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But what about the Eskimos?

The New York Times reports that the New York Fire Department is going to try to recruit more minorities, "addressing a historical problem: its failure to hire enough blacks, Hispanics and women as firefighters." Note that there's no accusation of discriminatory hiring; the mere "failure to hire" them is sufficient to complain about. But the Times notes, disapprovingly:

But some in the department have long resisted any kind of quota, primarily because of a sense that the physical and written tests for firefighters are a form of merit system that should not be eliminated because that could put the safety of firefighters and the public at risk.
The nerve of those racist bastards! Putting safety ahead of diversity! That can't be allowed. But what on earth does the Times mean that there's a "sense" that the tests are "a form of merit system"? Is the Times arguing that they aren't? Might there not also be the "sense" that "any kind of quota" might be constitutionally suspect?

The Times is also upset that the department is going to raise standards, in particular by increasing the educational qualifications required. It will hurt the effort to increase the number of minorities, don't you know:

Sgt. Noel Leader, a co-founder of 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care, criticized the Police Department's current effort to recruit candidates at Ivy League and other elite universities because those places "do not reflect the diversity" of New York City's population.
Yeah, those people are smart. (Okay, except Penn students.) And clearly the goal of the department should be to hire a reflection of the city's diversity. After all, the purpose of a fire department is to be a public relations campaign, right? They don't have some other function, do they?


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