Seattle firefighters routinely risk life and limb to extinguish blazes, administer emergency medical care, and save lives. Dutifully keeping their city from being reduced to ash and rubble amid record crime and "above normal" wildfire danger is, however, apparently not enough.
According to a new report from the Washington Free Beacon, Seattle firefighters hoping to advance their careers or assume positions of leadership must now offset their common sense with an appreciation for the latest in leftist gobbledygook on the topics transgenderism and "antiracism."
The written lieutenant exam once tested prospective officers to ensure they had requisite practical knowledge. It reportedly now has as much if not more to do with identity politics and social justice than it does with actual firefighting.
The Free Beacon obtained a copy of the current exam bibliography, detailing the readings required to successfully complete the test. The list includes the following texts, comprising well over 800 pages on gender and race:
- "The Leader's Guide to Unconscious Bias: How To Reframe Bias, Cultivate Connection, and Create High-Performing Teams" — a book that prompts readers to make a conscious commitment to diversity and inclusivity initiatives;
- "Both Sides of the Fire Line: Memoir of a Transgender Firefighter" — a memoir by a transvestic firefighter, which delves into his divergence from reality as it pertains to his manhood; and
- "How to Be an Antiracist" — an identitarian-leftist work that reads racism into all facets of life by an individual who claimed, "The only remedy to racist discrimination is anti-racist discrimination. The only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination. The only remedy to present discrimination is future discrimination"."
The 2022 Fire Chief examination requires candidates to read "Is Everyone Really Equal?: An Introduction to Key Concepts in Social Justice Education" by Robin DiAngelo.
DiAngelo is the white affiliate associate professor at the University of Washington who wrote, "White identity is inherently racist" and stressed in a March 1 webinar entitled "Racial Justice: The Next Frontier" that "people of color need to get away from White people."
"This stuff has nothing to do with firefighting," said Wayne Johnson, a retired Seattle firefighter who previously wrote elements of the lieutenant exam. "It has everything to do with social engineering."
This standardized test of ideological uniformity contra practical comprehension is reportedly the result, at least in part, of recent commitments to avoid examinations that "rely heavily on knowledge of firefighting."
The King County Fire Chiefs Association issued a report in 2021 that cites Scoggin as a diversity subcommittee member, stating, "Written tests are known to have an adverse impact on equity in departments and fire leaders should weigh the value of the written test to the hiring process. If a written test is required, it should be written at the educational level necessary and should focus on the basic skills required for the job."
Questions "that rely heavily on knowledge of firefighting can be biased," the report claims, adding that examinations should not just attempt to ascertain if candidates know what they are doing but whether they boast "cultural competence."
"Tests that focus on how well applicants know the system and the job tend to favor those who make up the overwhelming of the fire service workforce, white men," the report adds.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Seattle is also overwhelmingly white (64%). 6.8% of the city's population is black and roughly 16% is Asian.
The stated purpose behind these changes to written and physical tests is to increase diversity and create "equitable access to opportunities and power."
Scoggin echoed the concern in the report that too many of those presently risking their lives in his organization belong to an undesirable racial group, noting in June 2022 that the "leadership of our organization is overwhelmingly white" and underscoring the remedy was to recruit more women and minorities, reported KING5.
Extra to allegedly making the process more equitable, the prescribed study materials reveal what kind of worldview Seattle Fire Chief Harold Scoggins and the city want under every helmet.
David Strom of Hot Air responded to the Beacon's report, writing, "Why they didn’t just decide to find a eunuch-identified non-binary Wiccan to chant incantations to extinguish the fire is beyond me."
Like Blaze News? Bypass the censors, sign up for our newsletters, and get stories like this direct to your inbox. Sign up here!