Law against Racism
Debate Rounds (3)
I'd like to open up by pointing out that I'm not against racism.
I am starting this debate to get the hang of the topic so soon I can make one for the position I fully stand behind. With that being said you (con) also do not have to be a racist to debate back.
I'd also like to point out that by "racism" I'm more specifically referring to Caucasian towards black. I am fully aware that black people can also be racists and that there are other ethnicity's that are discriminated but I'd like to only talk about black.
My opening argument:
Black people have been discriminated against for centuries. They have been used as slaves and segregated. Racism is rude, insensitive and hurtful. Not only does it harm people's feelings, but can also cause a certain friction between races of which can lead to a full out war.
What happened in Ferguson serves as proof that prejudice between a cop and a black citizen led to riots.
A Law that made prejudice illegal, meaning that people could no longer use racial slurs or express themselves in a way that could be harmful to a black person would make it so intrigues caused by those terms or behaviors would benefit society by making it so no one would get emotionally hurt and preventing fights.
I would like to start off by thanking my opponent for setting up this debate. I might note, that is the Pro side and the instigator, the BoP lies within my opponent to prove why this law should be passed. I would, however, like to note a few things right off the bat, particularly the falsities and fallacies that my opponent has placed within his argument.
He begins by drawing a red herring to the use of racism in the past as to why it should be outlawed in modern times, using an appeal to emotion when noting slavery and segregation that was quite commonplace in America's past. He then notes the very recent Ferguson incident as a reason for the riots without giving the full story on the matter, including the fact that no matter how sloppy the policework was when Wilson first confronted Brown, the fact remains that the most current forensic data proves Brown did attack first, and later charged at Wilson, leading to the cop shooting him and remaining perfectly within the boundaries of his rights as a law enforcer. But I digress, as that is a completely separate debate.
I would, however, also like to point out the fact that my opponent's argument for making such a law is not sound in the slightest. This is what he believes:
1) If X (in this case racism) causes emotional harm or starts fights, then it should be illegal.
2) X causes emotional harm and starts fights.
∴ X should be illegal
This is not a valid argument in he slightest as the conclusion does not follow through the given premises. If the argument does not follow in all instances of X, then my opponent's argument is not valid. Let us replace X with something like religion. Time and time again in history, a person's religion might be considered "rude, insensitive and hurtful" (Take a look at the Westboro Baptist Church for proof of this) but in no way was it ever made illegal in the USA. The Crusades, modern terrorism, and the Salem Witch hunts have all been been directly caused by religious belief, and yet in America, we have the freedom to practice our religion which, like the Freedom of Speech or Expression (which my opponent is directly attacking with his arguments), is protected by the 1st Amendment in the Constitution. In fact, my opponent's proposed law would also be an attack on the 14th Amendment, as the only people who could possibly be punished by this law are those of Caucasian decent!
The level of hypocrisy within the argument is staggering; to fight racism by imposing a law on a certain race of people (Caucasians) shows that while my opponent's argument may be well intentioned, it is at the moment, baseless. While there are exceptions to this such as in the case of hate speech or 'fighting words' which are meant as direct attacks and intended to provoke harm, opinions and beliefs (and the expression thereof) are not to be abridged in any way, There are laws in place protecting the rights of the Westboro Baptist Church, the KKK, and even the American Nazi Party to protect their right to express their beliefs. These next few photographs are of protests that some may call offensive, but entirely legal.
Now, I personally find myself in disagreement with the views expressed by the people in the above photographs. American ethics, however, allow them to assemble as they please. No matter how we may feel about their opinions, the fact of the matter is that they are all entitled to have them. To put things simply, from my opponent's argument, an abridgement of free speech here would mean that the abridgement of free speech in many other mediums, including but not limited to artwork or movements such as feminism.
