently false.
Look, given "ALL applicants having an equal amount of ability and equal preparedness," renders testing itself meaningless. IF it's meaningless here in this job, which routinely requires life & death decisions, then WHY NOT for medical schools, law schools....judges.
From my perspective, it's the flawed premise that must first be addressed.