The Instigator
Pro (for)
The Contender
Con (against)

United States federal government should pay financial reparations to African Americans

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tomjazzy has forfeited round #3.
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/10/2016 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 months ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 254 times Debate No: 94609
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (8)
Votes (0)




Use common sense, no trolling, first round is for acceptance. Thank you!


Thank you for debating with me, I look forward to hearing what you have to say.
Debate Round No. 1


Thanks for accepting! I planned to write more but sense we have 2 rounds after this and I'm unexpectedly very busy I'll just start out with this:

Justice (Giving each their due) demands that we give reparations to African Americans.

For centuries African American's have oppressed in various ways through the laws enacted by the United States Federal Government. As I'm sure my opponent won't even contest, they've been mistreated by the government through obvious means such as slavery, lack of civil rights, and unjust'/racist courtroom rulings or dealings with police and government in general to name a few things caused directly by the government. Although African Americans suffered physically and mentally through these things, they also lost financial potential as a result. Seeing as how our government set them on a road to financial failure after leaving them with nothing, it's only just that they recieve the reparations as an attempted repayment. Remember, I'm not strictly talking about slavery, but also civil rights injustices that kept them from earning their fair share as well in addition to certain programs not giving them their fair share (Such as the GI bill not giving nearly as much money per person to blacks as they did whites after WW2).

My opponent may claim that most of the people affected by civil rights injustices, and definetely all of the people who suffered from slavery, are not alive, thus there is no one to give the reparation to. However, this is not sound, due to the fact that their direct decendants can still recieve the money they presumably would have gained had their elders not been practically robbed of their full financial potential. If one can draw a link between them and a deceased family member that should have recieved a more fair share of pay (whether it's through slavery or civil rights injustices), then they deserve to gain what should have been their's to start with. The reason African American's have a higher poverty rate isn't because they are genetically inferior, it's because they were robbed of their financial potential.

In summation my contention is that regardless of whether it's practical or not the US has a moral obligation to give African Americans financial reparatinos because of historic injustices.

Thank You!


Thank You
I do not deny that some African Americans have been oppressed. If this argument said "the government should pay financial reputations for some African Americans, then I would have agreed with Pro. However that is not what it said. It said "African Americans." This implies that all African Americans have been mistreated. This is not true. Many were not yet born during the events Pro describes, slavery and the civil rights movement. Pro argues that African Americans are descended from those who did suffer form such horrors and so should be granted final compensation. There are many things wrong with this statement.
1: lets say hypothetical, 100 years ago my ancestor was wronged by Pros ancestor. Now lets say 100 years latter I try and take Pro to court for what happened to my ancestor 100 years ago. Am I entitled to payment form Pro? Probably not.
2: Not all African Americans are dependents of those who were wronged. Many of them could have moved to the U.S. long after the civil rights movement. Renumber this argument is about "African Americans" not "African Americans whose ancestors moved to the U.S. some time before the 60s."
If an African American fells that they specifically have been discriminated against due to race by the U.S. Government they may press charges. Here is a list of some laws concerning race discrimination

Works Cited
Reuters, Thomson. "Race Discrimination: Applicable Laws - FindLaw." Findlaw. N.p., 2016. Web. 15 Aug. 2016. <;.
Debate Round No. 2


Ok well I won't bother putting the other arguments I had planned to make in here because my opponent unknowingly conceded the debate. He misconstrues African Americans for ALL African Americans, which he says is implied, but truly is not. If I say "The US should take in refugees", does that imply that they must take in all refugees? If I say that I'm going to give soup to homeless people, does that mean I'm travelling across all of America to give soup to all homeless people? The only thing implied by the resolution is that the US will give X amount in reparations to X amount of African Americans. Because the resolution does not put a quantity on the amount of African Americans nor the amount of money they should be paid, this allows the affirmative to put a number on both of those factors. My opponent made a bare assertion here which turned out to be incorrect.

Anyway, let's go through his objections of the resolution in general, with the knowledge that even if I concede on the amount of African Americans

1. My opponent claims that descendants should not be able to demand money from others' descendants. However, this is incorrect for 3 main reasons:

A) It's not two individual people, it's the United States Government and a large amount of African Americans. The situation is different once it's put on a larger scale. Germany just finished paying of WW1 reparations in 2010, but it's not like the people that started that war are still alive. It's just a matter of the fact that the government is held to a higher standard than some individuals in these matters...
B) Actually the way things work isn't terribly far off from that as families can demand reparations from organizations and sue them on behalf of a deceased family member. Sure more time has passed, but why accept that justice has a sell-by date?
C) Just because the current laws don't allow for something doesn't mean that it's just. With that logic we shouldn't ever change legislature. Not to mention how, again, it's not even a logically valid analogy.

2. Again he just makes a blind assumption which isn't logically valid and thus can be dismissed completely.

For these reasons, I enthusiastically affirm. Thank you.
Good luck.
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Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 4
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by missmedic 2 months ago
What did the federal government do to the "African Americans".............?
Posted by benshapirohero 2 months ago
Descendants getting to live in America doesn't justify slavery tho
Posted by benshapirohero 2 months ago
Descendants getting to live in America doesn't justify slavery tho
Posted by benshapirohero 2 months ago
1. All the slaves that were mistreated are dead (plus their descendants now get to live in the best country in the world. )

2. The notion that you can make up for splitting up families, torturing people, and forcing people to work by giving people foul money is pitiful, and a slap in the face to slaves.

3. Many non-black people's ancestors didn't even have anything to do with slavery. Including mine ;)

4. If any reparations are made, the Democratic party should take all the blame. They are the party of slavery.
Posted by NoCoolNameNate 2 months ago
Oh I had meant for it to be society not science lol whoops politics works as well though.
Posted by NoCoolNameNate 2 months ago
How is it "retarded"?
Posted by bballcrook21 2 months ago
Lol this is so retarded
Posted by Hayd 2 months ago
I'd suggest changing the debate acceptence settings so that its impossible to accept (max age and Elo) and then tell people to apply in the comments. Then you can review the applicants and choose the best debater. This eliminates trolling and ensures a good debate. You should also change the category to politics, change the voting system to select winner rather that 7 point and make it four rounds, with first round being acceptence.
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