The Instigator
PervRat
Pro (for)
Losing
27 Points
The Contender
InfraRedEd
Con (against)
Winning
39 Points

Affirmative Action is a necessary responsibility

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 10 votes the winner is...
InfraRedEd
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/12/2009 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,625 times Debate No: 7822
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (29)
Votes (10)

 

PervRat

Pro

Respects to anyone who accepts this challenge.

I stand in affirmation that Affirmative Action is a justifiable and necessary measure

I choose the "pro" side of this argument and deem Affirmative Action necessary for the following reasons:

Round 1:Pro-1. It helps to accelerate equalization, a responsibility of the government due to the government's role in having enforced inequality in the past

Whether or not the government currently causes discrimination in the form of constitutional or legislation, historically the U.S. government did in the form of slavery laws prior to the Emancipation Proclamation, and the "Jim Crow" laws which stood through the establishment of Civil Rights protections of the 1960s. The racial inequalities are the responsibilty of the government, which enforced inequality, and the lingering consequences and effects of this inequality is also the responsibility of the government to amend because it committed these violations of civil rights.

Round 1:Pro-2. It prevents non-government, racial-majority-dominated entities such as schools and employers from ignoring the repeal of slavery and "Jim Crow" laws.

While government and people can "talk the talk" of non-discrimination, without special protections such as Affirmative Action, nothing could stop educational, housing or business institutions from wielding their influence to privately maintain inequality between the majority Caucasian race and minority groups. These institutions could operate with virtual impunity to discriminate against minorities without protections such as Affirmative Action.

For these reasons, I believe Affirmative Action is a necessary tool and should be maintained. Evaluated for its effects and tweaked to bring about racial equality, perhaps, but it should not be eliminated nor considred obsolete, unfair, unjust nor unnecessary in its principles I stated above.
InfraRedEd

Con

Affirmative action puts an unfair burden on employers, who should be able to hire any damn body they want to. It's the American Way. Like health insurance. We hate our emloyers and foist all our social problems on them as if it were their duty to make everything right and make a profit at the same time. Every stupid problem we expect our employers to take care of hampers their ability to compete. sends more of our jobs to Indonesia, and unless this law is the first one to be completely fairly enforced, unfair. The law now punished any employer who, at any time, does not have racial balance by defining that situation as racial prejudice. I go to yard sales and estate sales frequently and I have seldom if ever seen a person of color there, yet that does not mean the estate sale is discriminatory. If the yard sale attendees were employees they would get a six-figure fine per day. If the law said that the sky were green that would be the same thing. It isn't and saying it is green does not make it green. In any population there are variations over time and culture, and a business can be fined humdreds of thousands of dollars per day for not having racial diversity. It is impossible to maintain diversity at all times. This law is unfair, unjust and wrong. Executive Order 10925 is generally credited with the first Affirmative Action program but as you can see it seeks "equal opportunity for all qualified persons, without regard to race, creed, color, or national origin, employed or seeking employment with the Federal Government and on government contracts." Well Affirmative Action is obviously not equal so it violates EO 10925. It is an attempt to adderess one inequality by creating another. What about the "Affirmative Action" already present in our criminal injustice system? A person of color is much more likely to go to prison in the first place and gets nine times the sentence of a white person for the same offense. How about some "equal opportunity" there? How about racial diversiry: More white people in our prisons? Should white people be arrested more frequently and given nine times longer sentences too?

If you really want to address the problem then why not address it? Equality means equality. Not just in housing, education and employment, but throughout the system. Equality in education means not only diversity but tolerance. This is about how the students and teachers behave, not what they learn.

The giving of racial preference is guarenteed to produce more racial friction as racial groups vie for the advantage it confers. This is happening. Real and perceived injustice is inevitable, and when it is not addressed is not only injustice. It multiplies. It is easily preventable civil unrest waiting to happen.

Affirmative action, the giving of preferences, often results in the very dangerous practice of hiring or accepting unqualified employees and students. This is especially destructive in the educational system, where most college students do not graduate anyway. Requiring educational systems to accept inferior students hurts us all by giving us mediocre education. You now have mediocre doctor and dentist who took the place of that good doctor who is now pumping gas and selling insurance.

