August Tournament - United States should ban Affirmative Action
This debate is for the semi-final of August Beginner's Tournament: Salam vs. TheProphett
United States should ban Affirmative Action.
Should: Indicating a desirability.
Ban: Officially or legally prohibit.
Affirmative Action: Affirmative action or positive discrimination (known as employment equity in Canada, reservation in India and Nepal, and positive action in the UK) is the policy of favoring members of a disadvantaged group who suffer from discrimination within a culture.
Round 1: Pro's Case
Round 2: Con's Case, Pro rebuts Con's Case
Round 3: Con rebuts Pro's Case, Pro defends Pro's Case
Round 4: Con defends Con's Case, Pro waives
4 rounds, 72 hours, 10,000 characters, Voters: 2500 Elo Points, 3 days to vote.
1. No forfeits.
2. All arguments must be visible inside this debate. Sources may be within the debate or in comments.
3. Maintain a civil and decorous atmosphere.
4. No trolling.
5. Feel free to run a Kritik if you want.
6. No deconstructional semantics.
7. Burden of Proof (BoP) is shared
8. Debate resolution, definitions, rules, and structure cannot be changed without asking in the comments before you post your round 1 argument. Debate resolution, definitions, rules, and structure cannot be changed in the middle of the debate.
9. Failure to adhere to the rules or format above leads to an immediate loss
First of all, I would like to thank my opponent, salam.morcos, and the organizer of the tournament, 1harderthanyouthink. In this debate, I will be arguing for the abolishment of affirmative action (AA). I will explain why the A.A. system is no longer needed.
Argument 1: An Outdated System
A.A. is not only a flawed system, but an outdated one. In the early 1960’s John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson sought to stop discrimination and improve the lives of impoverished African Americans, and other minority groups. While this may have been needed at the time, significant improvements have been made in eliminating discrimination from our society. Among those improvements are; “The percentage of women in the law profession has gone from 5 percent to 20 percent since 1970,” black participation in the workforce is up 50% since 1970, 5x as many African Americans now hold managerial posts, “[b]lack college completion rate as a percentage of the white rate has improved from 42% then to 62% now," 9/10s of African Americans hold high school diplomas, a greater proportion of blacks now vote in national elections than whites, the life expectancy gap between blacks and whites has narrowed from 7 to 4 years, black households earn a greater percentage of what white households earn than they did in 1967, and the gap between the number of blacks and whites below the poverty line has narrowed by about 5 percent since 1967.” (1, 2) This system is no longer needed because while it is still standing, it represents a colorized America, and racial inequities, which is detrimental to society. Progress in integration has been made; but it is questionable how much more A.A. can still do in this area, and whether the harms outweigh the benefits.
Argument 2: Reverse Discrimination
More often than not, A.A. creates unjustified forms of reverse discrimination.
Corporate America has affirmative action programs designed to assist members of historically disadvantaged groups (3). One applicant who does not fit in with this category might have great qualifications and amazing potential, but he might lose it to a person that falls within one of these categories because they are simply needed to fill the spots on paper. This creates reverse discrimination, or a favoring of discriminated-against-in-the-pass minority groups. It is the opposite of what Affirmative Action is trying to create, equal opportunity.
A.A. laws have had unpredicted ramifications on the selections and admissions process in colleges. "In 2009, Princeton sociologist Thomas Espenshade and researcher Alexandria Walton Radford, in their book, No Longer Separate, Not Yet Equal, examined data on students applying to college in 1997 and calculated that Asian-Americans needed nearly perfect SAT scores of 1550 to have the same chance of being accepted at a top private university as whites who scored 1410 and African Americans who got 1100...after controlling for grades, test scores, family background (legacy status), and athletic status (whether or not the student was a recruited athlete), Espenshade and Radford found that whites were three times, Hispanics six times, and blacks more than 15 times as likely to be accepted at a US university as Asian Americans." (4) This is an example of reverse discrimination; colleges are favoring the underrepresented groups over the majority, which contradicts the laws themselves.
