The Instigator
gabbsmcswaggin
Con (against)
Losing
2 Points
The Contender
FourTrouble
Pro (for)
Winning
5 Points

Affirmative action

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
FourTrouble
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/25/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 751 times Debate No: 39458
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (2)

 

gabbsmcswaggin

Con

Affirmative action puts more focus on race and only furthers the distinction between us. Instead we should encourage a color blind society that puts no focus on race. This is the only way to true equality.
FourTrouble

Pro

Thanks for the debate! I look forward to a fun exchange.

The purpose of affirmative action is to eliminate "unlawful discrimination" between applicants on the basis of race or gender. The idea is to provide equal opportunity for all applicants.

The reason we need affirmative action is because unlawful discrimination still exists. Women are paid less than men for the same jobs. Blacks and Hispanics generally receive worse public education than Whites. The racial gap in SAT scores has been proven a result of accidents related to quality of public education and the opportunity to take SAT prep courses. There still exist racial disparities in access to medical treatment. The ACLU has shown that racial profiling is pervasive in nearly state, and has created material disadvantages for Blacks as a group.

The argument against affirmative action, as Con has framed it, is that it discriminates on the basis of race. What is wrong with that? Discrimination is a GOOD thing. It levels the playing field between Whites and Blacks, which allows Blacks to effectively have the same opportunities as Whites. Discrimination, in the abstract, is neither good nor bad. We have different bathrooms for men and women. We do this because men and women are distinct in some way. Whites and Blacks are presented with different opportunities as a result of social accident. Thus, affirmative action attempts to correct the result of accidents by offering equal opportunities to Whites and Blacks.

It might be argued that affirmative action is reverse racism. The express purpose of affirmative action, however, is to prevent unlawful discrimination, i.e., racism. The express purpose of racism is to target a specific group of people with hate. The purpose behind affirmative action and racism is clearly distinct. You have to take into account the social and historical context in which both acts occur. Racism is unlawful discrimination. Affirmative action is lawful discrimination. The distinction here is one of motive and outcome: racism stems from hate, and causes harm; affirmative action stems from desire for equality, and causes equal opportunity.

Con explicitly provides "equality" as a desirable political end. Affirmative actions furthers that end.
Debate Round No. 1
gabbsmcswaggin

Con

The purpose of affirmative action is to eliminate "unlawful discrimination" between applicants on the basis of race or gender. The idea is to provide equal opportunity for all applicants."

It doesn't provide equal opportunity though, it gives minorities an advantage. Why don't we just take race and gender off applications so people are selected purely off there abilities?

"Blacks and Hispanics generally receive worse public education than Whites."

This is because they live in low income areas more often. So why don't we just give there schools more funding then they would receive equal opportunity.

"Thus, affirmative action attempts to correct the result of accidents by offering equal opportunities to Whites and Blacks."
But it doesn't, it gives minorities an advantage. If we want to level the playing field we should increase funding in low income schools so that its equal to the richer, and often white dominated schools.

"Con explicitly provides "equality" as a desirable political end. Affirmative actions furthers that end."
Affirmative action does not provide equality, it gives one group an advantage over another that's the opposite of equality.

Affirmative action violates the 14th amendments equal protection clause.
"A violation would occur, for example, if a state prohibited an individual from entering into an employment contract because he or she was a member of a particular race. "
http://www.law.cornell.edu...
This is what affirmative action does. We should just take race and gender off applications so people are hired purely on there ability!

Affirmative action pits races against each other, and furthers the distinction between us. If we want true equality we must increase school funding in low income areas, so minorities do just as good as Caucasians. We must also take race and gender off applications, that way people are hired purely on there ability.
FourTrouble

Pro

Unfortunately, Con misunderstands the purpose of affirmative action. It is not a set of policies designed to give minorities an advantage. It is a set of policies designed to give minorities equal opportunity. Affirmative action helps provide minorities that are at a disadvantage because of historical accident with the equal opportunity guaranteed by the 14th amendment.

Con completely misrepresents what affirmative action in his discussion of the 14th amendment. Affirmative action does not "prohibit" an individual from getting employment on the basis of their race. What affirmative action does is guarantee equal opportunity for employment for minorities. This does not "prohibit" anyone from acquiring employment. It does the opposite.

