Boston Fire Dept. Ordered to END Racial
On August 25, 2003 U.S. District Judge Richard Stearns ordered the Boston Fire Department
to HIRE five white firefighters who had been rejected in 2000 because they are white!
The department had been operating under a federal racial-quota order (known as the Beecher
decree) since 1974 which required the Boston FD to hire 1 minority firefighter for every 1
White firefighter applicants Joseph Quinn, Sean O'Brien, Robert Dillon, Joseph Sullivan
and C. Roger Kendrick, Jr. sued Boston in 2001 AND THEY HAVE WON! The 1974 Beecher
quota order has been nullified. The District Court Judge, Richard Stearns, ordered
the Boston Fire Department to hire these men ahead of all other applicants regardless of
See the Adversity.Net Special
Report (11/24/03) at the
following link: http://www.adversity.net/BostonFD/default.htm
OLDER BOSTON FIRE DEPARTMENT NEWS:
- Sean O'Brien, age 33
- City emergency medical technician
- Scored 99 on exam
- Has been passed over 5 times by minorities with lower
''I don't begrudge anyone who has the job, black or white. But the whole
process is just bizarre. I'm a kid from Dorchester who grew up in a racially diverse
neighborhood. It makes no sense to me that a kid from the other side of Dot Ave. gets the
job just because he's black.''
- Joseph Quinn, age 30
- Scored 99 on exam
- Has been passed over 5 times by minorities with lower
''This [law suit] is a last resort. It's [the job is] something I want badly
and I figure it's worth putting up a fight for.''
Angoff, Goldman, Manning, Pyle & Wanger, P.C.
24 School Street
Boston, MA 02108
Argues that new census figures show the fire department has met its racial quota
and that the racial preferences are no longer necessary. Blacks and Hispanic
firefighters make up 38.7 percent of the fire department which is more than their
percentage in the city.
BOSTON GLOBE April 11, 2001 --
"Arguing that the city's firefighting force has become as racially mixed as the city,
two white men rejected by the Boston Fire Department despite their high test scores are
suing to eliminate its 27-year policy of hiring one minority applicant for every white one
to achieve racial balance.
"Boston lawyer Harold Lichten, who represents the men, is arguing that new census
figures show the system has met its hiring goal and is no longer necessary.
African-American and Hispanic firefighters make up 38.7 percent of the department -
slightly higher than their percentage in the city. In 1974, when the court order took
effect, only 5 percent of the city's firefighters were black.
''You can't have a quota system once you've achieved its goal,'' Lichten said, adding that
it was intended as a short-term solution until the department could devise a testing
procedure free of bias.
"...Lichten said times have changed and noted that recent court decisions in Boston
and around the country have struck down affirmative action programs. Lichten says he sees
little chance the department's policy will survive.
"Last year, Boston Police Commissioner Paul Evans scrapped a 19-year practice of
promoting lower-scoring minority officers ahead of whites after a Suffolk Superior Court
judge ruled that race shouldn't be a factor.
"And three years ago, a federal appeals court ruled that the use of race as a factor
in admission to Boston's exam schools was unconstitutional."
"In recent years, most of the white candidates who have been selected are military
veterans, or the sons and daughters of firefighters who died in the line of duty. Such
applicants get preference over all candidates, regardless of race or test scores.
''If a [white] guy gets a 95 and isn't a veteran, he'll probably be Number 1,000 on the
list,'' according to Peter Laizza, Boston Fire's deputy chief for human resources.
"The Police Department's one-for-one hiring policy has also come under fire. Bradley
Donahue of Boston sued last year after being turned down for a patrolman's job despite a
96 test score. His case is pending in federal court."
(From the Boston Globe Story, page A01, Apr. 11,
2001 by Andrea Estes)
[Last known link http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/
White MCAD Employees Re-File Reverse
Discrimination Suit (08/15/00)
"Two employees of the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination have refiled a
lawsuit in Suffolk Superior Court charging the MCAD with being biased against them because
they are white."
Boyd and Packard, both white, allege they have been repeatedly passed over for promotions
by less qualified and less experienced black employees.
According to documentation assembled by the pair, jobs were created or modified to fit the
resumes of minority hires preferred by MCAD, and other jobs at the agency have been filled
by minorities without posting in an apparent effort to keep white employees from applying
for those jobs.
