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Michael Cammarata
October 5, 1978 – September 11, 2001

Last week, Federal District Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis upheld the Bush Administration’s 2007 Vulcan Society lawsuit, which was filed in the name of then-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. Judge Garaufis ruled that the Fire Department of New York racially discriminated in its 1999 and 2002 hiring tests by asking questions that blacks and Hispanics less often answered correctly. Judge Garaufis held:

“From 1999 to 2007, the New York City Fire Department used written examinations with discriminatory effects and little relationship to the job of a firefighter … These examinations unfairly excluded hundreds of qualified people of color… Today, the court holds that New York City’s reliance on these examinations constitutes employment discrimination in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.”

Thankfully, we now have heroes like General Gonzales and Judge Garaufis to protect us from the likes of young Cammarata. In our society’s total war against racism and Disparate Impact, we must not only honor the General and the Judge by making firefighter exams less discriminating; but we must also admit the power of their logic and publicly dishonor those who profited from this shameful violation of civil rights. For example, Cammarata’s white male privilege permitted him to “earn” a perfect score on that 1999 exam that Judge Garaufis determined, by drawing upon his vast statistical sophistication, was racially biased and irrelevant. The New York Times reported on December 16, 2001:

A day after Michael Cammarata died in the attack on the World Trade Center, his brother, Joseph, went through his things looking for a birth certificate. On the top drawer of Michael’s night table, Joseph found a letter — the kind of letter that a brother never wants to read. It was a what-to-do list in case something happened to him.

No. 1 on the list: “Take care of Jenna,” referring to his girlfriend of seven years.

No. 2: “Don’t mourn me. This is the career I chose.”

Michael Cammarata, 22, was a firefighter with Ladder Company 11 in Manhattan. He died on the ninth week of a 14-week training program. He lived with his parents in Huguenot, Staten Island.

No. 3: “Make my spirit live on.”

No. 4: “Remember I love you all and will be waiting for you upstairs.”

From the time he was 7, Michael Cammarata wanted to be a firefighter. He was fascinated by fire engines and trucks. In his fireman’s test, which he took with his brother, Michael got a perfect score; Joseph did not.

“They wanted to be together,” his mother, Linda Cammarata said of her two sons. “Thank God they didn’t.”

Joseph, 24, is a police officer. On Jan. 14, he, too, will join the Fire Department.

From the New York Times, June 8, 2003:

The funeral yesterday, at Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic church on Staten Island, was the first in many months for a firefighter. Yet the rawness of the emotions on display — as firefighters stood in the pouring rain while taps played, a police helicopter flew overhead and a powder-blue coffin was lifted onto a ceremonial firetruck to be carried to the nearby cemetery — served as one more demonstration of the enormous pain caused by the Sept. 11 attack.

Mr. Cammarata’s family had waited almost 21 months for word that the remains of the 22-year-old probationary firefighter had been recovered and identified. Unwilling to put off the funeral any longer, yesterday they buried a vial of blood Mr. Cammarata had donated before he died, along with his department uniform, letters to his girlfriend, hockey sticks and baseball gloves, the funeral director said.

To date, 208 of the 343 firefighters killed on Sept. 11 have been positively identified. Firefighter Cammarata, who lived with his parents on Staten Island, was the first to be buried in a department ceremony in which the ”recovered remains” consisted of nothing more than a vial of donated blood, city officials said.

Mr. Cammarata, nicknamed ”The Face” by his fellow firefighters for his movie-star looks, achieved a perfect score on the Fire Department’s written exam and physical. He was last seen going into the Marriott World Trade Center Hotel on the morning of Sept. 11 to try to evacuate any guests or staff. It had only been four months since he was sworn in as a firefighter and assigned to Ladder Company 11 on East Second Street, on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. The hotel was nearly flattened when the towers collapsed.

His family wrote in Little League Online:

On Sept. 11, 2001, at 8:54 a.m. from the firehouse on East Second Street in Alphabet City, Ladder Company 11, a phone call was made to the Cammarata family from their youngest son Michael. He left a message on his father’s voicemail stating: “I am going to the World Trade Center, a plane just hit it. Just tell everyone I am all right.”

Those were the last words he said to his family.

Michael was born on Oct. 7, 1978. He was only 22 years old on the date of the attack.

He was looking forward to graduating the fire academy and being permanently assigned to Ladder 11. Michael was given the gift to carry on his uncle’s shield number of 33 years, No. 1138.