Additional evidence supports these conclusions: “preceding Michigan’s statewide ban, the University of Michigan admitted 92% of Black applicants and 88% of Hispanic applicants who possessed a 3.2 GPA and a 1240 SAT score while only 10% of White applicants with similar scores were admitted. Additionally, Althea K. Nagai in her paper, 'Racial and Ethnic Preferences in Undergraduate Admissions at the University of Michigan,' found in a study that focused on the years: 1999, 2003, 2004, and 2005 (all of which preceded the statewide ban on affirmative action), that in all the years examined, 'Black admittees had substantially lower SAT scores, ACT scores, and high school GPAs compared to Asians and Whites. The range of Hispanic admittees’ test scores (SATs and ACTs) and high school GPAs fell between those for Blacks and those for Asians and Whites.'" (5)
Argument 3: Meritocracy
A. Harms the System/Unfair
A.A. was designed to allow equal opportunity in not only in the workforce, but on the collegiate level as well. College admissions, and recruitment in the workforce, are based upon the meritocratic system, which subsequently based upon the ability and talents of an individual. Being accepted into a college is a privilege, and those who get accepted worked hard to get there. This system loses its entire legitimacy because people of different racial backgrounds are getting in based not on their ability and talent, but because of their racial origins. That is unfair; people deserve to succeed or fail not based on heavily sensitized traits like race, but because of their ability to succeed or do that job. It is wrong to reward people who are less qualified or who put in less time and work over those who are truly deserving. Based upon my evidence from Argument 2, A.A. is effectively a major advantage in the admissions of minority groups. Therefore, meritocracy is being overthrown and delegitimized by faulty A.A. laws.
B. Encourages Laziness.
People ride the coattails of affirmative action to the top, and don’t put in the work themselves. “Preferential treatment programs encourage dependency and reward people for identifying themselves as victims providing them no incentives to become self-reliant or to develop the skills necessary to succeed in the workplace or classroom.” (1)
Argument 4: Perpetuating Stigma and Racial Thinking
Affirmative action reinforces racial stereotyping and stigmatizes minority groups. It actually makes it seem as if their success was not because of their accomplishments, but rather an insider bias.“[P]referential treatment programs harm minorities and women by stigmatizing them and devaluing their achievements. They encourage the belief that all minorities and women gain entry to jobs or universities primarily because they are members of underrepresented groups and not because they are qualified. Minority individuals may question whether the rules were bent in their case, leading to feelings of inferiority, self-doubt, and incompetence...Finally, preferential treatment will spur claims from all groups who feel they have been victims of injustice.” (1)
Argument 5: Beneficiaries’ Success
The following research shows that minority groups that get accepted into colleges or hired for the job with less qualifications or scores, they are more ill-equipped to do that job, which results in less amounts of success. Affirmative Action laws effectively backfire and produce people that are unable to do well in their jobs or at school. "Data from one selective California law school from 2005 show that students who received large preferences were 10 times as likely to fail the California bar as students who received no preference. After the passage of Proposition 209, which limited the use of racial preferences at California's public universities, in-state bar passage rates for blacks and Latinos went up relative to out-of-state bar passage rates. To the extent that students of color moved from UC schools to less elite ones (as seems likely), the post-209 experience is consistent with the mismatch theory...In general, research shows that 50% of black law students end up in the bottom 10th of their class, and that they are more than twice as likely to drop out as white students. Only one in three black students who start law school graduate and pass the bar on their first attempt; most never become lawyers.” (6)
Argument 6: Beast of Burden
This evidence supports the claim that if we wanted to fairly apply A.A., we would need to give every group that had been historically discriminated against Affirmative Action, including but not limited to: Catholics, LGBT people, the Irish, etc. “[P]referential treatment will spur claims from all groups who feel they have been victims of injustice. And members of groups excluded by preferential treatment programs today will demand tomorrow to be compensated for opportunities denied them. Already the nation is witnessing a barrage of allegations and lawsuits filed by non-minorities charging employers and universities with reverse discrimination." (1) If this were to be put in effect, one can only imagine the stress put on the public and private sectors, having to deal with the increased litigation surrounding the topic. Also, it would be hard to navigate a complex hiring system full of A.A. measures, and could make it difficult to sustain A.A. If A.A. isn’t applied to every such group, it is inherently unfair.
I am presenting this case because I believe Affirmative Action is a faulty system and needs to be abolished. Once again, thank you to my opponent and organizer of the tournament, and I wish you luck @salam.morcos. Vote Pro!
salam.morcos forfeited this round.
Thank you salam.morcos for the argument. I will present my rebuttals now.
