The Instigator
Varrack
Pro (for)
Winning
3 Points
The Contender
TBR
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Affirmative Action Should be Disallowed

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Varrack
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/11/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,642 times Debate No: 69879
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (18)
Votes (1)

 

Varrack

Pro

I, Pro, shall be arguing that racial affirmative action should be disallowed. Gender is also a typical consequence of it, but I want to focus this debate on the racial/ethnic aspect of it. I will be arguing that using racial preferences over merit when accepting students into colleges or hiring job applicants is discriminatory and unfair.

Round 1: Acceptance
Round 2: Pro presents case/Con rebuts
Round 3 & 4: Counter rebuttals

The burden of proof is upon me. It is Con's job to rebut my case and argue that affirmative action should be permitted.
Debate Round No. 1
Varrack

Pro

Thanks for accepting Con. I hope to have an excited and intellectual debate.

Examining Discrimination


Advocates for affirmative action (AA) use the presumption of discrimination toward minorities as their main reason for AA. They claim that minorities have less opportunity and that by installing AA we are opening up convenience for them. Is this a valid assertion?

Let's consider the following scenarios:

1) A white guy and a black guy apply for a position. The black guy is better qualified; the white guy gets the position.
2) A white guy and a black guy apply for a position. The white guy is better qualified; the black guy gets the position.

I don't see any opposition to discrimination here. In fact, all I see here are two new instances of racial discrimination. Instead of fighting prejudice, it is being created. By using race (something that one cannot control) over merit (something that one can control), an unfair system is being created.

To add, there is no evidence that black or Hispanic students have been admitted preferentially over the last few decades have suffered discrimination. Neither have white or Asian American students who have been rejected (even though they have received higher test scores, better grades, and more extracurricular participation) have discriminated against anyone else.

The issue with AA is that by allowing less qualified students in, you are pushing more qualified students out. By giving a seat to a black or Hispanic student you are kicking a white or Asian student out of their seat, all in the name of "racial inequality". You can't raise the floor for someone without lowering the ceiling for someone else - it is mathematically impossible.

Basketball Analogy

Despite America being 12% black, the NBA is over 75% African American. Yet no one is saying that we need to institute racial preferences to allow more Koreans and Pakistanis play. The qualifying factor in making the NBA is how good you can shoot a basketball, how close to the rim you can make it, etc. The only way to get into the NBA is by merit. By applying the logic of AA, we need to eliminate merit as a prime factor and let underprivileged groups make the team! If merit is the qualification of making the NBA, why should merit not also be the eligibility of getting accepted into college?

Hurts Minorities

AA does more harm than good by ensuring that the people who benefit from it are often viewed as not being successful on their own. For someone who has had an AA success story, people can look at that person and say, "the only way they got to where they are now is because of AA. They didn't actually earn that spot" regardless of whether it is true or not.

Also, beneficiaries of AA who support it are admitting that they want to cheat their way through life. Let's say a black student is accepted into a community college because of racial preference. Do they want a preference to go to a university too? And another one to go to Harvard? And another one to get a job? And another one to get a promotion? And another one to get a government contract? That is simply unfair. The fact that they got a break should show them that they should be willing to compete by merit, not be carried all the way through life just because of their skin color.

Blacks and Hispanics should be able to show that they are intellectually able to make it to the harder schools. AA sends a message to everyone saying "this group is incapable of making in on its own." These kind of preferences devalue minority achievement and act as if blacks are intellectually inferior and need a crutch to get through life.

But aren't they intellectually inferior? Some may argue that studies prove this - however there are other factors that could explain why African Americans don't do as well, which are: high crime rates[1], illegitimacy[2], etc. The way to solve this problem is by addressing cultural breakdown, not installing racial preferences. By instituting AA, it is making blacks less willing to work hard and achieve the level where they can successfully compete with whites and other ethnic groups.

In summary, the AA is hurtful not only to whites and Asians but to blacks and Hispanics too. AA uses ethnicity over merit, something that is discrimination by definition. I contend that because of the unfair way AA works, it should be abolished so that students can compete by merit, not race.


