The Instigator
USMCgal625
Pro (for)
Tied
49 Points
The Contender
Rousseau
Con (against)
Tied
49 Points

Should affirmative action policies be eliminated?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/3/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 9,599 times Debate No: 1325
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (24)
Votes (32)

 

USMCgal625

Pro

Affirmative action generally means giving preferential treatment to minorities in admission to universities or employment in government & businesses. The policies were originally developed to correct decades of discrimination and to give disadvantaged minorities a boost. The diversity of our current society as opposed to that of 50 years ago seem to indicate the programs have been a success. But now, many think the policies are no longer needed and that they lead to more problems than they solve.

One notable example is a case argued a few years back in the Supreme Court concerning admissions to the University of Michigan. The school had a policy of rating potential applicants on a point system. Being a minority student earned you more than twice as many points as achieving a perfect SAT score. Three white students sued citing this as raced-based discrimination. School officials said that diversity is desirable and affirmative action is the only way to achieve true diversity. Several other cases involving affirmative action have followed similar arguments.

Yes
Affirmative action leads to reverse discrimination. Affirmative action is designed to end discrimination and unfair treatment of employees/students based on color, but it in effect does the opposite. Whites who work harder and/or are more qualified can be passed over strictly because they are white. Contrary to many stereotypes, many minorities fall into the middle or upper class, and many whites live in poverty. Unfortunately, the way things are set up now, a poverty-stricken white student who uses discipline and hard work to become the best he can be can be passed over by a rich minority student who doesn't put in much effort at all.

Affirmative action lowers standards of accountability needed to push students or employees to perform better. If a minority student can get into Harvard with a 3.2 grade-point average, why should she push herself to get a 4.0? Although some students or employees are self-motivated, most people need an extra push or incentive to do their very best. By setting lower standards for admission or hiring, we are lowering the level of accountability. We should reward hard work, discipline, and achievement; we shouldn't reward a student simply because he or she is a certain race, nor punish another student simply because he or she isn't.

Students admitted on this basis are often ill-equipped to handle the schools to which they've been admitted. Imagine a AA minor league baseball player suddenly asked to bat cleanup in the majors, or a high school science fair contestant suddenly asked to take a rocket scientist job at NASA. There's a possibility of success in these situations, but it's more likely they will be in over their heads. Schools like Harvard and Yale have high GPA and SAT requirements because it is extremely difficult to graduate from them. Thus, when they're forced to lower standards to achieve a minority quota, some students can't keep up. This isn't to say these students are less capable, but chances are that if they can't meet minimum requirements, they probably aren't ready to go there. The far-lower graduation rate of minorities is testament to the fact that they are too often going to schools that don't match their ability. The original application criteria of schools were put in for a reason. We should adhere to them.

It would help lead a truly color-blind society. When you apply for a job or fill out a college application, how often are asked about things like your hair color, eye color, or height? Unless it's for a modeling or athletic position, probably never. Why? It's because hair & eye color or height don't have any effect on your ability to do a job or succeed at a school. There's no association between hair/eye color and intelligence, discipline, ambition, character, or other essentials. Thus, it's useless to even ask about the information. Conversely, there's no association between skin color and intelligence/discipline/etc. So why do we keep drawing attention to it? Wouldn't it be great if we one day lived in a society when skin color was ignored as much as hair & eye color?

It is condescending to minorities to say they need affirmative action to succeed. When you give preferential treatment to minorities in admission or hiring practices, you're in effect saying "You're too stupid or incapable of achieving on your own, so let me help you". It is condescending and insulting to imply that minorities cannot achieve their goals through hard work and ability.

It demeans true minority achievement; i.e. success is labeled as result of affirmative action rather than hard work and ability. Ask Condi Rice or Colin Powell how they got to where they are -- hard work or affirmative action? Both were hired because they are bright, articulate, and well-suited for their positions. My guess is that both would be offended if you said they got to where they were strictly because of affirmative action. The same can be said of minority doctors, lawyers, business leaders, etc. Too often, their achievements are demeaned by people who believe preferential treatment got them to their current positions. Minorities must then work twice as hard to earn respect.
Rousseau

Con

Well, the first two paragraphs are original, but I feel I should note that the final six points... are not her own. She claimed them to be her own work, and then I found a website that (more or less) has them word for word. While this shouldn't reflect on the arguments themselves, I find it a bit unnerving that my opponent plagiarizes and then claims it as her own. Now, she hasn't commented back on this, and therefore there still could be a reason. However, from where I sit... this is unsettling.

