Thursday, September 30, 2010

No Ire-ish Need Apply

Shawnee State University is currently looking for a new Security Chief. Twenty years ago, you could be pretty sure the job would go to some local white male with political connections who had the support of at least a few influential members of the Board of Trustees. At that time, Shawnee State was viewed as a Rife pork project whose most important function was to  provide jobs and contracts for  people in the Portsmouth area who had political connections, and the Board was the agency that dispensed the jobs and the contracts. For all I know, that is still the case, and who will get the Security Chief position may have been decided even before the search committee was formed. I   hope that is not  now  the case, and for purposes of argument I will assume that it is not.  If it is no longer the case,  I suggest the  search committee  exclude from consideration any applicant from the Portsmouth area who is Ire-ish.

Back in the nineteenth century, when Irish immigrants were as welcome as the measles in many cities in the northeast, Help Wanted signs would sometimes add “No Irish Need Apply.” I think SSU should have put up a Help Wanted sign that said “No Ire-ish need apply. The word “ire” is a synonym for anger, so by Ire-ish I mean anyone who is in anyway involved in Portsmouth politics because you can’t be involved in Portsmouth politics without being, or becoming, very angry, without  becoming  very Ire-ish.  If I wasn’t Ire-ish when I arrived in Portsmouth twenty years ago, I sure as hell am now.  

Any applicant from local law enforcement agencies should be carefully scrutinized because those agencies are   extremely politicized  and the  chances applicants from them will  be Ire-ish are very high. Whatever advantages a member of a local law enforcement agency might have for the job  over outside candidates are far outweighed by the disadvantages. The political baggage that local Ire-ish candidates will bring with them will be so heavy that it will crush anyone it falls on. Ideally, a law enforcement agency should be free of politics. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. The Portsmouth Police Department in particular is more political than the Republican, the Democratic, and the Tea Party combined.  The Ire-ishness that infects the Portsmouth Police Department  will quickly infect the Security Department  at Shawnee State. Up to now, as far as I know, the Security Department at Shawnee State has not been political, but put an Ire-ish cop at the top and within a year, if not a month, it’ll be an Ire-ish  tag-team  that will make the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame look like Hare Krishnas.