The Instigator
mongeese
Con (against)
Losing
46 Points
The Contender
tribefan011
Pro (for)
Winning
52 Points

Pro-Minority Affirmative Action

Do you like this debate?NoYes+7
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Vote Here
Con Tied Pro
Who did you agree with before the debate?
Who did you agree with after the debate?
Who had better conduct?
Who had better spelling and grammar?
Who made more convincing arguments?
Who used the most reliable sources?
Reasons for your voting decision
1,000 Characters Remaining
The voting period for this debate does not end.
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/11/2009 Category: Society
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 22,331 times Debate No: 8940
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (77)
Votes (19)

 

mongeese

Con

Affirmative action - http://en.wikipedia.org...
"The terms affirmative action and positive action refer to policies that take race ... into consideration in an attempt to promote equal opportunity or increase ethnic diversity."

This does not include jobs in which a certain race is obviously preferable, such as casting for the role of George Lopez's son for the TV show "George Lopez." A Latino actor would obviously be preferable, and was therefore chosen.

Let the debate begin.
tribefan011

Pro

I support affirmative action as a policy in the United States until racial inequality has clearly been ended.

Background:
The Atlantic slave trade lasted from the 16th century to the 19th century. Millions of slaves were shipped to America. A very large majority of these slaves came from Africa. They were forced to work under horrible conditions and usually earned no money at all. America became independent in 1776, and set up its government under our current Constitution in 1788. Obviously, slavery was not ended in either of those dates. Slavery remained a prominent issue throughout the 19th century. Slavery ended in the United States in 1865. They were often beaten by their owners. Slaves could often be separated from their families. There were few slaves able to rise up in society due to the oppression they faced. African-Americans weren't even granted constitutional rights until the passing of the Fourteenth Amendment. Before this, many African-Americans were legally murdered and had barely any rights at all.

The oppression did not end though. After the end of Reconstruction, whites regained control of the South and proceeded to impose more oppressive laws on blacks. Laws made it very difficult for African-Americans to vote. Schools were segregated. A lot of businesses were segregated. The facilities restricted to blacks were usually inferior to those of the whites'. Violence, refusal of suffrage, and segregation continued for many years until the Civil Rights Movement. Brown v. Board was decided in 1955, ending segregation. The Civil Rights Act was passed in 1964. These two bills did a lot to make African-Americans equal, but it was clearly not enough. The oppression of the blacks had left many of them uneducated and poor. The segregated educational facilities up to 1955 were inferior, as decided by Brown v. Board. Given an inferior education, many blacks could not rise up in society on their own. Having had parents with not much education and little money put many blacks at a disadvantage. Having had freedoms taken away for many years, it was hard for many blacks to rise up in society. It was no surprise that many were in poverty during the 1950's and 1960's, when the Civil Rights Movement was in high gear. In 1961, President Kennedy had begun a policy of equal employment opportunity. President Johnson began the policy of affirmative action in 1965. This policy helped African-Americans since they could no longer be discriminated against in the workplace because of their color.

Since 1961, many more African-Americans have become employed. Their poverty rates have dropped. But the work isn't over. Statistics from last month show that African-Americans are still unemployed at a 6% higher rate than whites. [1] Statistics also show that African-Americans only make $.76 to every dollar a white makes. [2] I realize that the title is pro-minority affirmative action, so I will look at Hispanics as well. They are unemployed at a 3.5% higher rate than whites. [1] They only make $.72 to every dollar a white man makes. [2] I will proceed to my argument on Hispanics later. Asians clearly don't need affirmative action. They are employed at a higher rate than whites. They also make more than whites. There are no statistics from colleges to show that they are being admitted less than any other race either.
These statistics show that there is still much inequality between the races.

Here are my arguments:
1. Affirmative action helps undo the effects of past wrongs, by helping African-Americans rise up in society.
The effects of oppression over 300 years could take hours to discuss. The psychological and socioeconomic effects are vast. While it will be impossible to ever properly undo the past wrongs, this is a step toward it. I will concentrate on the fact that the oppression left many African-Americans uneducated and poor. This made it difficult for them to get better jobs without help. Statistics from the Census Bureau show that in 1959, the poverty rate of African-Americans was 55%. [3] The government started requiring that businesses take affirmative action to employ more minorities in 1965, under Executive Order 11246. This led to many more African-Americans being employed. It has helped more attend college, as well. The poverty rate of African-Americans stands at 24.5% today. [4] The poverty rate of whites is only 10.5%. [5] Affirmative action policies, while not entirely responsible, have clearly led to more African-Americans rising from poverty.

2. Ending affirmative action will hurt African-Americans.
A study in 2007 estimated that ending affirmative action will lead to a 35 percent drop in minority groups like blacks and Hispanics attending the most competitive colleges. [7] A Princeton University study concurred that ending affirmative action would lead to a sharp drop in blacks and Hispanics attending top colleges. [8] Several states have already eliminated affirmative action, and these studies are partially done on those states.

3. Affirmative action creates more diverse environments, which are very valuable.
Affirmative action ensures that more African-Americans and Hispanics are hired or accepted. This brings more cultures and more views to an environment. In college, it is important that students learn other cultures and grow to accept them since they will likely have to face these cultures again throughout their lives. More African-Americans and Hispanics in a college or workplace will help integrate people, and help people grow to respect other cultures more. This will ultimately help society.

