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Affirmative action is counterproductive

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/12/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,408 times Debate No: 22806
Debate Rounds (5)
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I would like to Start out by Thanking my contender in advance for accepting my debate.
Also for the spectators/ voter let me point out that I am a complete amateur when it comes to debating. My first debate on is my very first debate ever so please forgive me for any technical errors I make and feel free to criticize the format of the debates as I seek to gain some sort of knoledge by debating on here.

That being said let me begin:
Affirmative action is an action, generally the establishment of a policy, that lowers the standards or requirements for entry into a field of work or education for those deemed a minority or under-privileged. The use of affirmative action to counter the problem of discrimination is like using the wrong tool for the wrong job. It is cheating and has a negative effect on those who are not receiving the benefit, the institutions forced to put the affirmative action in place as well as the beneficiaries. It is a political move and therefore is most beneficial to politicians who want voters to think they are taking action against discrimination. This way they can avoid taking any real action and make it look like they care.
Lowering the requirements for entry into a field of work or an education Institution, undermines the work put in by those who don't receive the benefit of the affirmative action. The solution is just becomes the problem all over again.Saying that a group that is a minority should get extra benefits, is not only discrimination towards those not receiving the benefits but it also says that those receiving the benefits are not capable of performing at the required level. For example affirmative action for the admission of blacks in college XYZ, is not only treating every other races unfairly, but it also sends the message that blacks are simply not 'smart enough'.


Supporting affirmative action is often thought as an ignorant standpoint, but rather attempting to justify its dismissal as a law or standard is rather ignorant. Our country is ever evolving and if recent actions have shown us anything it's that it took far too long to get an educated man in the White house who didn't look like our founding fathers. Before we really get into it know I am neither politically correct nor care if anyone is offended by how I formulate my opinion on the subject and will indeed justify it, welcome to America where I exercise my 1st amendment rights every second of the day.

Affirmative action has allowed many people to compete in a job market dictated by racism and pure hatred, where Whites are for a majority still in control of all the upper tier ownership positions. Now one might say, well you're White, no I'm Italian who has only so recently been accepted into the "White" stratosphere since we along with the Irish were considered no better than Blacks or Hispanic/Latino people. If you want to talk about job equality, why is it that minorities can only work in mediocre to terrible jobs, why am I so poorly paid and have a college education? While the policy can certainly be improved upon, such as not using it in jobs which need the absolute best (Fire fighters might be a suggestion) it still has opened the door to allow minorities to be fire fighters, policemen and other social jobs. How many minorities do we really see as administrators, educators and high ranking social officials? Go look it up, if you think that is a terrible number then look no further to how little women hold the same. It's 2012 and the United States is way behind most modernized countries, time to wake up and all everyone else into the White social culture called the Job market.

What should be pointed out is that nothing is truly lowered or slighted to allow these "minorities" into these jobs, rather it is the fact they are considered and have a much higher ceiling of growth than someone who is from the field. The fact we use affirmative actions to admits blacks for example into college over whites is because if you investigate the sociology of the Black community they are struggling and need not to be babied but pushed in order to excel. We are speaking on the lower tier o the socioeconomic spectrum when it comes to minorities not those who are blessed enough to have worked hard and succeeded much like my own family has, we need to continue to create diversity in our country not segregate it further.
Debate Round No. 1


I would Like to Applaud TonyDJr for taking me up on this debate. He is a good friend of mine and it is, by no means, easy to argue pro affirmative action.
That being said, I agree totally that many who are eligible for affirmative action benefits are those who have been at a handicap in the past, may need a little push. Let me use an example here to illustrate a point. Martha and John have been friends since childhood. Martha was of a wealthy background and therefore had better opportunities than John, who would often after school have to work to help his father feed his family. As a result John would suffer in school. Martha, being the good friend that she was, would do John's Hw and projects, practically give him the answers in all tests quizzes etc. even whisper what to say when the teacher asked him something in class. Then came college, Martha still helped John with everything. Finally today John is going in for a Job Interview. Now what, John is so used to getting help from Martha, he doesn't really know much on his own. Same applies with affirmative action. It can only take John so far, but what then. If a black student gets into Law School only due to affirmative action, how will he be able to compete with other students who, due to having better opportunities can maybe read better. If he makes it through law-school, how will he compete with other Lawyers?
How about another example to illustrate yet another point. A white, son of a poor farmer from the mid-west and a black son of a rich R&B artist from NY both apply to the same college. despite having a lower GPA and SAT scores than the white student, the black student is admitted and the white rejected. not only is this the effect of affirmative action but also reverse racism.
Another example, firefighters in Connecticut take an exam. Upon passing this test they are promised a promostions. Coincidentally, despite meeting the standards for black white diversity, no blacks passed the test. As a result the whites who did pass were denied the the promotion and the tests were thrown out.