Tropes Versus Women in Video Games is an example that comes to mind. The opinions expressed by Anita Sarkeesian, the creator of the aforementioned video series caused quite an uproar which included many feelings being hurt (mostly men), and the thoughts the Anita was being "rude, insensitive and hurtful" to the gaming culture and those within it. Fights were started online due to these videos which resulted in threats of rape, murder, and death, and later on threats of a school shooting. Though it is clear that a deep rooted misogyny was the cause of these threats, it was the initial expression of feminist beliefs that started this uproar. Should we then assume by my opponent's argument, that expression of feminism should be outlawed?
Mein Kampf, To Kill a Mockingbird, Uncle Tom's Cabin and many other books have been banned by certain schools due to ideological disputes and fights about their content, so perhaps by my opponent's reasoning, we should also ban books which certain people may find offensive. Or perhaps movies, music, or video games as well that one may find offensive for one reason or another?
It may seem like I am jumping off the slippery slope here, and I will admit that the likelihood of the censorship of any of the things I had previously listed will likely never come to pass, at least, not in America. What I am trying to show, however, is that given my opponent's reasoning for such a law, there is no way that his premises follow. Let me remind you that the BoP is placed on Pro to show why such a law should indeed be put into effect. Currently, I can see no sound argument made as to why we should. Not only would such a bill need to contradict 2 Constitutional Amendments thus being contrary to American ethics, but it would also violate the natural right of liberty (as agreed upon by Locke, Jefferson, the framers of the Constitution, and those who follow their teachings) which all human beings are entitled to. To place a law on solely Caucasians is again, simply morally bankrupt.
I thank you for reading and look forward to my opponent's next argument.
I get that emotional harm isn't enough of a valid argument as to why there should be such a law. Laws against bullying are actually existent in 43 of the 50 states, although fairly different things, the law was created to do nothing more than prevent self and emotional harm. I believe that prejudice has the same effects as bullying, it makes the victim feel small, helpless, and unimportant. Prejudice affects thousands of people in the US annually, such law, although complicated to be reinforced, could help such statistics and decrease the numbers of victims.
I understand that such law would come in conflict with our rights of freedom of speech and to express ourselves. I also understand your argument that the law would mostly affect Caucasians, but racism is an act that doesn't originate from just the white race; Hispanics, African Americans, Native Americans, among other races also express their racism against each others, including the Caucasian race. 77% of the US population are Caucasian/white, For being the majority, whites, are generally more prone to be racist, but racism can be done by anyone, regardless of their ethnicity. So I disagree that "the only people who could possibly be punished by this law are those of Caucasian decent!" for, I believe, that such a law would serve to defend the entire population not just the minority.
The manifestation of those groups are, to me, a large part of the problem. I don't personally find prejudice wrong, but as soon as those groups get together and start to spread their racist messages, they can cause emotional pain. Although I realize that 'emotional harm' isn't enough of a reason to pass a anti racism law, I believe, that those groups might become militant and cause violence.
The greatest problem with racism isn't the emotional harm but what it leads to. People are killed daily by ethnic violence. Groups like the KKK, Death Angels, and The Order have killed many people solely for the color of their skins. If a law that prohibited racism had been around at that time, it could have spared thousands of lives. How many more people need to die before we open our eyes?
I fully agree with my opponent that we, as Americans, have the right to have opinions, but I also believe that, a simple opinion about which race is better, can lead to much worse things. If we try to 'cut the problem by the root' we can, perhaps someday, have a racist free America. Where no law is required for people are raised without the idea of racial superiority.
Let me start off by noting the gross injustice my opponent is trying to commit in his second paragraph: change the resolution. He notes that the law would " serve to defend the entire population not just the minority" and yet, before his actual argument in the first section begins (and I will assume his argument begins where he writes "My opening argument:") he writes that "I'd also like to point out that by "racism" I'm more specifically referring to Caucasian towards black. I am fully aware that black people can also be racists and that there are other ethnicity's that are discriminated but I'd like to only talk about black." As this is what he wrote BEFORE he started his actual argument, and the examples he gave concern white on black racism (African slavery and Ferguson) we can only have assumed that he meant such a law to only apply to white on black racism. Trying to change such a resolution halfway through a debate is an amazing display of unsportsmanlike conduct. Therefore, let us safely ignore his second paragraph and extend through my arguments concerning a violation of the 14th amendment and thus a violation of American ethics.
