The Instigator
Con (against)
0 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
6 Points

Affirmative Action

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/13/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 761 times Debate No: 45847
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (1)




I argue that not only has Affirmative Action become irrelevant in most parts of the country but has also given minorities more opportunities than the majority.
3 rounds 1st-Acceptance 2nd-argument 3rd-conclusion


I will gladly accept the debate. I look forward to dipping my toes back into with this one. I'll thank CalderKase for starting this discussion. Should be fun!
Debate Round No. 1


Before I begin my argument I would like to just say to everyone reading this debate that I am not racist or sexist. I completely agree with equal treatment to everyone. I have however seen the anti-discriminatory laws and practices seem to lead towards reverse discrimination.

"Reverse discrimination is discrimination against members of a dominant or majority group or in favor of members of a minority or historically disadvantaged group." (as defined by Wikipedia)

When one looks at opportunities that young teens looking to become men and women out in the world, minorities are given a greater number of said opportunities. For example in Hopwood v. Texas a group of four students sued the University of Texas Law School on grounds of racial discrimination given to minorities. Cheryl Hopwood, the instigator of the suit, argued that many minority students were admitted while she was not even though she was much higher qualified than they. The case elevated to the supreme court and they forcefully ruled in Hopwood's favor. "With the best of intentions, in order to increase the enrollment of certain favored classes of minority
students, the University of Texas School of Law ("the law school") discriminates in favor of those
applicants by giving substantial racial preferences in its admissions program. The beneficiaries of this
system are blacks and Mexican Americans, to the detriment of whites and non-preferred minorities."

That is just one of the many documented examples of institutes and organizations that have started favoring the minority for fear of being considered uncooperative in the "Affirmative Action" campaign.

This sort of situation also appears time and time again in scholarships as well. There are many more scholarships available to minority students than are available to the Caucasian majority. This creates a skew that leads the minorities to gain an unfair advantage over the majority.

I propose that Affirmative Action is not a reliable program and that the only fix for the race problem would be to raise a "color-blind" generation. by giving these advantages to minorities it does nothing but highlight the differences between races in a different way.



"Affirmative Action refers to equal opportunity employment measures that Federal contractors and subcontractors are legally required to adopt. These measures are intended to prevent discrimination against employees or applicants for employment on the basis of "color, religion, sex, or national origin". Examples of affirmative action offered by the United States Department of Labor include outreach campaigns, targeted recruitment, employee and management development, and employee support programs"[1]

"A minority group is a sociological category within a demographic. Rather than a relational "social group", as the term would indicate, the term refers to a category that is differentiated and defined by the social majority, that is, those who hold the majority of positions of social power in a society. The differentiation can be based on one or more observable human characteristics, including, for example, ethnicity, race, gender, wealth, health or sexual orientation."[2]

The first thing one must understand when looking at affirmative action is understanding why many feel it necessary to begin with. The unfortunate reality is that racism still very much exists in our society. In the study "Are Emily and Brendan More Employable than Lakisha and Jamal?" it was found that applicants with white sounding names were 50 percent more likely to get called for an interview than people African-American sounding names despite having similar resumes. [3] A pretty similar study was also done in New York City, and again, "black applicants were half as likely as equally qualified whites to receive a call back or job offer. In fact, black and Latino applicants with clean backgrounds fared no better than white applicants just released from prison."[4] The idea isn't that people are trying to be racist or are even aware of their racism, it's simply in their subconscious. "Lakisha" is still a name many white people would expect to see in an SNL sketch. There are many negative stereotypes about minorities that people like to joke about, and for many white people who haven't lived in the most diverse towns or cities, that's where they are getting their education on other people's cultures.

The second thing that needs to be understood is how Affirmative Action is supposed to work. My opponent brought up the case of Hopwood v. Texas. It would be important to note that the ruling did not find anything wrong with the school implementing Affirmative Action, but how the school was implementing it: "The court reasoned that although affording a minority applicant a racial preference, or "'plus' factor,"29 would be constitutionally permissible, the failure of the law school's admissions process to "afford each individual applicant a comparison with the entire pool of applicants" unnecessarily and impermissibly offended equal protection rights under the Fourteenth Amendment."[5] I would say that the case of Hopwood v. Texas isn't so much an argument against Affirmative Action but more of a case against specific ways of implementing Affirmative Action. And I would certainly agree that there are wrong ways to enforce it. But it is up to the individual schools and employers how they want to implement it, there is no set way. Some schools might set-up outreach groups to try to reach and gain interest from kids of color to apply to their school. That doesn't mean every black student who applies will be accepted, but it helps the school have more of a diverse group of applicants to pick from.

We should also look at what schools look at when they're interviewing students. It's not just scores and numbers. Personality, background, whether or not they had family attend the school, etc. also play a role in whether or not they'll be accepted. You could be a high-scoring straight A student but still wouldn't necessarily be as desirable as a student who may not of had as high a GPA as you, but had family members who had previously attended the school.

Affirmative Action is not giving unfair advantage to a specific groups of people, it is simply leveling the playing field in society that is not always fair to specific groups of people. We can't be colorblind when addressing these problems because we do not live in a colorblind society.

Debate Round No. 2


CalderKase forfeited this round.


To conclude I will simply reiterate the points I have already made. We do not live in a society where the playing field is level for all. This is especially true for many minorities. They still face discrimination in education and the workplace. Affirmative action is in place, not to give them a free ride, but to make the playing field somewhat level. It is not reverse discrimination, it is to get minorities to a point that they would be at if we did indeed live in a society that was colorblind. It is not about quotas or hiring under-qualified people (as that would obviously be a poor business decision), but simply to make sure there is some sort of attempt at diversifying their schools and businesses. That attempt doesn't always have to be successful, but that's all affirmative actions requires: some kind of attempt. Why is that important? Because it makes the people going the applicants aware of themselves and their own potential biases. So they can think about exactly why they have a tendency to choose Sara over Lakisha despite having identical resumes as the studies I mentioned in my argument suggest.

I'd like to again thank my opponent for the debate.
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by breaxxbaxx 4 years ago
Sorry for the wait! I'll be posting my argument tomorrow.
Posted by 2Sense 4 years ago
This should be interesting. I've always failed to see how Affirmative Action "gives more" opportunities to minorities over white people. Whenever I hear this claim, it tells me that the people saying it might not understand the basic mechanics of how Affirmative Action works.
Posted by jdtroughton 4 years ago
But I can't rightly argue with the point you've made. "White privilege", wish I was cashing in on that.
Posted by jdtroughton 4 years ago
You can't preclude someone from arguing in the first round. Just make your argument in the first round two. It's silly, and cheap.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Zarroette 4 years ago
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Con constructed potentially cogent framework by explaining the concept of 'reverse-racism', yet that's about where the appeal ended. A single example isn't enough to convince anyone, and Pro counter-argued effectively, saying that Affirmative Action was implemented the wrong way. Pro also defined a couple of terms accurately, and Con's job was to highlight the sinister, real intentions that are expressed in reality, rather than submit to Pro's definitions (but Con forfeited). Pro also made other good arguments, including the 'level the playing field' one. Overall, Pro's arguments were far superior, especially considering the forfeit. Sources to Pro too; the latter three were quite good and used well.