The Instigator
mentalist
Con (against)
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The Contender
Raistlin
Pro (for)
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Does a meritocracy have any merit in an inherently biased society steeped in institutional prejudice

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/17/2014 Category: Society
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,181 times Debate No: 67255
Debate Rounds (5)
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mentalist

Con

It is impossible for a meritocracy to function properly in a society that is plagued with sexism, racism, classism, agism etc.
Raistlin

Pro

As pro has not defined some terms, I shall do so now.

Meritocracy- A system in which advancement is based on individual ability or achievement. [1]

Prejudice- The act or state of holding unreasonable preconceived judgments or convictions [2]

In a society plagued by prejudice, the perfect antidote is judging people by merit. If, instead of hiring by race or gender, a business forced itself to look for merit alone, it would be able to overcome the prejudice. A system that has strong prejudice is exactly where a meritocracy is needed most.

Con claims, "It is impossible for a meritocracy to function properly in a society that is plagued with sexism, racism, classism, agism (sic) etc." I would like some proof of this, or at least an explanation. Why would it be bad to judge someone by his merits just because others do not? It would be beneficial if con would elaborate.

Good luck!

Sources
1- http://www.thefreedictionary.com...
2- http://www.thefreedictionary.com...
Debate Round No. 1
mentalist

Con

I would be happy to elucidate...
In such a society, the playing field would need to be equal. If prejudice already exists, as the creation of programs like affirmative action suggests, the act of judging someone on their own merit would be clouded by suspicions of bias, racism, etc.. Also, the unequal distribution of resources would prevent access to opportunities and experiences by 'underprivileged' members of the society who have been marginalized. Individual ability, in prejudiced and biased societies, is often ignored and superseded by actions influenced by nepotism, class-ism, etc..

The following is cited from Wikipedia:
Institutionalized discrimination refers to the unjust and discriminatory mistreatment of an individual or group of individuals by organizations such as governments and corporations, financial institutions (banks, investment firms, money markets), public institutions (schools, police forces, healthcare centers), and other societal entities. It stems from systemic stereotypical beliefs (such as sexist or racist beliefs) that are held by the vast majority living in a society where stereotypes and discrimination are the norm (see institutionalized racism).[1] Such discrimination is typically codified into the operating procedures, policies, laws, or objectives of such institutions. Members of minority groups such as populations of African descent in the U.S. or members of the LGBT community, are at a much higher risk of encountering these types of sociostructural disadvantage. Among the severe and long-lasting detrimental effects of institutionalized discrimination on affected populations are increased suicide rates, suppressed attainment of wealth and decreased access to health care.

Usually the bias targets specific, facile attributes including race, gender, nationality, sexual orientation, and age. Though direct discrimination is legally iniquitous by United States law, scholarship in the social sciences and humanities typically concurs that it exists in some of the social institutions and practices carried out in every day life. Institutionalized discrimination prohibits the attainment of societal meritocracy.
Sources
1. http://en.wikipedia.org...
If you are still interested...I leave further argument to you. If so...
Good Luck to you as well...
Raistlin

Pro

Pro makes an interesting point. Essentially, he is stating that in such a society, a meritocracy would not function optimally. This may be true, but it is my contention that meritocracy does have merit in such a society.

In the US just fifty years ago, racism was still a powerful political force. It had a proud place in the Democratic Party and was not hidden or veiled but out in the open, fighting for government mandated segregation. [1] However, thanks to acts such as the civil rights act, businesses and universities were forced to treat people equally based on merit. [2] Since then, black Americans have had increased opportunities for success with increased homeownership, education, and political representation, with some becoming influential leaders like Pres. Obama, though they are not yet equal economically to white Americans. [3] Whilst some lingering racism may still exist, it is condemned by society and not nearly as bad as in the past. Meritocracy greatly improved life for minorities, although some contributing factors like affirmative action were not meritocratic.

Does meritocracy have some merit? Clearly, the answer is yes. Although discrimination makes a true meritocracy difficult to achieve, steps towards this goal have improved many lives. When the alternative is judging people by an arbitrary factor such as skin color, a meritocracy has enormous merit.

Now, I will take a brief moment to address con's argument. It doesn't have much substance to it.

"If prejudice already exists, as the creation of programs like affirmative action suggests, the act of judging someone on their own merit would be clouded by suspicions of bias, racism, etc.."

