You are now being logged in using your Facebook credentials
Voter Suppression: It’s Mobilization Time

Voter Suppression: It’s Mobilization Time

Written by Peter Grear

With this article we will start detailing the ingredients of a revisable action plan that needs comments and revisions as we move toward the Tuesday, November 4, 2014 General Election.  

Read More...
Las Vegas Comedian James Bean's Candid Account Of His Struggle With Suicide

Las Vegas Comedian James Bean's Candid Account Of His Struggle With Suicide

WHEN THE HUMOR IS GONE

James Bean has shown insight and understanding of the darkest moments of many people’s lives as well as ideas on how one could begin to create a life worth living even out of the depths of despair.” -– Rhonda Duncombe, LMFT, LADC

Read More...
Voter Suppression: NC Black Republican Advisory Board

Voter Suppression: NC Black Republican Advisory Board

Written by Peter Grear

Educate, Organize and Mobilize: I confess that I’m amazed. The Republican National Committee and the Republican Party of North Carolina announced last week that they have launched theNorth Carolina Black Advisory Board (BRAB) 

Read More...
Tips for Managing Stress in Your Life

Tips for Managing Stress in Your Life

Written by State Point

Stress is not only unpleasant; it can be overwhelming, ultimately preventing you from solving the problems that caused the stress in the first place. But getting focused can help you feel happier and be more successful professionally, financially and in your relationships, say experts.

Read More...
Voter Suppression: Defeating it requires two massive efforts

Voter Suppression: Defeating it requires two massive efforts

Written by Peter Grear

For black voters, Benjamin Jealous expressed what I believe to be the critical message for black voters when he said that the best way to overcome massive voter suppression is through a massive wave of voter registration.  Thankfully, the NAACP is putting this theory into action through the Youth Organizing…

Read More...
Black Women are Taking Care of Business

Black Women are Taking Care of Business

Written by Freddie Allen

Instead of breaking the glass ceiling, Black women have increasingly started making their own. According to the Center for American Progress, an independent, nonpartisan progressive institute, Black women are the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs in the country.

Read More...
Voter Suppression: Is it partisan?

Voter Suppression: Is it partisan?

Written by Peter Grear

Educate, Organize and Mobilize: I’ve been doing commentaries on our Campaign to Defeat Voter Suppression since November, 2013.  Because the right to vote is fundamental to our democracy, I’ve tried to promote a non-partisan theory of voter enfranchisement. 

Read More...
Why vote? ALEC and the Doctrine of Exclusion

Why vote? ALEC and the Doctrine of Exclusion

By Peter Grear

Educate, Organize and Mobilize: Frequently, in going forward it is imperative to examine your history.  In 1638 the Maryland Colony issued a public edict encouraging the separation of the races that became the public policy of America. 

Read More...
Download Greater Diversity News Digital PDF Edition for FREE

Download Greater Diversity News Digital PDF Edition for FREE

FREE Full PDF Edition includes stories not featured on the website

The FREE Full PDF Edition includes stories not featured on the website. No paper, no hasel, read on your laptop or mobile devices. 

Read More...
Frontpage Slideshow | Copyright © 2006-2011 JoomlaWorks Ltd.

Home Page

Minority Firefighters Being Attacked by Lawsuit

Written by Featured Organization on 26 March 2009.

discrimination firefightersJacksonville, Fla. – The International Association of Black Professional Fire Fighters (IABPFF) has taken issue with a lawsuit currently pending in the United States Supreme Court, Ricci vs. De Stefano, and will be filing an amicus brief, joined by several other prominent organizations and individuals, representing minority firefighters being attacked by the suit. 
At the core of this issue is keeping our firefighting forces diverse in the interests of National Security.  The IABPFF position is clear: keep Title VII and Constitutional Protections alive for professional black firefighters/ first responders – not merely for the interests of Caucasians, who have dominated the fire testing process for years.

