The Instigator
Skynet
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Jonbonbon
Con (against)
Winning
9 Points

There is no such thing as White Community or White Culture.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Jonbonbon
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/16/2015 Category: Society
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,820 times Debate No: 71547
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (16)
Votes (3)

 

Skynet

Pro

There's an idea that exists in many people's minds that there is an ethnic basis for many cultures in the US. This is often just an old unquestioned assumption, or because the person who believes it DOES exist in a culture that has a strong ethnic basis. The broad category of "White" Americans is often the target of this assumption. (Other notable examples would be Native Americans, Asians, and African-Africans. Indians "always" lived in teepees, hunted buffalo, and wore feather head dresses. Asians are "only" either identical with Japanese or Chinese. So little is known about Africa, the "only" culture in Sub-Saharan Africa is pretty much identical to Swahili.)

The idea of a "white America" and a "black America" is what I am primarily targeting here. The black culture seems to be the biggest culprit in the United States because they seem to be the most homogenized. (Not ALL homogenized.) There is an assumption there is this oppressive monster of white people acting of one accord against them. Talking with black family members, people on the street, listening to black radio programs, black preachers, and black politicians leads me to conclude confidently there is an assumption that they (blacks) are all on the same team in the US, and white people, for the most part, are on the opposing team. Their own familiar culture is homogenized, others must be the same way, seems to be the logic.

Pro's position is that the "white" population is so diverse and ununified that this perception of a unified "white" culture or "white" community is undeserved. It is a label imposed on a group to reconcile it with a mindset that must classify people into broad groups to understand them or drive forward an agenda that it is "us vs. them."
Jonbonbon

Con

Pro used first round for arguments, so I'm assuming that it is also appropriate for me to present some arguments here. For the most part, I'm going to take the liberty to provide some definitions, since my opponent has not provided any.

White: Belonging to or denoting a human group having light-colored skin (chiefly used of peoples of European extraction) [1].

Community: The people of a district or country considered collectively, especially in the context of social values and responsibilities [2].

Culture: The attitudes and behavior characteristic of a particular social group [3].

If more definitions are needed my opponent can provide them, but I think that's mainly what needs clearing up. It's just confusing to talk about a "white community" when we could be talking about completely different ideas. Ideas are great, but unless there's a written and agreed about version, there is no certainty of unity. Now it is written, and since my opponent has not provided any, then we must agree on them, because it is first his job to define the resolution and my job afterward if he does not fulfill that duty.

Anyway, since my opponent's argument was short, I'm not going to make this one too long either. I'd just like to draw your attention to a sentence at the beginning my opponent's argument, which I will copy and paste below:

"This is often just an old unquestioned assumption, or because the person who believes it DOES exist in a culture that has a strong ethnic basis."

I suppose my opponent may not have realized what he was saying, but he has admitted to there being such a thing as a white culture or community. Essentially his logic follows the same way as this sentence, "There is no such thing as unicorns, and people who believe they exist are often the people that own one as a pet."

Perhaps my opponent can clarify what he meant.

Until then I prove you with another example of a white culture: the Ku Klux Klan. I know this is probably a stereotypical response, but it's a stereotypical response for a reason. If you are in the Ku Klux Klan, you are white. It is definitely either a community or a culture do to the fact that it is a specific and organized group of people. While not all whites are in the Klan, the Klan does find fundamental importance in white skin, and thus draws its community values from an ethnic background.

Therefore, on two accounts (first being my opponent's possibly accidental concession and the second being the Ku Klux Klan) I may reasonably say that there is such a thing as a white community or a white culture.

Thank you for reading, and I look forward to my opponent's rebuttal.

-----------
Sources:

[1] http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...
[2] http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...
[3] http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...

Debate Round No. 1
Skynet

Pro

Thanks for accepting this debate, Jonbonbon.
Your definitions are fair.
I just realized I deleted my original R1 saying WHY I'm making this debate. This is an argument I've been using and believe firmly in for many years. It's always stood up to scrutiny, and I wanted to put it through the wringer to see if it actually does.

To clarify, I'm not arguing against the existence of any culture that is white. I'm arguing that there is no "unified white culture or community" and that "white people, [are not] for the most part, on [one] opposing team." I'm arguing that there are not enough defining characteristics or unity to put "white" people in the US into a single culture.
The idea that there is a unified "white" culture has given rise to or comes from the assumption that a white person feels at home in a "white" neighborhood. That white people are all buddy-buddy in a community and give certain privileges to one another consciously or unconsciously.

But there is no unified white culture. Americans of European descent have splintered or remained in too many sub-cultures to count. There's no mistaking people from So-Cal with New Yorkers. People in the Pan Handle of Florida are far more conservative and Southern than those in Miami, and people from the Detroit Metro area and the SW side of Michigan seldom like the idea of being around the other. White people in Austin pride themselves on being "weird," and other Texans don't like them, but often think the world of themselves. Live Free or Die in New Hampshire might make you vote for civil unions, but you want to deport and ban anyone from Mass. or Vermont. A (rare) Virginian on one side of the valley may cry "the South shall rise again!" while his neighbor across the valley in W. Virginia may commemorate his ancestor's death in service of the Union. A Yupper is nothing like a Bostonian, and the white reporters in the newsrooms in NYC and viewers in "flyover" country sneer at one another.

