The Instigator
Paradigm_Lost
Pro (for)
Losing
45 Points
The Contender
Danielle
Con (against)
Winning
48 Points

Black Rednecks and White Liberals

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/3/2008 Category: Society
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,184 times Debate No: 3893
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
Votes (28)

 

Paradigm_Lost

Pro

I recently read a book entitled "Black Rednecks and White Liberals," written by a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute, a conservative think-tank on the Stanford University campus.

http://www.tsowell.com...

Needless to say, the book is compelling and chock-full of well-sourced material lending credence to his suppositions. There are a myriad of topics contained within the book, however, as the title of the book suggests, I would like to discuss, well, black rednecks and white liberals.

Sowell alleges:

"White liberals in many roles -- as intellectuals, politicians, celebrities, judges, teachers -- have aided and abetted the perpetuation of a counterproductive and self-destructive lifestyle among black rednecks. The welfare state has made it economically possible to avoid many of the painful consequences of this lifestyle that forced previous generations of blacks and whites to move away from the redneck culture and its values...

Blaming others for anything in which blacks lag has become standard operating procedure among white liberals. If blacks do not pass bar exams or medical board tests as often as whites or Asians, then somehow that shows that something was wrong with the test itself, as far as many white liberals are concerned. Best-selling author, Andrew Hacker, for example, says that academic problems in general are created for black students in "white colleges" (whatever that is), because such curricula focuses on "white learning and logic, in their conceptions of scholarly knowledge and demeanor." Why this does not seem to be a problem for Asian students remains to be a mystery, even though blacks have lived in this white society centuries longer than either Asian Americans or contemporary immigrants from Asia who seem to excel." -Thomas Sowell

Before you label the man as a firebrand, its worth mentioning that Sowell himself is black, and obviously has no ill-will toward black America. In fact, if there were any one he does have a problem with, it would likely be white liberals. But why?

Sowell and I both agree that many liberals ingratiate themselves without realizing it. There exists in them what Sowell calls "white guilt," whereupon all Caucasians are somehow indebted to all Negro's for slavery. I'm not. I wasn't there and neither were those who are claiming reparations for their ancestors. And so he states, and I agree, that racism still exists. It will always exist on some level. A novel idea would be to not base our beliefs about people over the color of their skin, but of the content of their character, such as the great American patriot Dr. Martin Luther King espoused. By coddling those who claim just such a hardship, you are hindering them, not helping them. You are giving them no incentive with hand-out's (based solely on their race, interestingly enough) than you would if you just gave everyone the same opportunity equally -- truly equally, not this superficial, politically correct, dog and pony show.

Sowell believes that despite their best intentions, white liberals have "shackled the black man to a plantation mentality." Through this debasement of the self and this self-loathing, many white liberals feel that this is the only way to purge the sins of their forefathers, a burden they were never meant to carry. What's more, is no one recognizing the inherent racism in this line of thinking? By compartmentalizing people by their race, irrespective of practically denouncing ones own race in an attempt at deference, it only serves to exacerbate the evil of racism, not mitigate it.

In closing, I want to set the parameters of the debate for the purposes of clarity and conciseness. I agree with the author, Sowell, that extreme pandering and mollycoddling of blacks on the basis of their blackness is offensive and counterproductive. Its tantamount to saying that unless you give a black man a leg up and give him special dispensations, that he will be unable to overcome racism. The irony is that what these white liberals are doing IS racism, and I for one, along with Sowell, am deeply offended by it.
Danielle

Con

Here's my issue.

"Sowell believes that despite their best intentions, white liberals have shackled the black man to a plantation mentality."

Damn. Why are WHITE LIBERALS the problem? Why aren't these so-called black rednecks the problem? I feel that Sowell, despite HIS best intentions, is being terribly hypocritical: Here he is blaming white people (surprise surprise) though this time it's the Liberals he's attacking instead of the Conservatives -- the ones who usually get the brunt of the blame for society's inherent racism. Does he think he's being clever? He's only repeating things that Conservatives or others who have opposed things like Affirmative Action have been saying all along! Yet because he is black this is supposed to be... ground-breaking? Give me a break. If Sowell were any different than the finger-pointers out there, he would stop looking to blame ANYONE but those who are "shackled" into poverty.

"White liberals in many roles -- as intellectuals, politicians, celebrities, judges, teachers -- have aided and abetted the perpetuation of a counterproductive and self-destructive lifestyle among black rednecks."