The discrimination lawsuit was brought by 19 white firefighters and 1 Hispanic (known as the” New Haven 20”). The firefighters allege that they were discriminated against in denial of promotion, and complained that the City violated the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution by creating “racial categories” favoring African-Americans on two promotional examinations. (Fire Lieutenant and Captain). The city had chosen (after holding four civil service public hearings) not to certify both exams because the results were slanted highly in favor of promotion of whites and the city believed any promotions would violate Title VII’s prohibition against disparate impact discrimination. The outcome of the lower court decision is as follows: Both lower courts sided with the city and found there was no discrimination, however, the Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case, likely for the purpose of making a sweeping pronouncement.

There are key issues that are at stake. First, the Supreme Court ruling could potentially turn back the clock on civil rights, decreasing minority integration around 40 years. Ricci vs. DeStefano, contains the issue of diversity, brought by the lawsuit challenging the fairness of standardized test results, concerning promotions of firefighters in New Haven, CT. This case could possibly have a strong debilitating impact on municipal fire testing and the limits of city control over examinations. In addition, the possible shoring up discrimination suits, using Title VII and the Fourteenth Amendment to further the interests of white firefighters at the expense of minorities and women.  It is important to bear in mind that protecting diversity in municipal firefighting forces is truly a matter of National Security and compelling state interest.  

The white firefighters want the Court to hold that any race-based remedies for African-American workers, particularly fire and police, are swept out of existence.  This includes settlements, consent decrees, and possibly entire right of action under Title VII or the U.S. Constitution.  Because of the increasing influx of discrimination complaints and expiration of many hiring and promotional consent decrees, fewer African-Americans are represented in city fire departments around the country, particularly at the command level.  

Moreover, many of those at command level – who fought so hard to get there – will soon be retiring, restoring fire department composition to largely Caucasian. This depletion in the number of diverse first responders (approximately 70%) is clearly not in the best interest of American security; this is borne out by the U.S. military’s heavy reliance on diversity at both lower and command ranks.  As paramilitary organizations, similarly structured, municipal fire and rescue departments are truly first responders in national emergencies.

The position of the IABPFF is stated simply by Donald Day, Past Director of IABPFF/NER: “The Supreme Court hearing his case is the greatest threat to the future blacks in the Fire Service and is the greatest challenge blacks have ever faced in the Fire Service. Should and if the high court reverse the decision, it will have monumental effect on blacks being fire fighters and blacks being officers in their respective cities. Should and if this is allowed to happen, then cities across the country will not have to justify whether a test is valid, discriminatory or whether it has a disparate or adverse impact on blacks as firefighters and first responders.”

The focus of  IABPFF is to protect the Title VII and Constitutional rights of all firefighters and officers, especially those of blacks, other minorities, and women, who have historically been shut out of firefighting command positions. It also impacts the integrity of municipal fire testing itself.  This is not a ” touchy-feely diversity issue.” Black Firefighters are Emergency First Responders, and keeping diversity in all ranks is a compelling state interest to our National Security.
DATE:        Wednesday March 25, 2009
TIME:        3:30 p.m.
PLACE:       NAACP Headquarters, 545 Whalley Ave , New Haven , CT. , (203)868-1578 or (203)389-7275
RALLY:    Knickerbocker Golf Club, 715 Sherman Parkway
Following Press Conference
PARTICIPANTS:
Joseph Muhammad, International President IABPFF
Gary Tinney, New Haven Firebird Society IABPFF
Del Cowards, NE Regional Director IABPFF
Denny Thompson Esq., Attorney IABPFF National  Speaker


The purpose of this press conference is to announce the national public awareness initiative launched by the IABPFF regarding Ricci v. DeStephano which is pending before the U.S. Supreme Court. We will also announce the organizations that have filed an Amicus Brief, on our behalf. The petitioners in Ricci are attempting to undermine the effectiveness and strength of the fire service by ignoring the essential need for diversity in the fire service.  •

GDN Link Exchange