These groups don't all get along, don't share the same values, have different historical touchstones, talk with different accents, and don't even eat the same traditional foods. They aren't in the same culture. The concept of White Privilege is racism turned on it's head. Everyday racism isn't because a black person isn't white and therefore outside the white culture. It's because they are black, which is a much more unified an homogenous group. They are perceived as being on a defined team with certain characteristics. One of those assumed characteristics is that they're angry at "white people," and have classified themselves as outsiders. If you were to ask most Americans classified as "white" what they see as their identity, I don't see "white" as being very far up the list. Probably the opposite with the Black population.

I've given evidence in the previous paragraph the existence of one "white culture" is a fabrication. From my experience this fabrication is often made because other ethnically based groups assume most all people groups are ethnically based because it is something they are familiar with.

I challenge my opponent to demonstrate there is a unified white US culture of significance. I realize I'm using a lot of personal experience for this debate, but the whole debate is about challenging my own personal perceptions. Con does not have to accept them as hard fact, but should bring in evidence against the validity of my experience if he can.
Jonbonbon

Con

Thank you for that response.

Now moving on to a rebuttal argument.

My opponent did not define the debate, and he admits that this is true.

If pro does not define the debate then it is the privelege of con to define the debate. That's exactly what happened.

The resolution wording does not reflect what my opponent wished to debate, but as he failed to establisht that, we are left debating under my definitions. I would also like to point out that the resolution states "no such thing." This is a phrase that means that the white communities do not exist.

Therefore, to be clear, this debate has been defined by me, and as such, this resolution is conceded that there are ethnically based, white communities and/or cultures that exist.

If we debate this the way my opponent wants to, then we are debating a truism, which means I will lose.

Obviously, there is no such thing as a unified white culture across the world. People from England are much different compared to people from Germany. Both groups are different from Americans. American culture overall is widely diverse. Thus either we accept my interpretation, or this resolution is completely unfair.
Debate Round No. 2
Skynet

Pro

I think my opponent has misunderstood me. I made it clear in R1 that I'm talking about the non-existence of a unified "white" culture in the US only, not the entire world. I accepted Con's fair word definitions, but in my R2 clarification, I only explained WHY I was making this debate because I had deleted the explanation in the original R1 when I edited it. The explanation of my own motivations did not change or alter the substance of my R1 in any significant way. Also, in R2, my clarification of my argument only involved quoting and restating what I already said in R1. I didn't add anything in R2 to change my argument.

I really wanted to have a challenge to my idea. This isn't supposed to be a "gotcha" debate. It looks like Con has agreed that there is too much diversity in "white" America for there to be a unified culture, which was clearly my point in R1. If Con wishes, we can both FF and I'll try this in the forums instead.
Jonbonbon

Con

To be clear:

Of course, there's no such thing as a unified culture. Again, America does not have a unified culture that dominates the nation. Thus, the debate is kind of a worthless topic if it's meant the way my opponent meant it. The way I defined the resolution is more geared toward's the first two sentences of his first round, which goes as follows:

"There's an idea that exists in many people's minds that there is an ethnic basis for many cultures in the US. This is often just an old unquestioned assumption, or because the person who believes it DOES exist in a culture that has a strong ethnic basis." That sounds a lot like a statement about what we're debating, and considering the wording of the resolution it makes perfect sense. Since it was not clearly defined in the first round at all, I was able to define it and finalize it in my firstround.

In the opening statement of this debate, my opponent said that he would like to debate about whether or not there were any white cultures at all. This is an entirely different statement than referring to a "unified white culture across America.." He only mentioned the unified white culture at the end of his statement, which can refer to a unified culture in a specific region or area.

Also, I apologize for using Europe as an example. My opponent brought up Europe in the second round, and I thought due to that fact, Europe was being used in the debate.

To finish off this round, we are currently debating that there are no white cultures or communities within America, and my opponent has not debated against that idea. Thus, this round is all I need.
Debate Round No. 3
Skynet

Pro

Well this isn't going anywhere. I was hoping for a real challenge to my idea that White American culture is merely a fabrication in the minds of some. My opponent agrees with me that there is not unified White American culture. I guess I'll take it to the forums.
Jonbonbon

Con

I'm sorry to disappoint, but I refuse to debate against a truism.

Thank you all for reading.
Debate Round No. 4
16 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by GoOrDin 1 year ago
GoOrDin
language is not really a culture*** in my examples. U can live in Montreal and not speak French. as u can live in America and not speak English to immerse urself in the culture. Despite that technically is cultural* Also, I think that the term culture technically is used to refer to Common-experiences. So.
Posted by GoOrDin 1 year ago
GoOrDin
admittedly I do not believe in white culture. ...
norse, polish, French, german, swis, Italian, greek, Romanian, Russian, etc... are all very different Caucasian cultures. WHite culture as a whole is non-existent.
not as a general or associable thing.

in fact... no. there just isn't white culture.

