Sep 30, 2008

Me and Austin: Red, Blue or Purple?

I've always described Austin as the island of blue in the big red sea. That's why my college friends accepted it as a reasonable place to live. I hold that we are the bluest city still but does that mean we're actually kinda purple? And might I be more purple than blue myself?

While watching ABC News tonight here in Austin I learned that several African-American leaders in town are challenging the fire department. Apparently AFD does not employ a number of black firefighters that is proportionate to the black population. AFD responded by saying they take the highest scoring candidates on the firefighter exam but were looking for flexibility. LOOKING FOR FLEXIBILITY?! You want the option to hire lower scoring applicants? Because of a race issue? I could understand if there were objections to the testing style, much as there is with the SAT or TAKS test. Just because you can answer questions correctly doesn't mean you can apply it. That would be fair. But there was no mention of that. This is purely to meet proportions. How ridiculous! I'm in favor of everyone having an equal opportunity at education and jobs. An overly subjective interview process yielding the same results would be fairly questioned. But a test? An electronic test doesn't know white from black or any other color for that matter. AFD as a citizen potentially receiving your services and as the fiance of a soon to be firefighter, I hope you continue to hire the most qualified candidates, regardless of race.

See this is why I think I might be a little purple. Affirmative action and program such as the one at AFD are typically associated with Democrats yet this particular situation enrages me. I've not gone completely red though as is clear by this reaction to not teaching evolution in our schools, also a story I saw on this evening's news.

Members of the state school board want to teach "supernatural" causes for the creation of the universe. And if the state board gets its way, this could be taught for the next ten years. TEN YEARS! That's our kids! Ross and I discussed - it's either teaching the kids evolution at home or if our big high paying public service jobs allow it, private evolution teaching schools!

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