Boston, Massachusetts has historically had problems with integration. Forced busing of school children in the 70’s led to riots that still bring up bitter memories. And the police department was forced into adopting a policy of hiring one minority officer for every white officer they hired.
That policy was struck down by a court last fall, that ruled that with 1/3 of the Boston Police Department a minority of one type of another, they could start hiring strictly on merit, with complete disregard for the applicants’ race, sex, or other status.
But that wasn’t enough for the powers that run Boston. They decided that they would actively recruit minorities to apply for positions with the police. Current officers who were black, Hispanic, or gay were tasked to “talk up” would-be applicants and spread the word among those communities about upcoming vacancies.
I have no problem with that. In fact, I think it was a great idea.
My objection is how it was done. Police Commissioner Kathleen M. O’Toole didn’t just encourage those six officers to make the effort. She took them off the street for two months and made their only duties to be to actively recruit their fellow minorities.
I’ve never heard of a police department in a major city lacking for applicants — hell, not even qualified applicants. On the other hand, I’ve also never heard of a major city having things go so nicely that they yank half a dozen officers off regular patrol duty for two months because things are just going so swimmingly.
It’s been a while since I’ve been outraged at what is often called “political correctness run amok.” Silly me, I thought those days were past. I should have known I ought to just wait a little while, and Massachusetts would come through for me.