While it is understood--and stated by myself-- that affirmative action is a system with it's flaws, that does not mean it isn't working. Racism is another realm of discussion probably best left out due to the fact that most minorities are in fact the priority when it comes to politicians and the government not the Middle class average person.

The arguments you put forth are very textbook, it's difficult to get into law school from a finical standpoint and most people who've even cheated their way are unlikely to bother taking on a substantial debt. As for the educational system GPA and SAT's scores should have never been a factor in weighing a students worth, that is a creation of a lazy and under funded American educational system which continually refuses to conduct personal portfolios interviews with each candidate. Once again higher education universities such as grad school do not abide by affirmative action as they are usually private and can take whoever they choose too accept.

Another proof that affirmative action is indeed allowing new opportunities is in professional sports in the United States, take for example NFL coaches such as Tony Dungy, Lovey Smith, Raheem Morris and Mike Tomlin. Or even General Manager of the NY Giants Jerry Reese, all these men have been part of Superbowl winning teams or built them, but without being interviewed due to the "Rooney" rule they would've most likely not have received this opportunity sooner if then at all.
Debate Round No. 2


I think my opponent may have taken the law school example to litterally. Perhaps it wasn't as clear as I thought. With that example I was trying to compare affirmative action to cheating on tests and having a friend do one's homework for he/she through out college. The point is, while one may get by fine and maybe even make it through college, there will come a point when your knowledge comes into scrutiny. With affirmative action, if someone is not qualified for being admitted to a college and gets in due to affirmative action, it is important they recognize that affirmative action wont get them in everywhere. Lowering the standards for someone is not really something that will help them. Also whether or not GPA and SAT scores are the right measure for determining a student's worth is besides the question and does not fit in to the debate.

With respect to the affirmative action put into place to allow for diversity in NFL, that maybe the best example of the closest affirmative action has ever gotten to being good. The link provided by my opponent also explains what this particular affirmative action calls for. The Rooney Rule mandates that for every open coaching position a colored person be interviewed. Skeptics point out that just because a rule mandates the interviewing of colored people for a field of work, it does not guarantee fair hiring of coaches. This is a good point however let's not forget that any rule like the Rooney Rule calls for accountability. If 20 coloreds are interviewed, for any position in any business, and yet none are hired, it is quite obvious someone has some explaining to do. yet this logic is clearly failed by the example I provided in my previous argument with regards to the firemen in Connecticut.

At this point I am running out of new support and am waiting for my opponent to deflate my arguments or pose some new questions for me to address


While I will not get into the argument of what is besides the point or relevant to an argument, the addressing of key issues which affect any form of this "affirmation" are indeed relevant. It is an understood point that people who cheat there way to reach the top tier of the job market will indeed fail and cause problems not only for themselves and their company but as we've seen the country as well. The issue at hand is that affirmative action does work but I only used as a method of interviewing minorities and then never hiring them, they only fulfill the process which is required by law. That for me is really an end to the argument of that point, we've addressed the flaws and negatives of the matte of people succeeding and failing in regards to that.

My new argument since well the con-artist has yet to e challenged, would be what would you do in place of affirmative action? This is not just fair and equality in the workplace because minorities will receive even less opportunity to obtain these jobs if any jobs at all which pay a sustainable living wage. So how will you replace a "flawed" system with one which will improve upon this?
Debate Round No. 3


Going back to setting requirements with regards to the number of minorities to be included in the mix of people being interviewed; it sets the stage for some sort of accountability as I stated before. Take for example a particular Aeropostale store under the management of John is found to be a majority of whites. Then a rule is put into place requiring all managers to include a specific mix among those being interviewed. If after the rule is in place, upon interviewing 20 blacks John has hired no blacks or even coloreds, this is a fairly clear indication of something that needs to be monitored a bit more closely. Another point to be noted is, in a capital world where people want to make as much money as possible, if a black candidate is truly well qualified, all he/she may need is an interview where they can demonstrate why they are good for the bottom line.

