The Instigator
Con (against)
The Contender
Pro (for)

Affirmative Action IS a privilege!

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/27/2016 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 1,414 times Debate No: 95030
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
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Why is it people of color are allowed to get lower SAT scores? Free college & welfare? Free phones and healthcare. They're allowed to riot and trash cities like Baltimore and Ferguson with minimal liberal criticism. Hillary Clinton knows deep down inside that minorities are the problem in America but she's appealing to her constituencies by sweeping the issue under the rug. America has built the best system in the world and that's without dispute.



The resolution is not entirely clear, however, we can assume we are debating the merits of continuing the affirmative action program. Thus, I offer the following definition.

Affirmative Action: the practice of improving the educational and job opportunities of members of groups that have not been treated fairly in the past because of their race, sex, etc. (1)

With that, onto my framework.


We need to look at this debate through the merits of the affirmative action programs on all of those impacted.

Contention 1: Employment

All evidence points toward a noticeable gap between the employment of minority groups and the rest of the population. However, with the implementation of affirmative action programs, we act to stymie the growth of said gap. In fact, the National Bureau of Economic Research reported in 1984 the effect of the affirmative action programs on previous years when it was enforced. In 1974, the affirmative action programs were in full force, resulting in a 7.4% increase in female representation in the workforce by the end of 1980 (2). It should also be noted that black males were also significantly more employed in jobs as well. This is also happening in the status quo. Were we to look toward the Christian Science Monitor in 1998, we would see that private businesses have become less racially biased in the employment process as a result of affirmative action, even though there is weak enforcement (3). However, enforcing affirmative action is important given the disproportionate favoring of Caucasian individuals to minority groups in terms of employment. A Stetson University report in 2000 shows an example of this. The National Urban Institute sent equally qualified applicants to a set of entry-level jobs, where all applicants were trained to display the same behavior, and identical qualifications. The applicants which were white were given 52% more job offers than Latino applicants, as well as 45% more job offers than black applicants (4). What this shows is that without affirmative action, employment would be more unfair toward minority groups which still are discriminated against by employers. However, by passing this resolution, we guarantee that progress will not be lost in representation of minority groups in employment as we become a more accepting and tolerant America. Not only this, there are smart economic benefits as well from keeping affirmative action, as it decreases the pool of people who would have been jobless anyway. Keep in mind, the current price tag for unemployment benefits is currently over half of a trillion dollars (5). This means we could potentially be saving federal money from less unemployment benefits because those who are economically disadvantaged now have the ability to receive an education for a job. Regardless though, it is quite obvious an affirmative vote is necessary, if not for the prosperity of American citizens, then because of the economic reason of saving money on unemployment benefits.

Contention 2: Diversity

Representation of minority groups could actually lead to more productive and outperforming workplace for many companies. The Scientific American reports that women, a typically marginalized group, when placed in charge of leadership positions in management lead to an increase of firm value by over 40 million dollars in firms from 1992-2006 (6). This is only one example of why diversity is important in companies, which is aided by affirmative action. This is supported by Mckinsey and Company when they published an article in 2015 showing that gender and racial diversity among companies leads to better performance, as shown by the graph (7).

Clearly, there is an incentive for businesses to embrace diversity as it leads to better results for their companies, however, they are not the only organizations which benefits from diverse people. In fact, this is best outlined by Aaron Thompson, professor of Sociology at Eastern Kentucky University where he/she shows the benefits of diversity on campus in 8 reasons (8). This includes, but is not limited to: social development of students, increasing our knowledge of others, and preparation for working in a global community. This should be of no surprise given the fact that by working with others, you learn to adopt other viewpoints and other perspectives, leading to ideal skills in negotiating and social awareness which many lack these days. These are all desirable traits as we progress as a society and we are focused more on others regardless of ethnicity, race, gender, etc. We owe it to American students, workers, and citizens to leave an option open for more productivity and social progression.


My opponent has brought up other issues that are unrelated to the topic at hand, however, his basic argument seems to be that it is unfair to allow minority groups to receive benefits, and claims that minorities get “free college.” That is not what happens in the status quo. Remember, affirmative action means people of color can get into college easier, not that they have free college. Also, regardless of the fairness of affirmative action programs, there is still clearly a gap between in income and education between minority groups and the rest of the population. The Economic Policy Institute reports that from 2013-2014, there is still little change in the racial income gap (9). We can go further and show that the US News and World Report shows that there is still a wide achievement gap between white and black citizens (10). The Pew Research Center reports a gap in unemployment which has yet to be fixed (11). All of these problems means that affirmative action is necessary to create a level playing field, not discriminate against whites. Ultimately, we need to look toward opportunities to end poverty, unemployment, and discrimination in general, and passing this resolution is a step in the right to direction.


One has to step back and address the real issue of discrimination to effectively debate this topic. Since, I have effectively demonstrated how affirmative action is beneficial to those who are discriminated against due to employment opportunities, and to everyone else through diversity leading to better social development and profits, it is obvious that an affirmative ballot is necessary.


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Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by TheCritic89 1 year ago
I would assume the simplest version of con against "Affirmative action is a privilege" is "Affirmative action is NOT a privilege." Right and privilege are not antonyms.
Posted by SM29 1 year ago
If you're against affirmative action why are you taking the Con side to an anti-affirmative action premise? The Con to "Affirmative action is a privilege" would be "affirmative action is a right" which I take it you're against.
Posted by BipolarBoy 1 year ago
I am against affirmative action
Posted by FrostyCold 1 year ago
Shouldn't you be in support of the main argument not against it?
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