I have left Hispanics out of much of my argument up to this point. While I believe affirmative action for blacks is somewhat more important, I still believe affirmative action for Hispanics is very important. As I showed you earlier, they have a high poverty rate. They are unemployed at a 3.5% higher rate than whites, and they only make $.72 to every dollar a white makes. They have faced racism and oppression while in this country as well. It's important to include them in our affirmative action policies to make sure they are not discriminated against in the workplace or in the universities.

Now, I have presented three opening arguments. I will proceed with other arguments and expound upon these, if I have to. I believe affirmative action needs to be continued until the inequality is not apparent. As of now, the inequality is apparent. I don't believe in setting a fixed percentage of blacks to be employed or accepted, as that can force unqualified applicants to be accepted. But I believe we should try to make our universities and workplaces reflect our societal demographics well. The inequality is apparent with our current statistics of unemployment and wages. There is no legitimate reason there should be such a large difference between races.

Thank you for this debate. I await your rebuttals and arguments.

[1] http://www.bls.gov...
[2] http://www.bls.gov...
[3] http://www.libraryindex.com...
[4] http://pubdb3.census.gov...
[5] http://pubdb3.census.gov...
[6] http://pubdb3.census.gov...
[7] http://www.andrew.cmu.edu...
[8] http://www.princeton.edu...
Debate Round No. 1
mongeese

Con

Here is the basic summary, from what I can tell, of my opponent's intro:
1. European colonists enslaved and oppressed African-Americans that they imported from Africa.
2. The African-Americans have been gaining rights, but are still poor and uneducated.
3. Hispanics are also poor and uneducated (no reason given).
4. Asians do great, so they don't deserve help.

"1. Affirmative action helps undo the effects of past wrongs, by helping African-Americans rise up in society."
Actually, if you think about it, the slave trade was one of the best things that could have happened for many African-Americans.
If the slave trade did not exist, the descendents of the no-longer-enslaved Africans would be living in Africa, where the standard of living is much lower than it is in America [1].
Instead, they live in America, and now they hate the European colonists for bringing them to the best country in the world [2][3].
My Texas History teacher said that he would rather have been a slave in America than a free man in Africa, because free men in Africa were quickly enslaved by each other, and America is just that much better.
Finally, we come to the fact that African-Americans today are generally poorer and more uneducated than European-Americans. However, why reward all African-Americans, including the successful ones, when we can instead help all of the poor and uneducated Americans at once?

"2. Ending affirmative action will hurt African-Americans."
That's like saying that if you stop spoiling a kid, he's going to pout. Apparently, my opponent takes no consideration in the fact that by the very nature of affirmative action, ending it will help European-Americans. Plus, the African-Americans that need affirmative action would still be helped under the plan I shall present at the end of this round.

"3. Affirmative action creates more diverse environments, which are very valuable."
So, because they're different, we should give them preferential treatment? There are numerous cultures that are piled into the one term "white man," and there are plenty of Asian-American cultures that are doing even better than European-Americans. If I were to go out and start my very own culture, I'd be the only person with it, so I should be a shoo-in for anything I ever apply for, right? Right? No. That's ridiculous.

"It's important to include [Hispanics] in our affirmative action policies to make sure they are not discriminated against in the workplace or in the universities."
And you know that there is discrimination because...?

"I believe affirmative action needs to be continued until the inequality is not apparent."
It's not so much the race that causes the inequality. It's the economic standing.

"The inequality is apparent with our current statistics of unemployment and wages."
http://www.twainquotes.com...
"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics."

"There is no legitimate reason there should be such a large difference between races."
Yes, there is: economic standing.

More arguments against Pro-Minority Affirmative Action:
"Some opponents say affirmative action devalues the accomplishments of people who are chosen because of the social group to which they belong rather than their qualifications." [4]
"Conservative commentator Dr. Thomas Sowell identified some negative results of race-based affirmative action in his book, 'Affirmative Action Around the World: An Empirical Study.' Sowell writes that affirmative action policies encourage non-preferred groups to designate themselves as members of preferred groups (i.e., primary beneficiaries of affirmative action) to take advantage of group preference policies; that they tend to benefit primarily the most fortunate among the preferred group (e.g., upper and middle class blacks), often to the detriment of the least fortunate among the non-preferred groups (e.g., poor whites or Asians); that they reduce the incentives of both the preferred and non-preferred to perform at their best — the former because doing so is unnecessary and the latter because it can prove futile — thereby resulting in net losses for society as a whole; and that they increase animosity toward preferred groups." [5]
All of these negative effects do not occur under my plan.

Now, for my own plan: Color-Blind Pro-Disadvantaged Affirmative Action.

Under this plan, affirmative action is practiced for all people who have had a poor/uneducated background, no matter what their race. This would still help minorities more than majorities, because minorities are more often poor/uneducated. However, it would avoid the off chance that an African-American or Hispanic is actually more qualified than a European-American or Asian-American, but still gains benefits of affirmative action.

So, the advantages of Pro-Disadvantaged over Pro-Minority:
It's not racism.
It always works towards the person who is actually disadvantaged, as many members of minorities are currently better off than many members of the majority.

And the disadvantages:

o.O

So, basically, my opponent is going to have to argue that a middle-class African-American or Mexican-American deserves more help than a lower-class European-American or Asian-American.