Sources

1. http://en.wikipedia.org...

2. http://www.nationalreview.com...

TBR

Con

This round is for rebuttal. I will attempt to address each point Pro offers. As a starting point, without apology for generality, I offer this quote as a frame to how I am approaching each.

“With my academic achievement in high school I was accepted rather readily at Princeton and equally as fast at Yale, but my test scores were not comparable to that of my classmates. And that's been shown by statistics, there are reasons for that - there are cultural biases built into testing, and that was one of the motivations for the concept of affirmative action to try to balance out those effects. - Sonia Sotomayor

“Advocates for affirmative action (AA) use the presumption of discrimination toward minorities as their main reason for AA. They claim that minorities have less opportunity and that by installing AA we are opening up convenience for them. Is this a valid assertion?”

Pro opens by stating something that has made my eye twitch - “Convenience”. The issue I have with this word choice is, while the remainder of the statement is acceptable, this word destroys it. Affirmative action being referred to as a convenience is nearly obscene. Affirmative action is an attempt to realign a skewed baseline. Refereeing to it as “convenience” is so far off the concept… it makes me twitch.

1) A white guy and a black guy apply for a position. The black guy is better qualified; the white guy gets the position.
2) A white guy and a black guy apply for a position. The white guy is better qualified; the black guy gets the position.

I don't see any opposition to discrimination here. In fact, all I see here are two new instances of racial discrimination. Instead of fighting prejudice, it is being created. By using race (something that one cannot control) over merit (something that one can control), an unfair system is being created.

There are a number of ways affirmative action is implemented. This example is a very common understanding for those opposed to the concept. No need to elaborate on each type at this point, I will address this example directly.

Qualified. That’s where we need to focus on this point. Qualifications come from education, work experience, perhaps references. Each of these is have issues with systematic racism. Early education is still suffering with racial biases [1] poisoning higher education, and reflecting on qualifications of employees. Work experience has been shown to be skewed based solely on “black sounding names” [2]. References within a raciest system are similarly an uphill battle.

But, we are to imagine the exact scenario described, regardless how unlikely it is in reality. If we could have the perfect example of the above, how would it be just? Tit for tat? Retribution? No. Its recognition of the underlining inequity, and adjusting appropriately. Not just for the sake of the individual attempting to get the job, but for the company (institution) to get the best candidate. If one is close to the other, but still not “matching” or “beating” the other in each category, but is recognized to have achieved nearly the same results in a system rife with inequity, the smart choice is on the minority candidate.

To add, there is no evidence that black or Hispanic students have been admitted preferentially over the last few decades have suffered discrimination. Neither have white or Asian American students who have been rejected (even though they have received higher test scores, better grades, and more extracurricular participation) have discriminated against anyone else.

This is utterly false. What we are to take from this statement is that racism has stopped a scant “few decades ago”. Legacy admission is still active in top-tier education institutions [3], providing the generational “wind behind your back”. School district results are highly impacted by funding, with school districts from poor and black communities showing higher and growing discrepancies [5]. Extracurricular activities are MORE available to wealthy students, and less available to poor students, there are more black students living in poverty, and very disproportional wealthy blacks to white students [6].

The issue with AA is that by allowing less qualified students in, you are pushing more qualified students out. By giving a seat to a black or Hispanic student you are kicking a white or Asian student out of their seat, all in the name of "racial inequality". You can't raise the floor for someone without lowering the ceiling for someone else - it is mathematically impossible.”

“Affirmative action is a little like the professional football draft. The NFL awards its No. 1 draft choices to the lowest-ranked team in the league. It doesn't do this out of compassion or guilt. It's done for mutual survival. They understand that a league can only be as strong as its weakest team.” - J. C. Watts.

Your assumption is that the floor is lowered. It isn’t. The strength of the hole is improved, rather than the gulf increased. The student that was perceived to be “pushed out” wasn’t given anything to take away. The seat was never owned by them, except for the case of legacy students – they “pushed” someone out of that seat. A student that is close, but not surpassing another may still have greater potential, regardless of current academic record. The admissions based “leveling” is reasonable and smart, unless you think that Asians and white students are biological “better”.