Con claims that affirmative action pits the races against each other. This is patently false. What affirmative action does is provide equal opportunity for groups that are at a disadvantage as a result of historical accident. It is unlawful discrimination (i.e. racism) to allow Whites an advantage as a result of the systematic oppression of Blacks in the past. Blacks are at a disadvantage primarily because of the actions that Whites took against Blacks, including institutional racism and slavery. Affirmative action thus attempts to level the playing field, providing Blacks and Whites with equal opportunity under the assumption that they are equal under the law and therefore deserve equal opportunity. To deny Blacks equal opportunity as Whites is to say that they are not equal under the law, and as such, is racism.

Con says we don't need affirmative action because, instead, we can give schools more funding. What Con does not seem to realize is that giving schools more funding because they are in a low-income neighborhood, or because they are attended primarily by Blacks or Hispanics, is a form of affirmative action. What Con does not seem to realize is that giving schools more funding, because they are in a low-income neighborhood, is affirmative action. Here is the definition of affirmative action:

"A set of procedures designed to eliminate unlawful discrimination between applicants, remedy the results of such prior discrimination, and prevent such discrimination in the future." http://www.law.cornell.edu...

The purpose of affirmative action is to "eliminate unlawful discrimination" and to "remedy the results of such prior discrimination." Blacks and Hispanics receive worse public education than Whites. Con has conceded this fact. This is "unlawful discrimination," by any standard, and as such, policies to eliminate this unlawful discrimination need to be put in place. Providing more funding to schools is one form of affirmative action that would certainly help. The form of the affirmative action policy is not important to this debate. What matters is that affirmative action is a good thing. It is a good thing to eliminate unlawful discrimination.

It is also a good thing to remedy the results of prior discrimination. The reason Blacks receive worse public education is because of prior unlawful discrimination. Until recently, they were the target of systematic oppression. They were the target of racism, and slavery. These institutional practices of the past have produced material disadvantages for Blacks that persist to this day, including the fact that they receive worse public education as a result of living in low-income neighborhoods. Affirmative action policies to remedy these problems would be helpful. One such affirmative action policy is providing more funding to schools, which Con himself seems to support.

Con's argument is incoherent insofar as Con both advocates affirmative action policies (providing more funding for schools) and attacks affirmative action.

Con claims we must take race and gender off applications so that people are hired purely on their ability. What Con does not seem to realize is that race and gender are part of a person's "ability." If someone is a woman, they have had a difference experience in life than a man. Likewise, if someone is black, they have had a very different experience in life than someone who is white. These differences are part of what different people bring to a job. They are qualifications like any other. Furthermore, if Con is referring to SAT scores, it has been proven that the SAT discriminates against Blacks. The way you define "merit" or "ability" is itself a form of unlawful discrimination against a group of people, and so, affirmative action helps eliminate that form of unlawful discrimination as well.
Debate Round No. 2
gabbsmcswaggin

Con

gabbsmcswaggin forfeited this round.
FourTrouble

Pro

My opponent has forfeited. Please vote Pro. Thanks.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by miketheman1200 2 years ago
miketheman1200
I remember debating this with you. Haha. Oh man that was my first debate.
Posted by gabbsmcswaggin 3 years ago
gabbsmcswaggin
sorry for forfeiting I was busy.

So I understand the goal of affirmative action it just fails. And funding poor schools more isn't affirmative action.
af"firm"a"tive ac"tion
noun
noun: affirmative action

1.
an action or policy favoring those who tend to suffer from discrimination, esp. in relation to employment or education; positive discrimination.

Because the decision to fund poor schools more would be based off there income not race.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Beverlee 3 years ago
Beverlee
gabbsmcswagginFourTroubleTied
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Total points awarded:24 
Reasons for voting decision: I wish Pro had cited passages from the Affirmative Action law itself, and sourced his arguments. I think this would have made a much more compelling case. I gave conduct (for the FF), and also arguments. Con gets sourcing.
Vote Placed by Ameliamk1 3 years ago
Ameliamk1
gabbsmcswagginFourTroubleTied
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Reasons for voting decision: FF