Affirmative Action should be based on Socio-Economic Status and not race or religion
Debate Rounds (5)
Affirmative Action currently is more interested in integrating women and minorities (who undeniably generally have a lower socio economic background in general) with white male Protestants/Catholics. This does not make sense. Firstly, a number of these groups are proved to not have a disadvantage within society. for example, there are currently more women enrolled in colleges than men (http://www.usatoday.com...) . I admit that racial minorities in general struggle more due to a past of intense persecution and white protestants/Catholics often were more successful due to a society in their favor. However, there are currently minorities with significant advantages due to their lineage and whites tragically disadvantaged due to a history of persecution. White Trash and Honkies are two terms equally cruel and derogatory to racial black terms such as nigger. Throughout the US during the nineteenth century, illustrations and hand drawings depicted the Irish with the "ape like image" of Irish people's faces appeared to be primordial like a monkey's, and claims of evolutionary racism about the origin of Irish people as an "inferior race". (http://www.victorianweb.org...) After 1860 many Irish sang songs about signs reading "HELP WANTED - NO IRISH NEED APPLY"; these signs came to be known as "NINA signs. (http://tigger.uic.edu...) While the Irish are the race oriented example, there are other, less 'race specific' examples of persecution of white people. Anyone who is poor, including those that are white, are persecuted. There are horrific crimes against the homeless for being homeless. (http://www.cnn.com...) Gerontophobia is the fear of the elderly, causing discrimination against them. . (http://www.ias.ac.in...) Ephebiphodia is a fear of youth, causing discrimination against them. (http://www.spiked-online.com...) It is unnecessary to list every form of of discrimination to understand that Affirmative Action, based on religion, race, and sex (women have already risen from persecution, as already proved).
All that discriminate have one ideal in common: elitism. Elitism defined in this debate are the individuals who form an elite in a society. The elite are the elite due to superior intellect, wealth, specialized training or experience, other distinctive attributes, or simply being members of a majority. Being elitist is not inherently a bad thing. However, it is exceptionally common for elitists to feel justified in, misconstrue morality in, or recognize gain in the need to persecute or control a certain people(s) unlike or less fortunate than themselves. While Elitism may or may not be possible to end, there are steps that can weaken it. Current Affirmative Action would most likely do more good than harm. Racial, and occasionally religious, minorities generally have less education, less wealth, less power, and less Elitist qualities than the majority. However, there are those that are elitist that are racial or religious minorities. Forbes listed 20 Black Americans that are elitist (http://gossiboocrew.com...) 139 of the 400 wealthiest Americans are Jewish (http://blogs.jta.org...) Mormons have a higher tendency to be well educated. (http://www.fairlds.org...). Furthermore, ten percent of all White Americans are bellow the poverty line. (http://www.census.gov...)
A better alternative to Affirmative Action is to base it not on race or religion, but based on socio-economic status. While all racial and religious minorities have members that are elitist, no one bellow poverty level or close to it is. The poverty stricken white American has far more disabilities then the black son of a billionaire. Furthermore, since racial minorities do have a tendency to be in poverty it would assist members of racial minorities that truly needed it.
Please only accept this debate if you believe Affirmative Action must be enacted the way it is. If there is a debate with someone that believes Affirmative Action is entirely bad the debate will be a same song with a different chorus. Again, only accept the debate if you disagree with my argument in the sense you believe Affirmative Action must be enacted the way it currently is. Thank you, and I wish good luck to my opponent.
== INTRODUCTION ==
Affirmative action refers to positive steps taken to increase the representation of women and minorities in areas of employment, education, and business from which they have been historically excluded . Pro's suggestion is to factor in socio-economic status in determining who receives preferential treatment - i.e. extra help for admissions. However, considering one's socio-economic status has nothing to do with affirmative action and in fact undermines or negates the entire concept. The purpose of such action is to be more inclusive toward individuals who come from backgrounds which have been specifically excluded due to factors they cannot control (like gender, race or nationality), and which have nothing to do with their abilities to perform the job or attend the school. To help negate the resolution, I'll focus on combating Pro's individual arguments.
== DEBATE ==
To help prove his point, Pro has included a statistic noting that more women are enrolled in colleges than males. However, the same source notes that it wasn't until 2004 that women earned more than half of the degrees. Additionally, the source notes that one reason for the disparity is the fact that many guys choose to enter blue collar professions or technical schools as opposed to women. Moreover, there is still a huge difference in pay gaps. According to the Census Bureau, women on average earn 77 cents to each dollar paid to male counterparts with the same qualifications and doing the same work .
The source also notes a report by the American Association of University Women called "How Schools Short-Change Girls," which compiled reams of research on other gender inequities in the educational system . So, quite obviously there are still some disparities on the gender-front in terms of treating female students and employees with the same regard shown to males, meaning Pro's declaration that women have surpassed the need for special attention is false.
Now let's consider how factoring in the lower socio-economic classes are relevant. Pro pointed out that many lower class individuals are white; however, the National Poverty Center reports that poverty rates for blacks and Hispanics greatly exceed the national average . So, in considering minority status one may subsequently be considering socio-economic status as well. As Pro rightly pointed out, there are ties between class and race. The problem is that it becomes much harder to prove that poor people have been specifically and intentionally kept out of academic and employment spheres on the basis of their wealth, whereas there's lots of evidence indicating and explaining how certain minorities and women have been specifically excluded.
Further, helping minorities and women achieve success sets a great precedent and example for those following in their footsteps. Numerous studies prove that just SEEING someone you can relate to - i.e. who looks like you (race or gender) succeeding uplifts individuals to aspire the same effects. If a poor white man is given some help, it doesn't have the same impact on society as a whole.
Pro also brings up the fact that many whites have been discriminated against in history as well, such as racial slurs against the Irish stemming back to the 1800s. However, Affirmative Action advocates would argue that the Irish were not brought from Ireland to be slaves, and not specifically oppressed into the deep 20th century as blacks were. Moreover, let's look at facts from *today* as opposed to the 1800s. Does Pro have any evidence or indication of anti-Irish or anti-white discrimination on a mass scale? A study conducted at the University of Chicago found that people with "black-sounding" names such as Lakisha and Jamal are 50 percent less likely to be interviewed for a job compared to people with "white-sounding" names such as Emily or Greg . This proves that an impoverished individual with a "white" name stands a better chance at employment than a minority even if they are poor.