This is why anti-meritocratic policies like affirmative action are so bad. "Achievement" by someone who didn't earn it is rightly viewed with suspicion. This is why colleges need to judge applicants based on merit, not race.

"Also, the unequal distribution of resources would prevent access to opportunities and experiences by 'underprivileged' members of the society who have been marginalized."

This is why we need a meritocracy, not why it's bad. A meritocracy gives everyone equal opportunity and de-marginalizes skilled individuals. In a free market meritocracy, there is a strong incentive to tap in to all available potential.

Please do not copy and past Wikipedia, a notoriously unreliable source. Wikipedia can and has been spectacularly wrong. [4] [5]

Sources
1- http://www.senate.gov...
2- http://www.archives.gov...
3- http://www.csmonitor.com...
4- http://www.findingdulcinea.com...
5- http://www.pcworld.com...
Debate Round No. 2
mentalist

Con

noun: merit

1. the quality of being particularly good or worthy, especially so as to deserve praise or reward.
verb: merit; 3rd person present: merits; past tense: merited; past participle: merited; gerund or present participle: meriting

1.deserve or be worthy of (something, especially reward, punishment, or attention).

I have already addressed the fact that a meritocracy cannot exist in a society that endorses or contains institutional racism. As the definition for institutional racism explained "Institutionalized discrimination prohibits the attainment of societal meritocracy." http://en.wikipedia.org...
Thus a meritocracy can not have any merit in such a system. It may cause some change, however, it is not worthy of or it does not merit the term meritocracy. Such a system is not worthy of praise or reward.
There were more alternatives than "judging people by an arbitrary factor such as skin color", however, these alternatives would have required admitting to past atrocities committed by the U.S., public declaration that racial bias was a ploy to distract, confuse, and divide people, acknowledgement that racial supremacy is a fraudulent farce fabricated to promote a specific agenda, etc. There would also have needed to have been reparations provided to survivors of said atrocities. Affirmative action benefits a host of disenfranchised groups, yet, it does not directly address slavery as was done for the Japanese Americans relocated and imprisoned during WW II. The U.S. government eventually disbursed more than $1.6 billion in reparations to 82,219 Japanese Americans who had been interned and their heirs. [1] It does not address those native Americans not yet given reparations for the robbery of land.
Also, affirmative action was created as a result of the governments acknowledgement that the system was biased and they couldn't solve the issue without setting quotas. These same quotas, although they serve to employ some who are disenfranchised, can also be seen as limits to the numbers exceeding the quotas. Achievement was not being noticed, hence, the creation of affirmative action.

"This is why we need a meritocracy, not why it's bad. A meritocracy gives everyone equal opportunity and de-marginalizes skilled individuals. In a free market meritocracy, there is a strong incentive to tap in to all available potential."

Again, if the society is inherently racist, sexist etc. it cannot act on the true principles of a meritocracy.
Currently, schools are basically segregated based on class and race in the United States. Institutionalized racism is thoroughly ingrained in society, even after the civil rights era. An era which some may argue currently benefits more 'other' minorities than the individuals who fought and died for its accomplishments.
Basically, a meritocracy that seeks to maintain some of its inequalities and biases for the benefit of 'certain' groups is no meritocracy at all. Whatever positives that derive from such a system are band aids for the issues that prevent true equal treatment, access and perception. If there was a "strong incentive to tap in to all available potential", discrimination and bias would not be as much of a factor as they are. Schools would be equal in their resources and commitment. There would not be such an inequitable distribution of resources. etc.

Sources:
http://www.democracynow.org... [1]
Raistlin

Pro

Before. I begin, I need to correct a misconception that pro seems to have about the debate. Pro seems to be saying that a meritocracy cannot exist in a society with institutionalized discrimination. However, this is not the resolution. The question we are trying to answer is, "Does a meritocracy have any merit in an inherently biased society steeped in institutional prejudice?" We are not debating whether a true meritocracy can exist or not but whether, if one did exist, it would have any merit. Pro contends that judging people by merit is not a good thing. I disagree.

I completely agree that America is not yet a true meritocracy. Therefore, as it is not a meritocracy, features of America that are anti-meritocratic are not arguments against meritocracy itself, which is what we are debating.

Please, for all of us, stop quoting Wikipedia! It is unreliable. If Wikipedia is your best source, you have a pretty weak case.

