The Instigator
Alduin
Pro (for)
Winning
6 Points
The Contender
grotto77
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Does Affirmative Action Violate the 14th Amendment?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Alduin
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/7/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 9,409 times Debate No: 61402
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (9)
Votes (2)

 

Alduin

Pro

Does affirmative action violate the 14th amendment?!? (Gasp)
grotto77

Con

I think it doesn't. The whole purpose of the affirmative action is to equalize social oddities and therefore contributes to equal rights and protection of laws. Not only I don't find affirmative action unconstitutional, I believe it's the proper action a government should take in case there are severe disproportions in society. We can argue if present general social status of certain ethnicities is or is not a consequence resulting from slavery and oppression in the past, but the fact is both slavery and oppression took place. Let's consider affirmative action a form of repatriation. Nobody got any financial reparation for the horrific treatment of African-Americans during slavery, which was legal under the United State laws.
Debate Round No. 1
Alduin

Pro

Well, as you know the 14th Amendment says very clearly that "no state shall deny any person equal protection under the law." That means that all laws passed by the 50 states have to apply to everyone, equally. Affirmative Action gives a racial preference to some Americans in hiring, in school admissions and other competitive areas. If an individual American gets a preference, then he or she is not being treated equally with everyone else. It's simple as that. In 2006, 58% of Mischigan voters struck down racial preferences at state colleges and universities. Eventually it was appealed to the Supreme Court, which ruled 6-2 that the people of Michigan have a constitutional right to say no to Affirmitive Action. So should the Equal Protection Clause carve out a special place for special Americans? The problem is, by giving one person preference based on skin color or ethnicity, you harm another person. The University of Michigan can only admit so many students. If a white student meets the criteria, but is denied admission because a black person with lesser credentials is given preference, the white person is not receiving equal protection. Therefore, it's a violation of the 14th Amendment. It's kinda simple.
grotto77

Con

There are two different approaches to this. One is through legal lingo and the second one through the actual meaning and purpose of it. What laws say is basically up to decision of the people, and how the law is enforced as well. So let's focus more about the purpose. Let me ask and answer the very key questions:

Was there slavery, once legal in The United States?
Yes.
Is it the fault of this generation of whites (or non-blacks)?
No.
Do citizens of all races live about the same standard?
No.
Is crime rate per individual minorities about the same?
No.
Is poverty rate and wealth rate per individual minorities about the same?
No.
Is the situation of children from white and black families the same in regard to access to healthcare, education and later jobs?
No.

Should there be something done about it? I believe it should. The government job is to ensure the society doesn't collapse. They should try to prevent, punish crime as much as possible. They should try to fix the problems of society or particular social groups. More educations, better jobs, less crime = stronger economy, safer living environment, better social and just atmosphere.

Do you really believe that affirmative action entitles black people to undeserved privileges? I believe it's a partial help for people who suffer the practical consequences of racial inequality. If people wouldn't discriminate (which in a sense is their free will) then yes, granting privileges to one race would be unconstitutional and discriminatory. But in case you believe that being born black is associated with worse social status and access to means of improvement, then you may call affirmative action a sensible and acceptable tool to correction of a generally existing wrongdoing (applied in society by default).

Let me demonstrate it on an example. The seniors, children and disabled have lower entrance fees to museums, lower mass transportation fares, etc. Is it constitutional in the litteral sense? Is there a preference of some people before others? Yes, of course there is, and there is a sense behind it. Seniors and disabled are in average less wealthy than healthy, able to work adults. And families have tighter budgets than individuals or couples. Someone can raise a question, why a different rule is applied to that kid, this senior or this guy in a wheelchair? Why I have to pay the full price and they pay less for the same thing? I think it comes down to how you look at it and if you're willing to understand the meaning behind it or you just want to fight the system to achieve equality, within which you are actually the more privileged.
Debate Round No. 2
Alduin

Pro

I agree with your list up until the last question. Blacks have every access to everything that whites do. If they didn't there would be lawsuits out the nose. Now what is the number 1 poverty killer in the USA? Education. A high school dropout will make far less money than somebody who finishes high school. Black and Hispanic children have access to the same schools and education materials whites do. But there is the entitlement mentality that says "I deserve it and if I don't get it them it's just not fair!". I saw this attitude all over the place when I was growing up. Enter Affirmitive Action. "If they don't accept me then it's just not fair!". It may well have slipped people's notice, but life isn't fair. You cannot legislate fairness without harming someone. Not in a capitalist country. As far as the seniors and little kids, we are talking a few dollars (usually provided by a private company that is competing for customers) in the case of AA, we are talking about thousands of dollars in grants and scholarships. No business owner will hire a person who they are not 100% confident can preform the job, just as universities will not accept anybody but the best. If minorities want to get out of poverty, then school and summer jobs are the place to start. You have to work your butt off to survive in America's marketplace. It is not the governments job to interfere with this. You want to know why our economy is getting worse? Why the DOW crashed the day Obama took office? Why the housing bubble burst? Your answer is the goons sitting in Washington DC telling us that despite all the mistakes, they still know what's best for the country. If the US economy is left alone, no regulation, no nothing from government, then the market will sort out all the rest. You wouldn't need AA, and millions of Americans could get to work. No president has been able to understand this. The government is here to protect us from those who wish to do us harm (and still they can't even do that!). The Market and the American people will take care of each other and the rest.
grotto77