Pro continues to talk about oppression and poverty, and points out that there are some minorities who are not impoverished and therefore should not be considered in affirmative action by being given an edge. While that's true, the same can be said about poor people -- Many poor people are able to work around financial barriers and achieve success as well. For example, I do not qualify for any type of aid because of how much money my parents make. Meanwhile, students at my college taking on the same burdens are given a substantial amount of help due to programs like Welfare and Financial Aid which make it possible for them to attend school at little to no cost.
In short, impoverished individuals are given a significant amount of help that is not afforded to those who fall above the poverty line (like myself). Worse, I'm sure that I wouldn't even fall above that line, but because my PARENTS fall above that line I am automatically punished (and forced to pay the full amount for school, take out loans, etc.) without any help from my folks, whereas the poor people are given other aid from the government (i.e. my parents' tax dollars... in other words, my parents are helping them more than me lol). So, since the poor are already catered to in terms of financial assistance, then I fail to see how expanding affirmative action would be helpful or useful.
Financial aid helps the impoverished people receive a necessary education and things of that nature. However, suppose a white woman and black woman received the same education and had the same opportunities (thanks to economic government programs). Upon graduation, they both apply for jobs. The study I provided shows why affirmative action based on race becomes fare more relevant and useful than affirmative action based on socio-economic status. By Pro's suggestion, the person who is worse off financially should get the job. What problem does that rectify in society? That poor people have been discriminated against? It seems that poor people aren't blatantly discriminated against but are instead just disadvantaged due to their financial situations. However, as I said, economic programs already rectify that problem. Does Pro have any evidence that a person who is less wealthy is discriminated against on job interviews? Or how about any proof of blatant discrimination at all?
There is plenty of proof that racism is still alive and well. A Princeton University study found that black men who had never been in trouble with the law were about half as likely as whites with similar backgrounds to get a job offer or a callback... In other words, otherwise similarly qualified white men with a prison record receive the same or higher number of job offers as equally qualified black men who have never even been arrested ! Without a policy that holds universities and employers accountable for admission based on racism, we can assume that said racism will obviously infiltrate the employment sector meaning specific races (or a specific sex) will continue to be held down and oppressed.
On the contrary, there is no evidence that poor people are specifically doomed to be held down and oppressed due to bigotry. Again, poor people lack opportunities based on monetary inadequacies. Because other aspects of the government help them attain those opportunities, then we have no reason to assume that a poor white person has a smaller opportunity to advance than a black person as my last source indicates.
== REFERENCES ==
The first issue I perceive my opponent brought up is that of the purpose of Affirmative Action. My opponent points out that Affirmative Action exists in the need to assist those that have historically been discriminated against. However, as my opponent has clarified, we must focous on modern times. It is blind to pretend that whites currently in poverty have not had ancestors who also had difficulty assimilating into society due to oppression. German Americans were distrusted because of their separatist social structure, their love of beer, their German-language schools, their attachment to their native tongue over English, and their neutrality in World War I. The Bennett campaign is a strong example of German American discrimination. (http://content.wisconsinhistory.org...) Irish American discrimination has been previously and adequately described. It is unnecessary to mention every form of discrimination against those that are white to understand the consequences thereof. While difficult in Modern times to accurately make a demographic due to white intermarriage, it can be guaranteed that there is a correlation between historical discrimination against ancestors and current socio economic status. It further makes sense in the fact that, while only certain white ethnic groups were discriminated against, all Hispanics and blacks have been discriminated against.
Furthermore, while the poor may not have been discriminated against specifically because they were poor, they have certainly been oppressed due to being poor and the lack of power thereof. The Pullman http://encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org...) and Homestead (http://oak.cats.ohiou.edu...) strikes are two horrific examples of how the elite could unjustly and violently oppress a legal uprising by the poor. The poor white man was usually oppressed because of his lack of power, not because of the color of his skin.
Why mention historical oppression of the white man? History illustrates why things are the way they are today. While difficult in Modern times to accurately make a demographic due to white intermarriage and a lack of work in preserving evidence of and general ignorance concerning individual American's family heritage, it can be guaranteed that, with a few extremely notable and extremely few exceptions, people don't leap from social class to social class. They nearly without exception land where their parents were. This explains the current disadvantage of minorities: they have historically been discriminated against and due to that discriminatation, they are now disadvantaged (http://www.infoplease.com...). While the minority has been the most notably oppressed because of an ability to spot an obvious trademark, such as skin color or religious preference, the poor white man has had ancestors that have been unfairly and unconstitutionally oppressed. Current Affirmative Action only assists those with obvious trademarks of oppression. However, Affirmative Action based on socioeconomic status would assist all who have been unfairly oppressed. It would assist those with obvious and not so obvious trademarks of unfair oppression of ancestors that have in turn oppressed them.
My opponent's next point is ethnic groups are discriminated out of education specifically due to race. With respect and admiration to my opponent, not only is this false but there are laws specifically preventing such discrimination. Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin in educational institutions that receive federal financial grants or assistance. The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) of the U.S. Department of Education is charged with enforcing all of the federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination on the bases of age, race, color, national origin, disability and sex. The self-stated mission of the OCR is "ensuring equal access to education and promoting educational excellence throughout the nation." Complaints received by OCR dealing title VI may involve ability grouping, disciplinary practices invoked by schools, the prevalence or acceptance of inter-district student transfers, school desegregation, housing concerns, and racial harassment, among many others. According to the Department of Education, the introduction of Title VI is beginning to appear to be having a positive effect. In 1976, the dropout rate of African American students ages sixteen to twenty-four was 20.5 percent. In 1990, that number had declined to 13.0 percent. Another statistic reveals that in 1982, minorities comprised only 11 percent of the students in advanced placement courses. In 1997, that number had risen to 29 percent. In a final statistic, a study revealed that since 1990, the number of Latino students enrolled in higher education facilities has increased by 47 percent. African American student enrollment increased by 20 percent. The number of American Indian enrollment has increased by 30 percent. Minorities are integrating more and more into educational success due to current laws against discrimination. (http://public.findlaw.com...)
