I actually have heard much more about this case from NPR interviews today than internet press coverage, but for what it's worth:
New Orleans Times-Picayune
FIRED WHITE WORKERS ARE AWARDED $1.9 MILLION
Jury finds DA liable in discrimination suit
Thursday, March 31, 2005
By Gwen Filosa
A federal jury said Wednesday that Orleans Parish District Attorney Eddie Jordan, the first African-American to be elected the city's chief
prosecutor, discriminated against 43 white employees when he fired them in 2003.
Jurors awarded the plaintiffs about $1.9 million in back pay and other damages, a figure equal to about 20 percent of Jordan's annual budget of $10
million. Jordan said his office could not afford such a payment and that he would appeal the verdict.
"I wasn't making racial decisions," Jordan said after the verdict, repeating as he did on the witness stand that he did not know who held the
positions when he arrived.
The only sign of leniency the jury showed was refusing to award the plaintiffs punitive damages. The fired employees, led by Judith DeCorte, a former
legal assistant in the child support division, had asked for a modest sum of $100,000 to cover them all.
"Race discrimination is wrong; it goes both ways," said the plaintiffs' lead attorney, Clement Donelon. The verdict, he said, "sends the message
to elected officials: Don't discriminate."
Donelon, a former attorney for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, said that if Jordan had fired the entire office left over from the
previous administration, "we wouldn't be here. You can't just fire all the white people."
I think the last point is key, he could
have fired everybody and it would have been seen as okay (theoretically), but
as the debate on
NPR just revealed Jordan just fired all the good ol' boys in the former DA's dynasty (held by Harry Connick Jr's dad for 29 years), who happened to
be white, so it's "racism"
Reversing a wrong is reverse racism now apparently, said the 80% white jury in a predominantly black city served the past 29 years by a predominantly
white DA's office. Wow, that's ironic.
Of course when Connick filled the slots with his own people initially (that happened to be white) that was okay. But when a black man runs a good ol'
boy network just like everyone else in politics, it's racism.
Jordan said he hired people that helped him on his campaign, insiders, supporters, former staffers (much like Connick had). So you hire loyal and fire
disloyal after a political campaign. Is that something new? The fact they were black didn't cross his mind (much like the fact Connick's people were
white probably didn't cross his either).
But now that the good old boy network gets a little color to it, it's suddenly "wrong." I see.
I'm torn because I wish
the best people were hired for every job, not just who you know and who you owe, but making this a race thing seems
patently hypocritical to me.
What does the white minority in New Orleans want anyway? Race quotas?
It's a thought.
Just glad to see they're making use of hard fought for political correctness legacy and legal regress measures to ensure equity. Congrats to
disenfranchised white minorities for demanding political correctness.
And being such useful hypocrites too of course.