Letter from Paul Mannix .....QUOTE.......Rebuttal to Vulcan President Firefighter John Coombs
Now to John Coombs (Feb. 15 letter). I hope the editor of this paper again grants me a large part of his publication for my letter, as I have quite a lot of comments to make regarding Firefighter Coombs. I'll be as brief as possible on each one.
First, the FDNY can hardly denounce my call for an investigation (which I herein repeat and offer my assistance in conducting) since it actually conducted one, half-hearted though it seemed. Next, John, if you believe my letter was a "tirade of deception" and that I speak half-truths and lies, then highlight and refute the deceptive points.
Be aware, however, that my letter included a bibliography with nine footnotes to back up what I wrote. Be advised that city employment is not distributed; it is earned. I thought I had explained this to you when you admitted in a meeting that you had no idea how or why civil service testing came to be. Jobs used to be distributed, John, and it led to widespread, pervasive corruption and inequity. Objective, competitive testing, while not a perfect system, is a damn sight better than patronage.
Speaking of competition, I have successfully competed on numerous entry level tests as well as five promotion tests (one in the NYPD). I have also worked a side job over the last 12 years helping firefighters prepare for very competitive promotion tests, so I am happy that there is competition (and not simply for altruistic reasons).
You, on the other hand, have stated that there shouldn't even be a test to become a firefighter (I then explained civil service testing to you) and lobbied to change the competitive written firefighter test to a pass/fail format. You also, to my knowledge, have not yet competed on even one promotion test, so it might be prudent of you to keep your opinion about others' supposed fear of competition to yourself. You are vexed that I did not acknowledge what you call valid points raised by others. Well, this is easy to explain, I do not go along to get along. If I disagree, I disagree. I am vexed that you make a call for elected officials to get involved, since one of the Vulcan Society's most ardent supporters is former Black Panther/City Councilman Charles Barron. He just may be tempted to send his aide Viola Plummer after me, and she is fond of threatening opponents with assassination. Maybe I'll get off easy and she'll just hit me with a leftover Sonny Carson street sign. (By the way, if Mr. Barron is still looking for a white person to slap to aid his mental health, I'm easy to find). I am also vexed about this set aside for white men that John claims exists in the FDNY. Contact me, John, and I will work with you to expose and eliminate it.
A set aside for any group is wrong (as you unwittingly acknowledge when you complain about this one) as is hiring or promoting someone because of their race or gender. Yet that is what you and your "like-minded agents of change" constantly demand. Individuals who happen to be women, or Asian, or black or Hispanic are all capable of becoming firefighters and the opportunity for them to do so exists. They should not, however, be hired simply predicated on their membership in a group. If we adopt your mantra that employees in a geographical area must reflect the population, there are going to be a lot of very tall, very angry black men who will no longer be able to play in the NBA. If they ask me why, I'm gonna tell them it's your fault!
Dr. King dreamed of the day that his children would be judged by the content of their character and not the color of their skin. The Vulcans, apparently, disagree. A Supreme Court Justice once stated that the best way to end discrimination based on race was to stop discriminating based on race. Demanding equal opportunity is admirable; demanding special treatment makes you Sharpton.
One more thing - I have a task for Firefighter Coombs. John, if you truly believe that I am racist, bigoted and not fit to work in the diverse neighborhoods of New York City, then as a leader in the African-American community you are obligated to lodge an official EEO complaint against me. It's time to put up or shut up.
PAUL D. MANNIX, Deputy Chief, FDNY
UNQUOTE.......Paul Mannix for Mayor......no wait ......Paul Mannix for President.