The Instigator
brant.merrell
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
shuffledybot
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

The United States government should continue to uphold Affirmative Action legislation

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/24/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,005 times Debate No: 26536
Debate Rounds (5)
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brant.merrell

Pro

The economic and social health of the United States stands to gain from monetary and legal investments in equality. There is no evidence to reasonably suggest a compromise of the positive effects of competition in the free market through affirmative action. In the context of the nation's history, economy, educational system, media and law enforcement, net racial tension does not stand to increase due to affirmative action, nor does it stand to decrease due to the absence of affirmative action.
shuffledybot

Con

Affirmative action refers to policies that take factors including "race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or national origin" into consideration in order to benefit an underrepresented group "in areas of employment, education, and business", usually justified as countering the effects of a history of discrimination. (Wikipedia: Affirmative Action)

For many years both men and women have been fighting for equality. Affirmative Action is taking the idea that a group if underrepresented should be given benefits. If you want equality then you should be treated the same. If one group of people gets benefits, shouldn't every group?

Whether by race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation, Affirmative Action needs to be stopped right now. I acknowledge that this debate won't do anything but I will bring it up in the future as i make my way through the political scene.
Debate Round No. 1
brant.merrell

Pro

I agree wholeheartedly with my opposition's reasoning that a benefit to one group warrants benefits to every group. If a group is born more likely to succeed due to no strength of its own, that benefit ought to be buffered to our best ability as a culture. Whites are born more likely to succeed due to no strength of their own. Blacks are born less likely to succeed due to no fault of their own. This appears to contradict my opposition's conclusion. I look forward to the day when we are truly born with equal opportunity, and my opposition's logic will be valid.

See "Economic Table A-2. Employment status of the civilian population by race, sex, and age." Bureau of Labor http://www.bls.gov....
shuffledybot

Con

My opponent has given a source that does in fact show that the "White" race is more employed then the "African American" race. The problem with that is it is due to their own fault. 61% of welfare recipients are white. only 33% of Welfare recipients are black. In order to get welfare you have to actively be searching for a job. ( http://www.google.com...= )
And also, we should not have to need Affirmative Action laws. Affirmative Action was in a basic sense solved in the Civil Rights act of 1964.
http://www.archives.gov...
http://www.archives.gov...
(these are the two pages of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that talks about equal employment)

Affirmative Action is just using the tax payers money to put people who dont try hard enough to get jobs into the workforce.
Debate Round No. 2
brant.merrell

Pro

Undisputed that only 33% of welfare recipients are black - but only 12.6% of U.S. citizens are black, while 74.2% of U.S. citizens are white [1]. White people outnumber black people by a ratio of nearly 6/1, but white people on welfare outnumber black people on welfare by a ratio of less than 2/1.

I always thought the welfare rates were a function of the unemployment rates, not the other way around. Either way though, black people apparently do try hard enough to become employed, and are held down by a number of cultural factors including racism.

The claim that affirmative action was resolved in the Civil Rights act of 1964 requires more explanation than the pasting of links provided by my opposition.[2]

1. Demographics of the United States: Race and Ethnicity http://en.wikipedia.org...
2. "The debater has a responsibility to be clear, so it is in the category of a spelling and grammar penalty. The second reason is that saying for, example, "that's the fallacy of the contrapositive" doesn't say what the problem is directly, but invites the reader to construct the argument in accord with the hint of what it is. The error ought to be claimed explicitly, not given as a homework assignment. It's akin to saying that an argument is given in a reference -- the argument must be made, not referenced." - Roy Latham, http://www.debate.org...
shuffledybot

Con

When I posted my sources, I did not mean them as being my argument. I made my argument, then posted the source where I recieved my information from.

None the less you brought up the fact about racism. By giving one race a benefit merely because they are less represented in the workforce would be racism to the other races.
Debate Round No. 3
brant.merrell

Pro

"When I posted my sources, I did not mean them as being my argument. I made my argument, then posted the source where I received my information from" - Con.

Let's revisit this:

"And also, we should not have to need Affirmative Action laws. Affirmative Action was in a basic sense solved in the Civil Rights act of 1964." - Con. Source provided: the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Unless I'm mistaken, when a solution is provided for any problem, evidence of the solution's success (or lack thereof) occurs 'after' the solution has been implemented. No page of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 can provide evidence that affirmative action was solved by the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Comparably, I'm sure we can agree that the Declaration of Independence 'started' the revolutionary war, and cannot be submitted as evidence that either side 'won' the revolutionary war; and that no page of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (2010) can provide evidence that health care became more affordable for patients between 2010 and 2012. I find it confusing that anyone would provide "The Civil Rights Act of 1964" as evidence that "Affirmative Action was in a basic sense solved in the Civil Rights Act of 1964," and that's why I stated that it "requires more explanation than the pasting of links provided by my opposition."