That being said, her real arguments came from the copied and pasted site (the link is: http://www.balancedpolitics.org...). I'll go ahead and respond.

Point 1 - Affirmative action leads to reverse discrimination.

Affirmative Action is a program of opportunity, it is not a program of discrimination. This is the major argument people use in defending Affirmative Action. White males claim they are now discriminated against because of this program. There are accusations that minorities get hired just for the sake of filling a quota. However, Affirmative Action's mission has never been about hiring less qualified workers, but about opening up equal opportunity and ensuring that equal opportunity with equal results. In fact, in a Bureau of National Affairs Employment Discrimination Report, most court cases concerning white males being turned down for a job are found not to be because of Affirmative Action, but because of a lack of qualifications and shortcomings. In theory, Affirmative Action is great. Now, to explain a bit, what we are arguing, is the theory of Affirmative Action. In practice, it may or may not work, but you are arguing that Affirmative Action is bad. Were you arguing that "In Practice, Affirmative Action is Bad" then we could talk about semantics, but we are not, so therefore any attack on the practice of Affirmative Action is moot. Also, I feel i should note that Reverse Discrimination is not particularly relevant. Of 3000 federal court decisions in discrimination cases between 1990 and 1994, only 100 involved claims of reverse discrimination; only 6 of those claims were found to be valid (1). Now, assuming those numbers hold true, tha means by 2008 (since 1990) only 27 valid reverse discrimination cases were found. We cannot get rid of something so valuable as affirmative action just because of 27 people not getting a job (and more then likely getting heavy compensation).

Point 2 - Affirmative action lowers standards of accountability needed to push students or employees to perform better.

Actually, the report mentioned earlier covers quite a good deal. What the report says is that, more often than not, the more qualified person got the job. This is important, because it means that the educated are rewarded, instead of the uneducated are rewarded. We also should look at this analytically. Logically, Affirmative Action is about getting an equal decision. Now, what this does is it forces employers to open up the job to more people, which means that a single person has less of a chance of getting the job. What this means is that in order to stand above the pack, one must in fact be even MORE educated. Thus, this point is turned as, in fact, another reason to support Affirmative Action, as it improves education.

Point 3 - Students admitted on this basis are often ill-equipped to handle the schools to which they've been admitted.

First off, a defensive attack. Basically your point only really attacks half of Affirmative Action. Secondly, this point is ridiculous. Student ability is almost impossible to determine, due to so many factors and unknowns. Also, if you look at this on a knowledge level, you have to realize that the school itself isn't harder than another school. School A isn't harder than School B, School A just is harder potentially. The student in question wouldn't be forced to take classes they weren't prepared for, and would take only the classes he/she thought they could pass. Also, because Affirmative Action actually increases education (see point 2) we would see minorities actually increasing in education, leading to this problem not even affecting the debate.

Point 4 - It would help lead a truly color-blind society.

Also ridiculous, for several reasons. Just as a little pointer, I'm assuming you mean that getting rid of Affirmative Action gets a color-blind society. Now, this point is assuming that a color blind society is possible. It is empirically proven that such a society is impossible. Regardless of the possibility of it, not having Affirmative Action would just lead to less educational oppurtunities, and less pay for minorities. This itself would lead to a stereotypical image of minroties, which would just further racism. Another point is that when Affirmative Action was enacted, there was actually a drop in hate crimes, which leads me to think that the lack of Affirmative Action may have had a adverse effect on racsim, one that Affirmative Action solves for. And lastly, why is a color-blind society important? It would lead to more oppurtunity for minorities? Affirmative Action does that already. What is the impact of a color-blind society?

Point 5 - It is condescending to minorities to say they need affirmative action to succeed.

First off, let me establish a question: What is the impact of this point? Why does it matter? So minorities feel babied? They still have better jobs! Ask a man if he would rather have pride or a comfortable lifestyle, and the human psyche dictates the response : "I'll take the comfortableness". Let me explain... I'm not saying that a minority NEEDS this to succeed, because Affirmative Action doesn't say that, people do. Affirmative Action is a just a tool for minorities to level the playing field. They'll use it, and get better lives. Who would honestly not use a readily availabe tool to get a better job (or a more comfortable life)? I would, my neighbor would, and my cat would. Any living being would try to become as comfortable as possible, and affirmative action only furthers that. She gave a case of someone receiving a bad case of affirmative action agaisnt them, but the status quo is solving for those people. If the status quo isn't solving for the (few) who get hurt by affirmative action, then that is a problem with the judicial system, not affirmative action. This point is moot.