Argument 1: Affirmative Action Works
1. Salam, in his first argument, gives evidence of Affirmative Action helping minorities get hired. What he does not do, is give statistics of how they progressed in the job or how they performed. This information is critical in determining whether A.A. really helped the beneficiaries or not. Thus, Salam’s case does not conflict with my Argument 3 (B) and my Argument 5.
2. Economic growth, not affirmative action, was responsible for increased diversity in the job field. “[E]stablishing how much credit affirmative action can take is hard, when growth also brings progress and some of the good--for example the confidence-boosting effect of creating prominent role models for a benighted group--is intangible.” (1) Also, “Malays are three times richer in Singapore, where they do not get preferences, than in next-door Malaysia, where they do. At the same time, the downside of affirmative action has become all too apparent." (1) Singapore’s GDP annual growth rate is also higher than Malaysia’s. (2)
3. Salam’s own study identifies effective alternatives to A.A.: “Efforts to moderate managerial bias through diversity training and diversity evaluations are least effective at increasing the share of white women, black women, and black men in management. Efforts to attack social isolation through mentoring and networking show modest effects. Efforts to establish responsibility for diversity lead to the broadest increases in managerial diversity. Moreover, organizations that establish responsibility see better effects from diversity training and evaluations, networking, and mentoring.” Moreover, A.A. programs aren’t effective for all groups in all areas: “Note that the coefficient for black women is not significant here. When we introduced industry interactions, we discovered that in manufacturing (computers, electronics, transportation), affirmative action plans had negative effects on black women...Employers who sign a government contract, and thereby become subject to affirmative action regulation, do not see increases in managerial diversity as a direct result.”
4. Salam uses my own evidence to show that discrimination has gotten better over time. “The percentage of women in the law profession has gone from 5 percent to 20 percent since 1970,” black participation in the workforce is up 50% since 1970, 5x as many African Americans now hold managerial posts.” (6) This only reinforces my claim that affirmative action is an outdated policy.
5. Not all beneficiaries of A.A. are truly disadvantaged: "Although the groups covered by affirmative action tend to be poorer than their neighbours, the individuals who benefit are often not. One American federal-contracting programme favours businesses owned by ‘socially and economically disadvantaged’ people. Such people can be 87 times richer than the average American family and still be deemed ‘disadvantaged’ if their skin is the right colour." This study shows that while people may not be economically disadvantaged, those that are of a previously discriminated race can still get Affirmative Action benefits, which completely nullifies the notion that A.A. is for the disadvantaged.
Argument 2: Reducing Discrimination
1. The Declaration of Independence does not in fact, state that everyone should be socio-economically equal. “All men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.” (3) What the Declaration does say, is that all people are created equal, on a moral and legal standpoint. This does not mean that the people have equal outcomes per se, or even equal opportunities. Equality from the angle Salam is looking at, is not what the Declaration is representing.
2. I would also like to point out that Salam’s evidence in his second argument are dated 1997 and 1999 respectively, from a study in 2006. This means that there was likely progress made in the meantime, and that discrimination is not as big of a problem today as it once was.
3. Affirmative Action has been around for approximately 55 years. Salam’s data continues to show that problems in key areas still exist, and therefore A.A. isn’t solving these problems that it was designed to address. A.A. cannot be necessary anymore if, after 55 years, there are still problems that needed addressing when A.A. was first enacted; it has already done what good it can.
4. The Biernat and Kobrynowicz study that Salam uses says: ““We predicted and found that participants set lower minimum-competency standards, but higher ability standards, for female than for male and for Black than for White applicants. Thus, although it may be easier for low- than high-status group members to meet (low) standards, these same people must work harder to prove that their performance is ability based.” (4) The angle which his source is portraying this quote is actually different from how it is represented in the original source. What the study says is that white people have lower expectations for black people, and that when black people achieve more, white people attribute their success more to luck instead of skill. Therefore, it is not true to use the quote in the way Salam did, that black people are held to stricter levels of competence, but rather African Americans must work harder to show that, when they perform highly, they are able to do so because of their skill and ability, rather than being fortunate. If this is true, this important question comes to mind: will Affirmative Action solve this problem? A.A. is not a racial education program; it inputs positive discrimination into the hiring process. Therefore, A.A. is not actively rebutting stereotypes that are creating the problems explained in the study. Moreover, in my case, A.A. actually increases the stigma that minority groups succeed for reasons other than their ability and talent, which worsens the problems Biernat and Kobrynowicz are trying to address.