Maybe so. But so have BLACK liberals. Why are white people always somehow to blame? My opponent concluded his argument by stating that he strongly opposes the extreme pandering and mollycoddling of Black America in hopes that it will allow them to overcome racism. I agree. However I took on this debate because I disagree with Sowell/Pro that white liberals are in turn responsible for current injustice -- the last time I checked, black Americans were capable of reading and writing; I'm sure they have figured out by now that we are all EQUAL human beings (afterall they've been chanting it for decades) with EQUAL opportunity - in terms of race - of overcoming hardship. Poverty is not a white circumstance or a black circumstance.

"The irony is that what these white liberals are doing IS racism, and I for one, along with Sowell, am deeply offended by it."

I'm deeply offended by it too. My opponent and I agree here. But let's put the blame where the blame is due: if Sowell was capable of figuring this all out, then OTHER black individuals are capable of figuring this out. So instead of looking for hand-outs (not that all black people do - just the ones we're discussing), maybe they should try focusing on hard work and education to learn how to overcome the present injustice, instead of continuing to blame white people for their circumstance. No one is holding a gun to their head and forcing them to go on welfare or accept 'our' hand-outs. It is the "black rednecks" themselves giving white people so much power.

Consider my opponent's argument regarding "unfair" testing. Who is doing the whining about the test's "white" structure? White liberals and black rednecks? Well then it's simple - you have the black community step up and say, "No, black people didn't do poorly because the test was biased towards black people." This is the alternative to calling Al Shaprton for rambling on their behalf and working the white people up in a frenzy to come to their defense. The fact of the matter is that some black individuals LIKE playing the race card, because it puts the blame on others instead of themselves and can apparently serve as an excuse in just about every situation. Don't blame the PC white folk who are brainwashed/threatened to consider their perspective. Blame the people who perpetuate "white liberalism" entirely - the "black rednecks" themselves.
Debate Round No. 1
Paradigm_Lost

Pro

"Why are WHITE LIBERALS the problem? Why aren't these so-called black rednecks the problem?"

They both share blame, and it obviously is hyperbole since it does not extend to every single white liberal or every black redneck. Just for clarification, the term "black redneck" was borne out of history. For instance, in the first chapter he goes over how black culture is anything but authentic, but rather, actually shows evidence of a highly dysfunctional white, southern redneck culture. He doesn't stop there because the antebellum South borrowed its poor manners from across the pond in the Scottish highlands. He uses philology and mannerisms to trace it back to these roots.

He then attempts to uncover why such modes of speech and mannerisms seem to persist in Southern culture today. But more than that, Sowell claims that while the South is moving away from these attitudes, contemporary blacks who seem to not only condone such brash behavior, but also glorify it.

He then explains why this rationale is so highly favored amongst black communities in America. He makes a beeline straight toward black activism and white liberals who have coddled, praised, and perpetuated such ill-behavior. Sowell alleges that white liberals have placed all the blame on white society for all of the abject misery that has come upon the negro culture in America. He quickly dispels such a notion in a very thoughtful and insightful manner.

"Here he is blaming white people (surprise surprise) though this time it's the Liberals he's attacking instead of the Conservatives -- the ones who usually get the brunt of the blame for society's inherent racism. Does he think he's being clever?"

No, he is accurately assessing the situation. Many people within black America have been sold on the notion that it is liberal America that has their best interests in mind. But history tells a very different story. Conservative blacks, such as Martin Luther King, have stood for REAL equality, where liberal America has stood with racist ideologues like the Black Panther Party and the Nation of Islam.

"He's only repeating things that Conservatives or others who have opposed things like Affirmative Action have been saying all along! Yet because he is black this is supposed to be... ground-breaking? Give me a break."

He isn't claiming any kind of ground-breaking revelation here. He is simply trying to educate people of all races that that things like Affirmative Action is completely counterproductive and is itself inherently racist. He does not believe that a white man should be passed up for a job if he is more suited for the job against a black man who gets the job simply because he was born black. As wonderful as the intentions may have been to "level the playing field," it has done nothing to fix race relations. Moreover, if I were a black man I would be indignant at how offensive a policy like AA really is.