Now let me note a few unwarranted claims made by my opponent, the first of which being that he believes racist organizations "might become militant and cause violence." Now, let us apply this logic to a host of situations; that X might make someone do something illegal and see if it follows. Drinking alcohol might make people violent due to them getting drunk, therefore, we shout outlaw alcohol (which has been done before to disastrous effect I might add). Violent video games and movies might make people violent, therefore, we should ban violent video games and movies. Religion might make people violent, therefore, we should outlaw religion. These previous three statements simply do not follow from my opponent's given premise. He is in a sense proving too much with his argument.
The second unwarranted claim my opponent makes is that a law prohibiting racism would have protected people against violence from racist organizations who (after my opponent does indeed jump off the slippery slope) might become militant. My question is simple. How? The act of murder is already illegal in every single state and has been since the country was founded. Now if these organizations were so intent on killing someone that they would actually go ahead and to it, what would possibly defer them if not the threat of charging them with murder? Does my opponent really believe that because there is an additional unnecessary law preventing murder, that a criminal would somehow think twice about actually committing the act? The act of charging someone twice with the same crime does not make any sense whatsoever and my opponent's appeal to pity does nothing to explain how such a thing would have even been enforced in the first place. There are plenty pictures available of lynchings where entire towns gather around the corpse of the victim, smiling and cheering at the act. Now, with so many people condoning the crime of murder at the time, who would bat an eyelash at the mere act of racism? Furthermore, how does such a crime protect people today? My opponent offers many idealistic hopes and statements without a smidgen of proof to back up his argument.
My opponent's concession of the fact that emotion is not enough to pass such a law only highlights the holes in his argument. Many other laws already make illegal the specific cases that he is mentioning. Murder, bullying, hate speech, discrimination in schooling or in the workplace are ALL illegal. What point is there to create "A Law that made prejudice illegal, meaning that people could no longer use racial slurs or express themselves in a way that could be harmful to a black person" when the previous topics are illegal in their own right? Creating such a law would only put limits on free speech and expression as I noted earlier to such an extent where not even white comedians -satirists such as the late George Carlin in particular- cannot use the word "nigger" not even in the context of discussing such a word. Are we also to assume that white teachers or students are to skip over that word when reading aloud from a book such as Huckleberry Finn while anyone else is freely allowed to say it?
I must also mention that my opponent failed to make mention of groups such as the Westboro Baptist Church which regularly spreads messages such as "Thank god for dead f*gs" and "Pray for more dead soldiers". This organization has made a multitude of comments of the sort, and through my opponent's destruction of the First Amendment should also face jail time. Are we to assume organized religion too should be banned by the United States government?
Let me remind everyone of the burden of proof my opponent bears. He must prove that such a law outlawing white on black racism in any form, be it through expression, racial slurs, etc. As of yet, my opponent has failed to do this, and has not offered up any evidence whatsoever supporting his claim. I look forward to my opponent's next argument.
eduardolilli forfeited this round.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Geographia 2 years ago
|Agreed with before the debate:||-||-||0 points|
|Agreed with after the debate:||-||-||0 points|
|Who had better conduct:||-||-||1 point|
|Had better spelling and grammar:||-||-||1 point|
|Made more convincing arguments:||-||-||3 points|
|Used the most reliable sources:||-||-||2 points|
|Total points awarded:||0||3|
Reasons for voting decision: FF
You are not eligible to vote on this debate
This debate has been configured to only allow voters who meet the requirements set by the debaters. This debate either has an Elo score requirement or is to be voted on by a select panel of judges.