Twelve white American firefighters win $2.5m race discrimination payout after losing out on promotions to black colleagues
Twelve white firefighters have been given more than $2.5 million from the city of Buffalo after they sued the fire department not awarding them promotions they had been expecting.
The men alleged the fire department illegally allowed promotional lists on which they were named to expire so they could promote African-American firefighters instead.
The payouts were based on the level their promotions would have afforded them ranging from $49,000 (£31,000) to $500,000 (£317,000). Emotional damages were also considered, ranging from $20,000 (£12,000) to $30,000 (£19,000) reported NBC affiliate WGRZ.com.
Two men who received the largest awards were selected for promotion to lieutenant late in 2005 by the fire commissioner, and again in early 2006 by a new fire commissioner.
'They had been working 10 or 12 years by 2006. So the judge looked at what their prospective promotions would have been, and ruled that it was likely they would have made battalion commander' an attorney representing the plaintiffs, Andrew Fleming, told msnbc.com. The pair were each given $500,000 based on the judge's calculations, he said.
The ruling of compensation was made by state Supreme Court Justice John Michalek. Fifteen months earlier he made the the initial ruling that Buffalo had illegally failed to promote the firefighters because of racial discrimination
Sleeplessness, marital strain, and depression are all cited in the emotional distress that the men experienced over the past several years.
To be considered for a promotion,firefighters take a promotional eligibility exam, which is designed to test the skills they would need to serve as a lieutenant, captain, or other higher-ranking position in the fire department.
The men alleged they had scored well on their exams, but were passed over for promotions because the city wanted to give minorities, who had not performed as well a chance to fill those positions. 'The word that kept coming up was betrayal,' Mr Fleming said. 'They really felt betrayed by the city.'
Anthony Hynes, a 13th firefighter listed in the suit, failed to receive a payout because there was not enough evidence to support his claim, according to the court.
A spokesman for Buffalo told WGRZ.com that officials are reviewing the decision, and the city may appeal the ruling. Lawyers for the city said they disagreed with the judge's ruling on how much the firefighters should be paid. 'The city, at all times, acted under its rights under federal law,' Attorney Adam Perry told BuffaloNews.com.
'The city has maintained its position that the liability determination made by Justice Michalek was erroneous and should be reversed on appeal.'
A voice of sanity from the real 1984
I mentioned yesterday the travails of Ray Honeyford. What he wrote could well have been written yesterday. He was a true prophet. The first few paragraphs below:
The issues and problems of our multi-racial inner cities are frequently thrown into sharp relief for me. As the head teacher of a school in the middle of a predominantly Asian area, I am often witness to scenes which have the raw feel of reality — and the recipient of vehement criticism, whenever I question some of the current educational orthodoxies connected with race. It is very difficult to write honestly and openly of my experiences and the reflections they evoke, since the race relations lobby is extremely powerful in the state education service. The propaganda generated by multi-racial zealots is now augmented by a growing bureaucracy of race in local authorities. And this makes freedom of speech difficult to maintain. By exploiting the enormous tolerance, traditional in this country, the race lobby has so managed to induce and maintain feelings of guilt in the well-disposed majority, that decent people are not only afraid of voicing certain thoughts, they are uncertain even of their right to think those thoughts. They are intimidated not only by their fear of giving offence by voicing their own reasonable concerns about the inner cities, but by the necessity of conducting the debate in a language which is dishonest.
The term ‘racism’, for instance, functions not as a word with which to create insight, but as a slogan designed to suppress constructive thought. It conflates prejudice and discrimination, and thereby denies a crucial conceptual distinction. It is the icon word of those committed to the race game. And they apply it with the same sort of mindless zeal as the inquisitors voiced ‘heretic’ or Senator McCarthy spat out ‘Commie’. The word ‘black’ has been perverted. Every non-white is now, officially, ‘black’, be he Indian, Pakistani or Vietnamese. This gross and offensive dichotomy has an obvious purpose: the creation of an atmosphere of anti-white solidarity. To suppress and distort the enormous variations within races which I every day observe by using language in this way is an outrage to all decent people — whatever their skin colour.
And there are other distortions: race riots are described by the politically motivated as ‘uprisings’, and by a Lord of Appeal as a ‘superb and healthy catalyst for the British people’ — and the police blamed for the behaviour of violent thugs; rather like the patient blaming the doctor because he has a cold in the head. ‘Cultural enrichment’ is the approved term for the West Indian’s right to create an ear-splitting cacophony for most of the night to the detriment of his neighbour’s sanity, or for the Notting Hill Festival whose success or failure is judged by the level of street crime which accompanies it. At the schools’ level the term refers to such things as the Muslim parent’s insistence on banning his daughter from drama, dance and sport, i.e. imposing a purdah mentality in schools committed to the principle of sexual equality
British Christian street preacher who allegedly told gay couple they would 'burn in hell' in High Street rant is cleared of wrongdoing
A Christian street preacher was yesterday cleared of harassing a gay couple - after telling them homosexuals would 'burn in hell'. Religious Michael Overd, 47, was accused of using threatening or abusive language against Craig Manning and Craig Nichol as he preached last July.
A court heard that he approached the pair in busy Taunton High Street, Somerset, calling them ‘sinners’ and proclaiming they would ‘burn in hell’.
