The Instigator
LLAMA
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Dorb
Con (against)
Winning
5 Points

Affirmative Action

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Dorb
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/24/2010 Category: Society
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,251 times Debate No: 12407
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (1)

 

LLAMA

Pro

Affirmative Action is a necessary part of today's society and it shall be the topic of this debate. First, I will provide definitions so that there is no confusion in the debate and the argument doesn't turn into one over semantics as so many debates fall to while avoiding the topic, which can be entertaining, but avoids the topic at hand. So, affirmative action is the active effort to improve the employment and educational opportunities for minorities. [1] I believe this is very necessary in our society and is something that (at the moment) we cannot do without. It may be possible that in the far future as hate crimes go down and religion dies out and people learn to accept things instead of wasting their time hating that we could be able to do away with affirmative action but that won't happen any time soon since we have groups such as the Klu Klux Klan and the Westboro Ministries. [2 and video]

Affirmative action is necessary because America is a country that is flawlessly blossoming. Flawlessly blossoming in hatred. Well, since we seem to disregard the 14th amendment in the idea that a persons right to an opinion is more highly valued than a persons right to not be discriminated against, thank goodness the government does stick up for minorities with affirmative action. We have hate in this country therefore we need something to even the playing field a bit. If we didn't have this, there would be blacks that would never be hired, gays just coming out in middle or high school being expelled from schools and not accepted to others and inner city students being denied job opportunities that they are just as capable of doing than their suburban-raised peers.

First off, without affirmative action, the discrimination in America would run the schools and businesses and the country could very possibly fall into a segregated state. If the college dean didn't want to allow blacks or women into his college, then there would be an all white male college. Discriminating and stereotypical. We need to encourage mixing of diversity to allow people to learn about each other and have a much more open society otherwise, hate groups such as the KKK or Westboro Church would gain members and return the country to a state of oppression. Anyone want to go back to slavery days?

Without affirmative action, minorities might have to live under a stereotype for innumerable amounts of years which is completely unjust and inhumane. Affirmative action encourages us to broaden our horizons as a society and stop discrimination. African-Americans lived for centuries under a stereotype that they were less capable than whites. This was however broken by affirmative action, otherwise that may never have happened and to this very day it is very possible that Africans could have been hated just as they were in their slavery and the Klu Klux Klan could have run wildly through the streets slaughtering black people mercilessly. Affirmative action keeps society from moving back into the ignorance that once existed and which we can realize now that is completely false. Without it, it is very possible that we may disintegrate back into groups of witch-burners.

We need affirmative action to counter existing hate. The gay community would be nowhere without affirmative action. We would all be broke and homeless in a good section of the country as in 30 states, LGBT people can be fired solely on the basis of their sexuality. The same would happen in schools and colleges and other places. In the other 20 states with laws prohibiting this however, affirmative action keeps LGBT people from losing their jobs. [4] We need affirmative action to counter hate and discrimination that goes on in our society, otherwise a good number of gay people would be fired simply because their boss doesn't like them or the bible tells that boss to hate them. Is this right? Of course not.

I will extend my arguments in the next round. Until then, I anxiously await Con's response!

1 http://www.merriam-webster.com...
2 http://www.kkk.bz...

4 http://gayrights.change.org...
Dorb

Con

I have tried to locate Pro's openings arguments in R1 and have reduced it to the following claims:

1. Affirmative Action is a necessary part of today's society.
2. Affirmative action is necessary because America is a country that is flawlessly blossoming in hatred. We disregard the 14th amendment; a person's right to an opinion is more highly valued than a person's right to not be discriminated against. We need affirmative action to even the playing field (because there is hate).
3. Without affirmative action, the country would fall in a segregated state because of pervasive discrimination.
4. Without affirmative action, it may have never happened that African-American's were able to show that they were as capable as whites.
5. Without affirmative action, we may disintegrate into groups of witch-burners (or their symbolic equivalent today).
6. The gay community would be nowhere without affirmative action. They would all be broke and homeless, as in 30 states, LGBT people can be fired solely on the basis of their sexuality. Affirmative action keeps LGBT people from losing their jobs.

These are all very interesting claims, and I will wait till the next round to see what evidence my opponent will provide and how my opponent will argue for these claims before I address any of them in particular and in any detail.

