The Instigator
gavin.ogden
Con (against)
Losing
22 Points
The Contender
m93samman
Pro (for)
Winning
37 Points

Affirmative Action

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/9/2010 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 3,746 times Debate No: 13976
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (41)
Votes (13)

 

gavin.ogden

Con

I would like to give a sincere thanks to my opponent for accepting this important, and certainly relevent debate. My arguments will be to prove that Affirmative Action is a racist practice, and is detrimental to our country. I will make no arguments in my first round, so I would appreciate it, if my opponent would also stick to introductions, and definitions.

Thanks again to my opponent, and to the readers for your time and consideration. On with the debate.
m93samman

Pro

I thank my opponent for this debate, and I slightly regret taking it because I have two final exams coming up. Nonetheless, I'll just regard this as an intellectual break from the studying that I may or may not be doing.

As pertains to the resolution, I don't feel the need to define any terms. I believe we can both hold to the same "Affirmative Action"; with no semantics such as "I think the act of affirming is bad, which is why I am negating the resolution." That being said, I'll give a brief intro and hand the debate over to con.

Affirmative action is a taboo. Generally speaking, I would disagree with the policy, but at the same time the extensive research I have done over time has led me to appreciate both sides of the story. The fact of the matter is, there are compelling arguments both for and against affirmative action. Its purpose is to level the playing field of opportunity in the US across the racial spectrum; whether or not it is currently needed or was ever needed is controversial.

My opponent will be arguing against the policy, and I will be attempting to defend its merits. I wish my opponent luck, and a happy holiday season.
Debate Round No. 1
gavin.ogden

Con

Thanks again for accepting this debate, and I hope it does not impede too much on your studies. I will proceed with my arguments against AA, and look forward to fun and challenging debate.

The term, Affirmative Action, originated in the U.S. during the Kennedy administration. Its initial purpose was to promote equal opportunity, without regard to race, religion and national origin. It was first implemented by Lyndon Johnson in 1965 and required federal contractors to take affirmative action in hiring, regardless of these, and women were added in 1968. I completely agree with equal opportunity for all Americans, which is precisely the reason I instigated this debate. There are several reasons why these policies defeat their own purpose, and furthermore, they are detrimental to employers, employees, minorities, and society as a whole.
http://en.wikipedia.org...

1. These policies absolutely discriminate based on race, in the hiring process, as well as in college admissions. They force quotas to be set in place, and businesses and schools MUST hire and admit a certain number of minorities, regardless of whether there are more suitable candidates. This is the very definition of discrimination, and has no place in America. Again, I would like to reiterate that I support EQUAL rights for ALL Americans. I quote the original Kennedy executive order:"not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, creed, color, or national origin", "take affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed, and that employees are treated during employment, without regard to their race, creed, color, or national origin". Clearly, this is not reflective of the current policies, which actually ensure discrimination based on race, as well as ensuring that some applicants will NOT be employed strictly because they are white. How could this happen? Apparently, California and Michigan had the same question, and banned AA in their states. My point here is that Affirmative Action is a self defeating proposition.

2. These policies are absolutely detrimental to businesses. Why should a company be forced to hire a less qualified candidate for a position within their organization? A chain is only as strong as its weakest link, so as an employer myself, I only hire the strongest candidate for a job, period. When companies are forced to hire less qualified employees, their workforce is diluted, so obviously the products or services that company offers are going to be negatively affected, lowering the value of the product and the company overall. Moreover, many governmental agencies are bound by AA laws. This is an unbelievable travesty, as these are the agencies responsible for our nation's stability! As my opponent, the readers, and hopefully our citizens are aware, our stability is in doubt already.

3. These ill conceived policies were meant to advance minorities, however, I believe they have the opposite effect. While it helps a less qualified individual obtain admittance into a school, or obtain a job, it hinders the advancement of that group as a whole. For instance, what possible good could come out of lowering the bar for members of a certain race? What parents would want their child to have a lower standard set for them? They reduce the incentives of both the minorities and the majority to perform at their best. The former because doing so is unnecessary and the latter because it can prove futile. thereby resulting in a decline of standards for society as a whole. Affirmative Action is not only ineffective, but detrimental to minorities who have lifted themselves out of poverty through actual hard work and determination. Why would we attempt discredit this by creating an uneven playing field?
http://www.intellectualconservative.com...

