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White Applicants to LAPD

September 05, 1993

* After reading the article "White Male Applicants Struggle for LAPD Jobs" (Aug. 25), I wondered what I would say to former LAPD Officer N. Stephen Vallance if I were to meet him on the street.

First, I would say that I understand his plight, and he would understand because I am black. I am a retired L.A. County sheriff's deputy. I am also a Vietnam veteran, who first took the LAPD examination in 1964, and passed the examination in the upper 95% as I recall. I can also recall the LAPD doctor telling me that I could not become a LAPD cadet until I had put on one inch of chest muscle at the local gym. That gym was restricted to "whites only" in those days. I didn't get the job, so I went to the Sheriff's Department instead. And as they say, "The rest is history."

Second, I would say to Vallance, and all others who lament their current plight, tough!


Marina del Rey

* Your article about discrimination against white male applicants to the LAPD exposes the lie perpetrated by supporters of affirmative action. You report the LAPD is enforcing "goals" for minority and female individuals. You also report what this really means: The admission standards are lower for Latinos, blacks and females.

Those who support affirmative action "goals" should be honest enough to dispense with this disingenuous euphemism and clearly state that they support racial and gender preferences (of which quotas are the most extreme) and lower standards for individuals who are Latino, black or female.



* Affirmative action appears to say that blacks aren't equal, therefore they need special treatment because they can't cut it. The way it should be is that once a quota of 12% (which is the percentage of blacks in America) is met, then the rest of us should be considered. That's fair action.


Marina del Rey

* Wasn't discrimination the cause for the courts ordering and the public demanding the LAPD to become more diverse in its hiring practice? There is a price to pay for the wrongs of previous LAPD policies and now it's time to pay.

Vallance's desire is not different than my father's and grandfather's, who were black, and that is to be judged as a man, not by the color of his skin. What goes around comes around.


Los Angeles

* The illogic that informed the editorial of Aug. 26 ("Why the LAPD Can't Hire Everyone") stands as a telling exemplar of racial double standards. If a minority group was hurt by a policy that was meant to remedy the misfortunes of another minority group, it would correctly be labeled discriminatory. But when white males are virtually barred from joining, or even rejoining, the LAPD, The Times labels this a product of "the old law of unintended consequences."

Intention (good or bad) is not a prerequisite for racism. Racism frequently pops its ugly head up without announcing itself. The current LAPD policy creates a situation of de facto discrimination. It does not matter that the purpose of the policy isn't to discriminate. The problem is that it does discriminate simply on the basis of race. I thought we were moving on from that stage.


South Pasadena

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