Woke Philly mayor trips on diversity in hiring

If this report on a lack of diversity in hiring had put a Republican mayor in the spotlight, I believe the Billy Penn headline would have been, “Controller’s report proves mayor is a racist.”

But since Mayor Jim Kenney is a Democratic, and a weepy, woke one at that, the Billy Penn website handles the statistics in the report from city Controller Rebecca Rhynhart without invective, almost to the point of giving him a pass.

Mayor Kenney didn’t meet his own hiring goals (Photo: CNN)

If I were a certain kind of journalist, or unscrupulous enemy of Kenney’s, I would use it to accuse him of racism.

I know some have called him a racist, but I haven’t because I don’t believe it’s true.

Conversely, he has called me a racist, and a homophobe, even though he knows it to be untrue. To paraphrase “Love Story,” being woke means never having to say you’re sorry.

He knows it to be untrue because for a decade, before he severed ties with his former neighbors, friends, and Mummers, we socialized. During the annual AIDS week, we dined out together. We visited each other’s homes, knew each other’s wives. This was while he still lived in South Philly, was still Jimmy from the Block, was an At-Large Councilman and understood the problems, complaints, and hardships of working-class Philadelphians.

His head was on straight, but somewhere along the line it got twisted to the left. Former Councilman Angel Ortiz, himself a piece of work, took credit for making a “progressive” out of what had been a liberal.

Before you could say “Helen Gym,” Kenney discovered I was a racist because I oppose illegal immigration, although I have never made it an issue of nationality. It is a question of legality, and we have many white illegals in this city, starting with a large pool of Irish, who are white. We also have illegal Russians living here, also Israelis, even Canadians!

Most of the latter groups are here with expired visas, whereas the South and Central Americans are illegal border crossers.

Since Kenney falsely accused me of racism, it’s kharma that the charge gets thrown back to him.

Here’s a big oops from a city report:

City of Philadelphia report

Whoa! Waaay too many white people in the Mayor’s office, Jim! Deep in your heart, you’re a regular George Wallace, aren’t you? Or is it Lester Maddox? Bull Connor?

What I am saying here is this: If you live solely by the sword of diversity, equity, and inclusiveness, you will die by that sword. Ratios don’t prove racism, what’s in your heart and mouth does.

If you believe, as some do, that it is racist to award a job to the best qualified candidate, you are destroying meritocracy and replacing it with a grievocracy — handing out jobs or college seats  to the loudest complainers. 

Kenney is not a racist. What the statistics show is that no matter how good your intentions, you can’t always find qualified minorities. (The statistics deal with appointed jobs, not civil service jobs, which require testing.)

Yes, I know that the “can’t find qualified applicants” claim is long used by racists. So you look at the track record of the individual. Kenney is so in love with People Of Color that  when illegal felons commit crimes in Philly, he shields them from deportation. You can’t have better street cred than that — unless you are a law-abiding, tax-paying citizen, which is not a group Kenney cares much about.

Nationally, as of July 2019, Blacks account for 13.4% of Americans, Hispanics are 18.5%, and Asians, 5.9%.

In Philadelphia, according to July 2019 Census estimates, Blacks are 43.6% of the population; 44.8% is white, 15.2% is Hispanic, 7.8% is Asian.

Do the math and find that we are in a minority majority city, meaning two-thirds of the city is nonwhite. (Yet only four out of our 17 elected City Councilmembers are white, far below what the percentage “should” be. Are whites raising hell? No, they are not.) 

The Controller’s charts indicate the hiring patterns do not perfectly align with minority numbers.

Why not?

Racism is probably not the right answer.

What might be the right answer?

The Controller’s report suggests the city has to try harder to achieve its own goals. Fair enough. 

Every job requires unique qualifications and people lacking those skills should not be hired. 

A healthy (and smart) society hires the best, irrespective of race.

A wise society might create apprenticeship programs to help get those who might have been deprived of a good education — for whatever reason — up to code. 

A thumb can be gently placed on the scale, without upending the desire to hire the best and the brightest. When they are not one and the same, quality should trump diversity. If not, we will own a society that is diverse in its mediocrity.

16 thoughts on “Woke Philly mayor trips on diversity in hiring”

  1. Well, I’m in good company. The Kenney campaign smeared me in 2015 as a “known homophobe” for the sin of questioning the logic of the Obergefell decision that legalized gay marriage. I guess that makes the Chief Justice a known homophobe too.