My opposition believes our corporate and political systems reward each individual proportionally according to what the individual deserves as shown in the following quotes:

"If you want equality then you should be treated the same. If one group of people gets benefits, shouldn't every group?" - Con

"The problem with that is it is due to their own fault" - Con. [note: just because I used the word "racism" first does not mean I was the first to bring it to the conversation].

"By giving one race a benefit merely because they are less represented in the workforce would be racism to the other races" - Con.

I believe all people deserve the same opportunities, but are not necessarily awarded the same opportunities. I view the above statements - not derived or deduced, but stated as if axiomatic - as a blind sort of faith, with none of the psychological checks or balances that would have awakened a person to the inequality of races and genders prior to the Civil Rights Movement or the nineteenth and thirteenth amendments to the U.S. Constitution. This faith, and its inconsistency with history, is difficult to trust.

The above statements also assume that previous injustices from one race to another have simply healed overtime. Economically, this is simply not true. Economically, the poor tend to get poorer while the rich get richer; white people exported cotton and tobacco to Europe for a century without actually picking any of it; the end of the slave era did not give African Americans the land or resources they had earned; and the right to sit in the front of a bus 85 years later provided no 'reset' button for the economic status of African Americans.

Affirmative Action costs virtually nothing, and may even have a positive economic return. If a calculation were made of the United States GDP growth due to the efforts of African Americans in the past two centuries, the cost of repaying that debt would feel painfully unrealistic. The United States is fortunate that African Americans continue to contribute to the society, and that they tend to consider themselves Americans who want this nation to be great, and feel no desire to bring about its bankruptcy. But Affirmative Action costs nothing.

Psychologically, African Americans are fighting an uphill battle for equal economic status and opportunity from the day they are born. This was demonstrated by the "Doll Test"[1] in Brown vs. Board of Education, in which it was demonstrated that segregation causes a low self esteem in black children, and was demonstrated by a similar "Doll Test" in a 2005 study of children in Harlem, N.Y, which concluded that the culture favors the self esteem (and therefore the mental development) of white children over black children [2]. We are all created equal, but our system is not designed to hand out equal opportunity.

The weaknesses of Affirmative Action appear to be that it has erred on the side of caution, taking small, tentative steps; handing out employment incentives and education incentives favoring a race that has earned far more than it has been given. I am not proposing in this debate that we expand Affirmative Action, but incentives for schools and employers to equalize the opportunity gradient between races is the least we can do to push for true equality.

1. http://varenne.tc.columbia.edu...
2. "Our children are bombarded with images every day that they see on television screens and on coffee tables—either the light-skinned female that everybody is pushing or they give preference to the closest to White images." Julia Hare. http://www.finalcall.com...
shuffledybot

Con

shuffledybot forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
brant.merrell

Pro

While I disagree with my opponent's belief on this matter, I cannot help but admire teenagers who care about political issues, and I sincerely hope my arguments do not make him uncomfortable with sharing his perspective. In light of his forfeit, I must return to his words concluding round 1:

"I acknowledge that this debate won't do anything but I will bring it up in the future as i make my way through the political scene."

Whether making his case to persuade his audience or to search out his own stance, I believe my opposition would have submitted a much stronger argument had he accepted this debate with a purpose.

For my closing arguments, I must refer to my post from round 4, adding a source that I ought to have referenced before [1], which concerns the role of the slave era in propelling the economic status of Caucasian Americans beyond that of African Americans. I provide highlights, but out of sheer fascination I recommend the entire article to my opposition and any readers of this debate.

My thanks to shuffledybot for accepting the topic.

1. It is inconceivable that European colonists could have settled and developed North and South America and the Caribbean without slave labor. Moreover, slave labor did produce the major consumer goods that were the basis of world trade during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries: coffee, cotton, rum, sugar, and tobacco. One crop, slave-grown cotton, provided over half of all U.S. export earnings. By 1840, the South grew 60 percent of the world's cotton and provided some 70 percent of the cotton consumed by the British textile industry. Thus slavery paid for a substantial share of the capital, iron, and manufactured good that laid the basis for American economic growth. In addition, precisely because the South specialized in cotton production, the North developed a variety of businesses that provided services for the slave South, including textile factories, a meat processing industry, insurance companies, shippers, and cotton brokers . . . Furthermore, slavery was capable of producing enormous amounts of wealth. On the eve of the Civil War, the slave South had achieved a level of per capita wealth not matched by Spain or Italy until the eve of World War II or by Mexico or India until 1960. http://www.gilderlehrman.org...
shuffledybot

Con

shuffledybot forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
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