Con

You made several very valid points where I couldn't agree with your more. I'll get into that later. Firstly, let me say I understand your frustration. Of course, since affirmative action is applied generally, it will create certain disproportions. Since the only criterion for the entitlement is as general as racial background, there is no possible way to apply it only to those who need it and will benefit in such fashion that it will contribute back to the well-being of the entire society. Maybe in theory. And I totally understand you feel upset about "if not me, it's not fair" sort of thinking and entitled behavior. People do not like entitled people, whether their spoiled by wealth, claim gov't benefits or apply their status of minority. I truly can't estimate the extent of abuse of AA. I am defending it, because I believe there are less fortunate African-American people who suffer bad situation they didn't cause (I'm talking about kids now) and they could use a slack or a bump of helping hand.

Now back to things about which I agree with you :
1) " You cannot legislate fairness without harming someone." I agree, though I'd like to alter it a little : "You achieve fairness legally by preferential treatment, without harming someone else". This is true. The american society simply includes certain unjust treatment when it comes to certain minorities. They're minorities, thus there is a majority that sees things from their own perspective and goes after their own interests, the same way as minorities would if they were in the same position. It's a tribal behavior and you can challenge it, you can educate people about the moral stands here, you can even enforce exemplary penalties for discrimination or hate crime, but you only get so far. There is no way you can stop this sort of thinking, because it takes time on its own to progress. And as uneasy is to address it, it's also impossible to fix it by laws and policies. You can only show gestures of will to fight it and generosity for the victims. But negative trends in society in terms of demography/statistics need to be addressed somehow, otherwise you end up in civil war, internation camps and what not. Apart from the incalculable damage on society and its morale, it would also cause economic crisis.

2) "If minorities want to get out of poverty, then school and summer jobs are the place to start." Of course. But the trends in cost of education are horrific. The scholarship becomes unaffordable or a major burden for way too many. I can compare. I'm european, and we have more affordable schools in EU, with better reach of publicly funded education system. But then, we are not a superpower, we don't police the world, and we can afford to fund it. US has our back though our military budgets are just a fraction of U.S. armed forces. And our economies are also running on use of fossil fuels. Being the leading superpower is tough, even if U.S. economy is very robust, the government spending often goes to sectors that do not exactly support the tax payer's economical interests. I mean, sure, they do need security and protection, but they also need health care, schools, tax breaks to boost the economy.