Argument 3: Affirmative Action relating to Police
1. Salam did not actually present any empirical research showing how big of an issue of racial mismatch between the community and the police force is in the U.S., nor does he have evidence arguing that diversification would actually work to solve these issues. In New York City, the police department is just as “diverse” as the community, yet the Eric Garner killing sparked protests and massive civil unrest (5).
2. Salam’s evidence that says, “The police force should reflect the racial diversity of the community,” suggests that police officers should be hired as a mirror of the community. This is not the case, as everyone in said city relies on the police force to protect them and their community from criminals. Therefore, officers should be hired based upon their qualifications and the ability to perform well in their line of work, without regard to race or gender.
3. Affirmative Action isn’t really promoting true diversity. It represents an unjust system that undermines meritocracy to hire people based upon race and gender, not ability and talent. "Although the groups covered by affirmative action tend to be poorer than their neighbours, the individuals who benefit are often not. One American federal-contracting programme favours businesses owned by “socially and economically disadvantaged” people. Such people can be 87 times richer than the average American family and still be deemed “disadvantaged” if their skin is the right colour." This evidence also pertains to the subject of unjust hiring without regard to meritocracy. (1)
I stand with my claims from the rebuttal; the harms outweigh the benefits, A.A. increases racial stigma, it is a system that is no longer needed, and it doesn’t address the things it was designed to. Thank you, and vote Pro!
6) My First Argument (4)
I want to apologize for the readers for the forfeit. I actually had prepared my case in time, but DDO stalled on me and I didn't get a chance to post it. I was pretty upset (see the comment), and I posted the argument in comments. Here is the link again [https://docs.google.com...]. But before I begin my rebuttal, I want to give special thanks to TheProphett for his understanding. He definitely has class. But despite how much I like Pro, I do disagree with him on this topic and I will represent my rebuttal of his arguments below.
Pro presents too many arguments, which make it a nightmare for me to respond to (as well as for the voter to read). This is considered Gish Gallop [http://rationalwiki.org...]. For some of these arguments, my response will be brief. Don't penalizing for this.
Pro argues against AA (Affirmative Action) in employment and in education. Let me make it very clear to the reader that the Burden of Proof for Pro is to negate both types of AA. If either type of AA ought not to be banned, then the resolution is firmly negated. I will defend AA policy for both employment and education.
Rebuttal 1: An Outdated System?
Pro argues that AA is an outdated system. I am willing to consider this possibility. But to do so, Pro must show that AA has either achieved its goal, or that it's no longer effective. Pro fails to uphold his burden of proof on these two areas as I will explain below.
Pro states that AA "may have been needed at the time [i.e. in the early 1960's]", but "significant improvements have been made in eliminating discrimination from our society". I'm glad that Pro agrees that eliminating discrimination from our society is necessary. And I also agree with his assessment that there were many improvements, by Pro's own confession, were made possible because of AA (among other initiatives). Pro cites that "5x as many African Americans now hold managerial posts" and that "9/10s of African Americans hold high school diplomas".
While all these results are great, and speak to the importance of AA, the goal that Pro seeks which is the "elimination of discrimination from our society" has not been achieved yet. I can prove this from the very data that Pro provides. "Black college completion rate as a percentage of the white rate has improved from 42% then to 62% now" . But 62% is not 100%. There are also numerous studies that conclude that "African Americans’ continuing experiences with racism and discrimination" . A new study has shown that "even when candidates who are black hold degrees from elite schools such as Stanford, Duke, and, yes, Harvard. [The researcher] found disparities in both the number of responses black and white job candidates received from employers and in the level of starting salaries offered" . In other words, while we are closer to eliminating discrimination, we are not there yet.
Pro then argues that AA is therefore no longer needed. His argument is non-sequitur. There is no link between his observations that discrimination has decreased to whether AA is no longer needed. Why is it not needed now? Pro's only explanation "it represents a colorized America, and racial inequities, which is detrimental to society". His argument is unclear. On one hand, he claims that AA has helped reduce discrimination; on the other hand he says that it's detrimental to society. How is it detrimental? No explanation, no examples… He then argues that "it is questionable how much more A.A. can still do in this area, and whether the harms outweigh the benefits". These are all bare assertions. It's Pro's burden of proof to show why AA cannot do much in this area. It's his burden to show that the harms outweigh the benefits.