Asian culture is derived from the environment. so is indian culture. and black culture is derived from technology application. Native American culture is all about habitat. white culture does not exist, because the tribes have substantially different cultures, unlike peoples of the east.
Posted by wookiecookie 2 years ago
wookiecookie
I think you may be right in the aspect of saying "white" no such a deal. Along the lines of European and Caucasian lineage is what you may be describing. A true White is usually of some lower class of "American born cultures that have evolved into a muddy white to say, and their behavior in recognizing that . Prevalent in lack of expression of exactly what culture or area of Europe or lighter skinned nations ones may be from. To Term them "white " is like saying everyone with a tone of skin that is similar is the same . Yes, but no...They come from different back grounds and through the ages of breeding and such have developed into what they are today.
Posted by Jonbonbon 2 years ago
Jonbonbon
Oops, I'm always typing "prove" instead of "provide." I had to fix that like three times in the debate and still missed one :P
Posted by Skynet 2 years ago
Skynet
I'm changing R1 to clarify my position. Re read before accepting.
Posted by Skynet 2 years ago
Skynet
Debate restrictions were only 1 in number: You must have completed 2 debates. There were no age or rank restrictions. But since a few people who seem competent to discuss this issue have come forward with NO debate history on DDO, I've removed all restrictions. If you're new, I think you must vote on a few debates to participate in any debate, though.
Posted by antiquesunlight 2 years ago
antiquesunlight
I am willing to debate you on this if you'll lower the standard so I can accept. You can look at my current challenges and debate to see my style.
Posted by Berend 2 years ago
Berend
There is no such thing as community or culture to any race, because no one is any real race. Everyone is a different shade and the culture stems from the location, not the skin color.
Posted by chris.benton727 2 years ago
chris.benton727
When looking at this topic, I see hints of Dave Chapelle stand up punch lines. . . You are attempting to define culture as it relates to a skin color, but that is irrational. Culture is relative to influences, e.g. geographical location, resources, relationships, etc. The expression of emotion through everyday actions defines culture & therefore saying "black" culture & then Asian culture involve two distinctly different principles. One of them relies on societal interpretations within a geographical location (black people, in the United States of America), the other a general consensus about a large continent. The following hypothetical scenario will prove my point; Take many people, each of varying skin colors in equal amounts & spread them all over the world. Tell these people to survive on their own in their respective locations & watch for consistencies within skin color. There is a good chance you will notice very few distinct similarities between those which are great distances apart, with differing resources in which to build houses, feed & clothe themselves, find enjoyment. There is a much greater chance that the people within the same areas (regardless of color) will share similar strategies, actions, behaviors; viola, CULTURE! This explains the development of language & its relation to physical location. I like the idea of identifying societies perceptions of cultures based on skin, because I think that it is the biggest problem in our country. I can't say I agree that it exists & would argue that any attempt to possess culture within a geographical area based on skin color is directly related to a misunderstanding of what culture is intended to be, shared. I would also consider excluding someone because of age, ranking or any other characteristic from a debate as wildly naive. To think that there is not something to be gained from someone seeking answers, as the majority of those who come here presumably are, is troublesome. Maybe I'm in the wrong place.
Posted by Skynet 2 years ago
Skynet
gingerbread-man: I'm under the impression (from being told by people who work there) that Africans do not consider themselves "black." African-Americans are the ones they call Black. They call themselves "African."
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 2 years ago
whiteflame
SkynetJonbonbonTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: As Con was the one to define the parameters of the debate and Pro only did so implicitly (and unclearly) in his opening round, I must necessarily accept Con's view of what this debate was about. Since Pro concedes on that topic, Con wins the debate. For future reference, it's always best to be explicit with your topic and what is meant by your definitions. Even if this was a truism, if the definitions had been clear, this would have turned out very differently.
Vote Placed by Blade-of-Truth 2 years ago
Blade-of-Truth
SkynetJonbonbonTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Conduct - Tie. Both had proper conduct throughout the debate. S&G - Tie. Both had good spelling and grammar throughout. Arguments - Con. This was a tough debate to judge. Under Con's definitions, she fulfilled her burden by showing that there is a white community/culture in the U.S. (KKK). Pro argues that his original round was accidently deleted and he meant to argue for there being no "unified" white culture. However, under the definitions given by Con and the fact that Pro agreed to such definitions, it's clear that Con's argument stands. What Pro should have done was been clear with his intent from the start, and while I can empathize with what occurred in his regard, in this debate Con won due to the given resolution and Pro's opening stance. Sources - Tie. Neither utilized sources to strengthen their arguments.
Vote Placed by 16kadams 2 years ago
16kadams
SkynetJonbonbonTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pretty much what happens is I start with zero definitions so I can grade this how I want. But con offers definitions--the only ones provided--so I vote on those. Con offers evidence (e.g. KKK) proving white cultures do exist. Pro is trying to force con to argue a truism, but really doesn't adequately prove to me why I should grade under his criteria. He pretty much concedes last round saying this has gone nowhere and he will argue on the forums. I am given (1) voting definitions in R1 and (2) Con fulfills her burden under said definitions. So she wins. Pro offers zero arguments under her definition and pretty much gives up last round. Con wins.