Let's have a simple thought experiment. Let's say that in 1850, in the U.S., a factory owner decided to hire people of all races based solely on merit. I think we can both agree the U.S. was suffering serious institutionalized discrimination at that time. Would the factory owner's decision to fight the institutionalized discrimination by establishing a meritocracy not be worthy of merit? I believe that instituting a meritocracy and standing up to extreme racism and discrimination would be very worthy of praise, even heroic.

Con does have one point against meritocracy in his argument that needs addressing. He appears to advocate for affirmative action, an anti-meritocratic, racially discriminatory policy that has harmed people of all races. Ironically, though its stated purpose is to help minorities, it actually hurts them. In a meritocratic system of college admissions, a college would select the students most likely to succeed in college by looking at factors such as high school GPA and scores on college admissions exams such as the SAT and ACT. However, with affirmative action, a college takes a spot from someone more likely to succeed and gives it to someone less likely to succeed. It's no surprise that at schools with affirmative action, favored minorities are much less likely to succeed. They are more likely to choose easier but less valuable degrees and are less likely to get a degree. [1] By promoting a mismatch between student and college, affirmative action holds back successful disfavored demographics and sets up less successful members of favored demographics up to fail. A black student that deserves admittance to UT Austin but gets accepted to Harvard because of affirmative action is likely to fall behind and not get his degree, possibly dropping out, whilst a white student that deserves admittance to Harvard but can only go to UT Austin because of affirmative action also gets set back, though not as much as his black counterpart. Ultimately, the best way to stop discriminating is to stop discriminating.

Once again, the argument that a meritocracy cannot be obtained by a discriminatory society is off topic. The question is whether or not a meritocracy is worthy of merit. I have shown that it is. Ultimately, there is a simple question: should we judge by merit or by factors like race, gender, and ethnicity? The answer is clearly merit.

Sources
1- http://www.bizjournals.com...
Debate Round No. 3
mentalist

Con

prejudice:noun merriam-webster.com
: an unfair feeling of dislike for a person or group because of race, sex, religion, etc.
: a feeling of like or dislike for someone or something especially when it is not reasonable or logical

MERITOCRACY:noun merriam-webster.com
1. a system in which the talented are chosen and moved ahead on the basis of their achievement
2. leadership selected on the basis of intellectual criteria

inherent:adjective merriam-webster.com
: belonging to the basic nature of someone or something
: involved in the constitution or essential character of something : belonging by nature or habit :

biased:adjective merriam-webster.com
: having or showing a bias : having or showing an unfair tendency to believe that some people, ideas, etc., are better than others.
1: exhibiting or characterized by bias (see 1bias); especially : prejudiced
2: tending to yield one outcome more frequently than others in a statistical experiment
3: having an expected value different from the quantity or parameter estimated

society:noun
3a : an enduring and cooperating social group whose members have developed organized patterns of relationships through interaction with one another

institution:noun
: a custom, practice, or law that is accepted and used by many people

prejudice:noun
2c : an irrational attitude of hostility directed against an individual, a group, a race, or their supposed characteristics

Does a system in which the talented are chosen and moved ahead on the basis of their achievement worthy of praise or award if the constitution of its society is habitually biased and immersed in the customary practice of directing irrational attitudes of hostility against an individual, a group, a race, or their supposed characteristics?

Again I ask, how can such a system be worthy of praise? By definition, those considered to be talented will be chosen from a group that is given preference for inconsequential, trivial, and irrelevant qualities or traits such as skin tone, gender, religion, culture, etc.. The existence of bias and prejudice will eliminate those considered to be undesirable from the population pool from which the chosen will be selected.

"We are not debating whether a true meritocracy can exist or not but whether, if one did exist, it would have any merit"
Untrue, as the question illustrates in its extended form. The question is can a system with such weaknesses or failures be considered to be a meritocracy or worthy of praise? If anything, a system with such shortcomings deserves demerits.

Judging people by merit is fine...prejudging certain people as undeserving or unworthy of merit for superficial and trivial reasons annuls any authenticity or validity a system that practices has and obliterates any chance of it being a meritocracy. We are not debating anti-meritocratic aspects of the United States alone, I assert that any society that has institutional prejudice and bias cannot justifiably claim to be meritorious. Also, the individuals making the decisions about who would deserve merit would not be trustworthy in such a system.