My opponent points out that poor often receive finantual assistance for being poor while the rich must pay their way through schooling. People with high socioeconomic backgrounds have far more advantages and have far higher chances of wealth than those of lower socioeconomic status. (http://www.econ.ceu.hu...) Furthermore, they obviously have far more advantages in a successful education and career (http://www.rcgd.isr.umich.edu...) While a rich child may not get the same scholarships and finantual aid as those of lower socioeconomic status, the chances of success still heavily lean towards those of high economic standing. The purpose of socioeconomic Affirmative Action is to be able to lessen that gap, to give the poor a greater chance. The purpose is to truly make America, as Abraham Lincoln would put it, 'of the people, by the people, and for the people'.
The poor may not be discriminated against due to being poor, but as previously been proven being poor is a gargantuan disadvantage in life, not only due to the lack of money but due to a general lack of work ethic and emphasis on the importance of education. Being a minority is not a disadvantage in itself but having low socioeconomic status is. In fact, the core of minority disadvantage is based on their general low socioeconomic status, not because they're black or Hispanic.
Racism, as my opponent has pointed out, does still exist in more subtle forms. Why does it still exist? It exists because minorities still generally have lower socioeconomic standing. Booker T. Washington stated that racism would end when minorities gain the same socioeconomic as white men. Black men generally do have higher crime rates, are less responsible, and have low education due to historical oppression. (http://en.wikipedia.org...) People stereotype and do not look at the individual, resulting in such deplorable racism. However, because minorities do generally have lower socioeconomic standing, socioeconomic Affirmative Action would target the root of the cause as opposed to pretending it is due to the color of their skin.
I didn't have enough room to debate women in Affirmative Action with justice. Thank you for the debate and good luck in the next round.
Pro writes, "It can be guaranteed that there is a correlation between historical discrimination against ancestors and current socio economic status." I'm willing to bet that the evidence in support of this notion is far from "guaranteed," however, regardless this is an irrelevent fact. The purpose of affirmative action isn't only to help those who have suffered historically, but to give certain people the incentive or opportunity to succeed because of the positive impact it will have on society in the present/future.
A key factor in support of AA policies is the fact that certain issues are highlighted at the forefront of discussion when particular leaders are in charge. For instance, when women are engaged in a political dialog, certain issues are discussed and challenged far more often than when it's just men running the show. Examples of these topics include abortion, women's rights, civil rights, and issues that affect the home and family such as education and health care. As such, it's beneficial to society (and women who want and deserve representation in government) to have women in certain positions of power.
But I ask - what is the benefit of giving people who may have been financially insecure a position of power? At best, you can argue that they will highlight policies regarding economics, the budget and the poor. However, we already have candidates and people in power who discuss these issues in particular on a daily basis (they're called Democrats, liberals, socialists, etc.). So, here you can see a blatant example of how AA based on gender is appropriate and useful, but affirmative action based on class is not. So far Pro has failed to give sufficient evidence that this endeavor would be useful or necessary for society.
Pro continues, "While the poor may not have been discriminated against specifically, they have certainly been oppressed due to being poor and the lack of power thereof." Once again, it's important to note that policies regarding AA do not exist as a form of socialism or politics that demand equality and/or equal opportunity. They exist to rectify injustices of the recent past, or more importantly the current present. Has Pro given us evidence that poor people are discriminated against blatantly? For instance, I showed an example of black people not being called back for job interviews based on their "black sounding" name alone. While it's true that a poor person one may not have the same opportunities to succeed as a rich individual, a poor individual is not automatically dismissed for an interview based on their name or even their current tax bracket.
Pro reminds us of the Homestead and Pullman strikes; he says that the poor white man was usually oppressed because of his lack of power, not because of the color of his skin. Again, I'm not sure how this is relevant to the discussion. Yes - class wars exist and those of a lower class usually have less power, because they have less wealth and property therefore less influence and control. All of this is true. However, how can ensuring that some poor people are given the opportunity for success help anything in society as a whole? In that case, the poor person would no longer be economically disadvantaged... So basically what Pro is suggesting is just giving certain poor people various opportunities to end the cycle of poverty. But, we must remember that AA is not about helping certain individuals succeed, but about setting an example that influences society and the future as a whole. It's more about social progression than social welfare.
Next I'll address some economic discrepancies mentioned by my opponent. He writes, "[Minorities] have historically been discriminated against and due to that discriminatation, they are now disadvantaged." That is not historically accurate. If my opponent is speaking of minorities from, say, Hispanic descent, it's clear that individuals from these various nations are impoverished because of the economic laws of their countries as well as the various levels of industrializtion from each country. South American nations for instance are mostly third-world nations, and as such people from this area do not have a lot of opportunities to succeed. These limited opportunities happen to be based on nothing but sheer bad luck in terms of what kind of life people were born into.
However, as Pro mentioned, this unfortunate circumstance applies to people all over the globe. People in Macedonia for instance might be white but just as impoverished. Because we already have programs that aim to help the poor succeed (in terms of giving them the same opportunities to advance via education and such), we must recognize that discrimination surmounts the issue of class. If Person A is rich and black, and Person B is poor and white... but that poor person was able to go to college with the black person thanks to welfare and financial aid... then we still have evidence that Person A is more likely to be excluded from, say, a job admission even though he might be from a higher social class than Person B (based on his race). Again, we do NOT have evidence that poor people are excluded purposely based on class, and that specifically including the impoverished will help society on a large scale.
Pro writes, "Affirmative Action based on socioeconomic status would assist all who have been unfairly oppressed." Of course things brings up the obvious point that Pro cannot prove all poor people have been unfairly oppressed. Next Pro says that my example of discriminaton based on race is false because of the Civil Rights Act prohibiting this kind of blatant discrimination. However, quite obviously the point here is that while this discrimination is in fact illegal, PEOPLE ARE BIASED ANYWAY as the example regarding names proves. Moreover, the CRA does not protect against all kinds of discrimination such as discrimination based on gender or sexuality (only sex is specified, which is different from the two former).