Despite America being 12% black, the NBA is over 75% African American. Yet no one is saying that we need to institute racial preferences to allow more Koreans and Pakistanis play. The qualifying factor in making the NBA is how good you can shoot a basketball, how close to the rim you can make it, etc. The only way to get into the NBA is by merit. By applying the logic of AA, we need to eliminate merit as a prime factor and let underprivileged groups make the team! If merit is the qualification of making the NBA, why should merit not also be the eligibility of getting accepted into college?

And kudos to them. American professional sports until somewhat recently had easily identifiable racism in player choice. A complete backwards system from merit based selection. With the elimination of that practice, what was found is huge talent in the ignored populous. The same is true of other, less visible endeavors.

AA does more harm than good by ensuring that the people who benefit from it are often viewed as not being successful on their own. For someone who has had an AA success story, people can look at that person and say, "the only way they got to where they are now is because of AA. They didn't actually earn that spot" regardless of whether it is true or not.

This sounds a little casual from me, but that sure sounds like a “you problem”. The perception of affirmative action by some is not a very good reason to stop a successful policy. I doubt that leveling of an unfair playing field would benefit from modification based on personal and uninformed opinion.

Also, beneficiaries of AA who support it are admitting that they want to cheat their way through life. Let's say a black student is accepted into a community college because of racial preference. Do they want a preference to go to a university too? And another one to go to Harvard? And another one to get a job? And another one to get a promotion? And another one to get a government contract? That is simply unfair. The fact that they got a break should show them that they should be willing to compete by merit, not be carried all the way through life just because of their skin color.

Inflammatory rhetoric at best, a complete bastardization of affirmative action at worst. Is a student that takes attends a predatory school a cheat? Is the young job applicant who secures a job with a friend of a father a cheat? That word is completely beyond justifiable in this context.

But aren't they
Debate Round No. 2
Varrack

Pro

Thanks, Con.

Rebuttals


Convenience

What I am arguing is that the original intent for AA was to ensure equality for minorities, and that intent has become twisted over the last while so that it is no longer necessary and no longer a valid reason to keep AA. "Convenient" is defined as "suitable or agreeable to the needs or purpose" [1], which describes AA pretty well and is more of a word choice objection rather than a real argument for AA.

Racial Bias

The distinction here must be made between names and race. A black person can have a white-sounding name and a white person can have a black-sounding name. Minority culture has existed in countries such as America for long enough that names are becoming interracial, sparked by interracial marriages and a blending of people. "John" could be white, black, or Hispanic. If this really is discrimination, it doesn't seem like a very strong case of it.

Other than that, the PDF file that Con attached for his first source (shown in comments) only shows that school suspension and arrest rates are higher for blacks than whites. It doesn't state that this ethnic difference was caused because of racism, it just states that there is a difference. It is wrong to assume that this difference was caused by racism, because that is merely speculation and is not a legitimate reason to support AA. Ethnic differences come from a variety of differences - mostly from one's background. There are many explanations that already exist for that.

One cannot "adjust for inequity" without pushing better qualified majorities out of their spot. This adds to the inequity; it doesn't reduce it. Fighting discrimination with discrimination does not solve anything. The ceiling is being lowered because these students are being robbed of a seat they would have had otherwise. The fact that they were never given it at all doesn't justify never being permitted something that was long-since earned. If I were to be denied a scholarship because someone wanted to "level the playing field for minorities" and it was instead given to them, that doesn't make AA successful or justified, it just shows that it is discriminatory by nature and a deceiving mask of so-called equality.

Hurts Minorities

You mentioned that blacks tend to live in poorer communities than whites. This is true, but AA is not the solution to this. AA encourages minorities to work less because they know that they already have bonus points stocked up. AA doesn't make them smarter or more achieved; it teaches them to be less hard-working. This is not in any way beneficial.