    Oh for the days epwhen reasonable people could reasonably disagree without name calling.

  2. In his second term, he proudly announced his formation of the office of diversity, equity, and inclusion naming Nolan Atkinson to hold that office. Where is a report of almost two years of the success or failure of his work? In making the announcement he stated; “The Administration will take a more coordinated and comprehensive approach to dismantle institutional barriers to success that impact marginalized communities, including people of color, LGBTQ+ individuals, women, people with disabilities, and low-income households. By centering racial equity, the City will be able to develop a framework, tools, and resources that can be applied to improve outcomes across all communities.”
    To my knowledge, the only group fitting into the directive are the police but at the cost of lowering certain standards in qualifications and limiting the available pool of aspirants to inside the city. Not very diverse, equitable, or inclusive.

  3. When I was in the business world not too many years ago, I remember the efforts the City made to get the ***********’s union to increase the number of black workers. A smarmy lawyer met with our company’s counsel and me to try to get US to ‘force’ the union to hire more blacks. He made a big to-do about how it was OUR job to get the union to bend to HIS will. Such bullshit. I asked him two question: (1) Why doesn’t the City use its clout to convince the union to hire more blacks (he wouldn’t answer, but VOTES was the unspoken reply); and (2) how many lawyers in the smarmy lawyer’s firm were black? He said his firm had 24 lawyers and NONE were black. “But it’s not the same thing!” he roared. Like I said, bullshit. The City is a snake eating its tail.

      1. guys,
        You may remember, a long long time ago. Late ’60s to be exact. The Federal Government ‘politely’ asked the unions – particularly the construction trades, to open up their unions to (first ) negroes, later it was changed to minorities.
        In Philly, the operating engineers basically told the gov to ‘pound sand’ . Wrong thing to say to the feds. After a short time, fines and ‘caving in’, local 542 had an agreement with the feds. A ‘black’ business agent was hired – with all of the trimmings. When a man was hired, he was first, black, second guy white. this agreement was heard around the country, and naturally, the unions fell in line. Each union worked out an agreement with Uncle Sam.
        When I was still active, those agreements were still in place and reviewed yearly.
        Tony

          1. What I wrote is what happened. The union in question was one of the construction unions, and its apprenticeship program was incredibly difficult for blacks to get into. The feds tried to get the companies that deal with the unions (my company being one of them at the time) to ‘demand’ more blacks be let into the union’s programs. Fat chance a company would screw with the unions that could destroy the company. It took the feds to finally open the unions to minorities. But remember how limited the feds are… they can’t even control the auto warranty bandits and telemarketing goniffs, except with the ‘do not call’ silliness.

          2. I forgot this piece. There were Blacks in the trades by the late ’60s, although few and far between. The unions became integrated by way of law suits. The suits were brought from within. In every local in this area.
            What Vince said is true. It was incredibly hard for ‘outsiders’ to break into the trades. Nepotism ran rampant. And why not ! Who’s going to tell a stranger how to make big bucks ? Keep it in the family. Funny thing about the construction unions. Look at Washington D.C. ! Keep it in the family .

  4. HAPPY THURSDAY !!!
    Pallie,
    I made the following statement on your facebook page. “never mind, ‘what makes jimmy run’. it should be, ‘what made jimmy flip’?”
    Twenty Three years , I believe on council. Working class family. Something or somebody was possibly grooming him for a higher office. I think that jimmy kenney is either burnt out or has gotten smarter and knows when to quit.
    Tony

          1. CHIEF !?!
            did I get promoted ?
            I’m just a regular half-breed. WOPAHO !
            ( now google will suspend me…………….

  5. Kenney’s (and many sanctuary city’s) position on illegal immigrants is partially virtue signaling used to shroud one reason, which as always is money. Police arrest an illegal immigrant but don’t want to spend the money to hold that person for in a clogged city facility while ICE does nothing and asks for a detainer that stretches to 4 days of ICE doing nothing, and the person being released on their own recognizance a majority of the time anyway.

    1. I know Kenney. The issue isn’t money, it is progressive ideology. The city has agreed to pay $2.5 million to the family of an armed felon who forced the cops to shoot him. It’s not his money.

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