Pro concludes his argument by talking about how the lower class is more socially disadvantaged than their middle and upper class peers. Of course I've already explained at length why this is irrelevant. Pro says, "Being a minority is not a disadvantage in itself but having low socioeconomic status is." This is falsed based on the evidence I provided indicating blatant racism and sexism. In short, Pro's argument is in agreement with Booker T. Washington's - that racism would end when minorities gain the same socioeconomic as white men. I believe that tangible evidence is necessary for this conclusion. Meanwhile, there is evidence that racism exists beyond class. For instance, famous black jazz musicians were still not allowed to perform or rent rooms from "white only" hotels despite how much money they had during the 40s and 50s.
Extend all my arguments for now, and see ya in the next round :)
http://en.wikisource.org...) Coolie was a discriminatory term towards asians, proving that discrimination and oppression of the asian race was to such an extent that the state even put a derogatory term within its laws. It would be the equivalent of an 'Anti-Nigger Act'. Most asians were forced to work at low income jobs because they were barred from high ambitions due to discrimination. Asians had a similar negative stereotype of black Americans today. Today, as the US census proves, Asians, as a percentage, are superior to whites in both their economic and educated status ( http://www.census.gov...) Asains today are, in fact, looked up to and are often referred to as a 'model minority'. The asian race, formerly discriminated against and in deep poverty, has now risen above hardships to raise their socioeconomic status to become a 'model minority'. Blacks and Hispanics, however, have far lower socioeconomic statuses than the national average, causing the discrimination there is. However, if they raise above their socio-economic status they too could become 'model minorities'. I have noticed that when people think of disadvantaged racial minorities they think only of Blacks, Hispanics, and occasionally Native Americans. Why? Because the only other major racial group, asians, are not considered disadvantaged. Why? They have fulfilled the prophecy of Booker T. Washington.
There is little difference between one form of oppression to the other. Oppression, as defined by Merriam Webster, is 'the exercise of authority or power in a burdensome, cruel, or unjust manner.' Oppression in the form of race or due to a lack of power is cruel, unjust, and burdensome to those who receive it. Current AA only focuses on racial oppression, but socioeconomic status AA focuses on not only racial discrimination (it being tied to socioeconomic status), but oppression against those without power.
A common argument concerning AA is the reason why it exists is because of historical oppression of those concerned. However, as previously proven, racial oppression (which, by the way, also affected white ethnic groups as well) is not the only historical oppression affecting posterity. Oppression from the past, most specifically rooted in the oppression of the Gilded Age, has caused posterities' members of all races to suffer a disadvantaged life; not because they weren't smart enough or able enough, but because as my opponent has stated 'These limited opportunities happen to be based on nothing but sheer bad luck in terms of what kind of life people were born into.' History of oppression due to an unjust government concerns not only Hispanics and other minority races, but whites too. While it is not possible to give statistics because America has not made a 'census' or anything like it until recently, it is reasonable to say that children are psychologically and genetically proven to be a byproduct of their environment. A major reason why the poor are poor is due to the oppression of their fathers. This is a common, accurate, and solid argument for AA. However, what the status quo AA forgets is minorities and certain religious groups are where they are due to oppression to their fathers. This is proven by the unfair oppression of the Pullman Strike, Homestead Strike, and other events. Historical oppression not only affected blacks, Hispanics, and religious minorities. It has affected all or nearly all that are in poverty. To say it hasn't would be discrimination.
The purpose of AA, or at least the purpose I perceive, is to give those that are disadvantaged a greater chance to succeed. The only justifiable reason for AA is because those concerned are incredibly disadvantaged. As already proven, those that are most concerned have problems due to a low socioeconomic status. As my opponent has stated, socioeconomic AA (SAA, I will now call it) will ensure 'that some poor people are given the opportunity for success'. It will strongly limit the way elitists can oppress the poor and minorities. To ensure, as my opponent has recognized, the
poor person would no longer be economically disadvantaged' would end economic and racial discrimination to a tremendous or, at a best case scenario, absolute extent. However, there would still be competition in the economy because, while the poor would have a significant advantage, the rich would have significant advantages as well. It would be something no society in history has ever achieved. It would have an incredible impact on society because no one would be disadvantaged because of, as my opponent said, 'limited opportunities happen to be based on nothing but sheer bad luck in terms of what kind of life people were born into.' If this is not 'social progression' I don't know what is.
As my opponent has stated, people are biased despite laws against racial discrimination. AA would be no different. However, also as previously proven, discrimination and socioeconomic status are very closely intertwined. If SAA is put into action it would help end racism to the extent it can be ended. If AA is enacted racists would blame the success of minorities to their 'unfair advantage'. However, SAA also concerns the white man, leaving such arguments out.
As my opponent has stated, discrimination can rise above socioeconomic status (now will be called SES). However, hard discrimination has died down enough that it barley exists. Subtle discrimination, however, commonly exists not only among whites, but among blacks. Due to blacks' generally low SES they are, even currently, discriminated against. When people think of a black person, they often picture a gangster. This is why a black man and a white man with equal credentials are often not equal in their employer's eyes or people with black names are less likely to be hired than those with white names. Again, it's all about SES. Furthermore, the proof concerning Jazz Musicians is irrelevant in our day. They lived in a more discriminatory time. Popular black musicians now have no problem performing where they desire or selling records where they desire. Michael Jackson, a black musician, had the best selling album of all time.
There was early concern concerning women and the right to vote due to the belief their vote would completely change the political sphere. However, when given the right to vote, they voted along the same lines as men. (See 'American History, a Brief Survey') The way people vote does not concern the color of their skin, but their social environment. While most black people vote democrat, most blacks are poor or rose out of poverty. Wealthy blacks that were born wealthy nearly always vote Republican. Blacks in the military often are Republican. While there are exceptions, there are exceptions in all races. Social conditions create an individual's thought, not the color of his skin.
Martin Luther King jr. said 'I have a dream that my children will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character'. Current AA judges only based on the color of their skin. SAA looks at an individual's SES, or life's conditions, concerning their need for help.
