The Instigator
FBJames
Pro (for)
Losing
51 Points
The Contender
Danielle
Con (against)
Winning
75 Points

Affirmative Action is Right and Necessary

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/4/2008 Category: Society
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 3,334 times Debate No: 2404
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (17)
Votes (41)

 

FBJames

Pro

early american settlers were racist. they captured people in africa, forced them to work in america under ridiculous conditions, then freed them and left them homeless; many families were broken up to begin with, so a lot of households had no nuclear fmaily at its core.

once freed, black people had a hard time finding work due to discrimination. many found blue collar jobs as time went on and endured harsh work conditions because they had no other choice. they worked for low wages; this caused them to live in bad conditions otherwise known as "ghettos."

because of bad working/living conditions, many blacks turned to crime as a way to earn money or get ahead. and thus they acquired the black sterotype that all african americans are criminals. meanwhile there were hardworking men and women trying to raise families and live by the words of MLK, who was assassinated for speaking out for equality.

the blacks have been repeatedly repressed, critisized and sometimes even killed for speaking out and promoting equality. their hard work has been underminded or unnoticed. long after segregation has ended, hatred and racism still exists. maybe blacks can drink out of the same water fountains as us, but can they get the same jobs? no.

my point is what's the use of ending segregation without making attempts to lessen racism? by doing one thing we are saying that blacks are equal and should not have to drink out of another water fountain. but then our racism negates that step because we keep blacks confined to ghettos; their inability to advance and make money and earn respect in our society inevitably leaves them poor with nowhere else to live then amongst themselves in poor conditions. yet we critisize them for where thye live... it's a catch 22. if we want them to stop rsorting to crime in order to survive, then we must give them opportunities!
Danielle

Con

1) Yes, early American settlers were racist... just as countless other nations were racist at the time. I'm not saying that it was "okay" to have that frame of mind, but many wars were fought with racism and nationalism at their cores. So what. This is an undeniable, sad truth. But I disagree with people who blame "no nuclear family" due to slvary as a reason for why the black community (in this particular example) has struggled. Reason being that many other groups have also endured a similar fate. For example, many immigrants in the 19th and 20th centuries have had to separate from their families for economic reasons. It was not uncommon for men (husbands and fathers) to go to America to find work. After he had made a living, it was typical that he sent for his wife and children at a later date -- sometimes even years -- after he had already been in this country. I know that my ancestors in particular have not only separated fathers from wives and children, but mothers and siblings as well. Also, in many cases, the male head-of-household left their wives and chilren to find work in other parts of the country to send money home. Sometimes these men returned, and sometimes they didn't.

2) I am aware that racism exists in the workforce, and that blacks may have struggled to find work from the time of their emancipation until present day. However, African Americans are not the only group who have endured a great amount of racism and have had to overcome obstacles based on stereotypes and prejudice. It is common knowledge (at least it should be -- maybe that's the problem) that the Irish and Italian immigrants in particular had a Hell of a time finding decent work in this country. The Irish resorted to becoming policemen and firemen; ironically those jobs were considered the lowest occupations one could have, despite the reverence and respect that most people adhere to those positions today. And many Italian-American immigrants, such as the ones in my family, resorted to low-paying, blue collar jobs in factories and on the streets as well. They didn't make a lot of money and many immigrants from a particular culture DID live amongst one another... in "ghettos" or whatever... but these groups persevered and overcame various obstacles without any affirmative action necessary. Why should blacks (again - in the example set forth by the Instigator) be treated any differently? I thought you were all about them being given the same rights?
Debate Round No. 1
FBJames

Pro

i accidentally posted this in the comments section...

the difference between immigrants and enslaved people is just that - they were ENSLAVED. they did not come to the US by choice, but were taken from their home and families to a country where they would be abused for years, then freed, and then continue to be mistreated. and i'm tired of people saying they "could have gone back to africa." that's like me saying that you could go back to whatever country YOUR ancestors came from. do you want to? probably not. because you have been assimilated into the united states culture and way of life, and supposedly live in a country where there is liberty and justice for all.