I conclude by saying that this argument tips to my favor. Pro has shown that AA has worked in the past. He also shows that the goal of eliminating discrimination has not been achieved. Also, he hasn't explained why AA is no longer effective or more harmful. Therefore we ought to keep AA policies.
Rebuttal 2: Reverse Discrimination?
What Pro doesn't understand is that the goal of AA is to eliminate unjust discrimination that already exists as I've shown in my case . Without AA, as I've shown in studies before, the likelihood that someone would be selected because he's white is higher that if he was black. The goal of AA is to ensure that employers and educators offer minorities an equal chance. That's equality. That's fairness. This is not discrimination against whites and the privileged. It's like saying that we shouldn't pay taxes to fund programs that benefit the disadvantages and poor. Is it discriminatory to the millionaire or billionaire who pays more taxes than a homeless person? The same applies here – AA is a policy to correct the unfairness imposed by the society. AA reduces discrimination… it doesn't create it.
Pro states: "One applicant who does not fit in with this category might have great qualifications and amazing potential, but he might lose it to a person that falls within one of these categories because they are simply needed to fill the spots on paper."
Unfortunately, many people don't understand AA enough that they make claims like the one Pro just made. AA doesn't mean that qualification or potential is not a requirement for hiring. AA seeks to ensure that African Americans or females would be preferred if they are equally qualified or have comparable skills. Evidence that skilled white people who have difficult landing a job is unfounded. AA basically states that employers can't take it too far! If more than 90% of employees are white, then something is really wrong and rigged in the hiring process that AA attempts to correct.
Colleges without AA will favor White students because of their earlier educational advantages. If we remove AA, white students will dominate colleges. Unless these already existing conditions are corrected (with the help of AA), repealing AA would not only fail to correct racial injustice, it would actually reinforce it . In other words, Pro's proposal would increase unfairness, increase prejudice and increase racial injustice.
Rebuttal 3: Meritocracy?
A. Harms the System/Unfair
This argument is identical to Rebuttal 2.B. See my rebuttal above.
B. Encourages Laziness
This argument is ridiculous. Competition for colleges is very high. It will increase competition for minorities who believe that now that they have a chance to make it to college. It's much better than the despair that they would have otherwise! If minorities (African Americans) feel that their chances to make it to college are very limited due to the prejudice that exists, it's only conceivable that they might lose hope and not work hard to make it to college. In other words, AA promotes hard work, not laziness.
To turn this argument to my favor, meritocracy means that people should be selected based on their abilities or merit . But while this seems fair, the reality is that "success is when hard work meets opportunity" . In other words, white people will be more successful because of the skin of their color, and not because of their abilities. White people have access to better opportunities. Education is one of those opportunities that becomes the building block for anyone's success. This is where AA is very powerful.
Rebuttal 4: Perpetuating Stigma and Racial Thinking?
This argument is interesting, but very untrue. As I said earlier, African American workers must be qualified to get the job. A Gallup study has shown that nearly 90% of respondents said "No" on the question "Did you feel others question your abilities because of affirmative action?" .
Actually, this argument goes in my favor as AA has helped raise the self-esteem of minority groups . This argument as I said is interesting, but not factual.
Rebuttal 5: Beneficiaries’ Success?
First of all, Pro makes the mistake that minority groups would be selected with fewer qualifications are more ill equipped for the job. But that's not what AA is about. As I said, over and over again, AA is about hiring qualified employees that are from a minority group. So this argument doesn't pan out at all.
Regarding education, I don't disagree that minority groups are more likely to struggle. That's because of the inequality that's existing. Just because it's not perfect, doesn't mean that it's not effective! When it started in the 60's, there's no doubt that more African Americans failed than white people. But AA has helped improve the situation. "In 2008, 19.6 percent of all African Americans over the age of 25 held a college degree. This figure has in-creased significantly from 13.8 percent in 1996 and 11.3 percent in 1990" . This is much less that the 32.6 percent of white population. So what I argue is that I have no doubt that African Americans are still disadvantaged, but they are better off today than before. Thanks to AA.
Rebuttal 6: Beast of Burden?
This argument is just defensive. I didn't say that AA is necessary as a vengeance or retribution for the harms against African Americans in the past. AA is a policy that helps correct inequality that exists in our society today. Do Catholics and the Irish struggle to get a job because of who they are? I don't think so. I do see however a strong argument to protect LGBT members, especially the transgendered. That's not so complicated to administer. So I reject Pro's claim entirely.