It is a great disservice to give a person an inferior education in the first place. Why don't colleges cancel classes and just have sports? We'll save that for another debate. Village schooling is the answer to our educational problems anyway. Again another debate. With our present educational system, is it fair to admit minorities preferentially anyway to get a crappy education while white students are home schooled anyway? Poor people aren't able to home school.

Well now hold on now maybe it's not such a bad idea anyway if I can play second base for the Diamondbacks. I was disadvantaged by, I'm sure I qualify somehow. I could get the whole family in if I worked it right. Hey wait, that's not fair. The umpire is calling all strikes from The Pitcher From Hell just because he is from Hell. And all the sections are assigned by Disadvantaged Status, a combination of irrelevant factors if you can just realize that a person is a person.
Debate Round No. 1
PervRat

Pro

I challenge my opponent to establish why it is "unfair" of a burden for employers to hire "any damn body they please."

On this point, I would like my opponent to establish why an employer should be allowed to just hire white Christian men and exclude all others if they choose. Is that really what you are saying? I most definitely disagree for the following reason:

Allowing a business to profit at the expense of protecting equality is effectively anarchy and it is, in fact, a neglect of equality to allow such discrimination to occur. There is little so essential to a person's life in the United States as the right to have a job, make a living, and support onesself and/or one's family. Allowing non-government entities within the United States (such as an employer) to conspire against this to exercise racist or other discriminatory beliefs is merely a neglectful dereliction, on the government's part, toward protecting equality.

If it is not what you were trying to say, then I am unclear as to what your point or meaning was and would ask you to clarify.

As for over-representation of minorities in the criminal justice system, unfortunately that's unaddressable on a direct basis in terms of whether they are convicted (and by extension any resultant over-representation) since any person who commits a crime must be punished, but if there is any truth to the notion that people who are desperate, such as minorities still struggling with unequal opportunities (and from they are unequal, I hope you will concur regardless of whether or not you believe all institutions have an obligation to do their best to fix it, from standpoint that, statistcally speaking, if you are born to, say, black, you have a much smaller chance of 'making it' well in the country than someone born white), then this over-representation in the criminal population should follow suit with over-representation of minorities among the impoverished and in inverse to the under-representation in our nations upper echelons. I am not certain that more-time-for-the-same-time is present as strongly as you claim, and whether that's the result of discriminatory sentencing from judges (easily addressable) or juries (not so easily, must be addressed as a more general re-education of our society against racist tendancies).

Education, housing, employment ... these very basics of life in the United States are foundations for having a life. Presuming your are Caucasian-majority, how much of any of these could be reduced out of your control from you before you could no longer have as good of a life as you have had?

And going back to the gist of "Affirmative Action is reverse discrimination" -- not an exact quote but the general idea you presented in your arguments of "Equality means equality" -- its a contradiction to my statements of why it is necessary because the inequalities that exist are our government and society's fault, and steps must be taken to correct them. However, you did not give a reason as to why my reasonings were flawed, you merely say they are and give your own contrasting version.

I will give another example to explain why an apparant inequality to correct a previous inequality is necessary: Imagine a child abused by their parents. By your logic, beyond taking the child out of the abuse, the child deserves no special treatment, no extra help in coping, no restitution from the abusive parents, no protection from the parents' friends if they did not like the child having turned on the parents by abusing them, that simply not being abused anymore is sufficiently equality restored. I quite disagree.
InfraRedEd

Con

Your position is becoming so ridiculous that I need only restate it in simple terms in order to show the contradictions. First of all is the assertion that our government, which has only been around for a couple hundred years, is somehow responsble for our thought processes. Now in the next round it is "government and society." Addressing racial (and other) prejudices would seem to require an understanding of the underlying situation. Your analysis of the history of inequality seems to lack that understanding, and therefore one can certainly be skeptical of any solution you propose.

And sure enough, now you assert that the remedy for this problem is to let the government, which you believe caused the problem in the first place, to have the understanding and compassion to fix it by identifying all those who have been wronged by it and make up for it by passing it along to someone else, in this case our economic and educational systems, and telling them how to solve it as well, and making sure they do it that way, and punishing them quite severely if they do not. And this is supposed to make it all OK. And noting that your plan does nothing to actually address the problem of inequality.