Playing Little League Baseball as an all star, he competed in the Little League World Series, reaching second in the United States and third in the world. …

Michael was scouted by the Wagner College Hockey Club on Staten Island, soon to be named Rookie of the Year in 1996. In 1997, as a sophomore in college, he was the youngest to be named MVP in Wagner College history. In 1997, he led his team to the Metropolitan Collegiate Conference Championship title. In 1998, he led Wagner to another championship.

In 1999, Michael left college to work in the building industry with his father. During this time, he was anx
iously awaiting a call to be accepted for a job as a fireman. This he wanted since he was a little boy. Michael scored an impressive 105 perfect score on the New York Fireman’s Test, with a list number of 345. He was quickly called to duty and sworn in as a firefighter on May 3, 2001. He had a passion and love for the job. He was in his 14-week training program awaiting official graduation. …

Michael had an extreme love and closeness for his family, friends, and fellow firefighters. His personality made light of any dark situation, … with his brother saying, “You can never find a better best friend.”

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
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  1. It's often said, even by 'race realists', that even though blacks have a lower than average IQ, they are still normal functioning people. What I mean is that a white man with an IQ of 80 would usually have behavioral and social problems, whereas a black would exhibit psychologically normal behavior. This is the kind of thing that needs to be unpicked before employers can use testing a way of sorting applicants.

  2. By the way, the bit about Michael Cammarata's brother leaving NYPD to work for FDNY — that's not anomalous. I had dinner with a New York fireman last month and he mentioned that was common. He claimed that a strikingly high percentage of New York firemen started in the NYPD.

  3. C'mon Steve, don't you read Reason? Don't you know that Cammarata and his ilk are just blood sucking parasites who feed off the wealth created by the hipsters and creatives and hi-tech executives? These guys even belong to unions! All this civil service testing rigmarole is just a way of limiting entry to their 'profession', a racist way of preventing competition from downtrodden minorities and mezoamericans who would gladly do the job for half as much, and no doubt do it better!

  4. I happen to have some first-hand experience with Staten Island. It is pretty much a poster child for a large segment of this country that finds itself without a political home. It is by far the whitest and most conservative part of New York City, with the population being pretty much the middlest of middle class, Catholic (largely Italian and Irish), and with a large contingent of cops and firemen. The people there do not have fancy tastes and embody pretty much everything that SWPLs despise. And they have the temerity to do it within the bounds of NYC!

    Needless to say, the Democratic establishment regards them as The Enemy and Staten Islanders have responded by generally voting Republican. As a reward they get the Gonzalez abomination you described and a general abandonment to the "unstoppable" forces of globalization. They are now also being slowly displaced by the Bushian (although not only his, of course) election of a new people who are busily diversifying the place. I expect them to vote with their feet pretty soon.

  5. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    "Don't you know that Cammarata and his ilk are just blood sucking parasites who feed off the wealth created by the hipsters and creatives and hi-tech executives?"

    I don't want to blame the hipsters, they're searching for something authentic!

    Richard Florida

    I still maintain that this is the whitest statement ever uttered in world history – ed.

  6. Why do so many of the victims of affirmative action have last names that end in vowels?

    Sounds like disparate impact to me.

    It's time for equality.

  7. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    As a believer in HBD, as well as an individualist, I agree with your criticism of the Bush administration lawsuit. In evaluating the qualifications of people to serve in a fire department, police department, or any other such agency, the tests that should be given are those which are most relevant to the tasks at hand. This should not involve "watering down" or altering the test simply to make it easier for certain ethnic or racial groups to succeed. Fire-departments require competence, and not diversity.

    Nevertheless, I have to disagree with the method you are employing to show how well-qualified was Michael Camerata. The opposing side of this argument could just as easily present the biography of an individual (say, an African-American) who would have been disqualified by the original test, and highlight all the things in that person's life that make him appear a wonderful human being. That would still not have made him qualified to serve as a firefighter. Indeed, the very point of testing is to apply an objective standard, over and above any appeals to emotionality or sentimentality (i.e. dreaming of firetrucks as a child, being loved by his family, being an "all-american" guy).

    The one sentence that should have matters in regard to this issue is the following one:

    "Mr. Cammarata, . . . achieved a perfect score on the Fire Department's written exam and physical."

  8. What exactly does the 8-year old haigography have to do with anything?

  9. What criteria do the Judges of the U.S. Court of the Eastern District of New York use to select their law clerks and interns?