Until then, I will simply begin my case against affirmative action by giving a brief overview of the central arguments I have against it. These are my introductory contentions:

1. Affirmative action does not end the hatred and persecution of minorities. In other words, affirmative action does not solve the problem of minority-hatred. What can solve this problem is employing stricter laws against discrimination and hate speech, including making affirmative action illegal (see contention below for the contention that affirmative action is itself a form of discrimination).
2. Affirmative action punishes non-minority groups and thereby perpetuates the same discriminatory practices that affirmative action is intended to fight. This position was powerfully articulated by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas in Adarand v. Pena (1995): "It is irrelevant whether a government's racial classifications are drawn by those who wish to oppress a race or by those who have a sincere desire to help those thought to be disadvantaged. In each instance, it is racial discrimination, pure and simple" [1]. We see this same problem in Hopwood v. State (1996), a Supreme Court case in which Cheryl Hopwood sued the University of Texas when she was denied admission to the University of Texas Law School even though her application, including test scores and grades, was stronger than some of the minority candidates who were admitted [2]. In short, affirmative action is a form of reverse discrimination.
3. With reference to Pro's statement, "It may be possible that in the far future as hate crimes go down and religion dies out and people learn to accept things instead of wasting their time hating that we could be able to do away with affirmative action but that won't happen any time soon since we have groups such as the Klu Klux Klan and the Westboro Ministries." I argue that affirmative action, if it will be illegal in the future, is illegal now. In the Supreme Court Case Grutter v. Bollinger (2003), Justice Thomas states the same position, contending that if the "racial preferences" that a law school employs will be illegal in 25 years, they are "illegal now," for the Constitution, if it means anything, "means the same thing today as it will in 300 months" [3]. Indeed, for Thomas, what is at stake is the question of whether the Constitution has an unchanging meaning to which we are obliged to adhere, or whether, on the other hand, the Constitution is a dynamic, living document. Needless to say, this argument is controversial, but I firmly agree with Justice Thomas: the Constitution, if it is to have any meaning at all, must have an unchanging meaning.
4. Affirmative action does not truly help the disadvantaged. Affirmative action only helps minorities, irrespective of their socioeconomic status. As such, many who are disadvantaged will be punished by affirmative action just as many who are not disadvantaged will be aided by affirmative action.

Sources:
[1] http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com...
[2] http://www.nacua.org...
[3] http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com...
Debate Round No. 1
LLAMA

Pro

LLAMA forfeited this round.
Dorb

Con

As my opponent forfeited his round, my arguments in the previous round are extended.
Debate Round No. 2
LLAMA

Pro

My apologies as I did not have the time available to me to post my argument last round. But anyway, onto Con's claims!

1. "Affirmative action does not end hatred"
I never said that it did, just that it is an effective way to level the playing field for minorities that would otherwise be at a disadvantage since society does not look upon them as highly as a majority.

2. "Affirmative action punishes majorities"
Affirmative action does not punish anyone except for those who harbor hatred or discriminate against a certain group of people. The purpose of affirmative action is to give special consideration to people who belong to minority groups when it comes to applying for a job or getting into a college or private school of some sort. [1] In most cases when people apply for something, the person who reviews the application does not even see the person to begin with and only if they identify as belonging to a minority group does affirmative action make an impact on them. Living and being part of a minority group is not easy since people who do belong to minorities face discrimination on a daily basis and may even be victims of hate crimes. Would it be fair to be harassed, referred to by derogatory phrases, or even be beaten or hurt and then on top of all of that worry if your application went through solely on the basis of your skin color? While people who belong to majorities do not have to worry about their emotional and physical safety, they also do not have to worry about facing discrimination when it comes to applying for a job or a school. Affirmative action is society's way of saying, "Minorities face too many hardships in their lives and while we can only do so much to provide for their safety, we can ensure that they will have equal opportunities when it comes to being employed or educated."

3. "Affirmative Action is illegal"
In the statement that Con quoted from my opening argument, I did not mean that affirmative action would be illegal. I was only stating that it may become unnecessary in the future sometime. Right now, affirmative action is only ensuring that a person be considered for a job or education that, without this enforcement, may otherwise have been ignored simply if that employer didn't like blacks, gays or women. Affirmative action is only ensuring that each person be considered equally and if there is less discrimination in the future, then affirmative action would not have to enforce equality as strongly as it does now.

4. "Affirmative action is ineffective"
Affirmative action is meant to provide for minorities who have most likely been affected by discrimination or by hate crimes. It has nothing to do with the economic status of the people and Con can't expect it to be doing the job of welfare and unemployment when affirmative action simply IS NOT welfare or unemployment.

Conclusion:
Affirmative action is the necessary reenforcement that people need to make sure that minorities will be able to apply for the same jobs that majorities can, join the same groups that majorities can and be educated in the same ways that are available to majorities. Without it our society would degrade itself back into the discrimination we saw towards the African American community where they had specific water fountains, bathrooms, bus seats and every measure was taken to ensure blacks did not interact with whites. Would this be right? Would this even be moral? Affirmative action does not allow peoples personal feelings towards minorities to play a role in their decision on whether that specific person be allowed into their school, their club or group or be employed in their business and it is necessary that things stay this way in our society as long as discrimination is present.

