Diversity Goals sometime place Diversity over Ability

Posted by PITHOCRATES - November 10th, 2013

Week in Review

I had a friend who hated women.  He watched his mother break up her marriage with his dad.  And saw his beautiful sisters manipulate men to get whatever they wanted.  And then laughed at the men afterward.  He hated women so much he was going to be a confirmed bachelor.  Right up until he met a woman.  Got married.  And lived happily ever after.

He went to college under an ROTC scholarship.  After the divorce his dad didn’t have the money to pay for his college.  So he took the only scholarship he could get.  From the military.  And he hated it.  Especially the marching.  For the guy had two left feet when it came to marching in formation.  He got a lot of demerits for that.  And for shoes he never could shine as well as they should be.  Until he bought the plastic ones you didn’t have to shine.  The other thing he hated was the physical training.  Especially the run tests.  For he was no great athlete.  But it is amazing how anyone can improve when you have to take remedial physical training over and over again.  He eventually graduated.  And earned his commission.  But he hated every minute of it. 

There was one thing he hated even more.  There was a black woman in the program.  Who was even worse than he was.  This woman struggled to pass her run test.  Was even in the same remedial physical training as he was.  But one thing my friend had no problem with was self-confidence.  As he was an angry, arrogant guy.  Who might have mouthed off a time or two under his breath at an officer.  Especially when they made his life difficult.  Unlike this woman.  Who didn’t understand that there is no crying in the military.  As she cried.  A lot.  Especially when things got stressful.

My friend never saw her pass her running test.  Or hold a position of responsibility.  But she graduated, too.  Got her commission.  And went on to serve as an officer somewhere in the military.  A woman who was a far worse cadet than my friend was.  But suffered nowhere the amount of abuse my friend had to.  For he was a white man.  And they had plenty of those in ROTC.  But they had few women.   Even fewer black women.  And they didn’t want to lose her.  Because they were under pressure to diversify more.  Which made my friend hate women even more.  Until he got married and lived happily ever after, that is.

That was a long time ago.  But it seems like some things don’t change (see Meet the seemingly unfirable female firefighter by Susan Edelman posted 11/10/2013 on the New York Post).

Despite failing a required FDNY running test five times, Wendy Tapia was allowed to graduate from the Fire Academy and become a firefighter. On Dec. 2, she is taking the test for an unprecedented sixth time.

Tapia was one of only five women among 285 new firefighters who graduated from the FDNY’s Randall’s Island training academy on May 17.

The class was hailed as the most diverse group of rookies ever, all of them EMTs or paramedics seeking promotion to firefighter. She joined a group of just 35 women among the 11,000 Bravest…

Normally, probationary firefighters who fail the running test at the end of academy training don’t graduate — period. They flunk out but can join the next academy class, start over and get another chance to pass the course…

[A female firefighter] said FDNY brass, under pressure from a court order to hire more minorities, “want their numbers — that’s all it is.”

But that does female firefighters no favors, she added.

As well-intentioned as diversity is it comes with a price.  When people are under pressure to show diversity they may make that the determining factor.  Not ability.  Which may anger some people who feel they were passed over.  But it infuriates those who these diversity programs are designed to help who didn’t need any help.  Like this female firefighter.  Who no doubt had to put up with a lot of crap until she proved herself in the field.  Because of stories like this.  Causing these people to forever live with an ‘asterisk’ by their life.  Knowing that whenever they meet someone new that person may be wondering did they earn this?  Or were they given this?



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