And I want to add a small point that irks me a bit. For Pro to reject and ban a working policy because it addresses the vast majority of the disadvantaged, but might miss a few, is quite ridiculous. No policy is that perfect. No policy addresses all issues. AA does an excellent job of addressing the vast majority of the disadvantaged, and that's reasonable to accept.
Sources in Comments
Thanks, Salam! I will now defend my case.
Salam misunderstands what gish gallop is. It is presenting more arguments than are reasonable in order to make it impossible for an opponent to respond to them all. Firstly, six arguments is not gish gallop; you can look at some of the best debates in the HOF and find more than six arguments being made in a case (for example,). If amazing debates such as those can have numerous arguments, the few that I have can hardly be considered unfair. Secondly, Salam has the same number of characters to rebut what I said as I had to make my case. Finally, some of Salam’s arguments were repetitive (re: qualified minorities). He could’ve addressed all my points to his satisfaction.
Per the rules laid out by Salam, the burden of proof is shared. Here, Salam tries to shift all of the BOP to me, in violation of his own rules. The correct interpretation of the topic means we both have to offer positive arguments, meaning that I must prove A.A. (educational and employment) should be banned, and that he must prove A.A. (both educational and employment) should not be banned. If I fail to prove A.A. should be banned, but he also fails to prove that A.A. should not be banned, then the debate is a tie.
Argument 1: An Outdated System
1. Salam says that I must show that A.A. has met its goal, or is no longer effective, in order to show that it is outdated. In my rebuttal to Salam’s case, I show that it’s often not effective, and in my outdated argument, I show that enough progress has been made that the harms of A.A. don’t outweigh the benefits. The question is not whether A.A. no longer effective at its goal or whether it has already reached its goal, but whether the potential benefits it could still bring outweigh the harms.
2. Salam says that A.A. has led to all the progress that I mentioned. But I never said that. If you look at the Economist article I cited in my rebuttal to his case, a lot of benefits to minorities can come from economic growth rather than A.A. So, just because minorities are better off in some respects, that doesn’t mean A.A. was the cause of that. Salam MUST show causality between the positive outcomes he cites and A.A. if he wants to make the claim that A.A. is working. Theoretical arguments are nice, but without non-correlational statistical data, Salam cannot prove that A.A. actually was the primary or even a major generator of these benefits.
3. Salam says I never show how A.A. is detrimental, but all of my subsequent contentions explain how it is a bad thing.
4. Again, Salam tries to unfairly shift the BOP to me. Even if you, as the judge, don’t buy into this argument, for Salam to show that A.A. ought not to be banned (which is his half of the BOP), he must show that the harms of it do not outweigh the benefits.
Argument 2: Reverse Discrimination
Salam says that the goal of A.A. is to eliminate unjust discrimination. But, isn’t reverse discrimination unjust. For instance, there was a case where 12 white firefighters had scored better on their exams than the black firefighters, but the government chose to promote the black firefighters instead.  This isn’t giving blacks and whites an equal chance, it’s actively biasing the process in favor of the black employees, who received the same training through the fire department program. Surely, if you and I engage in a race, and I win based on merit by coming in first, then should I not receive the prize? It was unfair for these firefighters to be denied their promotions.
Additionally, note that most A.A. beneficiaries, as I said last round, are wealthy African Americans; they are not the truly needy. If this is the case, A.A. isn’t just getting the disadvantaged caught up, it’s giving the already well-positions an extra leg up. It’s not promoting “equal opportunity.”
Salam said: “AA seeks to ensure that African Americans or females would be preferred if they are equally qualified or have comparable skills.” But, the fire department example disproves this, and reinforced my point, which was: “One applicant who does not fit in with this category might have great qualifications and amazing potential, but he might lose it to a person that falls within one of these categories because they are simply needed to fill the spots on paper.”
Salam says that my “proposal would increase unfairness.” This would only be true if African Americans (without A.A.) would be more discriminated against than Whites and Asians would with A.A. Since all Whites and Asians are subject to these unfair educational assessments, and since there are more Whites and Asians, eliminating A.A. would likely have the least net discrimination. But, more importantly, because African Americans are much better off now (as Salam and I have agreed), taking away A.A. won’t have the kind of negative backlash Salam describes, because African Americans are better positioned to be competitive in a color blind society.
Finally, saying that taking away A.A. will make the system less fair assumes that A.A. actually makes the system more fair. I have already questioned whether A.A. works. If A.A. doesn’t work, or if Salam can’t show that it does work, Salam’s points here are irrelevant.