but many black people do not have liberty OR justice. most of them live in fear for being attacked thanks to racial profiling, or have no method of defense (legal) when being subjected to acts of pure hatred or racism. either because of financial reasons or just outright fear. my point is this: perhaps if black people were given jobs... maybe even in leadership roles or positions of power/authority, america will no longer remain so ignorant to think that black people are incapable of holding such jobs. and eventually we will no longer need affirmative action, because our eyes will be opened to the reality that blacks are just as capable as anybody else of holding decent jobs. let's help end racism by promoting affirmative action and encouraging businesses to give these minorities a fair shot regardless of the color of their skin.
4 Seconds Ago
Danielle

Con

I agree that having more successful African Americans will help demonstrate their equal capability of holding leadership roles and powerful positions to those racist people that do exist in this country. However, I am not in favor of a process that would ultimately do more harm than good by: enacting resverse discrimination, promoting lesser-qualified people over more qualified people, and perpetuate the notion that black people are underprivileged and should be treated any differently than white people in this country.

In this day and age, education is arguably one's best asset when it comes to finding a job. And granted the 'system' isn't perfect in the sense that higher education tends to be increasingly unaffordable, and therefore deters many people from receiving a college degree. However, there ARE exceptions and there ARE ways to work around this problematic trend. The key is to EDUCATING minorities and the under-privileged about the options that they have. I am a firm believer in when there's a will, there's a way.

The Democratic side of me is all about increasing funding for schools in poor neighborhoods. These neighborhoods will not be selected on the basis of the color of the town's population, but rather on its economic need. This will promote academics over crime, and perhaps (hopefully) increase awareness about the value of an education. Then it will be up to the INDIVIDUALS to seek out ways to attend college, stay out of trouble and find jobs.

Let's face it -- affirmative action or not, large corporations SALIVATE over intelligent and qualified African Americans who apply for positions within their company. HR departments go nuts over it; hiring these employees make these companies seem open to diversity (always a good crutch to avoid lawsuits) as well as increase their popularity/promote a good image. That's what many African Americans today don't realize. People WANT them to succeed. Many people might not want to pay out of their own pockets for them to succeed, bust all-in-all most people are not angry racists who base their lives around the opression of black people. They simply do not want to be discriminated against themselves in order to assist others.
Debate Round No. 2
FBJames

Pro

yes, companies DO want educated blacks in their system to avoid lawsuits and to APPEAR as if they promote diversity. but really what they want is 1 or 2 black people to say AHA! SEE! THERE IS A TANIQUA BROWN WORKING UNDER OUR EMPLOYMENT. NO DISCRIMINATION HERE. MOVE ALONG...

but that's not enough. hiring one or two black people for the sake of avoiding legal controversy is disgusting. there are thousands upon thousands of black people in this counttry receiving an education. yet most corporate leaders are white. do you think that's a coincidence?

i understand that affirmative action is like reverse discrmination. however i think that's almost necessary to reverse the ideology for hundreds of years that black people are inferior. again, the reason why i say affirmative action is necessary is because it should be TEMPORARY. it should be a stepping stone towards equality. giving black people the opportunity to utilize the education they have fought to receive and show that they are competent workers, instead of the lazy criminals that the media and society portray them as, IS and SHOULD BE considered necessary for the benefit of our society. right now we are not taking advantage of our educated and willing black citizens, but are instead opressing them by keeping them to low-paying jobs and making their advancement in this country harder and harder with each passing generation.
Danielle

Con

James, I understand your POV. However my stance is that Affirmative Action is NOT *NECESSARY* because of all of the people who have overcome similar obstacles.