We must keep in mind that a part of the reason AA was propelled was to fix the "you" problem that was perceived of minorities. The intention of AA was to help blacks and Hispanics get to the top easier, and to not be looked at as inferior. As I demonstrated in the last round, AA does quite the opposite: it shows minorities as if they are taking part in a Special Olympics - handicapped, if you will. You may not care about their reputation but they sure do.

I never said that whites and Asians are biologically better than blacks, but statistics show that whites and Asians do better on test scores than Hispanics and blacks[2]. This isn't because they are naturally smarter, it's because of their different backgrounds which I elaborated about more in the last round. The graph below illustrates the ethnic academic gap.



By placing race over merit, AA is ignoring the achievements students have accomplished and the grades/test scores they have gotten and is focuses more on something that one cannot control.

"Is a student that takes attends a predatory school a cheat? Is the young job applicant who secures a job with a friend of a father a cheat?" -Con

No, that's not what I'm saying at all. It isn't the student or job applicant who's a cheat, it's the flawed system of AA that unfairly rewards people that is. If my brother was given a piece of candy each day by my parents and I wasn't, it isn't my brother's fault for being unfair, it is the parents.

Unfortunately Con's response was cut off at the end, so I will just extend the previous arguments that I made. I would recommend not doing paragraph-by-paragraph quotations to avoid maxing out the character limit again.


Sources

1. http://www.dictionary.reference.com...

2. http://www.jbhe.com...;
TBR

Con

Counter rebuttals

Convenience
[not re-quote to save space. See above]

From your own source, you cheery picked the definition of convenience [your source 1].

adjective
1.suitable or agreeable to the needs or purpose; well-suited with respect to facility or ease in use; favorable, easy, or comfortable for use.

2. at hand; easily accessible:


Further, you defined and linked to the definition of “convenient” NOT convenience. [2]

noun
1. the quality of being convenient; suitability.
2.anything that saves or simplifies work, adds to one's ease or comfort, etc., as an appliance, utensil, or the like.
3.a convenient situation or time:at your convenience.
4.advantage or accommodation:a shelter for the convenience of travelers.
5.Chiefly British, water closet (def 1).

adjective
6.easy to obtain, use, or reach; made for convenience:convenience utensils that can be discarded after use.

My point. My reason to twitch. The word implies that affirmative action is an attempt to make it "easy" and "comfortable" for minorities during the admissions processes. That is NOT the purpose at all. The purpose of affirmative action is to level the process for known systemic inequity.

Minorities aren’t saying "sure is easy getting into colleges now with affirmative action". They have to struggle to match credentials that are easier to obtain for non-black students (see my last round). It’s like saying we put wheelchair ramps in to buildings to make it easy, just plain old fun for handicapped students to get into the admissions buildings.

I will move past the "Convenience" issue, but it bothers me more that you so obviously cheery picked your support for it. I would have been comfortable if you had said that is how you intended to use the word, but not that that’s what the word means.

Racial Bias

[not re-quoting full text to save space. See above]

“The distinction here must be made between names and race… (see above)

That is absolutely irreverent to the study. That “black sounding names” were discriminated is the point. If a white person has a black sounding name and is passed for an interview, the problem stems from the same source. Racism. If a black person is more likely to get an interview with the name “John”, that’s the very point! The name skewed the screening process because of underlying racism.


“…only shows that school suspension and arrest rates are higher for blacks than whites. It doesn't state that this ethnic difference was caused because of racism, it just states that there is a difference…. (see above)

Again, you are blowing past the point. It makes NO difference what causes the initial problem in primary school. If the suspension rates are higher in poor and minority schools, it will have a negative effect on college admissions. Unless you think minorities are genetically prone to behavioral problems, the environment is the issue.


“One cannot "adjust for inequity"… (see above)

There we are at “better qualified” again. Let’s break this apart just a bit.