1. http://wiki.answers.com...
2. http://boards.history.com...
3. http://www.thehighroad.org...
4. Sher, George, "Preferential Hiring", in Tom Regan (ed.), Just Business: New Introductory Essays In Business Ethics, Philadelphia, Temple University Press, 1983, p.40.
5. http://en.wikipedia.org...
tribefan011

Pro

First, I'd like to reply to my opponent's summary of the background. My background certainly doesn't do much justice to African-Americans. It hardly depicts the horrors they had to suffer for over 300 years. It doesn't show how dignity was completely taken from many of these African-Americans. It was just a simple summary. What I was getting at is this: The oppression and discrimination against African-Americans over such a long period has largely led to their socioeconomic status today. We need to undo those wrongs, if we are to protect races equally, as our Fourteenth Amendment demands. [1]

I just want to correct some small parts. African-Americans tend to be more poor and more uneducated and other races. Not all of them are poor and uneducated. Hispanics clearly haven't been entirely integrated into American society. Many work very low-paying jobs. They tend to make much less money than any other race. Affirmative action will help integrate them into society by giving them more jobs in which they're qualified, and it will help by providing them with better-paying jobs.

Asian-Americans currently tend to fare better than any other race in America. They are employed at a higher rate and tend to make more money than other races in America. There is no distinguishable discrimination against Asian-Americans as a race, while there is distinguishable discrimination against Hispanics and blacks. If you look at college enrollment rates, Asians outperform every other race. Affirmative action has been taken to ensure they are not discriminated against. In 1976, only 1.8 percent of people of Asian ethnicity attended institutions of higher education. In 2005, 6.5 percent attended college. [2] They only make up about 4.4% of the population. [3] There's no sufficient evidence to show that they are being discriminated against in colleges or in the workplace.
It's clear that Hispanics and blacks have improved much in college enrollment as well. But their enrollment rates still lag behind the actual makeup of their population in America. Calculating the black population of the U.S. at 13.4%, their enrollment rates only lag behind their actual demographic by .7%. [3][2] Calculating the Hispanic population of the U.S. at 10.8%, their enrollment rates lag behind their actual demographic by 4.0%. [3][2]

Frankly, I find it disgusting that my opponent would justify slavery in any way. The ends do not justify the means. The fact that many African-Americans can have more opportunity here than they could in many other countries does not make the oppression of them right. This really just appears to be an attempt to minimize slavery's wrongs. I think Andrew J. Sebok put it well:
"The argument that African-Americans are better off in America than they would have been in Africa sounds like justifying a brutal kidnapping on the ground that the victim's children will end up in a country with a higher standard of living." [4]
This argument is somewhat irrelevant, but my opponent doesn't analyze why the standard of living is lower. Imperialism and colonialism led to countries in Europe controlling almost all of Africa. Colonialism exploited places like the Congo and Algeria for its resources. Slavery exploited Africa of its people, and devastated different regions. These countries didn't get much in return, and you can see what has resulted today. My analysis is simplified, but it would take hours to describe the effects.
Also, saying African-Americans hate the European colonists "for bringing them" here is not an entirely founded claim. America is also not the best country in the world because two message board posters on the Internet say so.

My opponent's analogy to my second argument is not valid at all. The reason for affirmative action is because these races are being discriminated against. I fail to see how the kid is being discriminated against in your analogy. Affirmative action is not "spoiling". It's giving minorities more opportunities to raise themselves up. Blacks and Hispanics clearly make less and are employed less than other races. There is no good reason for this, and affirmative action helps end discrimination like that. I don't ignore that ending affirmative action will help European-Americans. It just doesn't matter because there's not much evidence to suggest that they are being discriminated against, as a race, in colleges or the workplace.

In responding to my third argument, my opponent seems to confuse races with cultures. Seeing as cultures aren't people, I don't understand how they can do better than European-Americans. I agree that there are numerous cultures among whites, but that doesn't refute the point. African-Americans will likely bring different perspective and different cultures to the environment. Different races in an environment have shown to have important benefits. Gurin found that students in classroom with greater diversity reported higher scores on tests regarding complex thinking, greater intellectual self-confidence, a greater understanding that group differences are compatible with societal unity, and a higher level of motivation to understand the perspectives of other people. [5] Con's hypothetical culture doesn't necessarily bring the same benefits, and it's not the same situation at all.

I know there is discrimination because of the statistics I have used over and over again. There is no legitimate reason there should be such inequality. It puzzles me why my opponent would bring up "economic standing", as if that somehow refutes my point. That only makes my point. Why is there such economic inequality? That was a statistic I used to back me up. There's no legitimate reason there should be such economic inequality. Race should be irrelevant, and race and class should not intersect. But as I have shown, race and class continue to intersect.

My opponent proceeds to refute one of my statements with a Mark Twain quote. I said that the inequality is apparent with the statistics of unemployment and wages. The quote says that statistics are a kind of lie. Besides being a huge generalization, the quote does not refute what I said at all.

As for the arguments that Con didn't even make, but had to quote, affirmative action law requires proper qualifications. As for Thomas Sowell's arguments, there are several claims in it that you did not back up.

The problem with my opponent's proposal is that it really doesn't address the problem at hand. There are clearly problems across races. If you're attempting to say that the lower employment rates of blacks and Hispanics are entirely due to economic standing, you have to prove that. I haven't seen you prove that, and it's an impossible claim to prove. I have shown how the oppression and discrimination against African-Americans helped cause much poverty and lack of education. Simply attributing all their problems to "economic standing" does not solve the problem. They are being employed at a much lower rate than whites, and they are being paid much less than whites. The same is said for Hispanics. The way to help this is to tackle the race issue and make sure more qualified Hispanics and African-Americans are hired. But what we're talking about is race, and there continues to be a problem in regards to enrollment, employment, and wages with race. The statistics do not show that just poor blacks or poor Hispanics are affected. We have to address the problems of the entire race, and not just part of it, in order to tackle the problems. Help should be provided for the lower class, but that doesn't suddenly cure the inequality between races. More action needs to be taken than just that.

