The Instigator
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The Contender
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US Reparations to African Americans.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/30/2016 Category: Society
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 688 times Debate No: 92082
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
Votes (1)




The full resolution of this debate is: Resolved:The United States federal government should to pay reparations to African Americans. The rounds will go as follows:

Round 1: Acceptance
Round 2: Constructives
Round 3: Refutations
Round 4: Summaries

Keep in mind that the fourth round is not meant for new arguments or rebuttals but for crystallization and summarization of voting issues.


I accept. FYI, AlwaysRight12345 and I shared cases on this exact topic, so this should be a good round.
Debate Round No. 1


Thank you to my opponent for accepting the debate and to the judges for actually reading the debate.

First, some definitions:
Pay: Give (someone) money that is due for work done, goods received, or a debt incurred [1]

Now, my plan is to give African American citizens of the United States tax credits. This gives monetary reparations while not affecting the taxpayers.

My contentions are:

1. We have a moral obligation to pay reparations
2. Reparations would help close the race gap
3. Reparations would stimulate the economy

1. We have a moral obligation to pay reparations
The University of California at Santa Barbara notes, "Lord Anthony Gilford, British Queen's Counsel and a Jamaican Attorney-at-Law, maintains that international law recognizes that those who commit crimes against humanity must make reparation. In a paper presented to the First Pan-African Congress on Reparations held on April 27-29, 1993 in Abuja, Nigeria, Lord Gifford noted that the Charter of the Nuremberg Tribunal defined crimes against humanity thusly: Murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation and other inhumane acts committed against any civilian population... whether or not in violation of the domestic law of the country where perpetrated." [2]
The Huffington Post notes, "Until that debt is paid, the cycle of violence that began in the 1600s and continues to this day will continue to haunt our psyche and disrupt our social good. It is time for America to atone for our past in both word and deed, and to heal our weary soul." [3] The US government has a moral obligation to help African Americans recover from the horrific experiences and situation that the Government put them in.
2. Reparations would help close the racial wealth gap
The legacy of slavery and other discrimination still affect African American Socio-economic status. According to The Huffington Post, "Median household wealth today is one hundred forty-one thousand dollars for for whites and only eleven thousand dollars for blacks. Despite making up only 13 percent of the population, black Americans are 27 percent of those living at or below the poverty line; the white unemployment rate is 4.6 percent, while it"s 9.6 percent for blacks; the black incarceration rate is over two thousand two hundred per 100,000, compared with the national rate of seven hundred seven per 100,000; nearly 3 in 4 black children today attend segregated schools." The list goes on and on.
According to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, "A credit that"s worth about $3,000 (in 2005 dollars) during a child"s early years may boost his or her achievement by the equivalent of about two extra months of schooling."
3. Reparations would stimulate the economy
The University of California at Santa Barbara notes that after the Luxembourg Treaty was signed, "Twenty-five percent of Israel"s shipbuilding came from West Germany, nine percent of the electrical industry, eleven percent of the iron and steel and thirteen percent of machinery. Shipments under the agreement made up twelve percent of all annual Israel imports. They helped fuel Israel"s economy and stimulate future production. In the north, Israel"s ironworks were built entirely from German shipments."

Reparations for slavery would without speculation provide significant benefits for African Americans including poverty alleviation and reducing the crime. Just as significantly, paying reparations would have positive consequences for everyone, including economic stimulation and the lifting of the huge moral debt we owe to African Americans.



I will start by refuting my opponents points, and then I will go on to state my own.

My opponent's plan is irrelevant under his own definitions. Tax credits are not money. They are a tax break. Although similar, they are definitely different in some important ways. Namely, with tax credits, the government is not giving you actually money to keep. Therefore, my opponents plan is non-resolutional.

My opponent's first contention was that we have a moral obligation. However, both of my contentions explain how reparations would actually hurt African-Americans. If the idea to repay the obligation will backfire, we really shouldn't do it.
My opponent's second and third contentions will be refuted by my first contention.

Resolved: The United States federal government should pay reparations to African Americans.

