John Tierney posted something galling on Instapundit:
Affirmative-action hiring endangers the FDNY. One female recruit failed the entrance exam six times but was hired anyway to satisfy a court-ordered quota system. The goal in hiring firefighters, one judge opined, should not be to identify “those who are strongest or fastest.” Sure, a few victims might not be rescued in time, but think how empowered the new recruits will feel.
The linked City Journal article by Bob McManus is worth a read in full. He contends that policies like affirmative action or the “ban the box” insistence that criminal records should not be considered are founded simply on lies.
Common sense is still common enough, in the United States, that most folks will probably come to the conclusion that any job for which meeting ideological gender, race, or other quotas can be a higher priority than demonstrable ability to do the job in the first place must not be very important. Perhaps folks will come to different conclusions about different jobs, but can we agree that any physically demanding job in which people’s lives are on the line should demand a higher priority on ability than demographics?