I'm going to quote one of the most profound pieces of dialog in one of my favorite movies (The Departed). Perhaps it's not the most 'professional' statement or very good in a form of debate, but I think it gets right to the point:

"I don't want to be a product of my environment. I want my environment to be a product of me. Years ago we had the church. That was only a way of saying we had each other. The Knights of Columbus were real head-breakers; true guineas. They took over their piece of the city. Twenty years after an Irishman couldn't get a fucking job, we had the presidency. May he rest in peace. That's what the niggers don't realize. If I got one thing against the black chappies, it's this: no one gives it to you. You have to take it." -- Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson)

Is that statement politically incorrect? Sure. But it does ring some truth. As I have mentioned, several minorities in this country had been oppressed for years and could not find decent jobs, lived poor and unlavished lifestyles, etc. Yet instead of bitching about life's unfairness, they went out and made something of themselves. They changed their fate. They WORKED HARD and SAVED MONEY and insisted that their children do the same. They resorted to working tough, blue collar jobs for pennies and lived modestly, instead of using government hand-outs to cloak their kids in Tommy Hilfiger or FUBU jeans. They didn't cry for help or blame others for their circumstance; instead they seized the day and took it upon themselves to make a change.

Before MLK died, this is what he preached. Hard work. Dedication. Perserverance. PEACE. Non-violence. He fought for equality and justice not through gang membership or committing crimes, but by overcoming the struggle of African Americans, and proving that black people were worth equal treatment to white people in this country.

No group has been more oppressed than the Jews. Now they own more than half of Hollywood, and are perhaps among the wealthiest people in America. Keep in mind that this is after they have withstood mass persecution, were enslaved in concentration camps, have had their families separated, homes raided, and lives destroyed. And this is all without any implementation of Affirmative Action in the Unisted States. Instead, the Jews put an emphasis on education, and continued to seek employment in academic fields such as law and medicine. Fighting through stereotypes and other stigmas, the Jews have overcome the barriers imposed upon them, and are no longer considered to be a minority that we need to help (economically speaking). The same goes for the Irish and Italians, of course on a much lesser scale.

So you see, I am not a racist. Nor am I an extreme right-winger opposed to giving aid to the poor black communities who are struggling. Instead, I consider myself a fair person. I feel as though conditions for black people - or any minority - or any people - are subject to change from generation to generation, so long as people are willing to step up and make sacrifices on behalf of their chilren, grandchildren, etc. Fighting for your rights as American citizens is what MLK preached. He had a dream that blacks and whites would have equal opportunities -- not that blacks have preference over whites because of the color of their skin.
Debate Round No. 3
17 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Rousseau 9 years ago
Rousseau
I wouldn't be against that idea, although the great majority of people on this website seem to despise affirmative action, I'm up for the challnge. I've actually debated twice on the subject already.
Posted by Danielle 9 years ago
Danielle
Rousseau & Watchman -- why don't you two have a debate? Clearly my opponent and I haven't argued every possible argument either for or against Affirmative Action. I'm curious to see what both of your POVs would be. Enlighten me :)
Posted by Rousseau 9 years ago
Rousseau
That is a bigoted and ignorant comment, and I urge you to not comment on things you are in the dark about.
Posted by watchman 9 years ago
watchman
AFFIMATIVE ACTION is for those who are weak. For those whose just want the goverment to give them something
Posted by Rousseau 9 years ago
Rousseau
I'm not calling what happened to your friend "justice", bur rather I call it "compensatory justice". Maybe you should research a little on the arguments. I have no interests in arguing with you if there is no education involved.

As for the evidence thing, my claim wasn't that you're a liar, or your evidence isn't true. Rather, I have no way to guarentee the valididty of your claims. Just as easily as you can give your story, I can give my "story" which could indicate you are a liar. This being the internet, you'd have no real claim to say "that's a lie". See my issue? The difference between here and court is that in court, people are sworn in. Lieing is harder, not impossible, but harder.