    When compared to the composition of the Borough of Brooklyn, is there evidence of Disparate Impact in the employment practices of Judge Garaufis and his colleagues?

    I don't know the answer to either question. The Court makes no effort to provide online information on either issue. But it's possible to make informed guesses.

    Who – Whom.

  10. Emotional stuff, Steve. Always have in mind that it's real people that we're fighting for.

  11. He had too many vowels in his name.

  12. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    "a white man with an IQ of 80 would usually have behavioral and social problems, whereas a black would exhibit psychologically normal behavior"

    Is there an empirical basis for this? It may just be that blacks with an 80 IQ are more common and hence seem more "normal" than an 80 IQ white who will seem quite abnormal. Just as you might consider a 5'9" asian guy "tall" and a 5'9" white guy "short".

  13. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:


    I have some firsthand experience with Staten Island as well, and your description is very accurate. It is like the "forgotten" borough of New York City.

    I'm sure you already know that a fairly large % of Staten Islanders are former Brooklynites.

    A small trickle of Italians are still coming in from Brooklyn. There has also been a recent influx of former Soviet Jews into Staten Island who also used to live in Brooklyn, as well as other parts of the city. If these Jews are the more religious, conservative Jews, then they may not greatly alter the politics of Staten Island. If they are mostly the more secular, liberal type Jew, then it is possible that Staten Island may be transformed into another mini-banana republic(along with becoming increasingly urbanized), just like all the other NYC boroughs: Jewish lawyers, bureaucrats and businessmen and their allies lording over a majority "minority" population with an aggressive racial spoils system to placate them. Where Staten Island's conservative middle class will flee to next is anyone's guess – New Jersey right next door isn't exactly the promised land.

  14. I distinctly remember that kid in the LLWS- God Bless him…..oh and way to go Alberto!!!!

  15. Whiskey [AKA "Testing99"] says:

    Buckaroo — It's not as if Bush and his fellow squishes (like Voivonivich of Ohio) hated these guys. They just lacked the stones to go to war against the permanent bureaucracy of the federal government.

    Clinton put in tons of those guys, and the bureaucracy, beholden to law school ties and future employment in BIGLAW and corporate suites, has embraced AA as a way to pay off and avoid trouble with the racist rabble rousers like Sharpton and Obama.

    Going to war for the White Government Union workers is a low-payoff, because there is not that much of them, there are far more Media types who will fly air cover for the bureaucracy and Sharpton, and the legal system is stacked against any such fight.

    It's no wonder than Bush, and his father, and Reagan before him figured walking into fire would just get them burned.

    The only way around that, is by pain so large and so pressing on so many people that politicians get defeated en-masse and some measure passes. This happens mostly at the State Level.

    Look at California. We've had overspending, and patronage for SWPL yuppies and unions for decades. Only when people were taxed out of their houses did Prop 13 pass, and people still subvert that message in the Legislature and governor's office. Add to that Prop 187, and Prop 8, and you can see the POWER of the permanent bureaucracy, power greater than that of the people.

    California WILL have illegals pouring in and nothing to stop it, in fact encouraging it, because the bureaucracy and elites and media want it. Same with gay marriage, and same with AA.

    Only and until the pain is so great on so many people can you get some measure passing with pols getting defeated will there be some half-measure of relief.

    The only permanent solution is to destroy the political influence of the elite and bureaucracy itself (by say, abolishing the Justice Dept. Civil Rights division, and making the Dept as a whole into say, a tenth of it's former staff).

    Politically, this is not possible. So all else is shouting into the wind.

  16. Off-topic but wanted to bring this immigration piece to Steve's attention. It made my blood boil:

    -Vanilla Thunder

  17. The opposing side of this argument could just as easily present the biography of an individual (say, an African-American) who would have been disqualified by the original test, and highlight all the things in that person's life that make him appear a wonderful human being

    Uh, I think that's the point. Your average IQ person, or even your above average soccer-mom type, wants/needs the human backstory.

    Or to be more pithy–the other side does this already.

  18. AI says:

    Schtumpf has a point.

    I am sure Italian/Irish Catholics in Staten Island are decent people but their intelligence is eclipsed by upper-class Jews who obviously could care less about their existence. Firemen do not write bills for Congress.

    Middle-class whites in Staten Island must find a way to improve their intelligence to ensure their tribe has a secure place-otherwise future generations can only hope stronger tribes are benign.