[1] http://topics.law.cornell.edu...
[2] http://nces.ed.gov...
[3] http://tinyurl.com...
[4] http://archives.cnn.com...
[5] http://www.apa.org...
Debate Round No. 2
mongeese

Con

"My background certainly doesn't do much justice to African-Americans. It hardly depicts the horrors they had to suffer for over 300 years...."
However, nobody alive today suffered those horrors. Should a person be rewarded because his great-great-great-great-grandparents suffered? No. That doesn't make sense.

"We need to undo those wrongs, if we are to protect races equally, as our Fourteenth Amendment demands."
I'll cite the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
http://finduslaw.com...
"It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer ... to... refuse to hire ... any individual ... because of such individual's race..."
This effectively outlaws affirmative action.

Furthermore, it seems that you are basing your entire argument around the fact that African-Americans are socio-economically disadvantaged, and yet you admit that not all African-Americans are socio-disadvantaged. So why should a middle-class African-American be favored over a lower-class European-American based on socio-economic status? Such a racist act violates the Fourteenth Amendment.

"Affirmative action will help integrate them into society by giving them more jobs in which they're qualified, and it will help by providing them with better-paying jobs."
However, you're trying to place them above equally qualified or more qualified people, which violates the Civil Rights Act.

"Asian-Americans currently tend to fare better than any other race in America...."
So, should we place an African-American over an Asian-American when the Asian-American is slightly more qualified? Furthermore, if Asian-Americans can be doing better than European-Americans without any racism, then why can't European-Americans be doing better than African-Americans without any racism?

"But their enrollment rates still lag behind the actual makeup of their population in America."
However, there is no proof of actual discrimination based solely on race, with the exception of affirmative action. For example, crime rates are higher among African-Americans. Because felons are excluded from many job opportunities, this would affect the African-American population more than other populations. However, note that this does not have any effect on the African-Americans who are not felons.

"Frankly, I find it disgusting that my opponent would justify slavery in any way..."
I'm not trying to justify it. I'm just saying that colonial America was better than Africa at the time, so it ended up being a very dark cloud with a silver lining. You can't just ignore the few positive effects because of the many negative effects.

"Imperialism and colonialism led to countries in Europe controlling almost all of Africa."
America was a better place even before the Europeans arrived. African tribes were enslaving each other anyway, and then selling each other to the Europeans was a convenience.
http://autocww.colorado.edu...
"In Africa, as in many places around the world, early slavery likely resulted from warring groups taking captives. ... [T]hey were often sold and transported to more distant places."

"America is also not the best country in the world because two message board posters on the Internet say so."
http://www.msnbc.msn.com...
This more reliable source may not put America at the top, but it's right behind Europe.

"The reason for affirmative action is because these races are being discriminated against."
Proof?

"There is no good reason for this, and affirmative action helps end discrimination like that."
There is a perfectly good reason. Blacks and Hispanics tend to be more socio-economically disadvantaged, and there is correlation between socio-economic status and income, which is apparent in all races, not just African- and Mexican-Americans.

"It just doesn't matter because there's not much evidence to suggest that they are being discriminated against, as a race, in colleges or the workplace."
You don't have any real evidence, either.

"African-Americans will likely bring different perspective and different cultures to the environment."
Anybody can bring a new perspective or a new culture. Being black doesn't change this.

"Gurin found that students in classroom with greater diversity reported...."
So, we should throw as many cultures as we can into a classroom? That sounds like the idea of racial quotas. Also, your source defines affirmative action as "programs that expand access to jobs and education by creating a broader pool of applicants," which is not the definition currently used.

"Con's hypothetical culture doesn't necessarily bring the same benefits, and it's not the same situation at all."
Why not? You don't even know what my hypothetical culture is. It might open your eyes to a whole new definition of life, but I guess you'll never know.

"I know there is discrimination because of the statistics I have used over and over again. There is no legitimate reason there should be such inequality."
The answer is socio-economic standing. You're misinterpreting your own statistics. Thus, Mark Twain.

"Why is there such economic inequality?"
Why would anybody expect anything different?

"There's no legitimate reason there should be such economic inequality."
With all of the different groups in America with all of their backgrounds, expecting conformity would be fallacy.

"Race should be irrelevant, and race and class should not intersect. But as I have shown, race and class continue to intersect."
That would be an argument against high employment of Asian-Americans, as well.
Now, if one million people came into America from a foreign planet (for argument's sake), and none of them knew a thing about capitalism or business, or anything like that, we'd have an obvious correlation between race and class. Now, should we immediately try to get some of these aliens into the upper class to balance this out? No. That would be unfair.

"I said that the inequality is apparent with the statistics of unemployment and wages."
But the inequality is not caused by what you think it is caused by. This racism that you say exists doesn't.

"As for the arguments that Con didn't even make, but had to quote..."
Technically, all of our arguments are re-interpretations of what other people have said. Does paraphrasing it make it your own? Not really.

"...affirmative action law requires proper qualifications."
However, if the two really did have equal qualifications, then affirmative action wouldn't be necessary. Otherwise, the most qualified should be hired.

