The Instigator
AimeeGleek17
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
FuzzyCatPotato
Pro (for)
Winning
18 Points

Was Franklin D Roosevelt significant in improving Black Civil Rights?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
FuzzyCatPotato
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/7/2014 Category: People
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 933 times Debate No: 62755
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
Votes (3)

 

AimeeGleek17

Con

Accept or Not
FuzzyCatPotato

Pro

As Pro, I will be arguing that FDR was significant in improving civil rights for Blacks in the United States.

As I'm unsure if this round is acceptance or not, I'll both accept and just offer an introductory and Pro-supportive web link on the debate [1].

References:

[1] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franklin_D._Roosevelt's_record_on_civil_rights
Debate Round No. 1
AimeeGleek17

Con

Franklin D Roosevelt was the 32nd president of the United States and a democrat. He was reluctant to make changes fearing he would loose support of southern whites and only made changes after some persuasion, even then most schemes were set up to fail by them having little support or reinforcement. Even though a quote from Roosevelt said that "We should guard the civil rights of all citizens no matter background" he failed to do so and is concern for their rights was at the bottom of his list of priorities.
FuzzyCatPotato

Pro

REBUTTALS



Con: “Franklin D Roosevelt was the 32nd president of the United States and a democrat.”



1st: Yep.


2nd: OH NOES A DEMOCRAT



Con:He was reluctant to make changes fearing he would loose support of southern whites and only made changes after some persuasion, even then most schemes were set up to fail by them having little support or reinforcement.”



1st: Reluctance and/or requirement of persuasion does not make the policies FDR implemented insignificant.


2nd: FDR had a mixed record. However, in two key areas, his record was better than that of any of his predecessors.



CONTENTION ONE: ECONOMIC IMPACT:



During the Great Depression, the situation of African-Americans was at its worst. From [2]: “No matter where they lived, African Americans were especially hard hit by the Depression. In the rural south, blacks found it increasingly difficult even to survive. In northern and southern cities, blacks saw their jobs—which were usually of the entry level, low paying, and unskilled or semi-skilled variety—disappear, either consumed by the faltering economy or snatched up by desperate unemployed whites. By 1932, over half of blacks in southern cities were unemployed. The employment situation for African Americans in the urban North was only marginally better for the growing black middle class. In Harlem, black ownership or management of property dropped precipitously in the first half of the 1930s.”



During this massive downturn, FDR provided aid to the African-American community. From [3]: “It is also important to recognize that this hope was not merely based on empty promises of change, but on the actual words and deeds spoken by Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt and taken by the federal government at a time when racism was deeply seared into the American psyche. With respect to the critical issue of employment, for example, we know that by 1935, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) was employing approximately 350,000 African Americans annually, about 15% of its total workforce. In the Civilian Conservation Corps, the percentage of blacks who took part climbed from roughly 3% at its outset in 1933 to over 11% by the close of 1938 with a total of more than 350,000 having been enrolled in the CCC by the time the program was shut down in 1942. The National Youth Administration, under the direction of Aubrey Williams, hired more black administrators than any other New deal agency; employed African American supervisors to oversee the work the agency was doing on behalf of black youth for each state in the south; and assisted more than 300,000 Africa American youth during the Depression. In 1934, the Public Works Administration (PWA) inserted a clause in all government construction contracts that established a quota for the hiring of black laborers based on the 1930 labor census and as a consequence a significant number of blacks received skilled employment on PWA projects. African Americans also benefited from the Federal Music Project, which funded performances of black composers; from the Federal Theatre and Writing Projects, which hired and featured the work of hundreds of African American artists; and from the New Deal’s educational programs, which taught over 1 million illiterate blacks to read and write and which increased the number of African American children attending primary school.”



Improving the economic power of African-Americans helps to improve African-American political literacy and engagement and better attack social inequalities.



CONTENTION TWO: POLITICAL IMPACT:



FDR gave African-Americans a voice and recognized racism at the national level, a new development in America. From [3]: “[A]s Mary McLeod Bethune once noted, the Roosevelt era represented ‘the first time in their history’ that African Americans felt that they could communicate their grievances to their government with the ‘expectancy of sympathetic understanding and interpretation.’ Indeed, it was during the New Deal, that the silent, invisible hand of racism was fully exposed as a national issue; as a problem that at the very least needed to be recognized; as something the county could no longer pretend did not exist. This shift in attitude, as Havard Sitkoff, the noted historian of the African American experience in the New Deal observes, helped propel the issue of race relations onto the national stage and usher in a new political climate in which ‘Afro-Americans and their allies could begin to struggle with some expectation of success.’ In short, the New Deal, and the rhetorical support given to the cause of civil rights by both Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt gave the African American community hope; the chance to dream of a better future, no matter how difficult the struggle might be along the way.”



