Funny, You Don't Look Spanish

Ethnicity is in at the San Francisco fire department these days. The reason: fears that a program to promote minorities will hold back those classified as Caucasian. City officials report a wave of petitioners claiming long-lost ethnic identities. One 16-year veteran, previously listed as Italian, documented Spanish ancestry to qualify as Hispanic. Some minority fire fighters, meanwhile, are complaining that the bureaucracy has changed their classifications to "white." San Francisco's civil service commission says it will consider publicizing ethnic classifications so employees can challenge colleagues suspected of making shady heritage claims.


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