In reflection, it is not debatable whether these policies are racist. They clearly are, and I believe my argument that they are detrimental to our country is absolutely valid. I will end my round, and anxiously await very strong argument from m93samman. Thanks you for this forum, DDO.
http://www.answers.com...
m93samman

Pro

I thank my opponent for his response.

Like I said before, we agree on the basis of what affirmative action is, although I'm going to have to disagree with my opponent's position for a few reasons. I'll begin simply by saying affirmative action stretches farther outside the workplace and school than anyone reading this debate probably imagines; personally, I was shocked to find out what I'm about to present in this case.

== Content ==
o Arguments (Pro Case)
o Refutation
o Conclusion
o Sources
==========

o Arguments (Pro Case)

1. Affirmative Action continues to be necessary to compensate for past discrimination.

A. Discrimination in Housing continues to disadvantage minorities in America

With respect to housing, black homebuyers and renters experience continued discrimination, an increase since the 1990s, although down a bit from the 1980s. African-Americans continue to be less likely than whites to own homes: 47.9% percent compared to 75.8%. When they do own homes, they are likely to live in high-poverty neighborhoods with lower home values than those in comparable white neighborhoods. This means a lower property tax for funding public schools and less wealth accumulation from rising home values. A direct effect of residential segregation is that it generally places minority job seekers beyond the reach of employment growth and opportunity. Moreover, black homeowners are more likely than their white counterparts to get subprime home purchase loans and to pay higher refinancing loans. To pour salt into the wound, housing discrimination laws, designed to prevent these very situations, have been woefully under-enforced. [1]

B. Intergenerational wealth transfer to this date perpetuates the vestiges of slavery.

In The Mother of All Racial Preferences, noted anti-racist Tim Wise sums up the issue of intergenerational wealth as follows: White baby boomers are benefiting from the largest transfer of wealth in American history as they inherit their parents' estates. Some of that wealth dates back to the years of slavery, when Blacks were forced to work for free while their white owners and the American economy accumulated the benefits of their toil. Another large category of the transferred wealth is land, much of it stolen by the American government from Native Americans and Mexicans and sold for a pittance to white settlers. For the average white family, however, some of the largest sources of wealth are the result of racial preferences in government policies that were started in the 20th century. [2]

2. Poverty rates are disparagingly higher in minorities.

In 2000, after a decade of remarkable economic prosperity, the poverty rate among African Americans and Latinos taken together was still 2.6 times greater than that for white Americans. [3]

A few simple numbers illustrate this point. Whites have a median net worth in the United States that is ten times greater than blacks. While 11 percent of whites live below the poverty line, 27 percent of blacks struggle with poverty. [4]

The implication of all of the above is as follows: we have a timeline that allows us to continue to live in the 17th and 18th centuries with the inadequacies afforded to minorities by slavery. Because of intergenerational wealth transfer, we see that the poverty blacks were freed into after the civil war was absolutely destitute. As they began buying homes, naturally, they would move into low-value neighborhoods that are affordable on their daunt budgets. Given that they would all flock to the same neighborhoods in search of a roof under their heads, minorities would congregate in these valueless areas, property wise. Moreover, a low property value means low property taxes. These taxes fund schools; since the schools are so underfunded, you have a distraught learning environment with unmotivated teachers and inadequate resources- a recipe for failure. It is only fair that we give these kids who don't have the tools necessary to perform at a par level the ability to at least get a shot at the big time- affirmative action provides this equal opportunity. The story of Cedric Jennings Jr. in "A Hope in the Unseen" by Ron Suskind best illustrates this story, and rather dramatically might I add.

o Refutation

1. Turn this argument Pro. This is not simply discrimination; it is reverse discrimination. It solves for the problems of the past by identifying the clearly racially based discrepancies across the socio-economic spectrum and giving preference to them. In the future after such menacing disparities are overcome, affirmative action will slowly fade into the history books.

