Adam Ash

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Thursday, March 31, 2005

Eddie Jordan is my new hero

A federal jury ruled on Wednesday that New Orleans's first black district attorney discriminated against 43 whites when he fired them all at once upon taking office in 2003 and replaced them with blacks. The fired employees were awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars in back pay and damages. The jury of eight whites and two blacks returned the unanimous verdict in the third day of deliberations in the racial discrimination case against the district attorney, Eddie Jordan. Eight days after taking office, Mr. Jordan fired 53 of 77 white nonlawyers in his office - investigators, clerks, child-support enforcement workers and the like - and replaced them with blacks. Months later, most of the whites sued him, and the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission later made a preliminary finding that Mr. Jordan had been racially biased. Mr. Jordan has acknowledged that he wanted to make the office more reflective of the city's racial makeup, but he denied that he had fired whites just because of their race. In fact, he said, he had not known the race of the people fired. Judge Stanwood Duval of Federal District Court instructed the jurors to find Mr. Jordan liable if they concluded that the firings had been racially motivated. The law bars the mass firing of a specific group, even if the intent is to create diversity. Mr. Jordan said he would appeal. I suggest every black guy who gets the power, follow the Eddie Jordan example. We could redress racial imbalance within a generation with the Eddie Jordan brand of affirmative action.


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