Thank you for your debate and good luck in the next round.
Pro begins his round by talking about how Asians were once a discriminated against minority, though are now considered a 'model minority' due to their economic and educational prestige. However, you'll notice that this does not really address any of my arguments or AA at all. Yes, Asians have risen above oppression and indeed set a great standard for other oppressed people to follow. What does that have to do with Affirmative Action and why race should not play a part? Even though today Asians are considered a model minority, there is still Affirmative Action in their favor.
As I've stated in previous rounds, AA has many intended uses and purposes. One of them is to ensure diversity which leads to innovation and other advantages in the workplace. A benefit of a diverse workforce is the ability to tap into the many talents which employees from different backgrounds, perspectives, abilities and disabilities bring to the workplace . As such, some would consider AA beneficial as it would ensure all kinds of demographics get a chance to participate to maximize the experience and/or product of the company.
Pro's next point is that Affirmative Action is supposed to rectify situations of historical oppression. He rightfully notes that people from all colors and backgrounds have been oppressed in the past. Why then, he asks, is AA not offered to people of ALL color and races. The thing is, Pro is not exactly portraying AA in a clear light. White people DO benefit from Affirmative Action. For one thing, AA is supposed to ensure that people from all backgrounds have the opportunity to be included. In theory, this applies to white people as well if for some reason a situation arose where they somehow needed an edge.
For another, once again AA doesn't exist solely to help the minorities. The whole point is for *everyone* to be positively impacted by their inclusion and thus contribution. Even if AA exists in some cases just for minorities to set an example for the young people in society, positively impacting one person from that group can affect the positive impact they might have on the future.
In other words, while Affirmative Action does indeed attempt to rectify past injustice which may have led to a lack of opportunity, it serves a much wider and useful purpose. I mentioned several times in the last round that Pro has failed to respond to my evidence that people with "black names" are specifically not given call backs for job interviews. That shows that there is blatant evidence against that minority group today. So, even though many white groups (or Asian) may have been discriminated against in the past, there is not evidence - or Pro has not presented evidence - that the discrimination from then affects the way the group is viewed in society today.
On the other hand, we can see that blacks and Hispanics, for instance, are still wrongly racially profiled to the point where their opportunities are limited. Since Asians are now considered a "model race," then AA doesn't need to be in their favor most of the time. Similarly, "White America" generally runs everything; only eight black people have EVER been the CEO of a Fortune 500 company . Thus white people are not inherently discriminated against in business, politics, etc. -- hence why AA is not necessary (in most cases) for whites. So, economic welfare exists for the impoverished (regardless of race!), and Affirmative Action exists to include people from various groups.
Again, I think Pro's scope of Affirmative Action's aims are very limited. He continues, "The purpose of AA, or at least the purpose I perceive, is to give those that are disadvantaged a greater chance to succeed." The purpose, however, extends far beyond that: it aims to break down the wall of occupational segregation that excluded racial minorities and women from entire occupational sectors throughout American history . This, in turn, affects not only those individuals and groups of individuals but everyone in society. It also ensures that people are not specifically excluded on the basis of things like race or sex. Diversity is desirable and may not be achieved if left to chance. Additoinally, AA is useful in helping to continue fighting stereotypes or other misconceptions about gender and race.
So again - how are any of these benefits regarding AA applicable if based on income? If we take the above goals and repercussions, applying them to income does not make a lot of sense. For instance, suppose I said giving AA (ensuring access to opportunities) was given based on income. The people in most need may then only be (or for the most part significantly be) minorities like blacks and Hispanics. In that case, WHITES are underrepresented and not given certain opportunities. How would Pro make up for that disparity in representation - the thing AA tries to address in the first place? Further, if the main goals of AA include tapping into the many talents of people from different cultures, perspectives, abilities and disabilities, then if income is the basis this will not be achieved.
Pro writes, "The only justifiable reason for AA is because those concerned are incredibly disadvantaged." However, based on my explanation of AA, that's just not true. As I've said, AA can and does positively impact everyone in society - not just those who receive the boost. Pro also says, "[AA based on income] will strongly limit the way elitists can oppress the poor and minorities." Well first, not all poor people are minorities, and second, I've already explained how the poor (including minorities) receive government aid for opportunities via welfare and other financial assistance. AA exists on an individual basis to ensure diversity in a particular sphere; not to give an entire demographic a free pass to important positions.
Pro's final point of the round is that social conditions create an individual's thought - not the color of his skin. He notes that people vote not based on race, but on social environment. That's generally true. However, that still does not address any of the statements I made regarding the aims and benefits of AA. Keep in mind that we're not talking about voting patterns here. We're talking about representation. Pro seems to think that affirmative action exists solely to give minorities an edge because they're typically impoverished. His point is that not all minorities are impoverished therefore giving them an edge won't do much because they come from the same background as their peers (a privileged one). However, I've been trying to point out that AA exists not to help those black individuals affected achieve higher social status (or wealth), but rather to serve as a public symbol of the abolition of racism (or sexism).
For instance, Hillary Clinton ran for President in 2008. She is certainly not poor; she was a Senator and the former First Lady (before that, a lawyer -- far from impoverished). However, if she had been elected President, her status would have made a statement and/or impact for women everywhere. It doesn't matter that she is wealthy and powerful. What matters is that she represents a women in power. This helps show that women (or minorities) are CAPABLE, and therefore discrimination is unnecessary and unwarranted; individuals should be judged not on race or sex. The point is that AA therefore helps ensure certain people are given the opportunity to succeed regardless of race or sex, which will not only impact the results and dynamic of power, but also serve as a good example and stance against discrimination for the rest of society.