And from [2]: “Roosevelt's performance, then was deeply flawed, but blacks rendered their own verdict when in 1936 they abandoned their historic allegiance to the Republicans, the party of Abe Lincoln, and moved in large numbers over to the Democrats, the party of FDR, where they have been ever since. One of Roosevelt's severest critics, Ralph Bunch, said the FDR era ‘represented a radical break with the past,’ and W.E.B. Du Bois concluded that Roosevelt ‘gave the American Negro a kind of recognition in political life which the Negro had never before received.’ ”



This came at a time when racism seemed both entrenched and vital to Democratic interests. From [3]: “As the leader of a political party that was heavily represented in Congress by racist Southern Democrats who supported segregation and even opposed the adoption of a federal anti-lynching law as an infringement of state’s rights, FDR had to choose his battles carefully and at times appears timorous in the face of racial injustice-especially when viewed from today. But this is the President who appointed a far greater number of blacks to positions of responsibility within his government than any of his predecessors, so much so in fact that this group became known as the ‘Black Cabinet’ or ‘Black Brain Trust’ in the press. FDR was also the first president to appoint an African American as a federal judge; to promote a black man to the rank of Brigadier General in the Army; and, incredible as it might seem, the first president to publicly call lynching murder — ‘a vile form of collective murder’-which W.E B. Dubois applauded as something that sadly was long overdue. Overall FDR’s administration tripled the number of Africa Americans working for the federal government, including thousands of black engineers, architects, lawyers, librarians, office managers, and other professionals, and under his leadership, and with the strong support of Eleanor Roosevelt, the Democrats included the first specific African American plank in the party platform at the 1936 convention.”



Roosevelt provided support for anti-racist forces at a time when racism seemed strongest.



REFERENCES:



[2] http://millercenter.org...


[3] http://www.rooseveltinstitute.org...

Debate Round No. 2
AimeeGleek17

Con

AimeeGleek17 forfeited this round.
FuzzyCatPotato

Pro

Con has forfeited Round 3.

REASONS TO VOTE PRO

Conduct: Clear Pro win. Con forfeited Round 3.

Grammar: Possible Pro win. Con's Round 1 speech was not a sentence. Con's Round 2 speech lacked a period in "Franklin D Roosevelt", failed to capitalize "democrat", lacked commas in "He was reluctant to make changes fearing" and "a quote from Roosevelt said that 'We should guard the civil rights of all citizens no matter background' he", and "even then most schemes were set up to fail by them having little support or reinforcement" was not properly introduced.

Arguments: Clear Pro win. All of Con's reasons to negate are unsupported, and have been rebutted, while all of Pro's reasons to affirm are supported and have not been rebutted whatsoever.

Sources: Clear Pro win. Con used no sources. Pro used three sources.

THANKS FOR READING, AND GOOD LUCK TO CON IN FUTURE DEBATES!
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by FuzzyCatPotato 2 years ago
FuzzyCatPotato
Yep, didn't read the link. Lovely.

Care to substantiate your claims?
Posted by cheyennebodie 2 years ago
cheyennebodie
What impact? The republicans right from the start impacted equality for blacks.Since 1860 and before. It was the democrats that terrorized them till the 60's. Then they saw them as a large voting block, so they started spoon feeding them freebies from government.And that was successful in getting them back onto the welfare plantation. Now not all blacks, like not all whites fell for that .There were and are Americans of all colors who do not belong to the freeloader society of the democrats.But we seem to be a shrinking class of people.
Posted by FuzzyCatPotato 2 years ago
FuzzyCatPotato
"Now, about FDR. He was a democrat. Democrats did not see the value in chumming up to blacks till the 60's.And very few blacks voted for democrats then.FDR , in my opinion was just about a bad president as Obama.But I think that Woodrow Wilson was worse than them both."

Try reading Wikipedia's summary of FDR's impact on civil rights and then telling me that again.
Posted by cheyennebodie 2 years ago
cheyennebodie
Martin Luther King JR. Did not go after special rights. He went after constitutional rights.All men are created equal. And that is usually where equality ends.I could never hit a ball like Andrew McCutchen.Does that mean I am not his equal. Yes. When it comes to hitting a baseball.But we have the same God given rights, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.Our pursuit of happiness will be different. His pursuit put a bat in his hans at Pittsburgh. My pursuit of happiness put a hammer in my hand. And we can both hold our heads up. I enjoy his games. And if I ever got a chance to build something for him, he could enjoy my handiwork. And I would not be at all jealous because ha makes so much more than me. And after watching the guy, he would not feel superior.

Now, about FDR. He was a democrat. Democrats did not see the value in chumming up to blacks till the 60's.And very few blacks voted for democrats then.FDR , in my opinion was just about a bad president as Obama.But I think that Woodrow Wilson was worse than them both.
Posted by hatshepsut 2 years ago
hatshepsut
A debate issue is always a "yes or no" question, i.e. FDR was significant or he was not. Sometimes it can be written is a statement, i.e FDR was significant, then it's "true or false", but the adverb "how" is never used. :)
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by lannan13 2 years ago
lannan13
AimeeGleek17FuzzyCatPotatoTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 2 years ago
9spaceking
AimeeGleek17FuzzyCatPotatoTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: ff. pro was only one to use sources
Vote Placed by Atheist-Independent 2 years ago
Atheist-Independent
AimeeGleek17FuzzyCatPotatoTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Opinion based statements plus a forfeit makes this an easy vote for Pro. Also, a great opening argument further strengthens Pro's case.