According to MCAD's web site: "The Massachusetts Commission Against
Discrimination's (MCAD's) mission is to ensure equality of opportunity by enforcing the
Commonwealth's Anti-discrimination laws, chapters 151B & 272, through the resolution
of complaints of discrimination in the areas of employment, housing, public
accommodations, services, credit and education." MCAD failed to mention that
in practice these protections are not extended to whites. [http://www.magnet.state.ma.us/mcad/]
In commenting on the case in May 1999, MCAD's attorney, Paul Merry, attempted to portray
the agency as unbiased when he said: "This commission has a long and
distinguished history of advocating for diversity and I think that it will speak for
itself." According to Boyd and Packard's suit, the commission's history is
speaking for itself, Mr. Merry! (Quote is from 5/14/99 Boston Globe)
The suit by plaintiffs Kimberly Boyd and Carolyn Packard was first filed on May 14, 1999
in U.S. District Court. Attorneys for both sides decided that the Suffolk Superior
Court was a more appropriate venue for the lawsuit. The District Court dismissed the
suit "without prejudice", meaning that no ruling on the merits of the case was
made, and that the plaintiffs were free to re-introduce the suit, which they now have.
Lawyer Mark A. White is currently representing Boyd and Packard. (Attorney Keith
Partlow had originally represented the women when they filed their suit in 1999.)
See also the May 1999 MCAD story, below, for further background.
(Based on the Boston Herald news brief Aug. 15,
[Last known link http://www.bostonherald.com/news/local_regional/lnibs08152000.htm
Two white MCAD employees file
discrimination complaint (05/14/99)
BOSTON - "In a case loaded with irony, two white women filed a complaint today
alleging the state's top anti-discrimination agency engaged in reverse discrimination.
"Kimberly Boyd and Carolyn Packard, both compliance officers for the Massachusetts
Commission Against Discrimination, allege they were passed over for promotions because of
their race, WBZ radio reported today. ``It's unfortunate when the guardian can't be
trusted,'' said Keith Partlow, the women's attorney.
"Partlow said the 50-year-old commission exhibited a pattern of internal promotions
that is inconsistent with its anti-discrimination charter. ``Minorities have been
promoted, jobs have been created to fit the resumes of minorities, jobs have been filled
without posting,'' Partlow said.
"Both women work in the investigative division. Ms. Packard, of Worcester, has worked
for MCAD for 17 years. Ms. Boyd, of Lynn, has worked there for five. Both believe in
the commission's mission, which made it painful and disappointing for them to file the
complaints, Partlow said." (Associated Press, via Boston Herald 05/14/99)
[last known link http://www.bostonherald.com/bostonherald/lonw/mcad05141999.htm
Court Rules Race CANNOT be a Factor in
Police Promotions! (12/15/99 - no link)
24 White Boston Police Officers Win Reverse Discrimination Case.
Suffolk Superior Court Judge John M. Xifaras has ruled that Police Commissioner Paul F.
Evans illegally bypassed 24 white officers for promotions due solely to the color of their
Judge Xifaras ruling upheld a 1998 decision by the Civil Service Commission that use
of race over promotional exam scores constituted illegal racial discrimination against the
The pro-racial-quota Massachusetts Association of Minority Law Enforcement Officers
(MAMLEO) was predictably outraged at losing the benefit of racial quotas. Boston Police
Sgt. William H. Bradley, who represents the pro-quota police group, complained bitterly
that losing the use of reverse discrimination would result in promoting "fewer
officers of color". Sgt. Bradley believes firmly in using reverse
discrimination and quotas as a means of revenge against supposedly privileged
"white" officers. He was quoted as saying "10 and 20 years ago they
(the police) were (obviously) using race as a factor when they promoted all white
officers." Bradley bemoaned the fact that Police Commissioner Evans would no
longer be able to racially discriminate against white officers. "...every
minority who resides in the city of Boston should be appalled", complained Bradley.
In fact, however, a 15-year old judicially imposed racial quota decree expired in 1995,
meaning that the Boston Police Department is no longer allowed to use race as a factor in
hiring and promotion. That fact did not stop the pro-quota police officers from crying
"foul". (No link is available.
Adversity.Net reader Bill Kewer contributed to this report.)
"Fake" Minorities Re-Hired by City (09/28/99 - dead link)
[Actual Boston Globe Headline Job complaint recalls 'racial charade'.]
"It was a case that rocked the city a decade ago: white twin brothers from Milton,
rejected as Boston firefighters because of low test scores, were later hired by the
department after they reapplied under affirmative action guidelines, claiming they were
"But now, Philip and Paul Malone are creating a stir again, this time in the racially
charged atmosphere of the MBTA, where some colleagues are suspicious and angry about one
brother's recent promotions.
