Feature

Punishing whites for being white

"What I want to know" about the new justice who fills the pending vacancy on the Supreme Court is "where she stands on Frank Ricci,&rdquo; said Richard Cohen in <em>The Washington Post.</em>

Richard Cohen
The Washington Post

When President Obama fills the pending vacancy on the Supreme Court, said Richard Cohen, everyone will want to know how the new justice stands on abortion, guns, and other hot-button issues. “What I want to know is where she stands on Frank Ricci.” He’s the New Haven, Conn., fireman who recently passed the department’s promotion exam for lieutenant, after he spent up to 13 hours a day studying for the test to compensate for his dyslexia. Ricci had the sixth highest score of 77 candidates, but he was denied the job for one reason: He’s white. No blacks passed the test, so the city—which wants to increase the racial diversity of its fire department’s officers—threw out the exam results and promoted no one.

Such absurd and unfair contortions, in the name of affirmative action, no longer make any sense. “Maybe once it was possible to argue that some innocent people had to suffer in the name of progress, but a glance at the White House strongly suggests that things have changed.” It’s time our society treated hardworking people like Frank Ricci as individuals—not as faceless members of a race, gender, or class.

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