Qualified for what exactly? To make the best use of the education? To be the best employee for the job? That’s what is wanted, right? The assumption you make is that the student with a SAT of 2270 is "more qualified" than a student with a score of 2040. Mathematic, 2270 is greater than 2040. Fine, on this point, the one student has an objectively better score. But, my job is to get the best students for my university. The student with a moderately higher SAT score just may not be the best student. There is much more to the selection criteria. The student with a SAT of 2270, from an affluent white family may have taken the test several times, with SAT prep throughout. The other took the test cold. The marginal difference in score is immaterial. In another case, one student has more extracurricular activities than another. Well, above I linked to a study showing the inequities in access to extracurricular activities for minority students. As an admissions person, I "level" this discrepancy.

I have not lowered any bars. I have not kicked anyone out of their seats. I have made the BEST choice for my university, finding the best possible students. I have used thoughtful decision making vs. casual and narrow focus on one or two metrics. The students haven’t earned anything unjustly, either white or black. The process has been leveled.


Hurts Minorities


“You mentioned that blacks tend to live in poorer communities than whites… (see above)

Very common misconception. Since you spoke extemporaneously, I will too. At the private day school I attended, and the private boarding schools my siblings attended, there was little worry about acceptance, paying for, or any other bar between us and the college of our choice. That a student has to “work hard” is all well and good. The idea that a student would be “lazy” because of advantage is understandable, but inncorrect. My classmates had plenty of “points stocked up”, but still had to work hard.

Affirmative action is not some free ride. The students have the SAME bar to pass as any other student. The only difference is, admissions is accounting for additional variables.

“…AA was propelled was to fix the "you" problem that was perceived of minorities…. (see above)”

It is a "you" problem. You are looking down on minorities because YOU think they have been given an unfair advantage. They have reason to believe YOU are the one in receipt of an unfair advantage. It has no part in this discussion. It is a personal/social problem.

“I never said that whites and Asians are biologically better than blacks,…” (see above)

Right! So, if there is no biological difference, then it is environmental. Accounting for the environmental problem is part of good use of metrics.

“By placing race over merit…” (see above)

“There you go again” – Ronald Reagan. Affirmative action is not placing race over merit. It is including an additional metric in the evaluation process. Merit is not one data point, it is all data points.

"Is a student that takes attends a predatory school a cheat? Is the young job applicant who secures a job with a friend of a father a cheat?" -Con

No, that's not what I'm saying at all…” (see above)

“beneficiaries of AA who support it are admitting that they want to cheat their way through life.” – Pro. That’s exactly what you were saying. It’s the recipients of affirmative action that are the cheats.

Unfortunately Con's response was cut off at the end, so I will just extend the previous arguments that I made. I would recommend not doing paragraph-by-paragraph quotations to avoid maxing out the character limit again.

I apologies for the issue. I pasted and posted quickly. I saw the issue, cut it down and posted before time ran out (my time, and the debate time).

I will address the points with the last few characters I have remaining in this round.

“Blacks and Hispanics should be able to show that they are intellectually able to make it to the harder schools…” (see round 2)

They are. You seem positively stuck on the concept that the ability to “make it” is entirely derived from single data points, like SAT scores.


“…The way to solve this problem is by addressing cultural breakdown, not installing racial preferences…” (see round 2 above)

Affirmative action is one way to address the systematic social problems. That you recognize that they exist, and want to address the problems, conflicts with success that affirmative action has been.



[2] http://dictionary.reference.com...

Debate Round No. 3
Varrack

Pro

= Final Rebuttals =

Convenience

The whole definition still applies to AA, as it makes admission is to college makes it "easier" to get into college. The amount of work needed to be accepted is somewhat less for minorities since race is also a factor, which makes it easier indeed. I only used the first part of the definition because it was more relevant to AA than the second part is, but the second part can still be applied to the practice. The initial purpose of AA was to to level the system of admission, but it cannot be argued that it doesn't make it easier for minorities to get in.

Looking up "convenience" led to a definition with the word "convenient" included, and both need to be defined for convenience to make sense at all. The words are the same just in different forms of each other.

Racial Bias

If people are being proved to be racist then they should be dealt with and their job holding should be questioned. AA is the wrong way to address this problem, as it focuses on the students instead of the original source of the problem. Also, the study does not show that this bias happens in every school, only a few, so it doesn't make a legitimate argument anyway for schools who do not have people who are racially biased.

