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Queens Chronicle

Maintain FDNY standards

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Posted: Thursday, April 10, 2014 10:30 am | Updated: 1:06 pm, Thu Apr 10, 2014.

Dear Editor:

Re “The high price to pay for diversity,” Editorials, March 20:

In this article the trade offs of “redistributing the wealth,” now called diversity, was decried by the editor for the negative effects it will have on New York’s Fire Department.

I would be ashamed to admit that I couldn’t pass a test others obviously could but pride in ability and shame have gone the way of the dodo bird and our country is sinking to its lowest common denominators. The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s hope that one day people would be judged by the quality of their minds, not the color of their skin, has gone the same way. Poor Martin Luther King.

If those who took the Fire Department test and failed are now being hired, those who took it and passed should get merit pay. Surely, passing and failing aren’t the same. The intelligence of those who pass and those who fail (dare I say it?) is not equal.

People of color are stigmatizing themselves. By ignoring their Thomas Sowells and Ben Carsons (writing and surgery) they proclaim to the world that they aren’t capable of advancing without having standards lowered to accommodate them. Calling it racism is baloney. There isn’t a soul who still believes it.

The test will come when a 5-foot, 3-inch, 150-pound Latino man or woman has to carry 50 pounds of equipment up a burning building and has to throw a 250-pound woman over his or her shoulders and carry her out. Or when a few of the questions they couldn’t answer on the tests come up during the fire. What will they do then? Call the chief of diversity?

Still diversity is a beautiful thought. After the Fire Department has been cleansed of its bigotry, national football, baseball and basketball teams should do the same. Teams that are majority minority should open their ranks to women and whites. They can level the playing fields by taking a 5- or 6-point handicap — more if needed to show their hearts are in the right place.

If women now deploy on submarines and can become firefighters and policemen, why is one not visible on a basketball or football team? Only then can diversity be anything but the bulls--t it is now.

Janice Wijnen
Rego Park

Welcome to the discussion.