This proposal has so little actual thought behind it that it is obviously a prescription for more problems. It is worth noting that there are already equal opportunity measures in place which require applicants to be considered without regard to a bunch of irrelevant factors. Affirmative action is the granting of special "advantages" to those whom the government in its infinite wisdom designates as disadvantaged. Here is the first problem. How is the government to know who is disadvantaged and who is not? This would seem to require some sort of insight into the situation.

What we want is equality. But our legal system works the way it does. "Affirmative Action," in its original form, is an attemt to legislate equality. This is not possible. Furthermore it does it in a way that is not workable. That way being our legal system. The situation has been improved, however, by contradicting the original notion of equality and replacing it with a system of inequality, but, in theory anyway, equal in magnitude and opposite in direction to what the government perceives to be the problem. This is so insane anyway but there's more.

Added to this is the vengeance mentality that if you are not complying with this impossible insane scheme you are the cause of it all and deserve to be allowed to contribute vast sums of money and beg forgiveness for your sins.

It is clear that, as Einstein put it, we cannot solve problems with the same kind of thinking that created them. When you discover that you are in a hole the first thing you must do is stop digging. What is needed is an intelligent and informed attempt to address the problem. Well I'm no rocket scientist but it would seem to me that, like any problem caused by man, would require an understanding and insight that can only be gained by getting inside the head of those who are causing it. Yet our mentality demands from them only that they be punished. It is a compound error. Victims of child abuse should not receive preferential hiring or educational treatment to address that ridiculous example.

Why not find out by studying the most prejudiced how to end prejudice, and from criminals how to end crime, and from perpetrators of violence how to end violence, and from abusers how to end abuse?
Debate Round No. 2
PervRat

Pro

== REBUTTALS ==

"Your position is becoming so ridiculous that I need only restate it in simple terms in order to show the contradictions. First of all is the assertion that our government, which has only been around for a couple hundred years, is somehow responsble for our thought processes. Now in the next round it is "government and society." Addressing racial (and other) prejudices would seem to require an understanding of the underlying situation. Your analysis of the history of inequality seems to lack that understanding, and therefore one can certainly be skeptical of any solution you propose."

Con is actually asserting the U.S. government was never itself responsible for oppressive and discriminatory legislations that denied minorities the right to have liberty on par with white men, have an education or own property? First slavery, then Jim Crow ... are these just liberal conspiracies that never actually happened? I call -that- no only ridiculous, but conspiracy-theory-delusional!

It is difficult to even try to tackle most of what Con wrote in his response, since so much is based on his notion that there never was a government-imposed inequality that's continued generation-to-generation such that its effects continue to this day. I re-emphasize but will not waste readers' time repeating my reasoning I set out on this matter of why the government is responsible for the original cause and the ongoing lingering damage to equality that continues to this day.

Being so difficult to address the rest of Con's arguments for the previous round, I can find only one general "outlier" I think I can even try to grasp: the notion of vengeance.

First I have to throw it back in his face, this notion of a "vengeance mentality." It contradicts his argument he made that government did nothing to create discrimination ... if it hadn't, what sort of vengeance mentality could there be back at the government? Do you think the proponents of Affirmative Action feel vengeance is due against a government because it did not create racial inequality when it should have?

Off that back-in-your-face argument, I'll presume that you were merely arguing from a different perspective in which yes, the government did create inequality, but that efforts like Affirmative Action are purely vengeful in motivation and not just at all.

Let me re-summarize my position:
The government created harmful inequality. The government is therefore responsible for the ongoing damage, even if the government amended its active inequality and ended its direct-responsibility anti-equality legislations. The anti-equality legislations created a situation that lasts today -- the over-representation of minority groups in undesireable classes such as poverty-stricken families and the prison population, and under-representation in terms of wealth and political power. How can these inequalities ever truly end if no effort is made to correct the inequalities to begin with?