In regard to your experiment, the employer would still be choosing his applicants from a tainted source. Also, individuals who are qualified for the position may not even make it through his interview process because of bias of the interviewer or inability to obtain certain documents required because of the biased institutionalized framework of the system at large. He would only be choosing the most talented individuals that the biased and prejudiced society has to offer. Thus, these are not truly the most talented. They are a privileged class. Such a society may eventually result in a small portion of the population (say 1%) controlling all of the wealth and resources. I wonder what it would be like to live in such a society...(sarcasm) At most the employer would just be helping to maintain the biased system, as the individuals he hired would likely be prejudiced themselves having been raised in the biased environment. Even if those who he hired had been victims of the bias, they would have little chance for advancement beyond the confines of his sheltered factory. Any chance to advance or be entrepreneurs would be stifled and hampered by the bias of the society at large. Without addressing the fundamental causes of the bias and prejudice that would exist in the educational system, the business sector, housing etc. the quasi-meritocracy could never be given any validity. Also, I don't think it should be considered heroic to offer equal opportunity to all applicants if you own the factory.

In regards to affirmative action, this is a common misconception. Affirmative action is an attempt to fix a system that has been proven to be biased, prejudiced, and discriminatory. It is not a handout or free meal. It is an admission by the government in a society that certain members of the population are being purposely, disproportionately and unjustifiably locked out of equal participation in all aspects of the society for trivial reasons. Thus, affirmative action seeks to level the playing field. Also, affirmative action is not racially discriminatory as it protects other disadvantaged members of the society such as the handicapped, women, gay/lesbian, etc.. Therefore, a person who classifies themselves as white would be able to benefit from affirmative action measures. A person that is enrolled in a college under the protection of an affirmative action measure is not taking a spot from another supposedly more qualified person. They are being offered an opportunity that would otherwise never have been extended to them because of the biased and prejudiced conditions of the society. All of the other supposed evidence you provided on that topic is purely stereotypical and speculative. It also relies heavily on generalizations. However, on the subject of test scores, Peter Greene blogged an article he wrote entitled "Who Put the 'Merit' in 'Meritocracy'?" in which he asks, "Who decided that the "merit" in "meritocracy" is a standardized test score? And does anybody have a clue what the justification, the basis for that definition of "merit" might be? Or did it because measuring merit is really hard, but scoring bubble tests is really easy? Because I think your definition of "merit" is without merit. This was the judgment, the subjective judgment, of some individuals. And don't try to slide off with your baloney about how you're totally calling for "multiple measures" because those are similarly one-size-fits-all meritless -- and in most cases they are a thin screen of smoke trying to hide that, yes, in fact, our major measure of merit is supposed to be a standardized test score." [2]

The article you cited states, "Furthermore, because affirmative action creates winners and losers, it also breeds resentment between whites and blacks, women and men and various ethnic groups." [1] Again, affirmative action can benefit other groups besides racial minorities. This statement is also erroneous because the societal practice of actual prejudice and bias on the basis of race and gender is what breeds the resentment between "whites and blacks, women and men and various ethnic groups". The article goes on to state, "It also treats as legitimate the proposition that historically victimized groups can and should seek recompense from individuals who had no hand in the victimization." [1] This is also a fallacious statement as affirmative action takes into account historical acts of bias and prejudice while admitting these acts are still being committed in the present. Affirmative action is not reparations. The present-day existence of the bias and prejudice is admitted in the article you cited which documents, "This is not say that we should stop seeking public and private remedies to the afflictions of race and gender inequality in America." [1] Quite simply, if society was not biased or prejudiced there would be no need for affirmative action. Also, I have not taken any position for or against affirmative action, I merely couched it in the proper parameters.

Again, your assertion was that the question I posed was simply "whether or not a meritocracy is worthy of merit", yet, the full question was Does a meritocracy have any merit in an inherently biased society steeped in institutional prejudice? The extended version of the question provides greater clarity. As I have proven, even a meritocracy formed in such a quasi-meritocracy is tainted and invalid. Also as I stated earlier, "...a meritocracy that seeks to maintain some of its inequalities and biases for the benefit of 'certain' groups is no meritocracy at all. Whatever positives that derive from such a system are band aids for the issues that prevent true equal treatment, access and perception."

Who decides who has merit in the meritocracy anyway? The arbitrary and totalitarian methodology of measuring merit was questioned later in the article, "Who Put the 'Merit' in 'Meritocracy'?" which states, "A meritocracy that insist we have but one measure, and that everybody should be made to use that one standard and measure -- that's not a meritocracy...You cannot standardize a meritocracy, not even if you pretend to find a standardized measure of merit." [2]

Side Note
If I quote Wikipedia, it is your duty to prove the information I cite to be inaccurate...if you cannot do so...then it stands on its own 'merit'...pun intended...lol

Sources
http://www.bizjournals.com... [1]
http://www.huffingtonpost.com... [2]
Raistlin

Pro

Con fails to answer my points adequately. I will look at his argument and dissect its flaws.