Background

I agree that background should be taken into factor when being admitted to college. If a student received a 3.8 GPA in a mediocre school and another student received a 3.4 GPA in a really good school, then the quality of the school should be taken into consideration, or something to the effect of the example you mentioned. The problem with AA is that it does not focus on background, it only focuses on race. By making the assumption that all minorities are poor and all whites and Asians are rich it is unfairly crediting people whether they are poor or not. Yes, there may be a correlation between poverty and race, but not all blacks and Hispanics are poor and not all whites and Asians are rich. If a rich black person gets an extra boost by AA versus a poor white person who doesn't, then the poor white person is being unfairly discriminated against. The system of AA is rigged when it comes to background because it cheats people of a majority ethnicity by holding them back to let a minority through even if that minority has had a richer background.

Th fact that AA accounts for an extra variable, a variable that always remains constant, makes the bar automatically lower for minorities than whites and Asians. The majorities can't say "well, I need to work in that area" because they can't. It is impossible to change race but it is possible to change merit, which is why an unfair advantage is prevalent from the start.

Like I said, they "you" problem still hurts minorities whether it is a social problem or not. Background is also a social problem, isn't it? One of the initial reasons for AA was to increase a minority's standing or placement, which can be regarded as social status. You even admitted in your last paragraph that AA "is one way to address social problems".

Cheat

Take it this way: AA is like legally cheating, being told that you have an unfair advantage in regards to other students. What I said is that supporters of AA are admitting that they want to make it through life unfairly especially since they are allowed to. The fact that they are allowed to do this doesn't make them at fault, it makes the legal system that is flawed a cheat.

Conclusion

AA unfairly gives certain people, regardless of their background, special boosts into college and jobs. This is discriminatory towards everyone else who worked equally as hard or better, and is hurtful to not only them but the minorities as well. To create a fair and equal system where people are judged not by race but by merit and background too, affirmative action must be disallowed.

Thanks for the debate Con, it's been a pleasure.
TBR

Con

Convenience

“The whole definition still applies to AA, as it makes admission is to college makes it "easier" to get into college. The amount of work needed to be accepted is somewhat less for minorities since race is also a factor, which makes it easier indeed…”

Easy is imprecise, but as defined (1- achieved without great effort; presenting few difficulties. 2-[of a period of time or way of life] free from worries or problems. 1[adverb] without difficulty or effort.)[1] I think I have shown this is not the case for most minorities.

Directly addressing the concept that amount of work is somehow important to the question, let me state that merit based system have no concern for amount of work. You argue on the one hand that SAT scores are the critical factor, and on the other that amount of work is the determining factor. The quality of score may have only a causal relationship with amount of work. Getting the best students or employees can be said to have little to do with amount of work.

I only used the first part of the definition because it was more relevant to AA than the second part is, but the second part can still be applied to the practice. The initial purpose of AA was to to level the system of admission, but it cannot be argued that it doesn't make it easier for minorities to get in.

Making admissions easier is not the same as making it easy. Let me state it this way, if you insist on understanding it as an effort to make it easier - all metrics used in the selection process are an attempt to make it easier for admissions personnel to sort through applicants to find the best possible students.


Looking up "convenience" led to a definition with the word "convenient" included, and both need to be defined for convenience to make sense at all. The words are the same just in different forms of each other.

Fair enough, but the site you referenced had different wording for the definitions. As I have shown, the word is not very well suited for use in connection with this debate.

Racial Bias

If people are being proved to be racist then they should be dealt with and their job holding should be questioned. AA is the wrong way to address this problem, as it focuses on the students instead of the original source of the problem. Also, the study does not show that this bias happens in every school, only a few, so it doesn't make a legitimate argument anyway for schools who do not have people who are racially biased.

Racism doesn’t exist as a perfectly uniform thing within society. One segment of the minority population may experience one facet while another segment experiences another. The source of the problem has had an effect on the student, and that affirmative action is addressing the issue should be recognized as a net positive.


