Monday, June 29

Justices Rule for White Firefighters in Bias Case

And now a very good decision in the fight for colour blindness and anti-racism. Do people think that discriminating against whites is not racism? Sure it is racism. In this particular case, I think the judgement was very good. The basic issue?

The Supreme Court ruled on Monday, in a case with enormous implications for workplaces across the country, that white firefighters in New Haven suffered unfair discrimination because of their race when the city scrapped the results of a promotional exam. The case was rooted in tests given in 2003 for promotion to lieutenant and captain. The exams yielded no black firefighters eligible for advancement, prompting the city to throw out the results and promote no one. That move, in turn, triggered a lawsuit by 18 white firefighters, one of them Hispanic, who claimed racial discrimination, or what is often termed “reverse discrimination.”

This kind of stupid behaviour can be seen in almost every country, ranging from India to the UK and in the USA. Discrimination is discrimination. Now this is the situation. I am sitting in a burning house and how would I feel if the firefighters who are coming to save me are have been selected on the colour of their skin versus their qualification for their jobs? I know you can quibble about the tests but this is the basic issue. Similarly, would I want a race based qualified doctor to operate on my daughter? How about a race based qualified teacher? and and and? Surely in this time and day of liberalism, this is an anachronism?

Very good, we need more of this stuff and people in the United Kingdom and India should read this and listen. Discrimination, either positive or negative is frankly stupid and those who claim to do so are racists. Good intentions notwithstanding, that’s what you are. You cannot take the rights away from somebody to give somebody more rights. Public services mean that you need to be colour blind. Equality of opportunity is a good thing and that’s important. By all means, help them out, give all the students and people more assistance.

Now take a look at the other issue, of positive discrimination for women in say India.

A senior Indian official has indicated that in a bid to spruce up women power, the Congress government is mulling to introduce a legislation to provide 33 percent reservation for women in government jobs in the monsoon session of the Parliament to be opened next month, said Indian Home Ministry sources on Monday, Indian Home Minister P. Chidambaram told a meeting in Sivaganga in the southern state of Tamil Nadu that at present, there is no reservation for women in government jobs, so the government will bring forward a bill providing reservation for women in government jobs.

This obviously was objected by minorities who are now addicted to sucking from the tit of discrimination. I quote:

Seven Muslim and Dalit organisations are opposing reservation for women in Parliament and the State Assemblies in the present form, and are demanding separate sub-quotas for the Dalit, minority and other most backward communities.

The All India Milli Council, the Indian Association of Muslim Social Scientists, the Muslim Women’s Welfare Organisation, the Insan Dost Committee, the People’s Movement of India, the Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Sewa Dal and the Samajic Niyay Morcha, at a joint meeting here on Saturday, welcomed reservation for women. But they feared that the Bill, in the present form, would be detrimental to the interests of Dalits, minorities especially Muslims, and the most backward women.

See? these people want to perpetuate these divisions so obviously they think that the female gender classification is going to take their power of casteism or religious discrimination away. But how do I explain this away? Very simple. We do have a case of gender discrimination in India but it will not be possible to even think that no women will be found at all. Not so in the case of the firefighters.

Here’s another example:

Every year, lakhs of students burn the midnight oil for months to get into the hallowed Indian Institutes of Technology. But as admissions closed on Wednesday, one startling fact emerged — there weren't enough qualified candidates to fill up the reserved seats on offer for the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes, or the physically challenged. IIT heads told TOI that over 1,100 seats will now be transferred to the preparatory course. This course, which is like a feeder class, trains quota students for a year to equip them to qualify for the IITs. Students for the preparatory course are selected by reducing cut-offs even further.
On the OBC (other backward classes) reservation front too, 53 seats were transferred to general category candidates, though the IITs are still only in the second year of the quotas (they are implementing 18% quota before moving to the total 27% reservation). The IITs, in fact, had made various concessions to ensure they could fill the SC/ST seats. They lowered entry levels for these categories and even went as low as 50% below the last general category student's marks to do justice to the quota. Even this did not help them get the required number of backward category students.

The sad thing is, that these quotas when not filled are actually hurting the nation by not allowing other qualified students to study. Everybody loses and nobody wins, but nobody cares, after all, its an opportunity cost and nobody is going to pay explicitly. And those who do not recognise the danger of this kind of positive or negative discrimination are frankly missing few firing neurons. See here for my previous essays on affirmative action and discrimination.

The British Government seems to have understood the huge distrust of the common populace which protests against the government providing housing and other benefits to immigrants and non British people over local British people. This was the source of much angst and this was a reason why the BNP won. It might be a myth, but its believed and you all know the result. This government is basically stupid anyway..

but overall, this decision by the US Supreme Court was very good indeed.

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