June 29th, 2009
10:10 AM ET
5 years ago

CNN Poll: Two-thirds think firefighters were discriminated against

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A new national poll suggests that nearly two-thirds of Americans think white firefighters in New Haven, Connecticut where discriminated against when the city tossed out the results of a promotion exam after too few minorities scored high enough on the test.

Monday the Supreme Court, in a five to four vote, ruled in favor of the white firefighters.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation national survey released Monday morning, as the Supreme Court handed down it's ruling, indicates that 65 percent of those questioned say the firefighters were victims of discrimination and should get promotions based on the test results, with 31 percent feeling that the city should a new test to make sure minority firefighters were not victims of discrimination.

"Not surprisingly, most Republicans think that the firefighters were victims of discrimination, but a majority of Democrats join in that view," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Fifty-seven percent of Democrats say the white firefighters were discriminated against. Two-thirds of Independents and three-quarters of Republicans agree."

Sonia Sotomayor, President Barack Obama's nominee to replace retiring Supreme Court justice David Souter, was one of three appeals court judges who ruled that New Haven officials acted properly.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted Friday through Sunday, with 1,026 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.


Filed under: CNN poll • Sonia Sotomayor • Supreme Court
soundoff (56 Responses)
  1. Wise Hispanic Woman

    Finally some sanity!!!

    June 29, 2009 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  2. 30m-PA-Independent

    This is exactly why I don't want Sotomayor to be on the supreme court. She has bad judgement just like the person appointing her to the bench. It doesn't surprise me that Obama would pick such a person.

    June 29, 2009 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  3. carlo

    Yeah, and CNN polls are notorious to be overrun by racist white folks-basically the 21%'ers. Sometimes, I can barely get a comment in because they overrun the comments 24/7. They complain about minorites being lazy and not working, but apparently most of the posters don't work, because they are here all frakinn day.

    June 29, 2009 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  4. Joe

    Reverse discrimination exists, and it is satisfying to see the Supreme Court recognize this and rule in favor of the firefighters that were wrongfully denied promotion.

    June 29, 2009 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  5. ck

    Lets see......

    Obama's Supreme Court nominee is exposed as having poor judgment, borderline racist.

    Terrorist detainees are going to be held under W's rule.

    You picked the same church for spiritual guidence as W

    Your inexperience and incompetence is showing Obama!!

    At least someone has the forsight to realize W was right about a lot of things!!

    June 29, 2009 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  6. Geraldine O'Malley

    Well of course we realize Obama's nominee would never be biased toward Whites, but might be biased toward Blacks. Obama supports minority views only and plans to ruin all the rest of us through taxation and healthcare selection.

    June 29, 2009 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  7. LacrosseMom

    Only in America, could people think that white firefighters were discriminated against.

    June 29, 2009 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  8. makesUwonder

    You bet those firefighters were victims of discrimination and Sonia Sotomayor added to this discrimination. Kudos to the firefighters that didn't sit back and cry about it. They did what needed to be done and hats off to them.

    June 29, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  9. phoenix86

    At least for now there is justice at the Supreme Court. Enjoy it while we can, because Obama will surely make sure that impartiality doesn't count in his court.

    June 29, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  10. aaaaaaaa

    Huray for the S.C. now we see what Miss Sotamayor is all about!!!!!

    June 29, 2009 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  11. Kat

    "Discrimated?" CNN, time to get a new editor...

    June 29, 2009 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  12. Alfred E. Neumann

    Sotomayor got it wrong as well as the four liberals on the SC.

    This should have been a 6-3 or 7-2 decision.

    Perhaps some people just simply failed to prepare for the exam.

    June 29, 2009 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  13. Liberals don't use common sense

    2/3 of the people could see this, but why couldn't Sotomayor?

    June 29, 2009 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  14. Reinstate Darwinism

    It wasn't a "surprise" test. Everyone knew it was coming and what would be on it. What more do you need? Oh, that's right. You don't have to try hard if you think you're special.

    June 29, 2009 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  15. Dee

    If this situation was reversed (minority firefighters scoring higher than whites), this would never had made it to court. Here in America, the melting pot of races, ethnicities, and cultural backgrounds, you'd think the race card would stop being "played", so that hardwork, ability and merit would win out. The best PERSON for the job should be the one to get that job. I think "race" and "ethnicity" should not be a factor to anything achieveable, therefore, those stupid little boxes of "Select your race and ethnicity" should be removed from ALL applications and forms, except medically related ones where critical treatment options may vary due to biochemical differences.

    June 29, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  16. seebofubar

    And why do we want her on the Supreme Court? Weather her comments werte racist or not is meaningless. She is a bad judge...period.

    June 29, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  17. MJM

    Well finally, if America is going to be fair, then be fair for all!!! I know discrimination has been going on for a long time but enough is enough. Yes, I am white and proud of it but I also know that my fellow American's blood is the same color as mine. So again, be fair to one, be fair to all!!!

    June 29, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  18. RH

    New racism is no better than old racism.

    June 29, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  19. Shawn - GA

    As someone who came from a Northern State to a southern. I was shocked to see how racist people are against white people. The things they allow to be said on the self proclaimed black radio stations in regard to white people are horrible. Racism from any group is a horrible thing. It does not matter that things were a certain way for x amount of years… So “now the tables are turned…”

    That is a worse attitude than the original racism, if you know how it feels then why do it? It takes all of us to make things better, we need to let go of the grudges and the hard feelings. We as a people have such ability to love, however far far far too many people choose hate. We need to love one another, with NO regard for race, age, sex, sexual orientation…etc

    Our Lord called upon us to hate the sin but love the sinner, we need to stop hating the sinners. We NEED to, for the sake of all of us!

    June 29, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  20. gt

    really 100 do... the other 36 pre cent just want there way.... they dont care if its the right thing or not..... its all about them....

    June 29, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  21. Mississippi Mike

    Two thirds of Americans plus the Supreme Court. That's what I call some good governance.

    June 29, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  22. New Yorker

    Look at the numbers, folks, there is clearly a problem when so many people don't recognize truth when it's plain as daylight. The white firefighters were discriminated against and to fail to recognize that is an indication of fuzzy thinking. Sotomayor should not be on the Supreme Court. Failure to recognize that is proof of ignorance.

    June 29, 2009 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  23. Charlie

    finally some apparent common sense that shows discrimination regardless of whom it's agianst, is not legal, morally right, nor should it be tolerated. It's about time that promotions be based on merit and earned rather than given out based on color!

    June 29, 2009 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  24. Mike in NYC

    From the commentary:

    "...with 31 percent feeling that the city should [create] a new test to make sure minority firefighters were not victims of discrimination."

    They weren't "victims of discrimination." They just didn't qualify. Deal with it.

    Tests such as these are already designed to be unbiased, in order to conform to Federal anti-discrimination rules.

    The stats quoted in the article are heartening, with a solid majority siding with the White firemen. Of course, those who can't handle reality will continue to churn out creative excuses. Have fun.

    June 29, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  25. Enough

    Would love to hear from those who DON'T think it was discrimination. To lower standards so more minorities can advance is dead wrong. I for one want the most qualified firefighter or paramedic when I need one.

    June 29, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
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