Background

I agree that background should be taken into factor when being admitted to college. If a student received a 3.8 GPA in a mediocre school and another student received a 3.4 GPA in a really good school, then the quality of the school should be taken into consideration, or something to the effect of the example you mentioned. The problem with AA is that it does not focus on background, it only focuses on race. By making the assumption that all minorities are poor and all whites and Asians are rich it is unfairly crediting people whether they are poor or not. Yes, there may be a correlation between poverty and race, but not all blacks and Hispanics are poor and not all whites and Asians are rich. If a rich black person gets an extra boost by AA versus a poor white person who doesn't, then the poor white person is being unfairly discriminated against. The system of AA is rigged when it comes to background because it cheats people of a majority ethnicity by holding them back to let a minority through even if that minority has had a richer background.

This is a very valid point. One that on the surface seems completely acceptable. Where it falls short, improvements can be made. It is a weak argument to scrap a successful program because of any slight issue within the program. In other words, more granularity could improve the system, but because we don’t have it today is not a reason to stop the program.

Th fact that AA accounts for an extra variable, a variable that always remains constant, makes the bar automatically lower for minorities than whites and Asians. The majorities can't say "well, I need to work in that area" because they can't. It is impossible to change race but it is possible to change merit, which is why an unfair advantage is prevalent from the start.

Like I said, they "you" problem still hurts minorities whether it is a social problem or not. Background is also a social problem, isn't it? One of the initial reasons for AA was to increase a minority's standing or placement, which can be regarded as social status. You even admitted in your last paragraph that AA "is one way to address social problems".

This stigma is the product of racist attitudes. Doing away with affirmative action does not solve the issues, the stigma and racist attitudes exist regardless. The recipient student would still face racist attitudes, only possibly without an advanced degree and the social status that comes with it.

It’s doubtful that any reasonable person would make a trade, give up the college degree to please someone who sees him as “less” because of affirmative action. Most people will not make this complaint of him, and those that would might have more bigotry to the individual without the degree.

Cheat

Take it this way: AA is like legally cheating, being told that you have an unfair advantage in regards to other students. What I said is that supporters of AA are admitting that they want to make it through life unfairly especially since they are allowed to. The fact that they are allowed to do this doesn't make them at fault, it makes the legal system that is flawed a cheat.

The system is at fault - The system that has provided generations of unfair advantage to non-minority students. I used a bit of personal antidote above, and feel it has use in this answer again. I have seen firsthand in my life, and the life’s of those around me, the staggering advantages granted. That all non-minority students don’t get all the advantages is not critical to the necessity of a system to level out the advantages granted to many. Call it cheating if you must, but call those that the system are attempting to balance for cheats too.


Conclusion

Affirmative action has been a successful program to balance long understood issues. It should not be scraped; it should be expanded and perfected. The issues it attempts to address still exist today, and affirmative action is only fixing a small portion of the systematic problems.

It is understandable that many will misunderstand and dislike the system. The beneficiaries are not getting something at another’s expense, but that’s how it commonly is felt. How someone feels is not really any sort of reason to dismantle a successful program.

This was an excellent debate pro. I would welcome another debate with you anytime. Thanks.

Debate Round No. 4
18 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by MyDinosaurHands 2 years ago
MyDinosaurHands
You can tell 16kadams was biased AF since he started with what Con had to prove, even though Con is arguing for the status quo, a position that, more often than the one arguing against the status quo, has a lesser burden of proof.
Posted by MyDinosaurHands 2 years ago
MyDinosaurHands
I'm quite biased towards Con.. so I won't vote. 16kadams should've done the same.
Posted by TBR 2 years ago
TBR
Thanks Varrack. I want to understand this.
Posted by Varrack 2 years ago
Varrack
@TBR - you'll need to contact 16k by other means since he does not receive the notification when you comment.
Posted by TBR 2 years ago
TBR
Another just personal question. "Con has to prove that there ARE genetic issues which REQUIRE AA. But he didn't do this." - Why do you say this? Do you think racism cant exist without detrimental genetic differences?
Posted by TBR 2 years ago
TBR
@16kadams - I have no issue with your vote, but I have a question.

