The Instigator
e.gibson1987
Pro (for)
Winning
50 Points
The Contender
Amveller
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Should the U.S. discontinue affirmative action?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/6/2011 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,232 times Debate No: 16328
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (6)
Votes (8)

 

e.gibson1987

Pro

The final outcome of this argument is: the U.S. should discontinue affirmative action; or the U.S. should not discontinue affirmative action.
I am making the ethical claim that the U.S. should discontinue affirmative action.
Definition(s):
Affirmative action - "an active effort to improve the employment or educational opportunities of members of minority groups and women; also : a similar effort to promote the rights or progress of other disadvantaged persons" ("affirmative action,").
Equality - the quality or state of being equal ("equality")
My premises are as follows:
-Human beings are ends in themselves: not a means to an end. Therefore, it is immoral to deny a person's rights to serve the societal end of "equality." (Kant)
-The essential function of someone working within a business is to perform the duties assigned to them. A person's race does not establish inherent capabilities to perform a given task. Therefore, affirmative action is irrelevant to the essential function and virtues of a "worker." (Aristotle's essential functions)

I look forward to a spirited debate!

References:
affirmative action. Merriam-webster collegiate dictionary. Retrieved May 6, 2011, from http://www.merriam-webster.com...
equality. Merriam-webster collegiate dictionary. Retrieved May 6, 2011, from http://www.merriam-webster.com...
Amveller

Con

The U.S. Government should NOT discontinue affirmative action. I will simply give you answers why.

1. Affirmative Action decreases discrimination and provides opportunities for may minorities.

2. Minority applicants don't always get a fair chance and they are overlooked because they are not part of the majorities, who hold the economic and political power in a America.

3. The minorities are just as qualified as the majorities, but they are passed over for jobs. They would be equally as qualified if they had equal opportunity and if they had the chance to go to the same colleges and further their education as the majorities and as white people have had since our nation began.

4. What if the minorities are qualified and there are no positions for them because the positions have already been filled by majorities?

5. If quotas are the same as reverse discrimination, how can that equal change be provided with reasonable certainty?

6. We are not asking for unfair treatment, but we do want equality under the law. The fourteenth amendment: " Defines American citizenship. Prohibits the states from depriving any citizens of due process of law, equal protection of the law, for any other privilege guaranteed to United States citizens.

7. The qualified people should help the unqualified people, so they can get the same opportunities as everyone else.

8. The minorities might be embarrassed, and don't want to ask for help. The others should ask then if they need help, and if they don't, then they should at least get the job or position even if they aren't as qualified as others, so they can try to learn how things work on their own.
Debate Round No. 1
e.gibson1987

Pro

I appreciate your response.
I would like to share my disappointment with your argument. You haven't given a single premise to support any of your conclusions. However, I will address the conclusions you've set forth.
Conclusion 1:
"Affirmative Action decreases discrimination and provides opportunities for may minorities."
-You've given no statistics or facts supporting this. Discrimination is "the act, practice, or an instance of discriminating categorically rather than individually." There is no quantifiable way to measure discrimination to conclude that any practice "decreases" it. Also, "providing opportunities" is unclear.
Conclusion 2:
"Minority applicants don't always get a fair chance and they are overlooked because they are not part of the majorities, who hold the economic and political power in a America."
-A valid argument has to be provable: this is clearly NOT provable.
Conclusion 3:
"The minorities are just as qualified as the majorities, but they are passed over for jobs. They would be equally as qualified if they had equal opportunity and if they had the chance to go to the same colleges and further their education as the majorities and as white people have had since our nation began."
-This is a mixture of unproven claims and speculation. I will not address it.
Conclusion 4:
"What if the minorities are qualified and there are no positions for them because the positions have already been filled by majorities?"
-First: affirmative action is not relevant to professional qualifications(which is what I'm guessing you're referring to), it deals with racial and social inequalities. Second, you're asking a question without even understanding how the nature of job growth or economics works. There is no finite amount of jobs to be "filled" in the world.
Conclusion 5:
"If quotas are the same as reverse discrimination, how can that equal change be provided with reasonable certainty?"
-I don't understand your question. Can you elaborate? Also, can you define "quotas?"
Conclusion 6:
"We are not asking for unfair treatment, but we do want equality under the law. The fourteenth amendment: " Defines American citizenship. Prohibits the states from depriving any citizens of due process of law, equal protection of the law, for any other privilege guaranteed to United States citizens."
-I commend you for finally providing a premise to your argument. However, if you believe that affirmative action ensures "equal protection of the law," then, logically, it should extend to majorities as well.
Conclusion 7:
"The qualified people should help the unqualified people, so they can get the same opportunities as everyone else."
-You need to clarify what you mean by "help" the "unqualified people."
Conclusion 8:
"The minorities might be embarrassed, and don't want to ask for help. The others should ask then if they need help, and if they don't, then they should at least get the job or position even if they aren't as qualified as others, so they can try to learn how things work on their own."
-You may be correct in assuming that some people don't want to ask for help. However, you are making no arguable claim. As for the second part, this is unrealistic and undermines the merit of professional qualifications, entirely.