2. Cross apply refutation 1; moreover, practically speaking my opponent has shown no tangible harms to any businesses. If you look around you today, you would see that the US has the highest economic consumption in so many respects on the planet. Housing; financial reserve; GDP; etc. [5]

3. Cross-apply the Pro case; look at it analogically. If whites are pole vaulting with a 10 foot pole and and minorities are pole vaulting with a 5 foot pole, I would *probably* lower the bar for minorities.

o Conclusion

Con has not provided any tangible harms from affirmative action; one thing I personally dislike about affirmative action is that it does basically call itself out as a racist policy. But it proves itself to be necessary. We look to the pro case for the problems in society, and the solution is ultimately affirmative action.

With that, we'll return to con.

o Sources

[1] Reginald Shuford, (Sr. Attorney, Racial Justice Program, ACLU), CAMPBELL LAW REVIEW, Spr. 2009, 520-521.

[2] Reginald Shuford, (Sr. Attorney, Racial Justice Program, ACLU), CAMPBELL LAW REVIEW, Spr. 2009, 519-520.

[3] Alan Jenkins, (Dir., The Opportunity Agenda), POVERTY: OPPOSING VIEWPOINTS SERIES, 2008, 109-110.

[4] Mike Magee, (Sr. Fellow in Health Policy, Center for Aging Services Technology), HOME-CENTERED HEALTH CARE, 2007, 82.

[5] http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 2
gavin.ogden

Con

Thank you, m93samman, for an excellent second round. If there was ever an argument for AA, I'm sure that would be it, however, let me answer with my final arguments, and closing points.

My opponent says AA is still necessary to compensate for past discrimination. As I pointed out, This practice truly began over forty years ago, and there is no evidence to prove that it has had any success whatsoever. This practice has NEVER worked, and will NEVER work. Reverse discrimination is still discrimination, and is the WRONG policy for the U.S.

My opponents argument for housing is irrelevant. There are absolutely ZERO laws that force anyone in this country to live anywhere. In fact, ALL laws are the same for ALL people in this country, except AA. The laws have changed in this country to provide equal opportunity for all, but the problem is the mentality has not changed. Also, it is already illegal to turn someone down for a loan based on skin color. Obtaining financing is based on one's credit, not their race. If someone ruins their credit, it doesn't matter what color they are, they are going to have to live accordingly. That is not an argument for AA.

My opponent's argument for average median income is valid, however, I believe that Asian Americans are a great example of a people who have succeeded in this country, without AA. In this country, the only thing one needs to move up economically, is the fortitude and perseverance to overcome some hardship, instead of expecting a handout. Instead of playing the role of the victim, people should set goals, and do what it takes to achieve them, without resorting to reverse racism.

" Cross-apply the Pro case; look at it analogically. If whites are pole vaulting with a 10 foot pole and and minorities are pole vaulting with a 5 foot pole, I would *probably* lower the bar for minorities." This is my opponents refutation. While it seems like a good one, my argument is for minorities to get themselves a 10 foot pole, instead of playing a different sport than the rest of us. Period.

My opponent states I have provided no tangible harms of AA. I disagree. I believe any racist policy is harmful, regardless of what race benefits. It is unconstitutional, for one thing. Moreover, it keeps racial boundaries in place, rather than removing them. If this country continues to keep racial boundaries in place, people will continue to see the differences between the races, instead of the similarities. I say, remove the boundaries, let equality be the standard, and end the last racist law in America.

Thanks again to my opponent for an extremely enjoyable debate, and to the readers, for your time and consideration in voting. I look forward to my opponent's final round, as I am sure it will be a good one.
m93samman

Pro

Thanks, gavin.ogden, for what was definitely an interesting rebuttal. I will do my best to hold to the same standards you have in this debate.

== Content ==
o Refutations
o Conclusion
o Sources
==========

o Refutations

My opponent begins by claiming that Affirmative Action has not worked. We look here [1] to see that, as a matter of fact, minority achievements have been steadily and surely been increasing. We can extrapolate this in both directions to see that, with time, Affirmative Action has definitely been working, minimally or not.