"the last time I checked, black Americans were capable of reading and writing; I'm sure they have figured out by now that we are all EQUAL human beings"

Yes, but that is exactly the point I, and Sowell, am trying to make. In fact, by the sounds of it, you and I would actually be in agreement with Sowell. Granted, you presumably have not read the book, so it is conceivable that you cannot fully understand his position. But let me put it to you this way: There are many, many black people that refer to him as an "Uncle Tom," a disgustingly slanderous term for the crime of not "keeping it real," whatever the hell that is supposed to mean.

"if Sowell was capable of figuring this all out, then OTHER black individuals are capable of figuring this out."

Which is why he wrote the book.

"maybe they should try focusing on hard work and education to learn how to overcome the present injustice, instead of continuing to blame white people for their circumstance."

Amen! And that is actually his point... What he is saying is that the very people who are "trying to help the black man," is actually hindering them and encouraging them to live out this idea that white America is out to get them. Many white liberals are indictable under this charge as co-conspirators as far as I'm concerned with the way they kiss so much a**. It's pathetic. They romanticize black activism as if it were some kind of a virtue to aspire to, presumably because it appeals to their own communist roots.

"Don't blame the PC white folk who are brainwashed/threatened to consider their perspective. Blame the people who perpetuate "white liberalism" entirely - the "black rednecks" themselves."

Brother, I am in agreement with you. Both are accountable. But you must understand that the little disclaimer has to be given in this day and age, that, heaven forbid, somebody say an ill-word about a stereotyped black guy. Don't you think it's bull crap to labeled an Uncle Tom just because he aspires to rise above the ghetto culture that so captivates many people within black America?

Think of it this way: On the Left side of the playing field, as far as relatively prominent blacks go, we have Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Cornell West, Louis Farrakhan, etc. These are liberal blowhards who perpetuate this nonsense as if it were a genuine culture to be preserved, whereas on the opposite end of that spectrum, we have Thomas Sowell, Clarence Thomas, Bill Cosby, and Shelby Steele. All of the frightening black demagogues of our time have all been from the left -- the hard left, who were swept up in the 60's

It isn't "white people" per say, anymore than it is "black people" per say. And this is what Sowell is distinguishing. There is a specific kind of people who are perpetuating the thug mentality, and that is this MTV generation liberals who spun the wool over the eyes of the lemmings, who fall all over themselves for such superficial nonsense. By cheering it on and calling it one thing when its something totally different is the problem. The point is that it really isn't a white/black issue. Its an issue of mentality spewing out of an ideology-- a liberal ideology that exacerbates it.
Danielle

Con

Danielle forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
Paradigm_Lost

Pro

Paradigm_Lost forfeited this round.
Danielle

Con

As you can see from the comment section, I would have posted my Round 2 argument on time had there not been a glitch on the site (it momentarily allowed me to post comments but not arguments). Regardless of whether or not you would like to hold this againt me, I'd like to point out that my opponent also forfeited his final round, thus the elimination of these 2 rounds should not be held against either one of us - we are now debating on equal playing field. With that said, let us conclude this debate.

Clearly my opponent and I agree on a lot of the issues. We are both against Affirmative Action, and we believe in many of the same principles in terms of education/work ideology. I'm assuming that while posting this debate, Pro had intended to debate someone (probably a white liberal) who supported AA and "leveling the playing field" amongst blacks and whites in America. However the differentiation between our positions is this: Pro agrees with Sowell that White Liberals and Black Rednecks are to blame for society's current perception on race relations; I believe that it is solely the fault of Black Rednecks (possibly Black America in general) - NOT white liberals.

Throughout United States history there has been an unfortunate abundance of racism, especially pre-Civil Rights Movement. Those who opposed the racist practices within our society - white liberals - attempted to step up and support the black community in some of their endeavors. They wanted to show them and the world that they did not agree with current politics. My opponent discusses an example:

"Many people within black America have been sold on the notion that it is liberal America that has their best interests in mind ... where liberal America has stood with racist ideologues like the Black Panther Party"

Okay. First, the organization was called the BLACK Panthers - not the Black and White Liberal Panthers. Second, at its inception, the BP was an organization that was established to promote civil rights and self defense (protection from racist police brutality). However, over time the objectives and philosophy of the party shifted to include more political goals. The Party's leaders were passionate socialists, and though membership was exclusive to black individuals only, the organization "instituted a variety of community programs to alleviate poverty and improve health among communities deemed most needful of aid" as cited on Wikipedia.