That's all for now -- back to Pro and good luck :)
My opponent sugjests that AA will create diversity by bringing minorities into higher SES in a way SAA could not. AA will in fact bring diversity, but only when color is the first and foremost concern on a society's mind. The 'many talents of people from different cultures, perspectives, abilities and disabilities' my opponent is so concerned about stem not from the color of your skin, but by the enviorment you've grown up in. This has been proven by psycology for decades (http://www-personal.umich.edu...). A black man born into wealth will think similarly ,have similar talents, and have a similar culturewith other black, white, asian, and hispanic men born into similar circumstances. The same is true with a white man born into poverty. He will think similarly, have similar talents, and live in a similar culture with other white, black, asian, and hispanic men born into poverty. Voting reflects this, as voting reflects the way an individual thinks. My opponent has agreed that ' social conditions create an individual's thought - not the color of his skin. He notes that people vote not based on race, but on social environment. That's generally true'. It is generally true because there are always exceptions.
SAA will give those in low SES to not only express their talents, ideas, and beleifs, but will be able to put them into action. Due to a lack of power and money, those with low SES rarely are able to do this. However, to be able to do this they will need help in aquiring the nessisary abilities and skills to rise to the top. SAA is able to do this. AA, with all due respect to my opponent, only makes sense in a color oreinted world.
My opponent beleives that AA will help needy whites as well as minority races. By definition it cannot. It was created to give disadvantaged minorites the advantage over those ethnic and religous groups generally in less need (http://www.archives.gov...) Because it steryotypes to such an extent it cannot help races that steryotypically do not steryotypically need help. The impoverished white male prodestant cannot, by definition, be helped by AA. However, the wealthy black muslim woman can be helped by it. As my opponent has stated ' even though many white groups (or Asian) may have been discriminated against in the past, there is not evidence - or Pro has not presented evidence - that the discrimination from then affects the way the group is viewed in society today.' The reason why this arguement still exists is because people are still racist. Those in favor of AA are not racist in the sense that they beleive minorities are inferior, but that they are so focused on race and religon they cannot see into the individual. Those in favor of AA, with all respect given, are more concerned about a diversity in color than in diversity in ideals, talents, and beleifs. What's worse is they actually beleive that color gives an individual certain ideals, talents, and beleifs. If that's not racism, I don't know what is. (However, they do have good intentions, so this beleif is not immoral, but simply misguided). SAA is concerned about helping those in need and spreading different ideals. It does not matter whether they be white, black, asian, or hispanic. All that matters is who they are. When people are focused on people and not on steryotypes that is when racism will end. AA does none of these. SAA does all of these. It is more inspiring to see an impoverished white male prodestant rise to the top because of all the obsticles he's had to face. The black muslim woman who is wealthy will not have nearly as many obsticles as the first. What is inspiring is that a society is focused on helping and individual in need because he or she is in need and they do not help based on steryotypes. My opponent has also stated the white race will generally not receive as much attention in SAA. This does not matter. What matters is those in need, whether they be white, asian, hispanic, or black, will receive help and guidence. Race does not matter. What matters is if you need help. People of all races do.
Finally, if the American people elected Hillary Clinton based on the fact that she is a woman it would send the message that America is still more concerned with sex than on quality and the individual. It would send the message America is still so focused on sex, and perhaps race and religon, that we cannot see the individual. It says we are still a nation very much focused on steryotypes. AA does not stand as a symbol of racism. It stands as a symbol of the continuation of the focous of race.
Finally, I would like to end on a quote by Dr. Martin Luther King jr: 'I have a dream that my children will not be judged based on the color of their skin, but on the content of their character'. I would like to add one more thing to Dr. King's dream: that all those who stand in need, whether they be white, black, hispanic, asian, native american, or any race, will receive help they need. I have that dream, Dr. King had that dream, and I hope all America has that dream.
Nevertheless, Pro continues to compare groups like blacks (targets for prejudice) to the so-called model minorities of groups like Asians and Jews who were also once discriminated against but rose above. However, this comparison ignores the unique history of discrimination against black people in America. Blacks have a 375 year history on this continent: 245 involving slavery, 100 involving legalized discrimination, and only 30 involving anything else. Jews and Asians, on the other hand, are populations that immigrated to North America and included doctors, lawyers, professors, and entrepreneurs among their ranks. To expect blacks to show the same upward mobility as Jews and Asians is to deny the historical and social reality that black people face .
Pro's concern is that even with AA, racism and discrimination would still exist, because most minorities would still be poor and therefore still discriminated against. While this is a valid concern, one option is to eliminate AA all-together. As I've said, welfare exists to help the poor, and AA exists to encourage diversity (among other goals). We've already established that not all impoverished people are minorities. Therefore, helping poor white guys get ahead will really not address the problems of blatant and inherent racism or sexism which AA seeks to eliminate.
Moreover, it will not allow for the opportunities and rewards that diversity ensures. I'm not sure how giving people opportunites based on SES will rectify his presented problem of continued discrimination. If his point has been that most minorities are poor, and we should help the poor, then wouldn't the same sentiment of "You're only here because of reverse racism" still apply? Of course instead of race it'd be SES, but the same stigma of an empowered minority would be attributed to AA and not their individual merits. That's why Pro's example regarding H. Clinton is comical; he says if she were elected due to her sex it would undermine her achievement... yet he favors empowering people based on SES which does the exact same thing.
Next, my opponent reminds us that "A black man born into wealth will think similarly, have similar talents, and have a similar culture with other Black, White, Asian, and Hispanic men born into similar circumstances." I have not denied this; however, as I said it ignores many of the other points I keep making. For instance, one of the reasons AA is helpful is to ensure that people aren't being excluded specifically BECAUSE of their race. In other words, if a perfectly capable and wealthy black man went to the job interview with the same credentials (and background, talents, etc.) as a wealthy white man, but doesn't get hired, racism may be to blame.
While it's true that diversity is one achieavable goal and benefit of AA, it's not the only one. Once again let's consider the statistic regarding job call-backs for those with black sounding names. A black person who may be just as privileged or cultured as a white applicant can be denied specifically based on his race, which AA seeks to prevent. Also, to clarify, people from impoverished backgrounds don't always vote the same way as Pro has implied. 'What's the Matter With Kansas' illustrates how white people in the south still vote Republican (conservative economics) despite their urban counterparts from the same SES tending to vote Liberal .