As for the housing argument, we look into more detail. What my sources show is that minorities are primarily subjugated into poorer neighborhoods. As regards whether or not there is discrimination; to my opponent's shock (and mine, when I found out) there is. [2]

From the study provided, we have:

QUOTE{

- Racial and ethnic minorities still confront unlawful discrimination approximately one out of every five times they inquire about the availability of homes to purchase or rent (Turner et al. 2002).

- complaints... (Greene 2006) have recently been filed charging Craigslist and other web sites with violating the federal Fair Housing Act due to the discriminatory content of selected ads. Among the comments that have appeared in these ads are the following: "Not racist, but white only;" and "Applicants must be gay, white or light-skinned Hispanic males" (Filosa 2006; Hughlett 2006).

- Berry and Hogan (2008) focus on discrimination in the electronic rental housing market in Toronto, a racial and ethnic context similar to metropolitan areas in the U.S. They find that those with Asian, African-American, and Arab-sounding names are treated less favorably than whites.

- Carpusor and Loges (2006) also find differences in the treatment of Arab and blacks, relative to whites in Los Angeles, California.

- Research on employment practices has uncovered systematic patterns of name-based discrimination within the labor market (Bertrand and Mullainathan 2004). When asked, "Are Emily and Greg More Employable than Lakisha and Jamal?" employers in Boston and Chicago answered affirmatively. When resumes were mailed to employers in those two cities, applicants with white sounding names were 50 percent more likely to be invited for interviews even though applicants with black sounding names were assigned slightly better employment records (Bertrand and Mullainathan 2004).

- Figlio (2005) found that at least 15 percent of the black-white test score gap in a large Florida school district is due to differences in the "blackness" of the names given.

}END QUOTE

These are only a few examples from the cited article; there are hundreds of others. This all leads us to rationally believe that discrimination is in fact dominating our society, whether we know it or not.

As for Asian Americans; they benefit from Affirmative Action. [3] "Myth: Affirmative action is an African American entitlement program.

FACT: Affirmative action benefits a broad range of people and communities that continue to face discrimination in this country, including Latino, Native, Arab, Asian and African Americans."

The harms of affirmative action have yet to be provided. My opponent believes any racist policy is harmful; I would agree if the policy is discriminatory. Affirmative action is nothing more than preferential treatment, to compensate for past social stratification gone haywire. The pole-vaulters with 5-foot poles simply haven't qualified yet. Once they make it over 5 feet, they get a 6-foot pole, then 7, and so on and so forth. There is still a long way to go before our society is equal.

o Conclusion

There have been no harms demonstrated as results of affirmative action that are clearly tangible in today's society. I posit that it is necessary to equalize the clearly unequal playing field.

I thank my opponent for the wonderful debate, and for this reminder to switch my old position on affirmative action- I'm actually for it. I just forgot :P

I urge a Pro vote; thank you, readers and voters, for your time.

o Sources

[1] http://usa.usembassy.de...

[2] http://media2.myfoxboston.com...

[3] http://www.aapf.org...
Debate Round No. 3
41 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by m93samman 5 years ago
m93samman
@TheAtheistAllegiance: It was copy-pasted from a previous case I wrote for this topic. This was the topic at the TFA (Texas Forensics Association) State Tournament. I just took a few arguments from here and there :P
Posted by TheAtheistAllegiance 5 years ago
TheAtheistAllegiance
Fantastic debate m93. Did you copy and paste some of your arguments? I ask because your grammar was incredible, and your arguments were laid out extraordinarily well, along with well-cited sources and empirical data.

Very good job!
Posted by TombLikeBomb 5 years ago
TombLikeBomb
If you honestly doubt condensation of wealth or favor property tax-funded schools, intergenerational transfer of wealth or high tuition fees from a consequentialist perspective, I'm happy to challenge you (or, what would be simpler, to be challenged by you), but I was rather under the impression you weren't aware of them or didn't consider that they're not laws of nature or simply forgot. If I could challenge the old you, I might, but I can't.
Posted by m93samman 5 years ago
m93samman
Tomb, challenge me if you wish. If you really think I don't understand economics, lets have a formal debate about it. Until then, I'll presume you'd rather not showcase your skills in fear of humiliating me.
Posted by TombLikeBomb 5 years ago
TombLikeBomb
I don't know what's more pathetic, that you would reread your own comment two hours after posting it or that you would read mine and pretend that you didn't.
Posted by gavin.ogden 5 years ago
gavin.ogden
@m93samman

My opponent + m93samman = my m93samman. Typographical error, but kind of humorous.
Posted by TombLikeBomb 5 years ago
TombLikeBomb
Your egos amaze me. Why must you position yourself for the last word by ending your posts by announcing your ceasing to communicate? If you're done communicating, stop typing content, and I'll get the picture with or without the explicitness. But if you continue to type content, and it continues to be nonsense, I'll continue to expose it.

