White FDNY Hopefuls Banned From Tutorial

The men claim a group of Black firefighters prevented them from attending an exam-prep session. Event volunteers say race had nothing to do with entry. 

Posted: 03/02/2012 11:30 AM EST
fire, unemployment, hiring, employment, New York City, discrimination, National News

A group of white men is claiming that some Black firefighters prevented them from attending a tutorial session for the upcoming New York City Fire Department exam.

 

They claim the Queens Vulcan Society turned away whites who wanted to attend the workshop on Wednesday night.

 

“This is absurd,” Rob, a 21-year-old who was one of about 60 whites refused entry by the Vulcan Society at MS 72 in Jamaica, Queens, told the New York Post.

 

His agitated reaction drew about 30 New York police and school safety officers to the scene.

 

A Vulcan volunteer said race had nothing to do with admission and that he was told only to admit people if they had received a confirmation e-mail from the society. “I wanted everyone to get in, but we don’t have the resources for the amount of people who showed up,” the volunteer said. “I understand guys were upset, but then they got a little rowdy.’’

 

About 110 Black men received the test prep. Wednesday night’s class was the third in a series of prep exams given by the Vulcan Society. The previous two were integrated.

 

In October, a federal judge ruled that an independent monitor must be appointed to oversee fair hiring in the New York department. In 2009, the same judge ruled that the firefighter hiring test was discriminatory and that it was being used to intentionally discriminate against Black and Hispanic applicants.

 

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(Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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