"As for Thomas Sowell's arguments, there are several claims in it that you did not back up."
They're backed up by Thomas Sowell. He's a fairly qualified economist.
http://en.wikipedia.org...

"There are clearly problems across races."
Racism doesn't fix this.

"If you're attempting to say that the lower employment rates of blacks and Hispanics are entirely due to economic standing, you have to prove that."
You're the one accusing America of racism. They're innocent until proven guilty.

"I have shown how the oppression and discrimination against African-Americans helped cause much poverty and lack of education."
However, nobody alive today experienced slavery.

"The statistics do not show that just poor blacks or poor Hispanics are affected."
Yes, they do.
"As far back as 1980, college-educated black married couples earned slightly more than white college-educated married couples." This was commentary by Thomas Sowell in "Economic Facts and Fallacies," page 174, on a study cited in "Black Elite" by Richard B. Freeman.

"Help should be provided for the lower class, but that doesn't suddenly cure the inequality between races."
Actually, it does, as it would help African-Americans and Hispanics slightly more.
tribefan011

Pro

My opponent starts with a contention that completely ignores the background in the first round. The fact that no one alive today had to deal with slavery is irrelevant. Many African-Americans today have had to deal with the effects of slavery and oppression. It's a misrepresentation to act as if the slaves were the only ones who suffered. Blacks, for many years after slavery was made illegal, had to deal with oppressive Jim Crow laws. They were discriminated against long after slavery was made illegal. As I've already stated, slavery and oppression of African-Americans severely affected many of them socioeconomically.

It's unfortunate my opponent did not read further into the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Had he read further, he would have read the following:
"it shall not be an unlawful employment practice for an employer to hire and employ employees… on the basis of his religion, sex, or national origin... where religion, sex, or national origin is a bona fide occupational qualification reasonably necessary to the normal operation of that particular business or enterprise"
As I have explained, racial diversity has a valuable quality for businesses and schools. This is why they are legally allowed to continue policies of affirmative action. The claim that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlaws affirmative action disregards multiple decisions by the Supreme Court. In Johnson v. Transportation Agency, the majority opinion decided that affirmative action could be legal under the Civil Rights Act because it remedied imbalances of workers and it did not establish quotas. [1] Regents of the University of California v. Bakke similarly upheld policies of affirmative action. [2]Unlike racial quotas, affirmative action allows employers and schools to use race as just one factor in a series of factors. Again, in 2003, the Supreme Court upheld policies of affirmative action in Grutter v. Bollinger.
The point of showing the socioeconomic effects of slavery is to point out that the effects of racism and oppression have taken their toll on blacks, obviously. While some have fared better than others, that fails to show that they have not faced discrimination. The purpose is not solely socioeconomic status, as you have improperly assumed from my argument. The purpose is to help undo past wrongs. The purpose is to help blacks rise up in society after whites have had a 400-year head start.

My opponent has made several faulty assumptions. First of all, he basically equates affirmative action with racism while he has completely failed to prove that it is on any level. He then says it violates the Fourteenth Amendment, while he provided no proof to back that assertion.

My opponent's assertion that economic standing, now socioeconomic standing, accounts for the inequality has not been backed up. I fail to see how lower socioeconomic standing provides for the 6% higher unemployment rate for blacks. My opponent has asserted that economic standing has to do with this inequality, yet I don't see any logical argument that would show that the 6% higher unemployment rate is a result of economic standing. Saying that economic standing is responsible for lower wages of blacks is redundant, unless he's talking about economic standing before they had jobs.

4. Minorities tend to face much more discrimination in their upbringing and in their search for jobs.

The job statistics that I have shown exhibit the disadvantages blacks face in America today. Unemployment rates for men who did not have high school diplomas in 2006 were 8.5% for whites and 18.8% for blacks. [4] Also, in 2006, the unemployment rate for white men with college degrees was 2.5% while it was 5.1% for blacks. Algernon Austin cited research that showed that even white men with criminal records were called back by employers at a much higher rate than black men with similar records. [5] A New York City study even found that white felons were offered more jobs or received more calls back than blacks with no criminal record. These statistics and studies are just clear evidence of discrimination. There is no rightful reason that blacks should be unemployed at such a higher rate than whites when they're equally qualified. Marianne Bartrand found that people with white-sounding names are 50 percent more likely to be called back by employers than people with black-sounding names. [6] There is definitely no rightful reason for whites to be hired at a higher rate than blacks when the white is a felon and the black has no criminal record. Blacks even face discrimination early on. A study from the Education Trust shows that minority schools or schools with high amounts of minorities are underfunded. [7] The underfunding of minority schools leaves them with fewer AP classes. This makes it harder for them to compete with whites who go to well-funded schools with many AP class opportunities. Black students are often not as well prepared for AP tests as white students are, as well. I have shown overwhelming evidence that blacks are being discriminated against in America today. This is unacceptable. There should not be such inequality and division along race. Economic standing or socio-economic standing clearly cannot explain all of the differences.

