Hofstra University Honors College's Blog

Posts tagged ‘politics’

Veteran’s Preference vs Language Skills

(Cross Posted from my own WordPress)

Boston has long used veteran’s preference to get returning vets into jobs such as the police and fire departments. This year, Boston Fire Department has asked to set aside 15 of 50 spots in their academy class for people who speak Spanish. (And yes, they actually have to ask for an exception to sidestep the law)

And well, I let the quote speak for itself.

But a group of military veterans, normally given preference for the jobs, has challenged the decision. Alleging in legal documents that the bilingual requirement is being used to “recruit people of color into the uniformed ranks,’’ the veterans have asked the state Civil Service Commission to investigate.

So when did knowledge of a language determine your skin color? I’m sure this wasn’t the only line of reasoning the veterans put in their legal documents, but this quote makes them seem very racist. Later on in the article, the lawyer for them complains about how they came back from serving in Iraq/Afghanistan to find the rules have changed on them.

And there’s even more background, like how the BFD was legally bound to hire/diversify at a one to one ratio meaning for every white candidate they hired, they needed a black or Hispanic one as well. That rule was disbanded less than ten years ago and since then the department has hired a group that is 88 per cent white.

I don’t really understand why the veterans are so angry. The department finally realized they need more staff who speaks Spanish when they respond to calls from Spanish speaking people. Boston has a huge Hispanic population in one neighborhood, and significant populations in other neighborhoods that are on the other side of the city. In other words the Hispanics are basically all over. It’s time the department diversifies again.

The veterans can always apply again next year, right?


Election Season

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

Except it lasts over a year… I’m talking about election season. This week Obama officially filed to run for reelection. *Name for Election* 2012 has officially begun.  Depending on where you get your news from, it could be called Indecision or

So get ready for 19 months of campaign fund raising, social media outreach, baby kissing and the inevitable mud slinging.

It’s quiet right now, because caucuses and primaries don’t kick off until January 2012 but that hasn’t stopped the media machines from rolling out rumors that Michele Bachmann (who gave the Tea Party response to the State of the Union) will file soon, or my favorite, Donald Trump will run. Trump has been on several TV shows recently making his stances known. He is completely anti-gay not even supporting civil unions or domestic partnerships for same sex couples. He’s also pro-life.  The startling fact is that a poll conducted in February showed that Trump was ahead of Obama by two points. You can read more about it here.

A few relatively unknown people have filed to run under the GOP banner. Perhaps the most promising is Tim Pawlenty, the former governor of Minnesota. But he isn’t well known outside of his state. A highlight is Jimmy McMillan, from the Rent is Too Dam High party. Even though he is technically a democrat, he filed to run as a republican so he wouldn’t directly challenge Obama. McMillan ran for NY Governor but obviously lost. (He did get 41 thousand votes – 20 thousand more than the mistress of Eliot Spitzer)

What I love is no matter how much we hate and complain about the process, once Election night actually comes, we love to stay up and watch the results as the come in.