I feel the government has ignored my points I have reasoned out and chalked them up as ridiculous, not even bothering to go point by point, and has instead come up with a ridiculous notion that the government has never had any responsibility for creating inequality. The Constitution itself once included written-in acknowledgements of slavery, such as the "three-fifths amendment," in addition to congressional leglislations concerning the severe crime of a black man trying to escape slavery. When Emancipation was declared, slavery laws were replaced with "Jim Crow" laws that tried to be less blatantly obvious but were no less of an intentional effort on the government's part to maintain a white supremacy by keeping minorities (on an individual basis of one white man vs. one black man) from having equal rights, equal say, equal power and equal access.

I really cannot envision having to prove to anyone that slavery and Jim Crow laws -- laws being the very basis of the government's will -- were discrimination that was directly and willfully the government's fault and responsibility. If the notion escapes you, then I am afraid I cannot come to common terms to form a constructive debate.

For those who, whatever their feelings on Affirmative Action, do agree the government was "bad" for its slavery and Jim Crow laws, I hope my reasonings are at least respectable by you and you can follow to see how I arrive at my conclusion, even if it is not something you can easily follow for your own beliefs.

I do believe I have established my case, and that I have won the argument. My opponent, being the challenger, gets the "final inning."

I would like to thank Con for taking up this debate with me, and I look forward to reading Con's final response, I hope it can give me a better picture of his/her stance and reasoning. Thank you!
InfraRedEd

Con

Well now you have just gone too far critisizing my beloved government, and if you would quit throwing arguments in my face I wouldn't be so vengeful. Your discussion of how to "improve" the criminal injustice system, a system built entirely on vengeance, is particularly amusing in the light of your comments on vengeance.

Is someone using my identity, claiming the government had nothing to do with institutionalizing hate? Am I in the wrong debate?
I can only address real things I said, not imaginary ones or things I did not say.

I gather from your diatribe that it is important to you that it be established that the government contributes in some way to inequality. Well duh.

Upping the ante:
Normally Affirmative Action means the giving of peferences but if you want it to mean any governmental enforcement of equality then well you asked for it you got it. You are offering up your leg to save your arm.

I must thank you also for forfeiting your round and instead choosing to argue my side. You raised points I would have raised. The government, in its partnership with Big Evil, is indeed even far worse than you say. I don't know exactly what is happening, but someone seems to be influencing government, probably peddling influence using money stolen from the poor. Every act of the government further institutionalizes its evil, especially hate, especially racism. In fact racism and classism are exactly what the government is all about. It is selling and we are buying:

Divide and Conquer.
http://www.finitesite.com...

In its insane war against the poor of the world, by support of suppressive military regimes throughout the world placed there for the convenience of stealing their natural resources, by ruinous fiscal policies forced upon the Third World by IMF and World Bank, by "Don't ask, don't tell" in the military, by spending programs that take money from the poor and give to the rich, by establishing toxic waste zones in minority neighborhoods, by neglecting the health and education of poor people, by cutting back on desperately needed social programs, by its trade agreements, by importing drugs to our inner cities via the CIA, by invading Third World countries that seem to have a handle on democracy, by waging war on any sort of reform movement, by using military force against those who gather peacefully to demand redress of grievances, by extravagant bailouts to the rich, by its repressive police forces that defend the property of the rich above human life, the Military Industrial Complex, in fact is there anything else the government does other than promote hate (besides despoil the environment and promote starvation of course)?

Asking the government to do anything is to ask for more of the same. The government is incapable of being anything else than what it is. It is a hate machine. It is a hate machine because there are those who want it to be one, and to do the things they are too squeamish to even look at. Such as.

http://www.mysanantonio.com...

This is continuing because we continue to tolerate it every second. We continue to build police memorials so little boys will want to be cops. We continue to send them to Hate School. We apparently get our politicians and judges via a similar system. Media. Armed vigilantes. Border Patrol vehicles mysteriously pulling up right behind routine traffic stops but of only certain of our friends and neighbors who are disappearing.

