One of the headlines on FireEngineering this morning reads"NY fire dept says it's recruiting more minorities". This statement doesn't sit well with me....
I come from Vermont...potentially the least diverse state in the Union. So maybe it's just my lack of experience dealing with racial issues, or maybe it's my lack of understanding on WHY IT MATTERS? Wasn't the whole civil rights movement about getting past the color of someones skin? I get it...there were terrible, terrible things done in the past (and probably still today), but aren't we as a society still overcompensating? Affirmative action gives more opportunities to minority groups, while taking away opportunities from others that have the same skill set. Take college for example. No longer is it about how good your did on your SAT's or what your high school GPA was, or how many AP classes you took. If you have two applicants, one white and one black, who have the EXACT same grades, scores, interview results, etc...9 times out of 10 the black applicant will be admitted because of their skin color. Even further, if the black applicant scores lower than the white applicant, they STILL get accepted over the white applicant. This is not right. Equal rights my ass...
(and just a personal pet peeve of mine...they have the BET awards? If I started a wanted to start the WET awards, not only would I be laughed at because of how the acronym plays out, but I would be called a racist. Holy double standard batman!)
I believe that this is a dangerous game that the fire service is playing right now. We need to be recruiting based on skill, not color. TAKE THE RACE/RELIGION/ETHNICITY/BACKGROUND/ETC QUESTIONS OUT OF THE APPLICATION PROCESS!!!!!! Only then will the scores be truly based on how well someone is qualified rather than what color they are.
We wear bunker gear. We wear masks. When we're all dressed, you can't tell what our skin color is. The fire doesn't give two sh*ts if you're white/black/hispanic/mexican/martian....it will kill you and your partner just the same. Just like I dont give two sh*ts what color you are...all I care about is that you will be able to drag my ass out of a fire if something goes wrong. That's it.
I just dont get it...
And...I am also worried now that I am starting my application process with two big departments that I will be at a disadvantage because of the lack of melanin in my skin.
Am I wrong?