March 18, 2013, New York, NY – The Vulcan Society, the fraternal organization of Black firefighters in the FDNY, pointed to a New York Post report on the racist and anti-semetic twitter feed of Joseph Cassano, employee at the FDNY’s Emergency Medical Service and son of FDNY Commissioner Salvatore Cassano, as emblematic of larger issues within the department. The younger Mr. Cassano reportedly resigned earlier today.
According to the New York Post, EMT Joseph Cassano declared over Twitter “I like jews about as much as hitler” and repeatedly referred to African Americans as “schwoogs” and “schwoogies.” Cassano complained that he hated working at EMS and was “sick of picking up all these obama lovers and taking them to the hospital.” The Post also reported that, according to insiders, Joseph Cassano’s EMS job was an inside track allowing him to bypass a more rigorous firefighter hiring process.
“Mr. Cassano was right to step down. If anyone at the FDNY doesn’t like serving New York’s diverse population, there are thousands of qualified minority candidates who would be happy to do so” said Vulcan Society President John Coombs. Said former Vulcans President Paul Washington “Unfortunately, this is just one more episode in the long history of racism within the FDNY. One must wonder where Joseph Cassano, who apparently lives with his father, developed these shameful attitudes. Given that people of color have been largely excluded from the FDNY for decades, it’s easy to understand that these types of attitudes are pervasive throughout FDNY.”
The Vulcan Society is a plaintiff in United Sates of America and Vulcan Society, Inc. v. City of New York
, which found that the FDNY’s written examination violated civil rights laws and the U.S. Constitution. The Vulcan Society is represented by Levy Ratner, P.C. and the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR). The court found in a series rulings that the impact of the test was racially discriminatory and that the discrimination was intentional, calling the discrimination “a persistent stain on the Fire Department’s record.” For more information on the case, see CCR’s Vulcan Society case page at http://ccrjustice.org/Vulcans
The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is a non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change.