The problem with much of my opponent's argument is that he makes claims without backing them up. My opponent brings up the example of black felons as a reason for the lower unemployment rate. However, he doesn't explain how that accounts for a 6% difference. He hasn't used any statistics in regards to black felons or socio-economic standing to back him up on this. The argument on Africa is rather irrelevant to the debate. Mongeese assumes that I believe that we should throw as many cultures as possible into a classroom because I gave evidence from a study that racial diversity is beneficial. It is clearly not a proposal of racial quotas, and that is a straw man argument. How my source defines affirmative action is irrelevant. I was referring to the study in it, not its definition of "affirmative action". That is a red herring. And debating over the definition when there really isn't much of a difference at all is petty. Con tells me I'm misinterpreting my own statistics, while his interpretation has been that economic standing causes inequality. He has failed to prove this assertion, as I've stated over and over again. And I would like for him to show me how I'm misinterpreting the statistics. The hypothetical culture is irrelevant because it is not the same situation. The hypothetical addition of a million people from another planet has nothing, whatsoever, to do with affirmative action. These arguments are simply hyperbolic and prove nothing.

The fact that Thomas Sowell makes a claim and backs it up does not substitute for evidence. That's simply an appeal to authority. As you can see, my opponent has resorted to several logical fallacies. He assumes knowledge of the reason behind inequality, yet he fails to prove it. He tells me that statistics show that just poor blacks and poor Hispanics are affected, then he proceeds to quote an irrelevant statement regarding college-educated black couples. Simply saying "Yes, they do" to rebut my argument does not substitute for proof.

Again, my opponent's proposal just affects blacks moreso than whites. It doesn't directly address the problem at hand, and that is the huge inequality between races.

[1] http://www.answers.com...
[2] http://www.law.cornell.edu...
[3] http://www.law.cornell.edu...
[4] http://www.epi.org...
[5] http://epi.3cdn.net...
[6] http://phoenix.liu.edu...
[7] http://www2.edtrust.org...
[8] http://www.jbhe.com...
Debate Round No. 3
mongeese

Con

My opponent argues that because a person's ancestors had troubled lives, that person is entitled to correction. We all have to deal with everything ever done in this world. The fact that African-Americans were enslaved is sad, yes. However, it does not entitle them to an advantage over everybody else. Like I've argued, if two kids, one black and one white, both lived on the same street their entire lives, going to the same schools their entire lives, the black kid should not be favored over the white kid on account of history, because guess what? They have the same personal history. There's no reason to go back any further. My opponent did not respond to my statement, "Should a person be rewarded because his great-great-great-great-grandparents suffered? No. That doesn't make sense." My opponent also ignores the fact that people applying for college today didn't live "anywhen" near the times of the Jim Crow laws.

Again, the racial diversity, which claims to "remedy imbalances" without any proof that there is really any unjustifiable imbalance. Plus, racial diversity exists without affirmative action. Getting people into the workplace just to have racial diversity undermines them. There are already skilled members of minorities in the workplace. A continued attempt at racial diversity is valuing one race over another, i.e. racism.

Also, what about mulattos? They are half-white. They often have a European culture. How do they help in racial diversity?

My opponent generalizes that all whites have had a 400-year head start. That is far from the truth. Many African-Americans were released from slavery in 1777 [1], and Jim Crow laws didn't even exist in the north. Many European-Americans never really had this head start. A white farming family in Tennessee would currently be behind a black suburb family in Chicago. "Ruralism" plays more a part than racial factors in socio-economic status. Plus, "undoing past wrongs" doesn't even play into the definition of affirmative action.

All definitions from Merriam-Webster [2].
Racism - racial discrimination
Discrimination - the act of discriminating
Discriminating - making a distinction
Obviously, affirmative action makes the distinction that some applicants are European-American and others are African-American and others are Asian-American and so on.
Racism is, in full, the act of making a distinction based on race, which is affirmative action.

As I have already said, my opponent is accusing a large number of Americans of racism, and the burden of proof to do this falls on him. He has made no argument regarding this placement of the BoP.

My opponent's (4) says nothing about race whatsoever, but is instead about unemployment rates in different states.
There is one factor that the study I sourced took into account that my opponent's do not: marriage. This has already been proven to have an effect on employment, income, etc. [3]. This, coupled with the poor marriage rate for blacks [4] makes a huge dent in the black income, employment, etc., which explains everything. Why this marriage rate is different is unknown, although it is probably cultural.

As for the names, it is difficult to counter, as it does not list which names were used. However, connotations are important. Take the name Muhammad (Ali), for example. The name is common for Muslims as well as blacks, and is also incredibly popular with terrorists (Steyn 64).

As for the school thing, the solution is to require the state to fund all schools equally in a function based on total students enrolled. This would not be affirmative action, as it would not take race into account. It would be color-blind.

My opponent then goes on a rant about statistics. However, it was clear that he had the BoP when it came to accusing America of being racist. Therefore, I only had to refute his arguments.

Here are some statistics to back up the crime rates [4].

"And I would like for him to show me how I'm misinterpreting the statistics."
Simple. You don't take all of the factors into account. For a fact, when comparing people of different race that only have a difference of race, you find that they are all pretty much equal [5].

"The hypothetical addition of a million people from another planet has nothing, whatsoever, to do with affirmative action. These arguments are simply hyperbolic and prove nothing."
Actually, it was just an exaggerated satire of immigration from Mexico. So, you basically admitted that we should not have affirmative action for Hispanics.

As for Sowell, he backs up his arguments very well. The racial chapter in "Economic Facts and Fallacies" alone has 83 sources and almost just as many studies.

"He tells me that statistics show that just poor blacks and poor Hispanics are affected, then he proceeds to quote an irrelevant statement regarding college-educated black couples."
The statement was not irrelevant. It shows that the college-educated married black couples are unaffected, which only increases the argument that socio-economic status is the cause.

"Again, my opponent's proposal just affects blacks moreso[sic] than whites. It doesn't directly address the problem at hand, and that is the huge inequality between races."
It would help blacks more than whites, but it also wouldn't help middle-class blacks at the expense of lower-class whites.