Throughout the last round, we can see that Pro continues to misrepresent the aims of AA. He writes, "SAA will give those in low SES to not only express their talents, ideas, and beleifs, but will be able to put them into action. Due to a lack of power and money, those with low SES rarely are able to do this." Once again, helping individuals succeed is NOT the goal of AA. Affirmative action seeks to increase the representation of women and minorities in areas of employment, education, and businesses from which they have been historically excluded. Granting AA based on SES as Pro suggests does nothing to further AA's agenda.
Pro continues, "My opponent beleives that AA will help needy whites as well as minority races. By definition it cannot." You'll notice I never said this -- What I said was that everyone can benefit from these policies, as they ensure diversity which I explained has many positive effects on society and in the workforce. For instance, I think I already explained that when women are in politics, certain topics simply are discussed more - such as childcare, education, abortion and healthcare to name a few. Studies show that without women in these positions of power, important topics like this (which many women are concerned about) often go ignored or stay in the background of political discussion.
Ensuring that women are engaged in these dialogs means that women in society have the opportunity to have their voices and concerns heard via the women in power. This is just one example of how AA can help the public at large in addition to the individual minorities (which again is part of the goal on a larger scale). This also negates Pro's point that "Those in favor of AA are more concerned about a diversity in color than in diversity in ideals, talents, and beliefs." Once again we can see that Pro continues to misrepresent the aims of AA. Diversity in color is SPECIFICALLY the point in many of the cases where AA is applied! Diversity of sex is also a specific aim in some cases.
Pro continues, "What's worse is they [supporters of AA] actually beleive that color gives an individual certain ideals, talents, and beliefs." I think it has become pretty apparent that Pro simply does not understand the various concepts behind AA which I will continue to address. I have explained how even if a black woman is helped via AA, and said black woman is wealthy (and comes from a similar bg to wealthy whites - with similar talents and beliefs), AA would still be effective.
Essentially Pro advocates color-blind policies, though he ignores several blatant realities. For instance, color-blind college admissions favor White students because of their earlier educational advantages. Color-blind seniority systems tend to protect White workers against job layoffs, because senior employees are usually White . Moreover, without affirmative action, the percentage of Black students at many selective schools would drop to only 2% of the student body . In other words, policies regarding color are still relavent in today's society - that's why AA exists the way it does.
Pro's biggest concern seems to be that AA based on racism will do nothing to cure prejudice in society. However, job discrimination is grounded in prejudice and exclusion, whereas AA is an effort to overcome prejudicial treatment through inclusion. The most effective way to cure society of exclusionary practices is to make special efforts at inclusion, which is exactly what AA does. Consider this analogy: if you gave a healthy person a high dose of vitamins or nutritional supplements, it could have negative or even damaging effects... but for a person whose system is out of balance, supplements are an efficient way to restore the body's balance .
Outta characters for now - back to ye.
 Ezorsky, G. (1991). Racism and justice: The case for affirmative action. Cornell University Press.
 Bowen, W. G., & Bok, D. (1998). The shape of the river: Long-term consequences of considering race in college and university admissions. Princeton University Press.
My opponent next points out that Jews and Asians, once discriminated against races, now provide the US with high SES professions. May I respectfully remind my opponent that Asians, as I have previously proven (refer back), were once barred from all decent jobs due to racism. It has been progressively, not imedietly, that they have obtained high SES and, in effect, ended racial prejudice against them.
My opponent has before stated that there are mulitple laws that assist the poor already. Firstly, I would like to point out that there are multiple laws, already proven in my debate, that fight against racism. Furthermore, the laws that help the poor only help the poor stay poor. Social mobility is a phenominal acomplishment. However, because it is so difficult to acheive it proves how tyranical the elitist can be. They often are prevented from success not because they aren't smart enough, not because they aren't hard working enough, but because, as my opponent has stated, 'These limited opportunities happen to be based on nothing but sheer bad luck in terms of what kind of life people were born into.' SAA is a law that attempts to eliminate much of or eliminate completely the unfair advantage of birth. It would be unfair to whites, blacks, hispanics, asians, native americans, or any other race to be born in a situation where there is so little likelyhood they will succeed. Being a minority is not a disadvantage in itself, but being born into low SES or being steryotyped as an ineffective or even dangerous member of society due to generalsations concerning your race is. The wealthy, capable black man my opponent keeps refering to is obviosly a victum of racism. To eliminate racism one must chop out the roots. If AA instead of SAA is put into action, people will 'STILL BE BIASED ANYWAYS' and still deny him the job. However, if the roots are cut out the ideal of racism will be proven false and therefore die. Furthermore, including the poor white man in SAA will end racism. Impoverished people, regardless of their race, would be given equal opprotunity. Race would not be a focous or factor. You are looked upon not as black or white, but as a human being. That truly was MLK's dream.
Finally, with all respect, race in and of itself does not create a culture. Social conditions create a culture. Integrating people with ideals, beleifs, and talents assosiated with low SES would create far more diversity than only being intrested in the integration of race in and of itself. I have already adiquetly proven this (refer back) As I have previously stated, there are always exceptions. Not every wealthy voter, no matter what race he is, will vote directly based on SES. In fact, the point that there is still variation among black voters within various classes further proves that social condtion, not race, is responsible for beleifs because the same can be said for members of all races concerning their voting habits. If it is true, as my opponent has stated, that diversity in color and sex for the sake of diversity in color and sex, is the central focus of AA, than my opponent has concerned that AA truly is a racist ideology. MLK dreamed of a day where no one would be judged by the color of their skin. AA clearly assumes MLK's dream is somewhat false and therefore can be bended. SAA has a firm loyalty to Dr. King's dream to not only judge others based on who they are but to help others based on their need regardless of race.
My opponent beleives that SAA would not work because it would create a racist society. However, as I have previously stated, SAA is not concerned with the color of your skin, but on the degree of your need. If 'Color-blind seniority systems tend to protect White workers against job layoffs, because senior employees are usually White' they are not color blind. They see white as superior to black. However, sometimes such events occur not because of racism but because perhaps the white worker may legidimatley be a better employee than the black man. If this is the case than those accusing others of racism are racist themselves. They cannot understand that being nondiscrimniatory requires one to subject members of all races to the same laws. If one violates a law or works poorly, whether they be white or black, they will be punished in the same manner as if a member of another race had done the same thing.