Point 6 - It demeans true minority achievement; i.e. success is labeled as result of affirmative action rather than hard work and ability.

Again, what is the impact? Also, Affirmaive Action doesn't guarentee success. The person in question still must work hard to get to success, and if they truely are successful, then what does it matter to them what others think? Again, going back to phsyche idea. Also, it goes back to impact.

Reasons Affirmative Action must stay:
-We must look at the positive impacts Affirmative Action has compared to the impacts of not having it. Affirmative Action:
- Increases Education
- Give oppurtunities for minorities
- Isn't reverse discrimination. It is compensatory justice given out, not because of their color, but because of what they have suffered thru. I can go thru the definitions of why it isn't reverse discrimination, and I will, if the Pro really wishes me to. However, to assure her: http://www.huppi.com...

Also, let it be known that the final three points, have no reasons to be voters, as there is no impact. I'm looking forward to her responses (I don't think the site has that indepth help).

Please vote Con

(1) - http://www.now.org...
Debate Round No. 1
USMCgal625

Pro

USMCgal625 forfeited this round.
Rousseau

Con

Well, this is honestly kind of irritating. My opponents account has been shut down, and she will not be responding. This alone dictates a vote for Con, however I'd like to believe I would have won on arguments. However, there is no real way to judge this (except my bias) as my opponent copied her arguments off of a website. I was looking forward to whether or not her responses were any good, but I guess we'll never know. If anyone would like to debate me on this subject, I'd love to hear some arguments.

Sum Up:
-We must look at the positive impacts Affirmative Action has compared to the impacts of not having it. Affirmative Action:
- Increases Education
- Give oppurtunities for minorities
- Isn't reverse discrimination.

Anyway, due to the lack of clash, and assuming there is no way my opponent can respond, I believe I should get the vote.
Debate Round No. 2
USMCgal625

Pro

USMCgal625 forfeited this round.
Rousseau

Con

Well, this is the last round. She made her case, and I went point by point and dismembered it. I think I deserve the vote because of a significant lack of clash on the Pro part, specifically in the area of responding to... any arguments at all.

Thank you and vote Con.
Debate Round No. 3
24 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by psynthesizer 8 years ago
psynthesizer
Rousseau: Policy much?

I agree, voting is kinda skewed here. Maybe correlate debates won or something like that to voting representation?

Or simply run a judge variance kind of thing they do for debate sometimes.
Posted by Danielle 8 years ago
Danielle
I agree with Pro, but voted Con since Pro plaigarized. Therefore her debate wasn't as good, and thus the vote for Con... it's pretty simple.
Posted by dalzuga 9 years ago
dalzuga
Yeah but the thing is, even if that happens, we won't really care, or at least not as much. Think about it. Consider the case where you have won a debate. Do you really care about 20 haters that vote against you if 15 people took the time to provide a response and reasonably justify why they did so? I mean, I certainly felt a lot better when bsergent commented on my debate http://www.debate.org...
Posted by Rousseau 9 years ago
Rousseau
Hmm... well hypothesis's are proved thru experiments, so thats the only real way we'll know, and you may be right. I suspect there's a percentage of people out there who won't care, and will vote on opinion regardless.
Posted by dalzuga 9 years ago
dalzuga
I mean, it would be pretty obvious to distinguish serious voters from stupid ones.
Posted by dalzuga 9 years ago
dalzuga
My hypothesis is that people won't dare look stupid.
Posted by Rousseau 9 years ago
Rousseau
That would be handy, but we would need something to stop people from just voting and saying "I voted on opinion".

Suspension of account would be harsh, yet I can't think of much else.
Posted by dalzuga 9 years ago
dalzuga
I say we require everyone to provide a comment along with a vote. The comment must be of 25 characters.
Posted by zakkuchan 9 years ago
zakkuchan
I for one have decided I don't really want to debate on this site until voting is reformed. To lose, tie, or barely win a debate that I completely crushed my opponent on completely invalidates all my work. If no one's actually going to read it, why should I take the time to make a case and defend it?
Posted by Bean 9 years ago
Bean
Seriously, kids. At least leave a reason. The voting on this site is terribly, terribly faulty.
32 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by U.n 11 months ago
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