    Forget individualism. Forget it. Its a false ideal and no one outside of whites play the game. Libertarianism, Citizenism etc. are all false religions.

  19. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    "Forget individualism. Forget it. Its a false ideal"

    President Clinton: WJC if you please.

    Very much a white working class son, not from rich, connected parents like Bush I & II. Somewhat dysfunctional family. No money to speak of….

    So how'd he get to be the Big Cheese?

    Went to the right schools, got the right credentials, made the good grades (at least in HS), etc.

    What are the chances that another "Bill Clinton" could come about? Not too great, I'd say because he'd be skunked by the AA crowd. His slot would go to some AA kid with a lot less on the ball.

    Now the already well-placed will get their kids into the best schools or great jobs by money and connections but don't expect any more "Bill Clintons".

    I wonder if he ever thinks about this?

    I doubt it.

  20. Im sure China and India will only be promoting those who score highest on their tests to various coveted positions.

    I believe this will be advantageous to them versus the US.

    Diversity is not a strength. m

  21. Priss Factor [AKA "Andrea Nyx Hemera"] says: • Website

    Sandy said:

    "It's often said, even by 'race realists', that even though blacks have a lower than average IQ, they are still normal functioning people."

    Heck, I can't even say that for supposedly highly smart black guys like Cornel West(the Ivy League part-time rap artist) or Henry Louis Gates Jr who put on the Dr. Zaius act.

  22. Priss Factor [AKA "Andrea Nyx Hemera"] says: • Website

    Couldn't we arrive at some kind of compromise? Gentile whites give up some of their precious jobs to blacks & non-white Hispanics ON CONDITION that Jews give up some of their even more precious jobs to non-Jewish whites? After all, Jews are far more outrageously over-represented in pretigious professions than any other group. Jews make up like 2% of the overall population but make up like 40% of Ivy League professors. What percentage of lawyers at top firms are Jewish? What percentage of top operators in the financial industry is Jewish? What percentage of doctors are Jewish, especially those in the most prestigious and high paying fields in medicine? A very high percentage.
    Talk about disparate impact!!!

    How is it that Jews, who make up 2% of population, can enjoy so much power and privilege?
    I suppose Jews could argue that the are included as whites, but if Hispanics–many of whom are white–can be regarded separately, why shouldn't Jews be regarded separately? Many Hispanics in America are actually more white than Jews are. Look at Cuban Americans or Hispanics from places like Argentina or Chile. In contrast, many Jews still have that distinctly Middle Eastern look. So fair is fair. White gentiles give up some of their 'privilege' to blacks and Hispanics(at least non-white ones) AND Jews give up some of their positions to gentile whites.

    Maybe we should even have a law that says a group cannot be represented in professions more than double their overall representation. Since Jews are 2% of the population, there should be no more than 4% of Jews in any profession, especially in a prestigious profession.

    Besides, why should Jews care? They are always lecturing to us about those noble poor workers. Since being a poor worker is so noble, I say Jews should take those noble jobs than rake in so much money as lawyers, professors, doctors, computer designers, etc.

  23. Andrea Nyx Hemera: Hispanics don't even have room for blacks in Southern California – they are ethnically cleansing them. Go to VDARE and look up the Hawaiian Gardens incident.

    As for George Bush, he's an anti-white bigot. Alberto Gonzales is a member of MAPA. This is Larry Nativo's group. MAPA is affiliated with La Raza.

    Do you understand the implication of this? It's as if John Ashcroft was openly affiliated with Aryan Nation. But Gonzales gets a pass because he's a racial minority who's up from the barrio.

    Now do you understand how George Bush can be an anti-white bigot?

    And do some research before posting again. Bush sobered up long enough to mau mau UT Austin law professor Lino Graglia about remarks the professor made about the minority students in his classroom.

    Now do you understand how George Bush can be an anti-white bigot?

    Bush has a Mexican fetish. Why can't other readers fathom this? He even went so far as to fly the Mexican flag on the official White House website!


  24. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Is there an empirical basis for this?

    AFAIK, your explanation is correct. Basically, the bottom of the barrel for any race will be its mentally retarded, but where that bottom is located in terms of IQ varies by race.

    So Sandy's kinda comparing apples and oranges, and her imperative is a non-sequitur AFAICT.

    (the comparison also strikes me as the sort of thing race-deniers would be up in arms about if it didn't "favor" them; that is, an 80 IQ is an 80 IQ, and IQ tests aren't meant to measure how "funny" someone talks (bias!) or whether they have the Down's Look (more bias!)).