I would suggest you do some research if you plan to represent your position further. You've presented a spirited brainstorming session, but not a good argument.
Amveller

Con

There are thousands of examples of situations where people of color, white women, and working class women and men of all races who were previously excluded from jobs or educational opportunities, or were denied opportunities once admitted, have gained access through affirmative action. When these policies received executive branch and judicial support, vast numbers of people of color, white women and men have gained access they would not otherwise have had. These gains have led to very real changes. Affirmative action programs have not eliminated racism, nor have they always been implemented without problems. However, there would be no struggle to roll back the gains achieved if affirmative action policies were ineffective.

Debates about affirmative action are about more than legal issues. Taking action to end racism is the challenge and responsibility of every single person in our society, as well as of the institutions and organizations which have such a large impact on our lives. Yet today there is a vocal minority who want to stop affirmative action not only as a legal remedy, but also as a social commitment. Now that affirmative action has led to some social changes there are those who are saying our society has gone too far in correcting racial injustice. Of course, this vocal minority is not challenging traditional forms of preference and discrimination that favor the rich, the educated, white people and men.

Affirmative action is practiced in many areas of our society in addition to leveling the playing field for people of color. There are hiring and recruiting preferences for veterans, women, the children of alumni of many universities. There are special economic incentives for purchase of U.S.-made products, import quotas against foreign goods, and agricultural and textile subsidies. Over many decades these practices have led to a huge over-representation of white people, men and people of middle, upper middle and upper class backgrounds in our universities, in well-paid jobs, and in the professions. One indication that attacks on affirmative action are part of a white backlash against equality is that affirmative action in the form of preferences that primarily benefit white people are not being questioned.

Affirmative action measures were established to fight racial discrimination. The federal government mandated affirmative action programs to redress racial inequality and injustice in a series of steps beginning with an executive order issued by President Kennedy in 1961. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 made discrimination illegal and established equal employment opportunity for all Americans regardless of race, cultural background, color or religion. Subsequent executive orders, in particular Executive Order 11246 issued by President Johnson in September 1965, mandated affirmative action goals for all federally funded programs and moved monitoring and enforcement of affirmative action programs out of the White House and into the Labor Department. These policies and the government action that followed were a response to the tremendous mobilization of African Americans and white supporters during the late 1950s and early 1960s pushing for integration and racial Justice.

Initially, affirmative action was a policy primarily aimed at correcting institutional discrimination where decisions, policies and procedures that are not necessarily explicitly discriminatory have had a negative impact on people of color. Affirmative action policies address and redress systematic economic and political discrimination against any group of people that are underrepresented or have a history of being discriminated against in particular institutions. Beneficiaries of these programs have included white men and women, people with disabilities, and poor and working class people, but their primary emphasis has been on addressing racial discrimination.

There is pervasive racism in all areas of U.S. society. For example, in 1991 Diane Sawyer with ABC- TV filmed two men, one African American and one white, who were matched for age, appearance, education, and other qualities. They were followed for a day by a camera crew. The white man received service in stores while the African American was ignored, or in some cases, watched closely. The white man was offered a lower price and better financing at a car dealership. There were jobs where the African American was turned down, and apartments for rent after the African American man was told they were no longer available. A police car passed the white man while he was walking down the street but it slowed down and took note of the African American. Hundreds of studies demonstrate discrimination against people of color in different areas of everyday life.

Racism, rather than being self-correcting, is self perpetuating. The disadvantages to people of color and the benefits to white people are passed on to each succeeding generation unless remedial action is taken. The disadvantages to people of color coalesce into institutional practices which, although they may be race neutral in intent, adversely affect people of color. It has proven necessary to take positive steps to eliminate and compensate for these institutional effects of racism, even when there is no discernible discriminatory intent.
For example, most job opportunities are heard about through informal networks of friends, family and neighbors. Since the results of racism are segregated communities, schools and workplaces, this pattern leaves people of color out of the loop for many jobs, advancement opportunities, scholarships and training programs. Federal law now requires widespread and public advertisement of such opportunities so that not only people of color, but white women and men who are outside the circles of information, have an equal opportunity to apply for these positions.