Even if it's not on topic, I'd like to say I do not share your view on the economy and the current shape of capitalism. I think the regulation is failing. There's plenty of gov't bullying of good guys that act responsibly and pay their dues even if they can hardly make it. But when it comes to tycoons and major corporation, the gov't is likely to suddenly turn their heads the other way, giving them free pass to violate the rules and laws. Now there is unlimited amount of financial support you can push into campaigns of political candidates, which is basically a garage sale of the core principles of democracy under "for the people, by the people". Now the wealthiest can directly 'buy' political representation and go even further into influencing the legislation. Why break a law if you can change it? These free passes, get out-of-jail free cards, tax cuts ... they go on regular Joe and Jane's expense (scholarship, medical bills, debts) who work their butts off to survive on the job market, or even dare to conduct private equity business in this economy where they are likely to be exploited by a greedy shark taking over. The regular folks can't afford a political representation in this democracy-sale, while the derailed tycoons gamble on the financial market like crazy and when they mess up, they will send the bill to regular Joe and Jane to bail them out. That's sick. That's not how is modern-day capitalism supposed to work. The good hearted, hard-working people deserve better. Such system is sick and needs to get well, but it's being systematically poisioned. And there's no one who can fix it - the corporations run everything. The invisible hand of market will sort it all out - only - if there is a real government (and also functional global policies) otherwise it's choking its own neck.
Debate Round No. 3
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by Vajrasattva-LeRoy 2 years ago
Vajrasattva-LeRoy
grotto77 :
Who's babbling about a "Master Race" ?
If some Asian Americans score slightly higher on IQ tests than Whites, & Blacks score about 16 points lower than Whites, why would anybody worship a few Asian-Americans as a Master Race ?
I've never understood what average IQs based on skin color has to do
with "Racism" , "Exploitation" , "Social status" , etc.
Study "The Bell Curve" , "The Global Bell Curve" , books by Psychology Professor Richard Lynn of the University of Ulster, etc.
If the average IQ for Blacks is 84, & the average IQ for Whites is 100,
your claim that that's "invalid" because it was based on "race" doesn't make sense.
Professor Lynn & others have stated that the IQ/ skin color difference has been scientifically proved, & that it's based on Genetics.
Posted by cheyennebodie 3 years ago
cheyennebodie
Not at all.grotto.Why are more blacks targeted . Because many more of them commit crimes according to their population rate.Just like where illegal immigration is a problem. Most of illegals are Hispanic. So why blame immigration officials for targeting Hispanics. Blame the overwhelming numbers that are illegal.And don't keep blaming whites for the black problems. 70% of black children are in one parent families. The fathers are not to be found. There was a black kid just recently that was beat up because he acted white. Not by white kids, but black kids.The only slavery in this country is perpetrated by the democrats. They enslave people in welfare and government housing. They say, " JUMP," and the welfare freeloaders say, " how high ,massa, just feed us some more welfare crumbs."
I have an old movie with Ernest borgnine and Sammy Davis Jr. called " TRACKERS. It would be good for you to see how racism is handled right.Especially the last scene. It will choke you up.
I am Cherokee Indian. My anscesters were mistreated also. But that did not stop me from succeeding.Being black did not stop millions from succeeding in this country. Ask Allen West or Herman Cain.We need to judge a man by the content of his character, not by the color of his skin.Who said that?
If Obama came to my door to visit, I would tell him he is not welcome in my house no more than Al Capone would have been. Now if Allen West ever came to visit, I would lay out the red carpet.It would be an honor for him to sit at my table.
Posted by Alduin 3 years ago
Alduin
A good debate. I think we can both agree that hard work is the true key to success, rather than relying on somebody else. Anybody can be successful in America, as long as they are willing to put in the effort.
Posted by grotto77 3 years ago
grotto77
Vajrasattva-LeRoy - Sure it was about racism. It was about white superiority to blacks. The argument it was based on an average IQ "per race" is not valid. If it was, the Asian-American would be worshiped as a master race. It was about exploitation and status based on race. And it's not easy to shake it off.

cheyennebodie - it's a matter of perspective. Try to look at it as if you were a black man or woman and you applied for a job for which you are well qualified, and less qualified white person gets it instead. Imagine it happened to you multiple times. Imagine the police treat you differently and you understand that if you were charged with a office, you would get a harsher penalty than a white person for the same offence. Image you encounter with discrimination and double standards all the time. Now ask yourself, what should government do to make it right to you? Quite different angle than the case with operation table, isn't it?
Posted by Alduin 3 years ago
Alduin
AA helps minorities in all the areas I mentioned previously? Who are the minorities? African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, etc. It has more to do with race than IQ level or personal achievement.
Posted by Vajrasattva-LeRoy 3 years ago
Vajrasattva-LeRoy
Please stop using a QUESTION as one side of a Debate!
"Does it? " ISN'T "It does ! "
"Gasp" Indeed.

Affirmative Action apparently promoted rights, privileges, etc. ,
while the14th Amendment promoted Citizenship & Due Process of Law.
2 different things- AA apparently didn't violate the 14th A.

Affirmative Action was wrong from the beginning.
It's Impossible to "mistreat" anybody.
Blacks were treated the way they were , basically speaking , because of their
much lower average IQs (16 points) compared to Whites.
It had nothing to do with skin color, per se, let alone so-called "racism" .

Referring to Blacks who've been in this country for generations as
"African-Americans" doesn't make sense.

Who'd want a Black "doctor" to operate?
(Average White IQ: 100; Average Black IQ: 84. )

If slavery in this country ended back in 1865 or so,
who should pay reparations, & to whom?
Posted by lannan13 3 years ago
lannan13
OOr is he here to fulfill WEDebios's dream of equality through vocation.
Posted by Alduin 3 years ago
Alduin
Let's debate it!
Posted by cheyennebodie 3 years ago
cheyennebodie
How many of us if we were on an operating table and a black man came in the room to operate, would the thought enter our thinking, " is he here because of merit or because of affirmative action."
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by FaustianJustice 3 years ago
FaustianJustice
Alduingrotto77Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Argued the wrong point of Con's premise. History of 'affirmative action' would note the full context of the quote on which the term was coined. Fifty years ago, the landscape for application was quite different.
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 3 years ago
9spaceking
Alduingrotto77Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: I think con got off topic and talked about affirmative action in general. If the case was about whether affirmative action should be taken or not, then con would have won. However as con struggled and did not exactly prove the AA NOT violating the 14th amendment, I have to give arguments to PRO.