Though even this system has it's flaws. So I would suggest Blind interviews, where the interviewer has no indication as to what the interviewee's race, gender, sex, age, height, weight, or even disabilities are. The same tactic is seen in the new popular T.V Show, "The Voice", where contestants audition in front of judges who have their backs turned to the contestants at the beginning. When the judges are moved by the contestants' voice, they turn their chair around and admit them into their group. This solution can work for both the business and the educational setting.


The issue though that you're suggesting of malpractice in the hiring of employees is not so much a problem with affirmative action but rather with business owners and politicians who hire people they already know such as friends and relatives, or recommended people of friends and relatives. It is an already broken system and affirmative action only gives a slight chance to anyone entering that workforce, take for example if a white non-Spanish speaking person were to apply for a job in a predominantly Spanish, Asian, Indian or Black community they would in that case be the minority who affirmative action can fight for but it even in optimism would not since AF is seen as a "black law" which we need to take the race and ethnicity out of job interviewing, I suppose we are in agreement there.

Blind interviews would be interesting concept, though in a sense an interview is a blind occurrence and it is nearly impossible for a judge to have no bias. As you might have seen a judge on the Voice show her displeasure and unimpressiveness towards a male contestant who displayed all the talent but due to prior history was not deemed worthy enough for her. Therefore I don't believe it would work very well, especially in the educational setting which has become no better than a business, underfunded and only wanting to cater to what select committees deem correct.
Debate Round No. 4


After 4 rounds I am still not convinced that affirmative action, the way it is used today, is ethical; for multiple reasons:
A) It simply reverses the already existing discrimination, as opposed to serving the purpose it is meant for, elimination of discrimination.
B) It's intended to level out the playing field but in the process puts people who maybe greatly talented, at a handicap.
C) It is not much different from punishing a 21yr old for the murder his father committed.
D) It is a hand-out and therefore a sort of insult to minorities and 'puts them in their place'
E) It Reduces the Quality of work by lowering the requirements of entry into fields of work or educational institutions.

The fairest for of affirmative action seems to be the example provided by my opponent with the NFL coaches. Though as I pointed out, that too has some major issues.


Though after four rounds you are still not convinced you have not provided a logically supported reasoning for abolishing the practice when it has in fact worked in a capacity for which it was created. The law and programs exists to provide opportunity for minorities, if that program is misused it is at the fault of the employers and business owners who are run by millionaire lobbyists. The government has created programs to allow the country to succeed throughout its history but time and time again a group of people who control the monopolies of job creation destroy the balance of equality in the job market.

A.) Discrimination will exist throughout human history for the fact humans are creatures of competition just as animals are, we want to be the best and succeed regardless of the failures of others or the loss of anothers worth. Eliminating racism or hate against ethnicity is something needed in the job market, but discrimination will still occur its natural; on some levels s is racism but with freedom of speech we are entitled to hate though there are consequences.

B.) The greatly talented are never handicapped, affirmative action never stopped Bill Gates, Ted Turner, Steve Jobs from reaching their potential (It was actually cheap labor, in human practice and many other terrible things). Look at Barack Obama he sure got there, the argument is just not to standard.

C.) Makes no sense, because this is another field of law.

D.) It's not a handout because the minorities being interviewed have to be qualified in the first place, if selected even at a slight advance because of affirmative action it is with the confidence they will succeed in the job. If they fail they will easily be fired and the next candidate hired.

E.) I don' agree with that, because I've never had a bad minority teacher in my entire life of education and rarely meet one as well. I've had countless terrible "White" teachers because it is automatically assumed as a white person you can do any job possible which is not true.

To end this argument, I've stated affirmative action is a system that works but requires the cooperation of the business owners and job creators to use this system fairly and not take advance of minorities or anyone else.
Debate Round No. 5
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