Either way you look at it, it isn't racism. He wasn't given the spot because of a quota (assuming this is true). First off, this is one example. Secondly, you're telling me that the sob story of one person is compensation enough to claim that previous sins have been paid back. Reverse discrimination: A. isn't real, and B. isn't the point.

As for Obama, he hasn't won yet, and assuming he does, it means literally nothing.

Go read around the web about affirmative action. You haven't listened to me before, and I have no interest in arguing unless you do.
Posted by watchman 9 years ago
watchman
To: the last patriot: I am on you side
Posted by the_last_Patriot 9 years ago
the_last_Patriot
To Rosseau:
You're calling what happened to my friend justice? he has never made a single effort that could be considered racially discriminant which would be equalized by denying him his dream shot. All he did was work as hard as he could to achieve his dreams only to be robbed by a system that favors another race for no other reason than the color of their skin. I don't exactly follow your point on evidence, because in a court room, all witnesses have are personal stories to present as testimony. Therefore our system does think them credible. Regardless I believe I said the word "case" not evidence. This, no matter which way you look at it was not justice, it was racism. Had my friend been a KKK member and participated in a few lynch mobs than I would agree with your definition of justice. Since he was nothing more than a hard working american student who was discriminated against on the basis of race, this is certainly not justice. Secondly, the so called REAL racial discrimination your speaking of. . . . . IS OVER. Read a newspaper or turned on the Television lately? we have an ivy league educated BLACK MAN running for president of the United States. No doubt he faced racial discrimination in his life time but obviously it didn't stop him from rising to seek the HIGHEST OFFICE in the land. We need to stop rewarding people based on the color of thier skin. Period. Black white orange or navy blue, the truth is ignorant people will always have ignorant notions of race, that shouldn't mean it is easier for one race to suceed over another. This country was made great by rewarding hard work. If we start punishing those who work to get where they want to be and rewarding less qualified applicants based on their race, we will see the best and brightest in this country expatriating to other nations who will reward them for their talents, and all that will be left are the less qualified.

To Watchman:
did you even read my story?
Posted by watchman 9 years ago
watchman
Cry me a freaken river What other hand outs do you want?
Posted by Rousseau 9 years ago
Rousseau
No offense, but there are two problems with that.

First off, thats paltry compared to what real discrimination has happened. I'm sorry for what happened, but that's compensatory justice. Not racial discrimination.

Additionally, personal stories aren't evidence.
Posted by the_last_Patriot 9 years ago
the_last_Patriot
a story of racial discrimination

I am a student at the University of Virginia. I wanted nothing more than to come to this university and so I worked as hard as I could to make myself a qualified applicant. I got in to the University and when I arrived, I was in class next to students who's GPA's were upwards of a point lower than mine when they applied and they had half the involvement and extra curricular activities I had. I have a friend that also wanted to come to this university, he was president of his senior class, valedictorian, and involved in countless extra curricular activities. He had a 4.0 GPA. He wasn't chosen. I found out later, through a study published that a student of a race different than mine is 111% more likely to get into my beloved University than I am given all other things equal. What race am I? WHITE! you heard that right. Black students are 111% more likely to get in to UVa. The University of Virginia is one of the most prestigous and academically talented extablishments in the country, it is still predominently white. With a 111% advantage over whites, blacks still can't manage, at a University with one of the largest minority populations, to match even half the amount of whites. The previous mentions are not only a case against the unfairness of affirmative action, they are also a case for its injustice. Regardless of its instatement however even with all these advantages before them, black numbers still don't add up to the amount of motivated hard working whites overcoming the racial adversity put before them in the form of affirmative action policy. Help them all you want, the truth is you can lead a horse to water, making him drink is another story.

Sorry for the length but figured my story needed to be heard. Don't feel sorry for me, feel sorry for my very well qualified friend who wasn't chosen to his dream school because of his race. Don't talk to me or him about racial discrimination against blacks. thanks for listening.
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