Saturday, November 15, 2014

The Most Cowardly Bigots of All Are White “Progressives”

Lois Lerner of "IRS Targeting" Infamy

Way back in 1881 when James Abram Garfield (“The last of the log cabin Presidents”) was assassinated by a disgruntled job seeker (Charles Guiteau), the Civil Service reform movement began in earnest.

The scrapping of the various old patronage systems and replacing them with “the modern Civil Service Merit System,” took decades and was vehemently opposed from virtually every locally elected official from shore to shore. After all, the patronage mills were one of the most effective means of building a base and rewarding political fealty. Police Departments, Fire Departments and Public schools were filled with Civil Servants of “the right political affiliation for that locale. In some cases, the varied Civil Servants were expected to “kick back” 1% or more of their annual salaries to the Party...more or less, as tribute.

Civil Service Reform was about as popular with politicians as was Paden’s (Kevin Kline’s character) returning to town was with Cobb (Brian Dennehy) the sheriff in Silverado.

Ever since, politicians of every stripe have sought ways around the “Merit System,” ways of getting those they favor into jobs and those they don’t...out. In New York City it began with the much reviled “1-in-3” rule, where the city could take any candidates among the next three highest scores. It was sparingly before the 1970s, but used extensively for the first time in the 1971 FDNY Entrance Exam, in which 1 of every 3 new hires had to be either black or Hispanic.

No politician has sought to rein in such abuses of the Merit System, not Ed Koch, not Rudy Giuliani, not even billionaire Mike Bloomberg.

Worse yet, the most cowardly bigots have been white so-called “progressives,” who’ve championed lowering, even eliminating some basic standards in the name of “diversity,” specifically “to get more blacks and females on these jobs.” In other words, these “progressive” whites (mostly white males) have thrown blacks and women under the proverbial bus to further a completely unrelated agenda...scuttling the Merit System by eliminating standards-based “merit.” In short, they have pushed forward the idea of “presumed incompetence of blacks” (“African-Americans just can’t compete with other groups on such standardized exams”) and the physical incapacity of females instead of recruiting members of those groups (perhaps from military installations, etc.) who COULD compete effectively for those jobs.

Apparently even supporting and espousing such vile, petty bigotries are justified to advance an agenda they see as critical.

I have been directly involved in a group (Merit Matters) that has fought to preserve the Civil Service Merit System and basic standards since that group was formed back in 2009. This endorsing and espousing of blatant bigotry is neither new, nor is very much deliberate and it shows just how little white male “progressives” care about the dignity of those they claim to champion.

In the FDNY, Tyrone Hughes, an attorney on its Department of Investigations and Trials is one of those leaned upon to push that bigotry...that “basic written standards ‘discriminate’ against blacks and basic physical standards ‘discriminate’ against females,” while steadfastly denying that it is bigotry behind their labeling certain groups non-competitive (incompetent). In fact, they loudly claim that those opposed to that bigotry are the actual bigots.

Tyrone Hughes is a pawn, like Lois Lerner was at the IRS. Neither has ever made actual arguments for the views they put into practice because neither one has often been challenged to do so. It’s also highly unlikely that either of them actually believes in, nor fully understands the views behind what they enforce, because, quite simply, they don’t need to understand. They are easily replaceable. Lois Lerner was very quickly replaced by the IRS. And that’s what is truly sad, even after THEY are thrown under the bus by those who’ve used them as pawns, they refuse to come forward and “give up,” or expose those who’ve directed their actions. Perhaps their pensions are held hostage. Who knows? But whatever the collateral being used, it’s been reliably effective, which is lucky for the real bigots who continue to hide in the slime.

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