In conclusion, Pro-Minority Affirmative Action is racism. Statistics that seem to show anti-minority racism don't take all of the necessary factors (socio-economic status, crime rate, relationship status) that vary among races. A much better alternative is Pro-Disadvantaged Affirmative Action, which would solve the socio-economic problems, and not value people based on the color of their skin.

1. http://en.wikipedia.org...
2. http://www.merriam-webster.com...
3. "Economic Facts and Fallacies," by Thomas Sowell. More specifically, Chapter 3, "Male-Female Facts and Fallacies."
4. http://www.saysuncle.com...
5. "As far back as 1969, young black males whose homes included newspapers, magazines, and library cards, and who had also gone on to obtain the same number of years of schooling as young white males, had the same incomes as their white counterparts [6].... By 1989, blacks, whites, and Hispanics in the United States of the same age (29) and with the same IQ (100) all had annual incomes within a thousand dollars of one another when they worked year-round [7]." (Sowell 174)
6. "Black Elite," by Richard B. Freeman. Chapter 4.
7. "The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life," by Richard J. Herrnstein and Charles Murray. p.323
"America Alone," by Mark Steyn.
tribefan011

Pro

It's a straw man argument to say that I believe because blacks' ancestors had troubled lives, they are entitled to "correction". Firstly, it's a gross oversimplification to say blacks had troubled lives in America. Their lives were truly awful and they were oppressed for many years. The argument has been that oppression and discrimination has had deep, negative effects in countless African-American lives. The United States government took much longer than it should have to correct the problems of slavery and discriminatory laws, and that's where my hyperbolic reference to the 400-year head start comes in.

My opponent's situation does not mean both kids have the same personal history. They just lived on the same street and went to the same school their entire lives. This situation doesn't take into account any socioeconomic status. It doesn't take into account their performance at those schools. It doesn't take into account any qualifications of theirs.

As for my opponent's question, I did not address it because it's somewhat dishonest in its premise. If we use twenty-five years as an average time of generation, that is about 150 years ago. You can even use shorter generations. The fact is African-Americans still had to endure discrimination past that point.

Con tells me that there is no unjustifiable imbalance between races. This is quite the interesting claim because he has failed to justify the imbalance. While my opponent has attempted to say that socioeconomic standing and the number of black felons are responsible for the large differences between race, he hasn't backed up this assertion with proof. The burden of proof lies on the side of the claimant, and my opponent has claimed these factors are responsible for the difference between races. He hasn't used statistics to show that a 6% difference in unemployment is a result of socioeconomic standing and the number of black felons. He hasn't used statistics to show that the number of blacks felons cause the wages of African-Americans to go down to $.76 to every dollar a white makes. It would be somewhat redundant to say that socioeconomic status is the reason for the difference in wages for blacks or Hispanics. My opponent didn't even respond when I wanted to know whether he was referring to their status before they got a job or after they got a job.

Pushing for racial diversity is not valuing one race over another. Pushing for racial diversity is giving more people representation and more diverse environments have been shown to be more beneficial. There clearly is not enough of a representation of certain races in the workplace. Again, race should be irrelevant in regards to employment statistics. However, it is not. Statistics show stark differences between race. Diversity has shown to be beneficial, and pushing for it is not valuing one race over another. It's valuing one environment over another. My opponent's conclusion that pushing for diversity is racism is illogical.

I don't see the purpose in bringing up "mulattos". It's basically just making a distinction in the African-American community. Their perspective of different cultures and races since they've likely had to deal with those differences more than most people can be valuable to many environments.

My opponent's claim that many slaves were freed in 1777 was just not true. In order to back up his claim, he uses a link to Wikipedia which only says slaves in Vermont were freed. Vermont actually had few slaves. [1]

The large majority of African-Americans did not live in the North. In 1910, about 90% of African-Americans lived in the South. [2] Jim Crow laws were well in place at this time in the South. I don't see anything to back up my opponent's assertion that a black family outside Chicago would be ahead of a rural family in Tennessee because it's a generalization and he uses no source.

My opponent uses no source for his claim about rurality. Also, the fact that there are poor whites doesn't rebut my argument. The fact that one of my arguments for affirmative action doesn't play a role in the definition of the policy is irrelevant. This is a debate. In this debate, I am defending affirmative action. One part of my rationale for defending affirmative action is that it helps undo past wrongs. It doesn't need to have anything to do with the definition.

The problem in my opponent's line of reasoning that affirmative action is racism is the definition of "discriminating". My opponent fails to note that there's a difference between "discriminating between" and "discriminating against". Also, my opponent changed the definition of "racism" from what Merriam-Webster states. [3] "Racism" implies discriminating against someone, since it is the view that one race is superior to another. [3] My opponent has failed to prove that affirmative action is racism.

My opponent claims that I have accused a large number of Americans of racism when I haven't. My argument wasn't very hard to understand. I have to question if my opponent even read my argument, given his statement that it was just about unemployment rates in different states. There is vast inequality between races in the workplace, even for those with similar qualifications. There's no legitimate reason there should be such huge differences when race should be irrelevant. It's clear evidence that they are being discriminated against. My opponent attempts to explain away the differences with generalizations that socioeconomic status, the number of black felons, and now marriage affect their employment rates. My opponent failed to show that the differences are entirely a result of those factors, so the evidence of discrimination stands.

