Wednesday, March 16, 2011

HOLDER'S PEOPLE

"I don’t want to be in a department where I was hired because of my skin color. I want it because I earned it."

When President Obama's Attorney General Eric Holder stated that he was not interested in prosecuting New Black Panther members for voting rights violations because they were "his people" most were shocked at the statement. Whatever your ethnic background, your job as a law enforcement officer is to stand for justice for all people in your jurisdiction, not simply the ones that look like you. Whether he meant to or not, Attorney General Holder left many people with the impression that he ares about Blacks Americans in preference to or exclusion of all others.

Actions taken by the Justice Department under his leadership tend to support this impression as well. Recently Dayton Ohio was blocked from hiring new police officers, because they didn't care for the test scores. The test, Dayton was told, was too hard and not enough blacks were able to pass the test. Dayton's ABC affiliate reports:
The hiring process was postponed for months because the D.O.J. rejected the original scores provided by the Dayton Civil Service Board, which administers the test.

Under the previous requirements, candidates had to get a 66% on part one of the exam and a 72% on part two.

The D.O.J. approved new scoring policy only requires potential police officers to get a 58% and a 63%. That's the equivalent of an ‘F’ and a ‘D’.
...
The D.O.J. and Civil Service Board declined Dayton’s News Source’s repeat requests for interviews. The lower standards mean 258 more people passed the test. The city won't say how many were minorities.

The D.O.J. has forced other police departments across the country to lower testing standards, citing once again that not enough black candidates were passing.
The problem here is that this is a backhand across the face of blacks in Ohio. By lowering the test standards, the Obama Justice Department is in effect claiming that blacks cannot pass a test which other ethnic groups can and need help from the white man to get the job.

Dayton community leaders told the Dayton Daily News that this is insulting, as Lucas Sullivan reports:
Community leaders agree with Williams and said the Justice Department’s method stigmatizes blacks.

Keith Lander, chairman of the local Southern Christian Leadership Conference, said the lowering of the test score “is a slap in the face to black people.

“Black people are not dumb,” he said.

There are a lot of reasons why some people might do poorly on a test despite being otherwise quite intelligent, and not the least of those reasons is that they just aren't any good at the particular task being tested. Lowering the standards of the test will allow more of those folks through, but it won't mean they're any good at the job being tested for.

Ultimately, the goal of a department like the police or fire services in a city want to hire the best people they can. Testing is one way of finding those people, and requiring the test to be easier to pass greatly weakens one of those filters. Yet for men like Eric Holder, the percentage of black faces in a department is more important than how good the department is or how qualified the membership is.

Holder seems to think that blacks have been so abused, so cruelly oppressed, and so lacking in justice for so long that he has to tilt the scales in their direction to attain balance. That reparations and recrimination are the path to justice for "his people" and in the end, that means he's turning the entire purpose and intent of the department of justice on its head. In the name of social justice, Holder is being unjust.

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