I would like to thank my opponent for an enjoyable, challenging, and eye opening debate. I had a run for my money in this debate and complement my opponent on his or her intellegence and talent. I wish my opponent the best of luck in the voting period. To my opponent: thank you and good luck.
* Not all minorities are poor; AA helps minorities regardless of class.
* Even if poor minorities were put on the same economic playing field, racism will still occur -- proof lies in my example regarding black names not getting call-backs regardless of their qualifications or SES.
Pro exclaims, "SAA roots out the cause of racism, kills it, and ensures equal opprotunity for all." This is simply not true. Even if minorities were more economically able, racism can and probably would still occur. Racism is rooted in a lot more than class; proof is that there are many poor white people and yet there is not a problem with white racism in this country.
Once again, let's see what elevating people based on class does directly for racism: nothing. It also does nothing to eliminate or reduce poverty on a grand scale. Further, let's not forget that all throughout this debate Pro has ignored one important factor in affirmative action - sexism. AA policies address sexism, but Pro's suggestion of using SES for AA completely ignores this. In fact, Pro's *only* point in defense of his SAA policy is that many people who are poor happen to be minorities, thus it *may* help decrease racism... very unlikely.
This is a highly idealistic policy that negates the idea that AA cannot possibly empower an entire impoverished race. Instead, it works on an individual scale, helping a few individuals flourish whereas they might not have had the opportunity otherwise (based on race), and hope that their experience positively impacts minorities in the future - i.e. President Obama's presidency may inspire young blacks to have lofty goals as well. Under Pro's policy, using SES means AA could easily help someone who is male or white -- two groups that certainly don't need help via AA.
Pro notes that impoverished people come from all backgrounds and deserve help - including white males. However, some women and minorities rely on AA for inclusion or equality even if they are given financial help from the government (unlike their white male counterparts). That is precisely why AA > SAA. To continue, Pro notes, "May I respectfully remind my opponent that Asians, as I have previously proven were once barred from all decent jobs due to racism. It has been progressively, not imedietly, that they have obtained high SES and, in effect, ended racial prejudice against them." Of course this ignores everything I said about Asians and their success in the previous rounds. To repeat, the comparison between blacks and Asians is flawed -- Blacks have a 375 year history on this continent: 245 involving slavery, 100 involving legalized discrimination -- many Asians who immigrated to North America included doctors, lawyers, professors, and entrepreneurs among their ranks -- meaning there is not a level playing field whatsoever for comparison. Pro has completely ignored this reality and chose not to address it.
Black racism is deeply ingrained in American society, and social, economic and cultural factors place the two minorities worlds apart. Besides, what does SAA have to do with Asians? So far he's proven that Asians were discriminated against (based on race) yet prevailed. Since SAA doesn't exist, that means they improved their lives without it. So, this example doesn't exactly help prove his point that SAA is the answer to improve racial tensions and sentiments. Instead, we can see that Asians have been sucessful over blacks for precisely the reasons I said: they did not have the same history or standing when first arriving in America. Instead, they were educated, and were able to use that education to create opportunity that led to their success. Now racial tensions against Asians are minimal in the professional sphere. AA seeks to ensure women and educated minorities are able to display their talents and hopefully ahve the same turn-around as Asians. Again, AA often gives preferential treatment of socioeconomically disadvantaged people whose position is in part due to oppression or slavery in particular .
Moving on, Pro continues to misrepresent the aims of AA. For instance, he writes "Being a minority is not a disadvantage in itself, but being born into low SES or being steryotyped as an ineffective or even dangerous member of society due to generalsations concerning your race is." This is FALSE. Being born into a minority inherently gives you a disadvantage in a prejudiced society. This is something Pro is ignoring or perhaps just glossing over in order to give his suggestion merit. However, the fact is that being born a minority is indeed another hurdle in addition to being born poor which I have outlined and explained in this debate.
Nevertheless, Pro keeps insisting that SAA will eliminate racism. To repeat, this policy would not give preferential treatment to blacks (or women!), so how can that directly address sexism or racism in particular? This would only make sense if it was employed on such a grand scale that nearly ALL impoverished blacks were given opportunities. However, that is simply far from realistic. In reality, AA only helps ensure that qualified individuals are not prohibited because of their race. That doesn't mean giving unqualified individuals opportunities just because they're black or poor.
There are several types of AA including tie-breaker, appointment and outreach. The outreach sect specifically seeks to give minorities in particular advice and other tools to help them find success. Again, since Pro's point is that many minorities are impoverished, then his cause (reducing impoverished minorities) will be directly impacted via AA as it stands now. Many poor minorities will receive special help or attention that can help them make decisions about a path (i.e. promoting education) and perhaps even selectively helped because of their race thereby leaving one less poor minority. However, the issue of racism under Pro's suggestion still is not directly rectified.
Again, a poor white person could easily be helped (or helped more often - exemplifying more blatant racism in the system), which simply leaves less resources for the minorities whom AA is supposed to directly address. AA is supposed to address the reality that many people are excluded BECAUSE of racism. That concept would not be relevant regarding SAA. With SAA, people would be given an edge just because they are poor. The result could very possibly still be an all-white environment. Pro goes to great lengths to make it seem as if class is the only important factor in diversity, but that is obviously not true. Moreover, this once again ignores that seeing minorities or women in particular succeed is a specific aim of AA. Pro essentially wants racism and sexism out of the equation, though those are specifically what AA seeks to address.
Finally, Pro brings up the issue of "color blind" policies which I've explained (and Pro seemingly agrees) are near impossible. In short, Pro criticizes AA as a superficial solution that does not address deeper societal problems by redistributing wealth and developing true educational equality. However, AA was never proposed as a cure-all solution to inequality. Rather, it was intended only to redress discrimination in hiring and academic admissions. In assessing the value of AA, the question is this: does AA help counteract the continuing injustice caused by discrimination? The research record suggests, unequivocally, that it does .
Thanks, Pro, for this great debate.
 Jaffrelot, Christopher. India's Silent Revolution: The rise of lower castes in northern India (2003). pp. 321.
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