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FDNY’s Affirmative Action Memorial By: Michael Tremoglie
FrontPageMagazine.com | Monday, January 21, 2002


I HAVE OFTEN WONDERED what the status of Asian Americans is in the universe of multiculturalism. After all affirmative action is a deleterious policy for Asian Americans wanting to be admitted to college. They are subjects of discrimination denied admission to prestigious colleges because of racial quotas. However, the multiculturalists sometimes exploit them as they did about internment. As an ethnic group, they seem to be in multicultural purgatory.

The proposed FDNY statue seemed to confirm this.

The photograph of the flag-raising by three members of the FDNY at Ground Zero is as famous and inspiring as the photograph of the flag raising by Marines at Mt. Suribachi two generations ago. In order to understand how sacred an event that was, all one need to know is the reverence that flag was shown, by the crew of the USS Roosevelt, after it was given to them by the City of New York before the Roosevelt set sail for Afghanistan. That a statue commemorating that occasion should be made is understandable. Yet, the perverted policies of multiculturalism made this tribute controversial.

In what is an unconscionable revision of historyone that would be the envy of Stalin or Goebels the race of the three firemen portrayed by the monument to be changed to satisfy liberal dogma. An inspirational photograph transformed into a monument and altered because liberal elitists want to ensure that minorities are represented. This altering is a shibboleth. All of America should realizeincluding Bill O’Reillythat this was nothing more than an attempt by liberals to portray the world not as it is, but as the liberals believe it should be. Only liberals have the "wisdom" and the "compassion" to craft utopiaif only the rest of us hoi polloi would have the good sense to be directed by them.

Forutnately even the liberal elite will listen to the hue and cry of the hoi polloi. The proposal now has been changed. The plans for altering the photo for the sake of "diversity" are gone. A new design will be created.

Of course, it would be easy enough to build an uncontroversial monument inclusive of race and gender. Simply portray firemen of other ethnicities and genders watching the flag being raisedor portray another scenario entirely. Yet that was not what was originally plannedand I believe purposefully so, because the liberals know the significance and historical value of the photograph. They know that the photo and the monument would be intertwined in the collective conscience and history. Their proposal for a sanitized version of the photo cast in bronze was simply their attempt to impose their values and beliefs onto society.

However the liberal elite erred. What they intended to use to promote their perspective instead revealed their own bigotry. Instead of including everyone, they omitted Asian Americans and Native Americans. Twenty-eight of the eleven thousand members of the FDNY are Asian. Seven are Native-American. There are women as well. Yet, these groups were omitted from the memorial.

Why? What was the purpose to alter the actual event to include Blacks and Hispanics yet leave out Asians, Native-Americans, and women. Was it political? Or is it that liberals do not believe Asians count as a true minority deserving of role models?

Does Mr. Ratner, the wealthy developer who commissioned the project, harbor anti-Asian sentiments? What about the FDNY commanders? Are they sexist? Do they discriminate against Native Americans? If you are going to be inclusive, then be inclusive. Do not ordain some ethnic groups to be more marginalized than others.

However, that is the chimerical nature of affirmative action. It is a gigantic Wheel of Fortune where black and brown have larger segments than yellow and red.

The hypocrisy of affirmative action is that the wealthy, the politicians, and the lawyers are exempt. There is not one elected office in the United States subject to affirmative action. Mr. Ratner, brother of liberal pundit Ellen Ratner, a staunch affirmative action proponent, has not turned his company over to a minority. Why not? If he believes in affirmative action, why not give half his company to a minority to own and operate? Why doesn’t Ellen Ratner resign and ensure that a minority is hired to replace her? After all, that is what they want the average working person to do?

Of course, the most hypocritical are the advocacy groups. Who can name the last black national executive director of the ACLU? What about NOW? How many black women have served as national director of N.O.W.?

The more I think about it the more I believe the statue should be built. However, it should not be placed at FDNY headquarters. The statue belongs in Washington at the office of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Because it is more a tribute to affirmative action than it is to the fire personnel, of all races and genders, who perished at Ground Zero.


Michael P. Tremoglie is the author of the new novel A Sense of Duty, and an ex-Philadelphia cop. E-mail him at elfegobaca@comcast.net.


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