That "my m93samman" (I guess you've had many "interactions" with him indeed!) is fair and open-minded when it serves him isn't in dispute. He will no doubt verify that we've never had an altercation prior to his repetition of your insult to my general intelligence and his own unsubstantiated insult to my specific intelligence.

I didn't say I forfeited the debate because I disagreed with the resolution (that I disagreed with it was critical to my accepting the challenge!), I said I forfeited it because I had no interest in arguing against what I realized the resolution to be too late. Contradicting yourself, you also accuse me of "inability" (unwillingness) to argue multiple sides of an issue, but how is that a bad thing? I'd only be in the company of master debater Richard Dawkins, who, like me, considers it unethical to argue for a side one doesn't agree with. That you're not so scrupulous goes a long way to explaining why your win% isn't far lower.

Even if I were wrong about you being a racist, how would that make me a racist? How am I anti-semitic? You and the Asian are the ones who insist on appealing to your "minority" status; I was happy to ignore (and probably wouldn't have cared enough to guess) your ethnicity until you desperately suggested it precludes you from being racist against actual minorities.

Nor is it true that everyone here agrees. Pro and Con clearly don't agree, and there is even subtle disagreement between you and the Asian. The only thing you have in common is your failure to understand the issue as well as me.
Posted by gavin.ogden 5 years ago
gavin.ogden
@ TombLikeBomb
If everyone here seems to agree, and you are the only one with a quarrel, maybe you are the racist. You are clearly anti-semitic. Also, before I finish with you forever, Forfeiting a debate because you don't agree with the resolution, simply illustrates your close-mindedness, and inability to argue multiple sides of an issue. It is clear to me that you have previously had an altercation with my m93samman. This already says a lot about you, as I have had many interactions with him. He is fair and open minded in his thinking, while you have clearly shown only the opposite. You are a poor debater, sir, and I have no desire to communicate further. Good day.
Posted by TombLikeBomb 5 years ago
TombLikeBomb
Thanks for continuing to pepper your ounces of content with pounds of insults. But I can't remember doubting your account of the causes and size of the initial disparity between blacks and whites. What I remember doubting was that the causes and size of the initial disparity are relevant. We know from the example of Hispanics that slavery is an unnecessary part of the equation; we know that, even if the freed slaves had earned their poverty, intergenerational transfer of wealth would have unfairly disadvantaged their descendants; we (meaning people who understand economics) know that condensation of wealth means that the freed slaves needn't have been paid "Veryyyyy little", but only any degree little, for their descendants to suffer veryyyyy much. That's why I oppose arguments from slavery; they do nothing to establish the already proven fact of increasingly unequal opportunity and can only serve to confuse people into thinking those who support a remedy do so out of what can only be termed "intergenerational transfer of guilt". Now, you can either change your mind, change mine, or agree to disagree; I certainly don't mean to anger you.
Posted by m93samman 5 years ago
m93samman
Alright Tomb, let me spell it out for you now that I just got out of my last final exam.

In the year of 1861, South Carolina seceded from the Union, several other states following suit. They lost the civil war to the North who was a little more technologically and militarily superior. After the emancipation proclamation was coupled with the victory of the Union, slaves were freed- with no money. So, they were dislocated in the war-torn south. All they could do was what they knew- manual labor. Only now, they would be paid. Veryyyyy little. So, with the little they could afford, they moved into homes that would keep them warm. That's all they could afford to; so, with low property taxes their schools were very poorly funded, ad infinitum and now as I'm typing this I realize that I'm just restating a concept that you didn't understand, so I'm going to stop now.

Thanks for wasting my time.
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