The claim that college-educated black couples are better off is just not true. The average college-educated black couple stars off with about one-fifth of the net worth of an average young white couple. [4] So even though they make about the same, the advantages whites have had in the past show they are not the same. Continued affirmative action can help change this.

There's no use in dignifying the argument about the name "Muhammad" because it doesn't refute the study, nor does it back up the claim about it being popular among blacks.

Also, providing a policy to correct discrimination doesn't rebut my argument. There is discrimination in funding of schools.

My opponent has tried to place the burden of proof on my side when I've used plenty of evidence to back my argument. He has asserted that several factors are responsible for the differences among races. He has failed to prove that assertion. It becomes even more humorous because my opponent has quoted an argument from Thomas Sowell. That argument makes a claim, and Con did not back up that claim. The burden of proof lies on the side of the claimant, as we all know. My opponent has simply appealed to Sowell's authority, another logical fallacy, to back up his argument.

My opponent's argument about immigrants from another planet is not analogous to immigrants from Mexico. It is not true that Mexican immigrants don't know anything about capitalism or business. My opponent's argument was simply hyperbolic, hypothetical, and irrelevant.

I have used much evidence to back my side. I have made four arguments to back affirmative action, all of which mongeese did not refute. In his attempts to refute my arguments, my opponent has employed several logical fallacies.

Affirmative action not only helps undo past wrongs, but it also helps workplaces and colleges by increasing diversity. The policy needs to be continued because it addresses and helps reverse the problem of race-based discrimination. My opponent's proposal doesn't directly address that problem.

[1] "Vindicating the Founders" by Thomas G. West, p. 11
[2] http://www.infoplease.com...
[3] http://www.merriam-webster.com...
[4] http://www.lipmagazine.org...
Debate Round No. 4
77 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by bearanation 6 years ago
bearanation
I agree Tribefan011
Posted by tribefan011 7 years ago
tribefan011
Look, you failed with your statistical fallacy before, and you're now failing at this. We've debated this before, and you're simply wrong. It does promote equal opportunity because it gives more opportunities to more minorities.
Posted by iamadragon 7 years ago
iamadragon
Seriously, mongeese, that's what you guys just debated. You're just going in circles now.
Posted by mongeese 7 years ago
mongeese
However, that is not promiting equal opportunity. That is almost opposite.
Posted by tribefan011 7 years ago
tribefan011
But, here's the problem: You're now being dishonest. You did this throughout the debate with your straw man arguments. I never defined affirmative action as that. Here's what I said: "Affirmative action helps undo the effects of past wrongs, by helping African-Americans rise up in society." That shows an effect of affirmative action. Work on your reading comprehension, and be honest in the future.
Posted by mongeese 7 years ago
mongeese
Policies that take race into consideration in an attempt to undo past wrongs.
Policies that take race into consideration in an attempt to promote equal opportunity.

There is a huge difference right there. The goals may seem similar, but a policy can't do both in the current contexts.

If you disagree, then we can debate over it. It's much more efficient than comment debates.
Posted by tribefan011 7 years ago
tribefan011
Brilliant, mongeese...
No, all the definition does is give a blanket explanation. A definition does not have to explain all rationales. And your ignorance of history is quite apparent when don't realize that those past wrongs are what has caused affirmative action laws. I was showing another effect of affirmative action. It is not required to be in the definition.
Posted by alto2osu 7 years ago
alto2osu
Perhaps I need to read this debate more thoroughly, but how does that argument contradict the provided Con definition? Your definition, exactly, is:

"The terms affirmative action and positive action refer to policies that take race ... into consideration in an attempt to promote equal opportunity or increase ethnic diversity."

If Pro makes the link between past mistreatment of minorities and affirmatives actions positive steps to improve this historical inequity, I don't see the problem. Like, AA wouldn't need to exist if there wasn't an inherent problem with equity & discrimination...
Posted by mongeese 7 years ago
mongeese
The fact is, the definition required you to use certain reasonings for affirmative action.

Policies that take race into consideration in an attempt to undo past wrongs would not fit the definition of affirmative action, and would therefore not be affirmative action for this debate. Plain and simple.
Posted by tribefan011 7 years ago
tribefan011
"It is whites and only whites, I would suggest, who can get C's all the way through school, brag about their mediocrity publicly, mangle the English language, and go on to become President of the United States."
Tim Wise is the man.
19 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by Ron-Paul 4 years ago
Ron-Paul
mongeesetribefan011Tied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Countering Royal. No, it's not.
Vote Placed by royalpaladin 4 years ago
royalpaladin
mongeesetribefan011Tied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Countering 16k. This is way too old to vote on.
Vote Placed by 16kadams 4 years ago
16kadams
mongeesetribefan011Tied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by Lordknukle 5 years ago
Lordknukle
mongeesetribefan011Tied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:70 
Vote Placed by quarterexchange 5 years ago
quarterexchange
mongeesetribefan011Tied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro voted 3 more points for themselves than Con
Vote Placed by Scott_Mann 7 years ago
Scott_Mann
mongeesetribefan011Tied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:04 
Vote Placed by brigidmcq 7 years ago
brigidmcq
mongeesetribefan011Tied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07 
Vote Placed by Logical-Master 7 years ago
Logical-Master
mongeesetribefan011Tied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:70 
Vote Placed by Gmoney 7 years ago
Gmoney
mongeesetribefan011Tied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07 
Vote Placed by Sisco 7 years ago
Sisco
mongeesetribefan011Tied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:40