Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Getting in Some Licks for the Sisterhood
Dear Sheriff Gee:
I noted on your online blog the composition of your command staff when I sought information about the Sheriff's Child-Protection services that investigated the psychosexually disturbed administrative toe fondler of male pubescents at King High.
Correct my math below since your degree is in math. All of which I learned of math was in the 4th grade. My deficiency explains why I can't understand one of Newton's formulae and shrink back at the sight of a page of calculus.
Here are your staff equal-employment opportunity data;
You have 20 command-staff people. http://www.hcso.tampa.fl.us/2005_Organizational_Structure/Structure.htm.
1. One is a woman; women are almost 51 percent of the county's population;
2. 3 have what looks like Hispanic names; Hispanics are 22.8 percent of the population;
3. Three faces tell me they are black men; blacks are 16.6 percent of the population;
4. The rest are white Anglo-Saxon born-in-the-cotton-wadding-of-the-unfair-affirmative-action-plan-for-too-often-dumb white males, titular lords of the universe, not from ability but from cheating.
According to my math that makes your staff .5 percent women;15 percent Hispanics; 6.6 blacks; 78 percent white guys. Those percentages are obscenely out of line with the population distribution.
Does that fact suggest to you that your promotion practices are biased against women, Hispanics, and Blacks and are skewed toward white men? But I doubt that you have ever considered this a problem or have ever thought of changing these patterns in a society that by the middle of the century will have a population predominantly Hispanics. You will not be one of the heroes of this statistic, Sheriff Gee.
On a more personal level, I wonder if any of the four children listed in your biography are female; that your wife is x-chromosome we infer, that it is ditto for your mother; that you have aunts and nieces and cousins who are female. And I don't doubt that you have bannered all over your office stationery "We are an equal-employment-opportunity employer."
Liar, liar, pants on fire, sirrah. You are nothing of the sort. You rank a run-of-the-mill chauvinist bigot as your Command Staff Web page testifies.
I wonder if these white male faces have wives, daughters, mothers, aunts, nieces, and cousins. And I wonder how they justify their benefiting from the racist, sexist promotion practices to which your command staff page testifies . I wonder how they justify their perpetuating and benefiting from such blanket discrimination. This is a moral question in addition to being a legal one. The answer to that question speaks ill of the boss who perpetuates it in the Sheriff's Department and his minions that reap the rewards of discrimination.
Forty-five or more years ago, I founded the Tampa chapter of NOW. I acted discrimination chair. I lived absorbed myself in employment statistics and helped women file charges with the EEOC when I wasn't grading essays from students I taught at HCC as an English professor. The discrimination stories about how men in the county discriminated against women in the legitimate job world but paid women for sex in the illegitimate job world appalled. This equation, I suggest, is the distillation of sexism.
Forty-five years ago, I opened police jobs to women when a young black woman named Thelma asked me to help her get a police job because she needed a better salary than the minimum-wage job she had to support her two children. The father had run off to produce more fatherless children for single women to raise.
Marshall Jesse, the rogue who was Dick Greco's employment head, had "lost" three of Thelma's applications for the police department. Dick Greco, another rascal whom I graduated from Hillsborough High School with, thought that "losing" a woman's employment application for the police department was a hunky-dory way to evade equal employment opportunity. Dick has always been a D student in moral matters.
I leafleted the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission until it investigated the charge and found in Thelma's favor. The key to winning these charges is persistence and determined attack, moving up the line of authority to rat out the wrongdoers at lower levels, naming names and citing instances of discrimination gaucheries. The EEOC buckled to the pressure and made the city produce an Equal Employment Affirmative Action Plan.
Dick ran around the state subsequently saying that his was the first big city in Florida with an Affirmative Action Plan. He didn't say how he got it. And now the most dedicated skirt chaser in the city's political history has a bench named in his honor in downtown Tampa and is rumored to be running for mayor again with law enforcement's help. What a world.
My husband and I attended Thelma's graduation from the Police Academy. We felt proud--as if she were one of our four children--to be there to witness the first female officer graduate from the Police Academy.
Sheriff Beard was more obdurate. I had to appeal to the Justice Department's Compliance Division to bring him to terms. If you have government grants, you pledge to practice equal opportunity as a condition of the grants. Most recipients think that requirement is just verbal fluff. It is until some alert citizen cites it and asks for a compliance review of the recipient. A canny citizen will get his or her senator and representative involved in asking Justice Department for updates of the status of the response to the complaint. That's what I figured out fast.
The Justice Department made the sheriff fall into line. He was mad as the dickens. He hated me so badly that if I entered a room in which he resided, he left. I made him a particular pet for my bon mots thereafter, like issuing a formal request that the Sheriff include a child-care facility in the Ybor new Sheriff's Office. He almost busted a gut.
I hope you ponder your promotion practices, Sheriff Gee. Logic says that if those young women coming into the deputy jobs forty-five years ago should have worked themselves up so that we would see of lot of women's faces on that Command staff Web page instead of guys, guys, guys. The one woman on the page in a job that is marginal. She does not hold one of the power jobs.
Keep all the women in your family in mind when you promote. Would you want an outfit to mistreat the females in your tribe as you mistreat women? Those two empty slots cry out for female faces. Filling them with women won't solve the giant problem you have in the area of equal opportunity but it's a start.
Stagnant discriminatory practices in your promotion practices will mean I have to resort to my old buddies at the Justice Department to monitor your compliance with Title VII as a price for keeping your government grants. I hope that will not be necessary.
Ask your wife and any daughters and sons too -- because they will marry liberated women-- to read my letter and give you their assessment. I am counting on the sisterhood of your wife and any girls you have, and the boys today are surprisingly enlightened whether it be homophobia, racism, bigotries of all flavors, or sexism.
The world promises to be a better place since young people's moral compass has improved on such issues. The Sheriff's Department is stuck in promoting affirmative action for white men only. That is Stone Age mentality.
I enclose an article from the NYT reprinted in the SPT on a similar struggle for validation that the women in the armed services have undergone. My husband of 53 years cut it out for me. Husbands of long-time feminists do such things.
I am proud of these armed-services women. I would like to be proud of the women in the Sheriff's Department and can be if you cease your moldy discrimination against them.
Ask your daughter, if you have one, about this issue; let her read about the women who have succeeded in the army. She well could be sheriff in Hillsborough County when she comes of age.
Lee Drury De Cesare
15316 Gulf Boulevard 802
Madeira Beach, FL 33708
Posted by twinkobie at 8:15 PM