1. http://www.merriam-webster.com...
Dorb

Con

In R1, I provided a powerful quote from Court Justice Clarence Thomas in Adarand v. Pena (1995), a quote that merits being repeated: "It is irrelevant whether a government's racial classifications are drawn by those who wish to oppress a race or by those who have a sincere desire to help those thought to be disadvantaged. In each instance, it is racial discrimination, pure and simple" [same source as in R1]. I do not see where Pro has addressed this argument or the other 2 Supreme Court cases I gave as supporting evidence.

In fact, it seems to me that Pro has agreed with me. Pro states, "The purpose of affirmative action is to give special consideration to people who belong to minority groups when it comes to applying for a job or getting into a college or private school of some sort."

This "special consideration" does not create equal opportunities; through "special consideration," minority groups clearly gain an advantage over non-minority groups.

Pro also states, "Would it be fair to be harassed, referred to by derogatory phrases, or even be beaten or hurt and then on top of all of that worry if your application went through solely on the basis of your skin color?"

Obviously, no, it would not be fair. That is precisely why affirmative action is a form of reverse discrimination. Without affirmative action, minorities would not have to worry about being accepted solely on the basis of their racial identity; they could rest assured, without affirmative action, that they were accepted based solely on their own individual merits.

Taking this argument a step further, we can see that affirmative action might lead to more racial discrimination: because people might think minorities only got their degree and job based on the color of their skin, they may refuse to use their services, fearing lesser quality.

(Parenthetically, I would like to note that I am not taking this or the previous statement that Pro makes out of context; if the reader thinks otherwise, I ask that he/she look at the place where Pro actually makes these statements to see that they are indeed part of Pro's argument.)

Pro has not shown that affirmative action is not a form of reverse discrimination. Instead, Pro has tried to argue that affirmative action is necessary even though it is reverse discrimination.

But the reasons Pro says minorities need affirmative action are not justified. In his conclusion, Pro states, "affirmative action is the necessary reenforment that people need to make sure that minorities will be able to apply for the same jobs that majorities can, join the same groups that majorities can and be educated in the same ways that are available to majorities."

Problem is, without affirmative action, minorities still have all of these opportunities available: minorities will still be able to apply for the same jobs, join the same groups, and be educated in the same ways as majorities. What affirmative action does is give minority groups "special consideration," give an advantage when equal opportunities already exist.

Finally, in an extreme position, Pro concludes, "Without it [affirmative action] our society would degrade itself back into the discrimination we saw towards the African American community where they had specific water fountains, bathrooms, bus seats and every measure was taken to ensure blacks did not interact with whites."

I highly doubt that this would happen. First off, society, in general, treats both minority and majority groups equally regardless of the existence of affirmative action or not. Notice that our current president is black, that our secretary of state is a woman, and that there a Hispanic woman is in the Supreme Court. There is little chance that without affirmative action our society would "degrade itself back," as Pro seems to think. In fact, the groups that express racial hatred are themselves a minority; the effects of racial hatred today are not pervasive enough to justify affirmative action.

In fact, Pro admits that "affirmative action does not end hatred," "just that it is an effective way to level the playing field for minorities that would otherwise be at a disadvantage since society does not look upon them as highly as a majority."

But if affirmative action only treats the symptoms of racial hatred and not the cause itself, what is the point, especially if it creates further inequalities and further stimulates racial hatred. In conclusion, I believe that the relatively small (compared with the past) degree of racial hatred today does not justify affirmative action because affirmative action is itself a form of reverse discrimination (and thereby perpetuates racial hatred), it gives minority groups an unfair advantage, and in the end, it does nothing to end racial hatred, only to cover it up. What we need, I argue, are stricter laws against racial discrimination, not affirmative action.

Thank you. Vote Con
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by brian_eggleston 6 years ago
brian_eggleston
I agree with Roy for once.

There are certain groups and communities that are under-represented in the best universities and in the professions but direct affirmative action is unfair on those from the mainstream who are on the borderline of achievement and who might miss out on a place in a top college or company or government department as a result.

The answer is to provide maximum possible opportunities for individuals from all socio-economic and ethnic groups to reach their full potential under their own steam.
Posted by RoyLatham 6 years ago
RoyLatham
Affirmative action is racial discrimination. In California, state schools were adding 200 points to the SAT scores of anyone with an Hispanic surname. It was ended by a statewide ballot that put into law the NAACP charter statement on racial equality. Kentucky is doing genetic testing for scholarship awards. It is absurd, and contrary to equal rights under the law.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 6 years ago
RoyLatham
LLAMADorbTied
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