1. Reparations for slavery would increase poverty
2. The backlash from reparations will hurt African Americans
1. Reparations for slavery would increase poverty
a. Forbes" Kyle Smith notes, "The reparations plans that have been suggested, however, would work a lot like lotteries. The Atlantic's Ta-Nehesi Coates suggests a large lump sum distributed to a single generation over a period of "a decade or two." These ideas sound like lotteries." In other words, a lump sum of money being given to a person.
b. The Wall Street Journal notes, "The take-away is that sudden wealth only exaggerates your current situation. If you"re unhappy, bad with money and surrounded by people you don"t trust, money will make those problems worse." The people who need this, the 27% of African Americans in poverty, will be the ones hurt the most by reparations.
c. Economists Hoyt Bleakley and Joseph Ferrie noted about the 1832 Georgia Land lottery, in which huge, extremely valuable land was randomly handed out to winners, "one generation after the distribution of the Georgia land, sons of winners have no better adult outcomes (wealth, income, literacy) than the sons of non-winners, and winners" grandchildren do not have higher literacy or school attendance than non-winners" grandchildren." In other words, being granted huge amounts of land with extremely large monetary value didn"t actually increase the wealth of later generations and had no long term benefits.
d. Yusuf Nurrudin of New School University notes,"If reparations checks arrived on a Friday, half of the recipients would be broke by Monday morning."
e. According to a 2012 Vanderbilt University study, 70 percent of lottery winners end up bankrupt.
IMPACT: People who gain sudden financial windfall such as from a lottery are not placed on some sort of higher economic platform. Reparations will only increase poverty, not reduce it.
2. The backlash from reparations will hurt African Americans
a. According to the Chicago Tribune, " Rather than advance the cause of equal opportunity for African-Americans, the spreading demand for cash compensation is more likely to tip public opinion against the long-term interests of most American blacks."
b. The Heartland Institute"s Joseph Bast notes, "Governments do not create wealth, they redistribute it. Asking today"s governments to make up for mistakes made more than 150 years ago is just another way of saying today"s largely white taxpayers owe a debt to black Americans, a burden they apparently bear simply by virtue of being white."
c. The University of Dayton elaborates, "Reparations may actually hurt African-Americans by engendering a victim-status and inducing a backlash from whites. Much of the public opinion problems results from the perception among whites that reparative remedies are reverse discrimination; i.e., that these type of remedies reward African-Americans (and, in most cases, other minorities) at the expense of whites who feel they have played no role in oppressing African- Americans." It is important to note that it is irrelevant if this is actually true, it only matters that many whites feel it is true.
IMPACT: Noah Millman, senior editor at The American Conservative magazine, notes, "The push for reparations might well stiffen opposition to other programs designed to address those disparities. Reparations may not lead to reconciliation, but become the basis for further conflict between aggrieved groups of citizens. " Reparations will only increase racial tension. Reparations will make furthering other racial justice programs harder and isn"t worth the backlash that will inevitable follow.

CASE IMPACT: Reparations will accomplish two things, a) increasing the African American poverty rate and b) increasing racial tension. The absolute best case scenario for reparations and everyone they affect, taxpayers and beneficiaries, is one in which all of their effects are erased 10 years from now.
Debate Round No. 2


AlwaysRight12345 forfeited this round.


My opponent, having forfeited the round, concedes all of my points. Therefore, they still stand. Additionally, my refutations still stand. However, I will elaborate on them now.

Like I said, my opponents plan is non-resolutional. My opponents first contention is also irrelevant. Helping African-Americans is a worthy goal, but reparations just hurt the African-Americans more. My opponents 2nd contention is also false. As I have shown, giving lump sums of money to people is counterproductive. Finally, my opponents misconstrues the holocaust reparations agreement. This was money given from a government to another government, not being given from a government to some of the people. Holocaust reparations aren't at all analogous to these reparations. I'm sorry this has been a short speech, but my opponent didn't give me anything new to respond to. Thank you and I urge a con ballot.
Debate Round No. 3


AlwaysRight12345 forfeited this round.


DomriRade4444 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by whiteflame 1 year ago
>Reported vote: Behold// Mod action: Removed<

6 points to Con (Conduct, Arguments, Sources). Reasons for voting decision: Pro forfeited.

[*Reason for removal*] While the voter is allowed to award conduct on the basis of the two forfeits from Pro, they are nonetheless required to explain both argument and source points by referencing specifics from the debate. In this case, the voter explains neither to any degree.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by dsjpk5 1 year ago
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Total points awarded:01 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro ff many times, so conduct to Con.