But Overd claimed he was merely exercising his right to expression by reading from the bible and was acquitted of the charge by Taunton Deane Magistrates yesterday.
Dean Lampard, from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), speaking after the verdict, said: 'We take allegations of this nature very seriously and when we reviewed the case we determined it was appropriate to charge Mr Overd with harassment.
'We examined the evidence and were satisfied that there was a realistic prospect of conviction and that it was in the public interest to bring criminal proceedings.
'Everyone has the right to live their life free from harassment and distress and we will continue to work closely with Avon and Somerset Constabulary to investigate any allegations of hate crime of any sort, be it homophobic, racist, religious or disability hate crime.'
Overd's lawyers claimed his client was merely reciting a passage from 1 Corinthians
The court heard claims the lay preacher was provoked by a previous altercation with Mr Nichol and Mr Manning in October 2010, when he saw them holding hands.
Mr Nichol, giving evidence at the two-day trial, said as soon as Overd saw them from around 10 metres away on July 16 last year 'the expression on his face changed'. He said: 'He said ‘I have already told these two sinners over here that they are going to burn in hell’. 'He looked at us and pointed at us when he said it. His voice was quite loud and very clear. I felt angry, embarrassed and ashamed.
'I asked him who he was to judge me and he said ‘it’s God’s words, it is in the bible’. 'He said I should repent and ask God for forgiveness.'
Paul Diamond, representing Overd, claimed his client was merely reciting a passage from 1 Corinthians. The passage reads: 'Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor homosexuals nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.'
Tolerance Is Still Not a Two-Way Street
Mike Adams recently reported on the landmark ruling of the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in the Julea Ward case, noting that the decision eloquently defended “fundamental religious freedom against a full-frontal assault from the LGBT community.” In the court’s own words, “Tolerance is a two-way street. Otherwise, the rule mandates orthodoxy, not anti-discrimination.”
Unfortunately, there are daily reminders that tolerance is anything but a two-way street in America, and I’m not just talking about extreme personal opinions, like the ones expressed in this email from a man named Boris (yet another listener to my dialogue with gay activist Mitchell Gold). He took exception to my affirmation that marriage is the union of a man and a woman, writing:
“So you advocate for human rights violations against gays. You want gays to be executed, killed and tortured in the name of religion? You don’t think gays deserve ANY human rights or protections and in the name of religion you can do anything to gays.
“You are pure evil. Pure evil personified. I know that it must hurt you not to be able to kill or detain and torture your fellow American citizens just because they are gay but at least you can condone violence against black and Arab gay persons.
“You are [a] sick, vile person without any human decency.
“I despise you and the violent hatred you espouse. I hope that one day you, your children and grandchildren will face precisely the fate you advocate for gays to endure.
“You are one sick puppy."
“Without any respect whatsoever, because I do not respect people who love violence and murder in the name of their religion.”
Ah yes, the enlightened voice of tolerance! It reminds me of a comment posted by a viewer of a YouTube clip which included my interview on the Tyra Banks show where I dared to suggest that the best case scenario for a child struggling with Gender Identity Disorder was that the child be helped from the inside out, with the goal that the child would eventually feel at home with his or her body. (I advocated for this as opposed to a boy going to school dressed in girl’s clothing, then being put on hormone blockers to delay the onset of puberty, then going through sex-change surgery at the youngest possible age, then being on hormones for life, still never becoming a fully-functioning male or female).
In response to this apparently outrageous suggestion on my part, a 16 year-old girl commented, “He [meaning me] deserves to be beaten, just like trans women get beaten worldwide, and murdered even. . . . I would like to do a lot of violent things to him too. I would horse kick him in the [expletives] while wearing high heels. I hate that man. YES!!!!! He is a [EXPLETIVE] IDIOT!!!!! Don’t you just hate him??!!”
And how did she describe herself? “I’m a 16 year old girl, who is fairly intellectually mature; I’m probably the most intellectually mature teenager in my school. I am open minded, and a loving person.” Indeed!
The sad fact is that these individual voices reflect a prevailing sentiment: Extreme intolerance, even to the point of rank hatred, is justified when it is directed against those perceived to be intolerant. As I have been told more than once, “It’s a good thing to be intolerant of the Nazis and the KKK, and you are no better than them.”
And what does this look like in practice? Just ask Martha Boggs, manager of the Bistro at the Bijou in Knoxville, Tennessee. When Republican State Senator Stacey Campfield came in for breakfast, she made clear to him that he was not welcome there. Why? He introduced a bill that “prohibits the teaching of or furnishing of materials on human sexuality other than heterosexuality in public school grades K-8,” and he has stated that AIDS is primarily a gay male disease, with apparent sordid origins.
According to Campfield, who exited graciously, Boggs greeted him with these words, “I’m not serving you, you’re a homophobe and hate gay people.”
As she explained, “When I saw him at the front door, I told him to leave. It’s just my way to show support for the gay community and stand up to somebody I think is a bully. He’s really gone from being stupid to dangerous. I think he needs to know what it feels like to be discriminated against.”
There you have it. “Senator Campfield, you deserve to be discriminated against. You’re a dangerous homophobic bully, and I have every right not to serve you” – in Knoxville, Tennessee, of all places, where blacks used to be refused service because of their color.
For her actions, Boggs has received thousands of affirmative posts and emails, and she is being hailed as a hero in the LGBT community. What was that about tolerance being a two-way street?
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.