"An anonymous letter, dated Aug. 27, was sent to MBTA General Manager Robert Prince
specifically complaining about Philip Malone, who advanced last summer.
[The letter said, in part] ''Because of this individual's history at the Boston Fire
Department, his attitudes on affirmative action and diversity, and years
of a racial charade, he is not fit for a supervisory position at the MBTA.''
"The anonymous letter said Philip Malone 'should be [revealed] for what he has shown
himself to be - a ticking time bomb of bad publicity, not worthy of trust and of such poor
moral character that he can only reflect negatively upon the authority.'
"But MBTA spokesman Brian Pedro said the Malones work hard, have spotless records,
and have not been given any special treatment. ''This process was 100 percent clean,' he
said. ... [Pedro added that] Malone is an exemplary employee with 'a clean, spotless
record. He's a very good worker and he deserves this job.'" (Boston Globe
09/28/99 page B01by Tina Cassidy)
[Commentary: The most
interesting thing about this story, and the related story, below, is that the Malone
brothers scored a failing grade on the firefighter employment test when they
applied as whites! However, when they re-applied as minorities their test
scores were still in the failing range, but they were hired because minorities are held to
a lower standard!
Also notice that the anonymous letter writer strongly implies that "bad attitudes
about affirmative action and diversity" (i.e., reverse discrimination) should
disqualify one from a job. This rhetoric conjures an image of thought-police and of
political intolerance that has no place in the United States of America.
Neither the City of Boston, nor anyone in the U.S.A., should be allowed to make race-based
hiring decisions regardless of the color of the applicants! Editor]
|Related / Similar:
Massachusetts (Boston): Quotas
Force Whites to Apply as Minorities (02/08/99 - dead link)
"Since a federal court in the mid-1970s ordered the Boston Fire Department to
increase the pool of minority applicants, some whites have tried to get hired by ...
claiming to be minorities.
"One tactic is for white applicants to claim they were raised in a Spanish-speaking
household, which would entitle them to minority status. One applicant in 1997 who claimed
he was raised in a Spanish-speaking household was asked to speak Spanish during an
interview. He couldn't.
"Another job hopeful last year was a white man born in Norwood and raised in Hyde
Park who said he should be considered a minority because his mother was born in Argentina.
He was denied minority status.
"In 1990, the state investigated 13 firefighters who claimed minority status, and
determined that six lied about their heritage. The larger review was prompted by the case
of brothers Paul and Philip Malone, who were fired after identifying themselves as black
on job applications. Though both men had white complexions, they claimed their
great-grandmother was black." (Boston Globe, 02/08/99, page A09, by David
Shamrock is Decried as Racist Symbol
in Irish Fire Dept. (02/08/99 - dead)
"On several fire engines and ladder trucks in Boston a large shamrock, the symbol of
Irish pride, is visible next to standard-issue decals like the engine number and Fire
Department logo." Most firefighters don't even think about it. "But
many of the city's minority firefighters do think about it. To them, the shamrock is a
reminder that the Boston Fire Department remains an old-boy network, controlled as it has
been for more than a century by white and mostly Irish-American men." (Boston
Globe, 02/08/99, by David Armstrong, page A01)
Mayor Vows to Decrease Irish Men in
Fire Dept. (02/10/99 - dead)
"Mayor Thomas M. Menino said yesterday he will overhaul the management of the Boston
Fire Department and immediately move to increase the hiring of women and the promotion of
minorities on the force. [M]inority firefighters allege the department remains an
old-boy network, firmly controlled by white, mostly Irish-American men. Minorities
constitute 29 percent of the 1,592-member force, but only 3 percent of the upper
ranks." (Boston Globe, 02/10/99, by David Armstrong, page A01)
Panel says white officers deserved
promotions (dead link)
"In another blow to the city's affirmative action efforts, the state Civil Service
Commission ruled this week that six white Boston police officers were unfairly denied
promotions because of their race and should be bumped to the top of the list for higher
rank". (Boston Globe 12-18-98)
City Police and Fire Criticized by
Council for Reverse Discrimination (dead link)
Boston City Council President James Kelly says racial preferences are "denying
innocent white people a job promotion because of their race", as quoted in the Boston
Globe 8/5/98. Not surprisingly, the NAACP and other anti-civil rights groups have
taken issue with Kelly's point of view.
President Kelly Accused of Pandering to White Voters. "Activists" accused Kelly of trying to
weaken the city's tradition of racial quotas before letting contracts on huge waterfront
construction projects. (Boston Globe 8/6/98)
Also: Boston Housing Authority Regards
Shamrock as Racist!