Monday, November 19, 2012


Abe Lincoln’s Emancipation Declaration may have set the slaves free, but it was followed by year upon year of abhorrent discrimination against blacks, and not just only in the South. There was a need for a program like affirmative action to give blacks and other minorities a chance to get hired, promoted and to gain entrance into our institutions of higher learning. But an ever expanding program led to the lowering of employment and educational standards and evolved into a reverse discrimination program that in many cases has favored less-qualified minorities over better-qualified whites.

In order to meet certain hiring and promotional levels and in order for undereducated and underachieving blacks and Hispanics to remain in our colleges and universities, standards were lowered ….. but not just for minorities, they were lowered for everyone. I've seen students, including white students, who graduated from some prominent universities and couldn't spell 'cat' if you spotted them the 'c' and the 't'.

Back in the 1970’s, the San Diego Police Department was under heavy criticism because it’s affirmative action program was not working. Their height requirements kept Latinos, Asians and women out. Their intelligence entry standards kept blacks - and to a lesser extent Latinos - out. And their physical standards kept women out. When they lowered their minimum height requirement several inches, it still kept Latinos, Asians and women out. So they did away with height requirements altogether. They dumbed-down their intelligence standards to accommodate black applicants and they lowered their physical standards to accommodate women applicants.

Dr. Mike Roberts, a highly regarded police psychologist, says that when you lower standards to accommodate any protected (by law) group you lower the standards for everyone and far more white males will benefit from the lowered standards than minorities and women. Dr. Roberts noted that SDPD’s revised standards filled their ranks with a bunch of short, dumb, weak white male cops.

Dave Freeman is a retired correctional officer. Here are his thoughts on and experiences with affirmative action:

By Dave Freeman

I think that affirmative action is, by nature, discrimination. It is discrimination we were willing to put up with for a few years back in the 60's and early 70's to reverse a couple hundred years of blatant discrimination against blacks. Then we included Hispanics. Then Asians and all other non-whites. Then women. Then openly professing homosexuals.

Originally, I don't think anyone envisioned affirmative action lasting more than 10 or, at most 20 years. This would have been more than enough time to allow those historically discriminated against to achieve, if not parity, at least a reasonable opportunity to assimilate into the work force.

I think AA would have been OK if we had used it to fill entry level jobs and then to allow some preference in promotional exams. But mandating percentages of the work force be comprised of members of certain ethnic and social groups, and then extending these mandates for some....50 years...has resulted in rank incompetence throughout our civil service and to some extent, into the private sector.

I have worked for inept and unqualified supervisors and administrators. Some of these were white males who never would have been promoted 50 years ago, but who benefited from AA due to the fact that hiring and promotion standards were necessarily lowered to meet AA goals. It had to be done, because before it was done, those goals were not being met, and meeting those goals became mandatory. We all pay a price for it. And many members of these groups walk around with chips on their shoulders feeling they are somehow owed more than the rest of us.

The warden at one of the institutions I worked could barely put a coherent sentence together. Unless you understand Ebonics [ghetto speak]. Even with her secretary helping her out, many of her memos read like something written by a 12 year old ghetto child. We once had to endure an hour of "training" featuring this gal telling us how great she was, how she and her driver had just returned from Rancho Cucamonga after an on duty visit to the CALPERS (retirement) office to determine benefits and how great they were, and how much she loved running our institution. She spent two years on the line as a visiting officer before the first of many rapid promotions, but she never forgot to tell us how she spent her time on the line and was one of us.

We once promoted six to sergeant at that joint. Five of them were short....(under 5'8") black females. The warden was a short black female. Don't get me wrong here.....the other promotion did go to a white guy. At the time....I was accused of being racist for pointing this out. It was and is blatant and disgraceful. In my experience, on a good day....about half of the promotions that were doled out were due to actual competence. One could still get promoted based on actual competence.

And I so clearly remember my experience in the Sacramento State University master's degree program, where some members of these groups who were clearly under-performing received the "gentleman's B" grades that I worked so hard to get. One of my professors (James Poland), confessed to me privately that he could not fail any of them, because if he did, he could lose his teaching position.

Then they took their degrees and went into state service where they were promoted ahead of me and others who were even more qualified than I was. And we are still doing this. Which is one reason why California's penal system, which was once considered the gold standard in corrections by such notable sociologists as James Q. Wilson, has degenerated into the joke that it is today.

After my initial seven or eight years, I no longer cared about, or even tried for a promotion. I was happy with my seniority, able to bid certain shifts and … later after we got a better contract, specific jobs. Nevertheless, I feel we deserved better leadership, both at the supervisory level and higher up at the administrative level. Because of incompetent leadership, both inmates and staff suffered needlessly. Poor decisions harmed convict living conditions and our working conditions.

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