Tag Archives: law

Racialicious Responds to the Firefighter Reverse Discrimination Case

A Racialicious Roundtable, compiled by Latoya Peterson and Thea Lim


On April 22, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in the case of Ricci, et. Al, v. DeStefano, et al., a case brought by seventeen firefighters who claim that they were discriminated against by the City of New Haven after the City decided to throw out the results of a required advancement exam. The New York Times story notes:

Mr. Ricci did well, he said, coming in sixth among the 77 candidates who took the exam. But the city threw out the test, because none of the 19 African-American firefighters who took it qualified for promotion. That decision prompted Mr. Ricci and 17 other white firefighters, including one Hispanic, to sue the city, alleging racial discrimination. [...]

The city says it was merely trying to comply with a federal law that views job requirements like promotional tests with great suspicion when they disproportionately disfavor minority applicants.

“The fact of the matter is it’s a flawed test,” said Victor A. Bolden, the city’s acting corporation counsel.

Mr. Bolden added that he had sympathy for Mr. Ricci. “There’s no question that there are people who are disappointed,” he said. “But disappointment doesn’t lead to a discrimination claim.”

The promotion exam was offered in the fall of 2003, and no one has been promoted since, Mr. Bolden said.

The suit brought by Mr. Ricci and his colleagues says that the city’s rationale for throwing out the test is illegitimate and that they were denied a chance for promotion on account of the color of their skin.

Since this made the Court’s docket, it officially became a matter of serious weight. I called together some of the other correspondents and we had a chat about what this case means, what it could mean for industries that seem to just stay segregated, and the unanswered questions we still have after examining the available briefs and news articles. – LDP

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Blog Scandal in San Francisco Public Defender’s Office

by Guest Contributor Angry Asian Man, originally published at Angry Asian Man

Some intriguing news out of the San Francisco public defender’s office… A MySpace blog entry written by former intern Carrie Wiplinger has prompted the superior court and Public Defender Jeff Adachi to investigate whether a lawyer in Adachi’s office was once told to keep Asians off a jury: Intern Blog Alleges Juror Racial Bias.

In the blog entry, posted September 3, Wipplinger wrote about a case involving a drunken man whom authorities found receiving oral sex in a car:

“I got to listen in on a conference regarding jury selection,” she wrote. “My bosses gave the following advice to the lawyer …don’t pick any Asian jurors, because (and I quote): ‘Asians don’t drink, they love Jesus, and they’re creeped out by everything.‘”

She wrote that the lawyer followed that advice, and the client was acquitted. But the attorneys who worked her deny making such a comment, and say Wipplinger got several other facts wrong: the jury hung and the defendant was not acquitted; there was no testimony or evidence that the man was drunk; and there were at least one or two people of Asian descent on the jury.

Adachi said the deputy public defender assigned to the case, Lateef Gray, and his supervisor, Kwixuan Maloof, both denied that they or anyone else made the statement about Asians. Well, of course they denied it. The question is whether or not the blog’s claims, even if she got some of the facts wrong, is based on something that actually happened, or if she just made the whole thing up.

One thing is probably for sure. Everyone involved, including the intern, is not happy that this damn MySpace blog has suddenly received so much attention. And if what she says happened is indeed true, and the lawyer did give this advice, well… that’s racist!