Argument 3: Meritocracy
A. Harms the System/Unfair
The arguments aren’t identical. Argument 2 is talking about the physical, measurable harms of reverse discrimination, and this argument is talking about the philosophical dangers of sidestepping meritocratic processes. Salam needed to respond to these two points separately, and by failing to do so, he DROPS this point.
B. Encourages Laziness
Salam never rebutted the following evidence: “Asian-Americans needed nearly perfect SAT scores of 1550 to have the same chance of being accepted at a top private university as whites who scored 1410 and African Americans who got 1100,” as well as other Argument 2 evidence.
This data proves that African Americans do not need to do as well to succeed in college. This means that they don’t need to work as hard to do just as well as other groups.
Salam says that a system without A.A. would make minorities desperate, and so they wouldn’t work as hard. This isn’t proof that a system with A.A. would make them work harder. And, I am the only one with hard data on this issue, so prefer my logic.
Cross-apply my reverse discrimination arguments against Salam’s “turn”. Also cross-apply the fact that this “turn” also relies on the assumption that A.A. is effective, and that minorities are now better able to compete in a color-blind world.
Argument 4: Perpetuating Stigma and Racial Thinking
Affirmative action reinforces racial stereotyping and stigmatizes minority groups. This happens because outsiders look in on the benefits of affirmative action as discriminatory bias. What Salam says about the credibility of my argument is untrue. Yes affirmative action may raise self esteem, but it also creates reverse discrimination from people who do not gain benefits from the law, as stated in my second argument. Salam states that, “African American workers must be qualified to get the job.” There is no doubt in my mind that the recipients of these jobs are qualified, but the fact that they can be favored over more qualified and equipped applicants is what perpetuates the stigma and racial thinking. “Finally, preferential treatment will spur claims from all groups who feel they have been victims of injustice.” (2) Evidence from my past argument shows that not only will non-minority groups speak up, but also from minority groups who feel they have been victimized by the unfair benefits of A.A. If affirmative action is abolished, then we can be sure that all applicants are treated as equals in relation to ability and skill.
Argument 5: Beneficiaries Success
When hiring and acceptance into selective programs is based upon race, this represents colored thinking, which is not a good representation of a first world society. “Affirmative action, or positive discrimination, is the policy of favoring members of a disadvantaged group who suffer from discrimination within a culture.” (3) This means that the companies, or schools, applying A.A. laws look more closely at disadvantaged minority groups. Reverse discrimination is created by the unfair favoring of a minority group, and A.A. is effectively producing it in all applicable areas. The fact that more skilled and qualified applicants can be overlooked for those of minority groups is an inequality that is ever-so-present.
Argument 6: Beast of Burden
There is a vast amount of litigation surrounding this issue. From non-minority groups to minority groups alike, they all have something to say about A.A. There are some discriminated in the past groups that do not gain benefits, and there are non-minorities that are filing lawsuits claiming that racial bias is a real, and unfair thing. A.A. is about righting previous wrongs, which is why it provides positive discrimination to disadvantaged groups. It creates more controversy than it does good, and should be abloshed.
Salam must show that A.A. produces benefits, and must show that these benefits are not outweighed by the harms. I must show the opposite.
Salam cannot show the A.A. actually causes the benefits he talks about, so he’s already in trouble in terms of meeting his BOP. And, even if A.A. is the cause, Salam doesn’t quantify the benefits very well. I have shown clear harms to A.A., including reverse discrimination, harms to the meritocratic system, and the lack of success met by the so-called “beneficiaries” of A.A. Much of these latter two harms were dropped by Salam. Minorities are better off now than they were when A.A. started, and so are better able to cope with a colorblind society. For these reasons, Vote Pro!
2) Argument, Round 1
3) Salam's Rebuttal
I want to thank my opponent for an excellent debate. This was a pleasure, despite him presenting a whole lot of arguments and sub arguments. I will defend my case in this round.
I will use this round as a thank you to my opponent, salam.morcos, and the moderator of the tournament, 1harderthanyouthink. Because of this debate, I have gained a much more complex understanding of argumentation and debating, so much that I will actually take debate in high school. You have been a wonderful opponent, and let the best debater win!
For those of you who did not read the first round rules, this round is where I abstain. Good luck to salam!
|Who won the debate:||-|