Con-"Does a system in which the talented are chosen and moved ahead on the basis of their achievement worthy of praise or award if the constitution of its society is habitually biased and immersed in the customary practice of directing irrational attitudes of hostility against an individual, a group, a race, or their supposed characteristics?"

I will assume he meant to say "is" at the beginning of the sentence rather than "does." The answer is clearly yes to that question. To judge a person by talent alone, fighting against prejudice and against a discriminatory society, is worthy of praise. To actively combat and ignore irrational prejudices by judging only on merit is a good thing, not a bad thing.

I need to ask con a very important question. I have identified one alternative to the irrational institutional discrimination that plagues many societies: judging by merit alone. I assume we both agree it is better to judge by merit alone than to follow institutionalized discriminatory tendencies. What is your alternative to judging on merit? Judging a person for any position on criteria other than their merit for the position is, by definition, irrational. This doesn't mean nobody would judge by non-merit factors such as race, religion, etc., only that it is irrational.

Con-"Judging people by merit is fine...prejudging certain people as undeserving or unworthy of merit for superficial and trivial reasons annuls any authenticity or validity a system that practices has and obliterates any chance of it being a meritocracy."

That's quite a mouthful. However, also doesn't make any sense as an attack on the concept of a meritocracy. By definition, "prejudging certain people as undeserving or unworthy of merit for superficial and trivial reasons" is not meritocratic. What con is saying is that a society that isn't meritocratic isn't meritocratic. It's a tautology, and says absolutely nothing.

Con-""I assert that any society that has institutional prejudice and bias cannot justifiably claim to be meritorious."

Firstly, meritocracy is a way out of institutional prejudice. Secondly, meritorious and meritocratic aren't synonymous. Meritorious means "deserving reward or praise." [1] This sentence is not relevant to the debate.

Con-"Also, the individuals making the decisions about who would deserve merit would not be trustworthy in such a system."

This sentence doesn't make sense for several reasons. Firstly, one doesn't deserve merit: one has it. Secondly, merit is, at least in theory, objective. In a meritocracy, individuals would be given opportunities, such as a spot at a prestigious university, based on their ability to succeed. Judging an applicant's "merit" is assessing various factors and coming to an informed decision of his likelihood of success. GPA and college admissions exams are good predictors of college success, so they are used by colleges for admissions. [2] There is no "decision about who deserves merit": this is simply a misunderstanding of meritocracy.

Con then points out several potential roadblocks to my example of a meritocracy (too long to quote). However, his claims that the 1% will control everything are both ridiculous and unsubstantiated. The single biggest issue is this: it's not my job to show a meritocracy would be perfect. All I have to do is show that it has a non-zero amount of merit. There are a lot of issues in trying to establish a meritocracy in a discriminatory society, but it is better than succumbing to the discrimination and therefore has some merit, which is all I have to demonstrate.

Con-"Also, affirmative action is not racially discriminatory as it protects other disadvantaged members of the society such as the handicapped, women, gay/lesbian, etc.."

This is a non sequitur. Affirmative action does affect other groups, but the aspect that deals with race is racially discriminatory.

Con-"A person that is enrolled in a college under the protection of an affirmative action measure is not taking a spot from another supposedly more qualified person."

First of all, the "supposedly" more qualified person is objectively more qualified by fair standards. Secondly, the less qualified is taking a spot from the more qualified because colleges have only a limited number of spots. Con drops my argument that affirmative action harms minorities by making them less likely to get a degree.

Con-"Peter Greene blogged an article he wrote entitled "Who Put the 'Merit' in 'Meritocracy'?" Etc.

Firstly, Greene is talking about measuring public school teachers, not students. Secondly, the reason why colleges use standardized testing is because it is a predictor of college success, as I explained already. Third, colleges use lots of factors. That's why it's called "holistic admissions." I agree that standardized tests aren't the only measurement to be used to judge a teacher's aptitude, but this has little to do with affirmative action.

Con-"The article you cited states'" etc.

Really? You're not debating the article; you're debating me.