  25. The only permanent solution is to destroy the political influence of the elite and bureaucracy itself

    So now there's an elite. Go figure. What happened since months ago, when you wouldn't admit its existence, much less its culpability?


  26. "with the population being pretty much the middlest of middle class, Catholic (largely Italian and Irish)"

    Can it be attributable to HBD that Italians and Irish fill this space?

  27. Priss Factor [AKA "Andrea Nyx Hemera"] says: • Website

    It's time to call people of La Raza "Razis". Stand up to Razism or Razismo.

  28. It's absolutely true that Blacks "punch above their weight" in being able to convey a level of competence at casual glance that is above their actual IQ. An average white person would never guess from talking to many of the Blacks in my office that when put into a pure cognitive situation they will perform as a Special Olympian would, or worse.

    But in a crunch it comes out.

    By then it is too late to do anything about it. We had a multimillion dollar consignment wrote off because a Black woman of impeccable speech and grooming couldn't deduce the difference between Springfield, Ohio and Springfield, MA despite numerous clues including GPS coordinates which she was trained to map out. She was not fired. Quite the contrary: she was promoted where she "couldn't do any damage".

  29. Rob says:

    I was thinking about Moldbug, and firefighters, and worse-than-quota-affirmative-action.

    Since the new 'progressives' want to kill all the civil service reforms, we should help them out.

    Republicans are so anti-union, especially government job unions, even white, socially conservative union members vote democrat or stay home. If the progressives get rid of union protections, and merit-based hiring and promotions, white civil servants might start to see that Democrats don't have their best interests in mind.

    As it stands government beauracracies are solid wing of the democrats. No Republican in national office can do very much: He or she has to work with underlings who are downright hostile to any conservative agenda. How many US Citizenship and Immigration Services employees actually criminal aliens deported? If they were given the order, would they obey?

    But if an elected Republican could clear out diversity deadweight and leftie partisans, Republicans presidents might able to actually do conservative things.

    As it stands, when conservatives, hell, even republicans, are in office, they're handicapped by trying to get their enemies to implement their policies.

    Tenure and experience: they can go based on disparate impact, they accidently benefit whites. But without them, Republican appointees won't be stuck with Obama-era incompetents in management.

    The federal government is huge and the beauracracy is not apolitical. Taken together, the only reasonable thing to do is allow the two parties to have the beauracracy that they want. Then we can compare the styles of governance on a fairer footing.

    Or we could push for civil service exams again. Certainly after 20 years if a predictive test could be produced that did not show disparate impact, it woulda been done.

    Maybe our Grand Compromise could be: merit and performance for whites and Asians, whatever the NAMs want for themselves. At least someone would be competent.

    We could point out that the 'leaderhip' the diversity mongers want is exactly the same leadership used to keep women out. Since leadership means overconfident big guy with a deep voice who talks real loud, selecting for leadership discriminates against women.

    Here's a good slogan:

    Democrats: the party that wants everything run like the DMV.

    After all, who would bet that DMV employees vote less than 80% Dem?

  30. Rob says:

    On retarded blacks vs. retarded whites.

    According to Jensen, blacks with IQs in the mentally retarded range are much less likely to have other impairments. I think we call them developmental disabilities these days.

    A white kid with 65 IQ is very likely to have a genetic disease or congenital defect. He or she will have medical, social, and emotional pathologies. A black with a 65 IQ is much more likely to simply have a low IQ as a result of lots of alleles of little effect. He or she is just a normal black person 2 or so standard deviations below the population mean, similar to a white person with an 80 IQ.

    A big chunk of 'retarded' blacks are just people with low IQs. They can plan, just very badly. But they can walk talk, etc.

    Kinda how a 4'6" white guy probably has a disorder that comes with more than just being short, but a pygmy that height is just a kinda short normal pygmy.

  31. Bret Ludwig said

    "We had a multimillion dollar consignment wrote off"

    Written off. What other details are you missing?

  32. Slightly off-topic, but is there any other job where a guy is less likely to have to take orders from a female then the NYFD? Cops, even if they work mostly with other males on the beat, often work with women when the case gets to court. Construction guys maybe, but then there are female set-asides in bids, and female architects, managers, etc. In the military maybe, in special operations or something, or the French Foreign Legion, but they still have the upper level situation akin to cops and construction workers. The only others I can think of that might be close would be monks or friars or some other religious.

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