Another area affirmative action addresses is preferential hiring programs. Many times people of color have been excluded from hiring pools, overtly discriminated against, unfairly eliminated because of inappropriate qualification standards, or have been rendered unqualified because of discrimination in education and housing. Court decisions on affirmative action have rendered illegal those qualifications that are not relevant to one's ability to do the job. They have also mandated hiring goals so that those employed begin to reflect the racial mix of the general population from which workers are drawn. There is no legal requirement to ever hire an unqualified person. There is a mandate that in choosing between qualified candidates, the hiring preference should be for a person of color when past discrimination has resulted in white people receiving preferential treatment.

Sometimes people argue that affirmative action means the best qualified person will not be hired. However, it has been demonstrated many times in hiring and academic recruitment that test and educational qualifications are not necessarily the best predictors of future success. This does not mean unqualified people should be hired. It means basically qualified people who may not have the highest test scores or grades, but who are eminently ready to do the job may be hired. Employers have traditionally hired people not only on test scores, but on personal appearance, family and personal connections, school ties and on race and gender preferences, demonstrating that talent or desirability can be defined in many ways. These practices have all contributed to a segregated work force where whites hold the best jobs, and people of color work in the least desirable and most poorly paid positions. Affirmative action policies serve as a corrective to such patterns of discrimination. They keep score on progress toward proportional representation and place the burden of proof on organizations to show why it is not possible to achieve it.
Debate Round No. 2
e.gibson1987

Pro

I am offended and insulted by your blatant plagiarism. Here's the site URL where you got this paper from: http://www.theessaystore.com...
You should be ashamed of yourself. Try thinking for yourself, for once.
Amveller

Con

I am new to this site and debating in general. I was researching the topic and came across this article. It was my intention to list where the article came from and who wrote it but I ran out of characters. I do apologize for upsetting my opponent, it was not my intention to plagiarize or mislead him. I will learn from this mistake and move on. I am still curious if my opponent would rebuttal this article However, in all fairness your votes should be made in Pro's favor regardless.
Debate Round No. 3
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by e.gibson1987 3 years ago
e.gibson1987
To RoyLatham:
I'm not sure how I did not meet the burden of proof. I gave my premises, then inferred my conclusions. I did not offer statistics or scientific research because I was not making a claim that was scientific or statistical.
"Reasons for discontinuing affirmative action" such as "it is a waste of time and money, it discourages merit in favor of lawyering, etc." are still premises that have not been proven because you've offered nothing to support it. Therefore, simply offering these reasons does not meet the burden of proof.
Posted by RoyLatham 3 years ago
RoyLatham
Pro had the burden of proof, not Con. Pro should have given reasons for discontinuing affirmative action: it is a waste of time and money, it discourages merit in favor of lawyering, etc. Con only failed by faling to give a source for the document e copied. It's legitimate to endorse someone else's argument, but it must be defended as one's own thereafter. Con conceded, by had he not, on would have won arguments by Pro failing to meet the burden of proof. Con would have lost conduct for the unattributed quote.
Posted by e.gibson1987 3 years ago
e.gibson1987
May I please get a person who is dedicated to intelligent debate in this argument? I don't need some kid who is just trying to salvage some victory by downloading his rebuttal from theessaystore.com.
This is a joke.
Posted by chickenquiff 3 years ago
chickenquiff
Why not accept now then post later? I wont accept, Im not intelligent enough! ;)
Posted by e.gibson1987 3 years ago
e.gibson1987
Awesome. Thank you!
Posted by BangBang-Coconut 3 years ago
BangBang-Coconut
I will definitely accept this if it's still open later.
8 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Vote Placed by Zarroette 4 months ago
Zarroette
e.gibson1987AmvellerTied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Disgusting plagiarism.
Vote Placed by quarterexchange 3 years ago
quarterexchange
e.gibson1987AmvellerTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Blatant plagarism.
Vote Placed by wjmelements 3 years ago
wjmelements
e.gibson1987AmvellerTied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: For CON's plagiarism, PRO wins sources, arguments, and conduct.
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 3 years ago
RoyLatham
e.gibson1987AmvellerTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Actually, the article was not responsive to Pro's reasonable demand for evidence. The article merely makes unsupported claims.
Vote Placed by MontyKarl91 3 years ago
MontyKarl91
e.gibson1987AmvellerTied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Plagiarism is a very wrong thing to do. In many circumstances you would have just committed a fairly serious crime. I won't report you because you are new, but don't do this again. People do not react well to theft. Also, you stole the ideas from an essay writer who was not very convincing in the first place and did not provide sources for any of her information. This was disgusting.
Vote Placed by Ore_Ele 3 years ago
Ore_Ele
e.gibson1987AmvellerTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Shameful plagiarizing of material.
Vote Placed by Cliff.Stamp 3 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
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Reasons for voting decision: Nice askbob by Pro, Con fear the Google.
Vote Placed by XimenBao 3 years ago
XimenBao
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Reasons for voting decision: Con didn't have any arguments. The website he c/p'ed from did. But Con didn't.