So here's what I'm seeing. Black individuals created a group that opposed racist police brutality, white liberals supported that notion, and somehow that makes them responsible for negative race relations today? Bull. The BP was part of the counterculture of the 1960s and developed socialist ideals very similar to the hippy population at the time. They wanted the same peace and equality that white liberals stood for (remember many white protesters were beaten and thrown in jail too). To blame white liberal support of the BP movement in terms of today's racism is a fallacy. Besides, the BP ultimately agreed with my opponent and I that black nationalism = black racism. So...

I just feel that white people can't win in today's very PC society. If we don't help, we're racist, and if we accomodate black America, we're holding them down. I understand where the author Sowell is coming from (I have a pretty good idea of what he's trying to get across thanks to Pro's discussion) but like I said - it's nothing new. This is what Republicans have been saying all along. My point is that this should be a fight within the black community itself and white people... liberals, conservatives, whatever... should just stay out of it. We're going to get a guilt trip regardless of what we do.

I feel that the black community has failed itself. Like Pro noted, Martin Luther King had the right idea when he promoted discipline, hard work, education, and peaceful protest. Once the community rejected that ideology for that of Malcolm X, their progress towards equality went downhill. My point is that white liberals supported MLK -- they were caucasians who wanted to see equality and change. Many white liberals (such as myself) still stand for these same beliefs. Those who are silly enough to buy into things like Affirmative Action do so, I believe, through brainwashing and intimidation from the black community. You've got these far-left morons like Sharpton telling the world that we owe something to the black community. In reality, the black community owes something to itself.

Let's take a brief look at an example from American History. After the Housing act of 1937, public housing apartments were erected all over the country, including on Chicago's North Side. Many poor Italian families resided in what was known as the Cabrini-Green complex. In the 1940s and 50s, an abundance of poor blacks, mainly from the south (black rednecks) swarmed Chicago to the point where they had to build a lot more housing to accomodate the poor minority. Ultimately, the black popularion in Chicago skyrocketed from 278,000 to over 800,000 in just a few short years. The result was African Americans essentially "taking over" the housing projects in the city.

But what about the all-white families that had lived in these complexes before the mass arrival of poor blacks? Well they found a way to utilize the government's assistance to the point where they were able to get back on their feet and live independently. Meanwhile, those projects have been dominated by blacks for the past 50+ years. Rather than place unfair blame on the white liberals who support certain helpful policies, we should be recognizing that the black community has failed miserably at overcoming the struggle by using the liberal politics to their advantage.

In other words, Affirmative Action in its truest form may not have been a bad idea. However, this policy is ineffective because the minorities it is intended to help do not take advantage of it. Thus, the problem is not in the liberal politics promoted by white liberals. The problem lies in the mindset of an oppressed community who feels that there is no way out. This in no way is the fault of those trying to help. This is the fault of those who are unaware of the possibilities, or too scared/lazy to utilize what's out there.
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by whiteflame 1 month ago
whiteflame
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>Reported vote: Kescarte_DeJudica// Mod action: NOT Removed<

4 points to Pro (Conduct, Arguments). Reasons for voting decision: RFD can be found here: http://www.debate.org...... http://www.debate.org......

[*Reason for non-removal*] The voter does more than enough to explain both point allocations. For arguments, contrary to the report, the voter does assess points made by Con in the debate. Much as these may not include many points, that is not required for sufficiency under the standards.
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Posted by whiteflame 2 months ago
whiteflame
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>Reported vote: fire_wings// Mod action: Removed<

4 points to Pro (Conduct, Arguments). Reasons for voting decision:

[*Reason for removal*] Vote placed outside of what is considered to be reasonable expectations for proper voting conduct. Contact head moderator Airmax1227 for details.
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Posted by Paradigm_Lost 8 years ago
Paradigm_Lost
"Ok I was JUST about to post my Round 2 argument... it said I had 10 minutes left"

No worries... I was out of town for 5 days, so I forfeited my final round. Grrrrrrrrrr....
Posted by Danielle 8 years ago
Danielle
Ok I was JUST about to post my Round 2 argument... it said I had 10 minutes left and all I had to do was copy and paste what I wrote in Microsoft Word into here... but whatever.

In my experience, nobody who has forfeited Round 2 of a debate could ever put forth a win, especially when debating a competent opponent. I regret that I was unable post in time (this is BS!) but I hope that people will not hold the round's forfeit against me when I do include my final post in Round 3.
Posted by MaxHayslip 8 years ago
MaxHayslip
I want to debate you, just because I believe you are an intelligent person, although I agree with your stance so it would be unwise of me to argue.
28 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
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