Pro had the BoP. He instigated, and setup the debate structure as Con rebuts. You list what I had to "prove", not what Pro had to prove.
Posted by 16kadams 2 years ago
16kadams
Pro responds that, in regards to many of the discrepancies, Con's evidence does not mention discrimination. It should also be noted, Con did not prove AA is the best way to help minorities. It should be noted, as Pro seems to mention indirectly in his rebuttal, that funding is irrelevant. Class-based AA could actually be justified by Pro and he still wins. The debate is over "racial affirmative action" (R1). So, this invalidates most of Con's case. Pro continues with evidence that there is, in fact, a discrepancy but that Con has failed to prove that it is due to race alone. He then proves that Asians and Whites do the best on testing. This means AA is a disincentive to do well on those tests. As Pro argues, this means AA actually punishes success--this goes on to support his argument that minorities are less successful (and this makes sense--their merits are not accounted for). This means Pro's harm argument stands.

Con argues that the environment is the issue. Again, I don't think Pro is denying this. But he is arguing the environment does not need to be solved with AA. The environmental issues are mainly class, BUT this is not what the debate is about. This is purely based on race. As race is genetic, this means, if anything, Con has to prove that there ARE genetic issues which REQUIRE AA. But he didn't do this. Overall, Con's entire case rests upon the argument that blacks are worse off because of wealth, funding, etc. But the debate isn't about this. it is *solely* about race. As he did not prove the race itself is an issue, he loses the debate and his case is irrelevant.

This was a good debate in which neither side really won overwhelmingly. Con proved that *some* form of *income* based AA may be justified, but failed to prove that *race* based AA was just. Pro argued that such measures were inherently immoral and targeted the wrong issues. Arguments to Pro/
Posted by 16kadams 2 years ago
16kadams
This was a good debate--I read it a few days ago but ima vote. Con must prove a few things to win.
(1) He must prove people are at a disadvantage, and
(2) He must prove AA is the best way to help them, and
(3) He must prove AA--if it does help them--overrides the harms done to other people.

Pro's argument was simple. Although AA does benefit minorities, it discriminates against the majority. A white student who is far more qualified to go to a college, for example, will be harmed merely because he is white. He is discriminated against because of his skin color. If this is true, AA then actually is just as bad as racism. In other words, Con must justify exactly what he is trying to oppose: discrimination.

Pro also suggests that AA discourages hard work--it does. I am a Latino and I am worthless because I know AA will land me in some college at some point. Regardless of my personal position, this is true by the simple definition of AA: it makes their lives easier. So it is pretty logical as pro argues that, at least some minorities, will not work as hard because they get a leg up. He then states black people and Hispanics, because they do not work and can afford delinquency and still succeed in life, may (in part) lead to high crime rates, poverty, etc.

Con's argument is similarly straightforward. He presents a few cases where even seeming black may reduce the chances of obtaining a job. He also proves that black and hispanics are worse off. He proves (1). He then argues, based on his evidence, that it is due to discrimination. Thus, a small amount of reverse discrimination does not harm people, merely evens the playing field. Con plays semantics on the word convenience. Who cares. His argument stands whether or not he sounds derogatory. It is not like he cussed, so it isn't even worthy of conduct points. Con also argues the discrepancies are due to wealth gaps between the two groups.
Posted by bluesteel 2 years ago
bluesteel
TommyB12. 5 points to Con (argument, S&G, conduct). Reason for removal: failure to explain conduct vote.

Reasons for voting decision: As one who does oppose affirmative action I thought pro didn't have a complete understanding of the issues. I feel that there are better anti affirmative action arguments available that pro could have used to defend their claim. Con had a better structured argument but didn't change my mind. Also, pro had minor but noticeable grammatical errors.
Posted by TBR 2 years ago
TBR
Thank-you. You presented your case well. It was a pleasure.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by 16kadams 2 years ago
16kadams
VarrackTBRTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
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Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Note: I always show my agree on these type of voting methods b/c I wan to declare any bias. It prevents me from being biased, I think... Anyway, ima put some reasoning in da comments.