This is the most oppressed group in America today. They live in constant terror. They are beyond terrified to leave their homes because our armed thugs now have unlimited power and can break down doors with no problem. This is how we treat their children. They can be given all the preferences in hiring and education you please since it is illegal to hire or educate them anyway. It's a freebie. What a great solution. They will be lucky to live to be educated and hired. What a boon Affirmative Action will be to them. You go tell them then that this is how we make up for it. Hear them snicker in their holding cells. They will learn our hatred from us. This is happening all over the world. We are making enemies far faster than we can kill them.
I would say it is a very emotionally charged issue.
So what's the solution?
Should the situation be addressed by those who are currently addressing it, or by those who caused it? Your answer is indeed puzzling. Perhaps we can get everyone who has ever taken a "role in having enforced inequality in the past," as you put it, including religion, big business, the UN, Israel, the Olympic Organizing Committee, France, The Christian Militia, Idi Amin, Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, the KKK, Marge Schott, the paramilitary groups, Italy, Ron Paul, Jetta the Hut, the corporations and organized crime to pitch in as well. Hell, I probably contributed to the problem. The truth is that we are all guilty and we must all provide the solution.
We must be the solution.

Not by demanding that others change.
By changing ourselves.

http://www.realchange.org...

http://www.finitesite.com...

Many are working for equality. We should listen to them. They deserve a shot. They are the ones who can educate us, and our children, to learn and teach love instead of hate. Children learn to hate somewhere, and to love somewhere. We are the ones who will decide which.
Debate Round No. 3
29 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by WhiteAfricanAmerican 7 years ago
WhiteAfricanAmerican
"I'm curious what evidence you've used to equate things like welfare, criminal activity, and low general "success" with a lack of gratefulness for one's ancestors, especially considering these injustices find stronger historical basis in educational gaps and social prejudices. Are you claiming that ungratefulness somehow translates into underachievement? Would discriminatory hindrances somehow evaporate if African Americans just felt more pride for their past?"

It's not so much having more pride, than it is recognising what their ancestors went through, and making an active decision to not allow their (ancestors) suffering to have been for nothing.

As far as evidence, it's mostly anecdotal along with first hand observations.

There are quite a few successful African Americans, people like Colin Powell, Condi Rice and Clarence Thomas, who should be examples of what African American are capable of.

In the state of Missouri, for example the African American population in 2000 was 12 %, yet 50% of the population in the state's correctional facilities were African American.
http://www.psychstat.missouristate.edu...

The two poorest cities in the country; Detroit MI, and Cleveland, OH are run by African Americans

Maryland State Senator Lisa Gladden's comment "It doesn't matter that the State of Maryland is broke, as long as Barack Obama is going to be President everything is OK."

This attitude of entitlement, brought on by Affirmative Action is the root cause of the problem.

You want to argue for some form of legitimate oversight to ensure that African Americans aren't being discriminated against (example, African American is better qualified, educated and experienced and still doesn't get he position) that's fine.

Affirmative Action doesn't work, all one has to do to realise this, is to take a look at Zimbabwe, that country was built of Affirmative Action.
Posted by InfraRedEd 7 years ago
InfraRedEd
Our discussion is not about rape victims at all since Affirmative Action does not address the issue at all. Here are the kinds of issues it raises:
http://peopleclick.com...
none of whch have anything to do with equality but bureaucrazy.
Posted by PervRat 7 years ago
PervRat
Sorry, Maikuru ... any appearance I've given of being coherent or having a grasp of who is saying what to whom has been entirely a farce and lie, heh.
Posted by Maikuru 7 years ago
Maikuru
I was addressing WhiteAfricanAmerican, PervRat. Sorry, I'll start putting names at the beginning of my comments haha.
Posted by PervRat 7 years ago
PervRat
I'm sorry, you apparantly missed my train of thought. How grateful or not a person is that their ancestors suffered through misery and shame of being slaves has no bearing whatsoever on the conversation nor debate.

My argument rests on the notion that the U.S. committed crimes against its own people, and while the crime is no longer actively perpetuated by the U.S., the harm and damage the descendants of those people suffer linger on and will for many generations, and the U.S. must do all it can to repair the damage. Does it give a wheelchair-esque boost that might seem unfair were all things equal? Of course, but its necessary. Victims deserve all the help they can get to get back on their feet and to heal -- in the case of racial inequalities, the victims are racial minorities as a class of citizens rather than individuals.