Con-"This statement is also erroneous because the societal practice of actual prejudice and bias on the basis of race and gender is what breeds the resentment between "whites and blacks, women and men and various ethnic groups"."

Con didn't rebut his claim. He just stated there are multiple sources of resentment.

Con-"This is also a fallacious statement as affirmative action takes into account historical acts of bias and prejudice while admitting these acts are still being committed in the present."

The statement wasn't fallacious, as con failed to demonstrate. The vast majority of white male college students haven't contributed to institutionalized discrimination, so they shouldn't be punished for it.

Con-"The arbitrary and totalitarian methodology of measuring merit was questioned later in the article"

I am not advocating totalitarianism! Con has no evidence that the means of determining merit are in any way totalitarian, and merit is, in this context, the likelihood of success, so it is not at all arbitrary. Con uses emotional language to try and make up for his lack of logical arguments.

On Wikipedia.

You made claims dependent on having a reliable source. I showed your source to be invalid. Therefore, your claim is baseless and unwarranted. It is your job to prove a positive claim, and you have no evidence for it.

Sources
1- http://www.thefreedictionary.com...
2- http://www.danielwillingham.com...
Debate Round No. 4
mentalist

Con

merit:noun http://dictionary.reference.com...=/
3. merits, the inherent rights and wrongs of a matter, as a lawsuit, unobscured by procedural details, technicalities, personal feelings, etc.

First, as Pro has identified an error in my phraseology, I will phrase it, properly, so as to provide clarity.

Does a system in which the talented are chosen and moved ahead on the basis of their achievement have any claim to respect and praise or possess the quality of being particularly good or worthy if the constitution of its society is habitually or inherently biased and immersed in the customary practice of directing irrational attitudes of hostility against an individual, a group, a race, or their supposed characteristics?

"To judge a person by talent alone, fighting against prejudice and against a discriminatory society, is worthy of praise. To actively combat and ignore irrational prejudices by judging only on merit is a good thing, not a bad thing."

The questions that need to be asked is...who is the judge? ...by what guidelines is a person to be measured?

If a society is inherently biased and immersed in institutional prejudice, how can any judge at one of these institutions have any validity?

As the 3rd definition provided for merit states, the society itself is inherently wrong and obscured by bias. Address the past wrongs and end the bias before seeking merit.

In my opinion, such a society and any quasi-meritocracy formed within it can have no merit until it acknowledges its flaws and attempts to make those affected whole. As race (a false social concept in itself) persists as a societal flaw and racism is still prevalent in society, choosing from the talented of the groups that are biased and prejudiced against who were lucky or blessed enough to have made it through the barriers presented by the bias and prejudice is not meritocratic. It also ignores the lack of validity and merit that those who do not face those barriers represent. The people who are chosen, under such conditions, are perceived to have merit by those who are accustomed to functioning in the biased and prejudiced environment. These individuals fit into the biased and prejudiced parameters set by the institutions and society. They are not necessarily the most talented. They are perceived to be the most suitable to fit into an inherently flawed system.

