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Resolved: Affirmative Action to Promote Equal Opportunity in the United States is Justified.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/16/2010 Category: Society
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,361 times Debate No: 11211
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (4)
Votes (1)




Public Forum Rules. I will let the opponent post the first argument.


Thank you for the opportunity to debate this topic. If this is PF, then this would be the first con constructive.
It is without a doubt that Affirmative Action (A.A.) was a needed policy during a time when true racial and gender equality was just a dream. However, that dream of equality has been realized with Barrack Obama as the United States' first African-American president and with Hilary Clinton being a strong contender behind him as well. However, the continued use of policies are no longer needed, and further implementation of A.A. prevents the United States and any other Western country from become a totally "color blind" state.

Therefore, the Con negates the resolution, Resolved: Affirmative Action to Promote Equal Opportunity in the United States is Justified.


Affirmative Action means policy to redress past discrimination
AFFIRMATIVE ACTION: (a policy designed to redress past discrimination against women and minority groups through measures to improve their economic and educational opportunities) "affirmative action has been extremely controversial and was challenged in 1978 in the Bakke decision" [1]

Equal opportunity means freedom from discrimination
EQUAL OPPORTUNITY: "Noun. A right supposedly guaranteed by both federal and many state laws against any discrimination in employment, education, housing or credit rights due to a person's race, color, sex (or sometimes sexual orientation), religion, national origin, age or handicap." [2]

Justified means shown to be just
JUSTIFIED: to prove or show to be just, right, or reasonable [3]

Just is synonymous with equitable, impartial, and fair
Synonyms: upright; equitable, fair, impartial. [4]


Looking at who is now the most powerful man in the world, it is clear the Affirmative Action has done its job. Barrack Obama's election proves that the American people are not institutionally racist. Because of his election, Obama might have set the end of A.A. to a more immediate future.

The Indian Express asked, "If Americans make a black person the leading contender for president, as nationwide polls suggest, how can racial prejudice be so prevalent and potent that it justifies special efforts to place minorities in coveted jobs and schools?" [5]

The simple answer to this question is that A.A. is no longer needed. When you look at the success of Hilary Clinton and Barrack Obama, it becomes clear that the United States has moved away from the shameful past of segregation and discrimination. The American people can vote regardless of color or gender, allow them to truly hire without care of color or gender.

Because A.A. is no longer needed, it does not justify the following contentions.


In order to promote equal opportunity, Affirmative Action must first eliminate any discrimination due to race, color, or sex. However, A.A. does not achieve this because of the fact that A.A. causes reverse discrimination in all areas it affects. This reverse discrimination, otherwise known as "positive discrimination", gives an unfair bias toward minorities and women based on the very fact that they are minorities and women. Therefore:

Both strong and weak Affirmative Action are reverse discrimination
To quote Louis P. Pojman, a philosophy professor from Oxford University,
"Affirmative Action simply shifts injustice, setting Blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans, Asians and women against young white males, especially ethnic and poor white males. It makes no more sense to discriminate in favor of a rich Black or female who had the opportunity of the best family and education available against a poor White, than it does to discriminate in favor of White males against Blacks or women. It does little to rectify the goal of providing equal opportunity to all." [6]

Essentially, Affirmative Action gives an unfair and biased favor to minorities and women. To give an advantage to a certain race or gender causes discrimination, the very thing that equal opportunity strives to eliminate.

Mark Oppenheimer, a South American with a law degree from Cape Town, describes A.A. as a device that prevents total equality. He often says, "Preference by race yields disharmony, distrust and disintergration."

And Oppenheimer is right. Continued use of A.A. is no longer beneficial for racial and gender equality. Instead of promoting equal opportunity, A.A. promotes preferences for minorities.


Many forms of Affirmative Action lead to discrimination against whites.
"It is personally unfair, passes over better qualified students, and sets a disturbing legal, political, and moral precedent in allowing racial discrimination; it creates resentment; it stigmatizes the so-called beneficiaries in the eyes of their classmates, teachers, and themselves, as well as future employers, clients, and patients; it fosters a victim mindset, removes the incentive for academic excellence, and encourages separatism; it compromises the academic mission of the university and lowers the overall academic quality of the student body; it creates pressure to discriminate in grading and graduation; it breeds hypocrisy within the school; it encourages a scofflaw attitude among college officials; it mismatches students and institutions, guaranteeing failure for many of the former; it papers over the real social problem of why so many African Americans and Latinos are academically uncompetitive; and it gets states and schools involved in unsavory activities like deciding which racial and ethnic minorities will be favored and which ones not, and how much blood is needed to establish group membership." [7]

Roger Clegg, President of Center for Equal Opportunity, explains why A.A. is discriminatory against whites. He also touches on the fact that A.A. requires to accept unqualified students based on race alone.

This ends up harming BOTH whites and the minorities. A significantly higher percentage of blacks are admitted into MIT, 31.6% of blacks that apply are accepted compared to the overall 15.9% acceptance rate. [8] Though the blacks' SAT scores might rank in the top 10% nationally, they usually rank in the bottom 10% at MIT. Because of this, over a quarter of the blacks admitted into MIT failed out. [9]

Thinking about it, what would have happened if a more competent person were accepted into MIT? For one, regardless of race, that more competent person would be receiving the best possible education and that black person that just flunked out would most likely be in a more suitable college. However, because of A.A., both whites and minorities are harmed. A.A. prevents those to realize their full potential, and it also prevents those with authority from refusing those that would otherwise not be appropriate for the job.

Because of the preceding contentions, the resolution must be negated. Affirmative Action is no longer needed, meaning it does not justify the fact that it does not achieve equal opportunity through reverse discrimination and the fact that it unfairly harms whites and even the minorities it claims to protect.

Debate Round No. 1


Dofusman forfeited this round.


I reaffirm the contentions I gave in the first round.
Debate Round No. 2


Dofusman forfeited this round.


I reaffirm the contentions I gave in the first round.
Debate Round No. 3


Dofusman forfeited this round.


I reaffirm the contentions I gave in the first round.
Debate Round No. 4


Dofusman forfeited this round.


I reaffirm the contentions given in the first round.
Debate Round No. 5
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by Puck 6 years ago
Case stealing strikes again.
Posted by ImmortalAlien 6 years ago
I'll post my argument tomorrow. If it's going to be like public forum, I'll need to make a case.
Posted by ImmortalAlien 6 years ago
Isn't this going to be the March topic?
Posted by Puck 6 years ago
Blegh, PF.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: FF