If a woman is raped, should justice end when the perpetuator is caught and thrown in prison? Shouldn't society through the government give that woman extra help in counseling, assistance to attend college and cope with day to day life as she struggles with the terrors and fears years after the rape and trial are supposedly done and over with?
Posted by Maikuru 7 years ago
Maikuru
I'm curious what evidence you've used to equate things like welfare, criminal activity, and low general "success" with a lack of gratefulness for one's ancestors, especially considering these injustices find stronger historical basis in educational gaps and social prejudices. Are you claiming that ungratefulness somehow translates into underachievement? Would discriminatory hindrances somehow evaporate if African Americans just felt more pride for their past?

Also, considering your derogatory remarks toward Africa and your increasingly evident belief that undeserved government handouts have as much to do with African American success as their own abilities, it is no small leap to claim you find slavery somehow justified in light of its eventual consequences. I'm comforted to know you find slavery rightfully atrocious, but going on to link current African American struggles with some assumed lack of historical pride is baffling.
Posted by PervRat 7 years ago
PervRat
You don't feel racial minorities suffer at all?

Try being born black, sir. You have no chance of achieving equality, because statistically speaking its virtually impossible. America has fallen short on repairing the inequalities it created, the effects will last for many generations yet unless we actively try to repair the ongoing damage.
Posted by WhiteAfricanAmerican 7 years ago
WhiteAfricanAmerican
"You misunderstood. I was asking why you claim African Americans are not grateful for the sacrifices of their ancestors, not why they need to feel grateful."

I apologise for my misunderstanding. My observation is a generalisation, no doubt, and I came to that opinion based on a few points, the ratio of welfare recipients, the ratio of prison populations, the amount of legitimate Africans, be they immigrants or students, who succeed in their studies or business choices vs their American counter parts.

Then of course there's Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and the like who seem to abuse the very people they're 'defending', it would seem it's in the interests of Shaprton et al to keep African American's in subjugated, because with out that position Sharpton and Jackson would have to find another means to make money.

"As for your other points, I didn't address them because they were fruitless and irrelevant. This is a discussion, not a debate; a failure to address a point does not constitute a concession. Of course, I'd be happy to debate your apparent position that slavery is somehow justifiable in light of quality of life benefits enjoyed by slaves' ancestors. PM me and I'll set it up."

See, that's not what I've said. I've expressly said that 'No one is condoning slavery', in my first post. I've also suggested that slavery is a sad state of affairs by refering to the 'suffering' of slaves, ancestors of todays African American's who 'bled and died' to provide a different life for their decendants.

So where you draw the conclusion that I think slavery is justifiable is beyond me.

So if you'd like to reword the topic for debate, let me know and I'll consider a debate.
Posted by WhiteAfricanAmerican 7 years ago
WhiteAfricanAmerican
"They did not make willing sacrifices, sir, they were enslaved against their will and imprisoned as human property in our land that promised all men are created equal."

Did I say they made a willing sacrifice? No I didn't. I said that there was a sacrifice made. Maybe I used the wrong word, so replace sacrifice with suffering. Either way, that which the slaves endured ensured that their lineage would not have to grow up in the squalor of Africa.

"If you still can't get why people are shocked or horrified by your statement, I really can't think of a better way to put it."

Two people so far have issues with my perspective. Two people who have a bias toward giving people who haven't suffered benefits, and denying people who had nothing to do with that suffering those same benefits.

Oh, and for the record, The Constitution at the time of slavery defined a slave as 3/5ths of a man, I think it was? As wrong as that is, you can't use the Constitution at the time of Slavery to back up your points because the Constitution was at best indifferent to slavery.
Posted by PervRat 7 years ago
PervRat
They did not make willing sacrifices, sir, they were enslaved against their will and imprisoned as human property in our land that promised all men are created equal.

If you still can't get why people are shocked or horrified by your statement, I really can't think of a better way to put it.
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Vote Placed by s0m31john 7 years ago
s0m31john
PervRatInfraRedEdTied
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