An example if I may:
Let's take the supposed national pastime - baseball. This in itself is a biased judgement but I digress.
I have always felt that any statistic that is listed in the baseball records after 1887 (when the league was segregated) should be asterisked as the sport was refusing to allow a large portion of players to participate because of the color of their skin. [1] (the league was integrated before 1887) This asterisk should refer to a note that explains how the statistic was achieved in a unsportsmanlike, biased and handicapped environment. An environment I am sure we can agree was not meritocratic. However, Babe Ruth is still considered by some to be the greatest player to play the game. Babe Ruth played his entire career in a segregated league.
The league remained segregated until October 23, 1945 when Jackie Robinson was signed by Branch Rickey. (majors April 15, 1947) According to your argument, Branch Rickey's team should be considered a meritocracy after he signed Robinson. However, Robinson was not considered to be the best "Black" player at the time - Josh Gibson was. As quoted by Larry Doby (the first 'black' player in the American League) in which Doby was quoted as saying, "One of the things that was disappointing and disheartening to a lot of the black players at the time was that Jack was not the best player. The best was Josh Gibson. I think that's one of the reasons Josh died so early"he was heartbroken." Jackie Robinson spent just one year in the 'Negro' Leagues, playing for the Kansas City Monarchs. [2] Robinson was not chosen because he was the most talented, he was chosen because he was the most pliable and tolerable. " Rickey could have chosen other 'Negro' League players with greater talent or more name recognition...Robinson lived among and formed friendships with whites growing up...Robinson promised Rickey that, for at least his rookie year, he would not respond to the inevitable verbal barbs and even physical abuse he would face on a daily basis." [3]
Two things should be noted here:
1. Robinson was not allowed to be himself and was expected to quietly accept dehumanizing treatment
2. He was chosen for his willingness to accept the treatment
Robinson later stated, "I cannot possibly believe that I have it made while so many black brothers and sisters are hungry, inadequately housed, insufficiently clothed, denied their dignity as they live in slums or barely exist on welfare." [3] This illustrates that a quasi-meritocracy does not address the biased and prejudiced system at large.
In the 16 years he lived after his retirement in 1956, Robinson pushed baseball to hire blacks as managers and executives and even refused an invitation to participate in the 1969 Old Timers game because he did not yet see "genuine interest in breaking the barriers that deny access to managerial and front office positions." No major league team had a black manager until Frank Robinson was hired by the Cleveland Indians in 1975. The majors' first black general manager"the Atlanta Braves' Bill Lucas"wasn't hired until 1977. Last season (2012)... Black athletes represented only 8.8 percent of major-league players"a dramatic decline from the peak of 27 percent in 1975, and less than half the 19 percent in 1995. One quarter of last season's African-Americans players were clustered on three teams"the Yankees, Angels, and Dodgers...there are also sociological and economic reasons for the decline of black ballplayers...funding for public school baseball teams and neighborhood playgrounds with baseball fields has declined...Among today's 30 teams, there are only four managers of color...there is still an ongoing debate about the magnitude of racial progress, as measured by persistent residential segregation, a significantly higher poverty rate among blacks than whites, and widespread racism within our criminal justice and prison systems. [3]

As the article states, this quasi-meritocracy eventually ended up with less representation of the disenfranchised population than were present when Robinson (the merited) was playing. As Hank Aaron observed, "When I first started playing, you had a lot of black players in the major leagues. Now, you don't have any (7.8%). So what progress have we made? You try to understand, but we're going backward." All that Aaron, 80, ever asked for from baseball is what Robinson desired, a level playing field in management positions. [4] The uneven playing field is what strips the merit away from your argument supporting a meritocracy in an institutionally biased society. Those who are not biased against do not have the same barriers and are admittedly receiving a handicap. Yet, the meritocracy claims they are the most talented. I assert that Rickey did not act on the principles of a true meritocracy as he chose the most presentable, tolerable and pliable representative - not the most talented.

"Affirmative action does affect other groups, but the aspect that deals with race is racially discriminatory."

Although we are not arguing affirmative action, I will address this (again) as Pro still seems to be confused. Again, as you admit "affirmative action does affect other groups". All of these groups, including the 'racial', are groups that the system admits have been and are being discriminated against. It is a leveling of the playing field or system that has been handicapped by racism, sexism, disablism, etc. Also, these individuals can be what you deem as 'white'.

"First of all, the "supposedly" more qualified person is objectively more qualified by fair standards."
Pro has given no proof of the claim of individuals being 'more qualified'. The assertion that 'minorities' are less likely to get a degree is still conjecture.

"..Greene is talking about measuring public school teachers.."
Pro needs to read the entire article. It is the holistic aspect that makes 'race' and testing a part of the whole.

"You're not debating the article..."
Pro cannot cite an article and whine when I use information from it. The article states, "This is not say that we should stop seeking public and private remedies to the afflictions of race and gender inequality in America." The article acknowledges the need for remedies to 'racial' and gender inequality.

"Con didn't rebut his claim..multiple sources..."
Inaccurate, as there is one source of the resentment. The perpetrators or beneficiaries of perpetration cannot be the victims.

"The statement wasn't..."
'White' male college students aren't the institution...in this context, the colleges and universities are.

"I am not.."
totalitarian adj. - 2c. c : exercising autocratic powers
The decision by a supposedly superiorly talented minority of who has merit is autocratic and totalitarian.

Wikipedia - Are you now arguing the existence of institutional racism?

In conclusion, I have demonstrated that a quasi-meritocracy decided by tainted judges in a biased society has no merit.

Sources:
http://ic.galegroup.com...|CX3468300301&u=mlin_m_carlisle&zid=d73b8d7fc1a2b925f623ab283f50bdc0 [1]
http://bleacherreport.com... [2]
http://www.theatlantic.com... [3]
http://www.usatoday.com... [4]
Raistlin

Pro

Raistlin forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
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