The Instigator
Pro (for)
5 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
12 Points

should there be a bigger punishment for racial abuse?

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Post Voting Period
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after 3 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/18/2014 Category: Society
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 719 times Debate No: 52837
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
Votes (3)




be it verbal or physical, should there be a bigger punishment for racial abuse? A person should not be tormented for the colour of thier skin and what gives someone the right to make a statement that a race is less superior to themselve?


To avoid semantics, we should be using the common understanding of phrases. When referring to "punishment" as a generic term, it is used to mean legal punishment. It is not used in regards to social ostracation (made up word, I know) or vigilante punishment.

I will be arguing two separate points, on whether any punishment should exist in regards to verbal statements and whether one should be punished more because of racist reasons (should someone get a larger punishment for assaulting a black man because he is black, vs assaulting a black man because he cut him off in traffic?).

I will let Pro begin.

Thank you,
Debate Round No. 1


Through many historical events, racism has become a 'hot topic' amongst people all over the world. Firstly you have slavery, and then the events of world war II, involving the Nazi's. different races unite people. they bring together communities all over the world and allow you too see different cultures within society. but simply 'picking someone out' because of their skin colour is not right? mentioned in Mark 12: 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF', often a clique used in modern society is something that should be spoke about to everyone. you wouldn't want to be treated like people who suffer racism. People also need to ponder on this question: if race is such an issue to you, what would you say if a black doctor was here to save your life?

I would like to start by talking about the first point you mentioned. Obviously a person should rightly be punished for verbal abuse towards a black person. Abuse is an infringement on an individual"s sense of security and their physical and psychological integrity, therefore it is punishable but why should one have the same punishment for saying this to a black person when this is the way they are and are therefore unable to choose the colour of their skin.

secondly, the point you made about cutting someone up in traffic, I feel that yes a road user would have every right to be angry towards the person as they themselves have committed an offence but I do feel that abusing them because of their skin colour is cowardly, its an easy way out.

to conclude this round I will re- illiterate my first statement, that yes, I do feel there should be a larger punishment for racial abuse, the case of the driver been cut up will result in punishment for the driver as well but still, racially abusing him is not ok because of his offence.

Thank you for listening

I look forward to your response.


I would like to thank my opponent for their round and I will jump into this quickly

== Verbal ==

Punishment for what you say is a violation of the 1st amendment that grants us freedom of expression [1]. Unless what you say causes a breach of the peace or violence (e.g. shouting "fire" in a movie theatre), it is protected. While some racist speech may fall under that section, not all does and for those that do fall under that, there is no reason to treat it differently than any other verbal transgression that falls in there.

My opponent says that this infringes on the "sense of security." However, allowing black people to walk the streets may infringe on some people"s "sense of security," after all. Blacks are statistically more likely to engage in violent crimes [2]. That right there is a real statistical reason for people to be concerned about their safety. Surely my opponent doesn"t support violating the rights of blacks just so some old white ladies can maintain their "sense of security"?

What my opponent also fails to show, is why the racial verbal abuse should be treated any different from regular verbal abuse. In this section, he needs to show that 1) It needs to have a punishment, and 2) that punishment needs to be greater than standard verbal abuse.


== Physical ==

Physical abuse is a horrible thing, no matter what context. And it is undoubtedly something that should be punished. However, we must not fall into an emotional trap with this and must think it out logically. What is the transgression that is the issue with PA? It is the physical harm done. If I kill someone because they are black, or because they pissed me off, or because any other unjustified reason, the transgression is all the same, an unjustified death occurred. A fair and just system would take that and recognize that the reasons (once classified as unjustified) do not change the scope of the crime and therefore should not change the scope of the punishment.

My opponent says that the road user has every right to be angry. While that is true, he does have every right to be angry, that is no justification for his actions. After all, many racists (if not most) that kill because of one"s race are also angry. They are very angry. Because of this, you cannot use anger as a justifier. But you also would need to show that being angry makes it more okay. I would believe that would make it worse. If someone cannot control their anger, they pose a much greater threat to society in the future.
Debate Round No. 2


Bunny100 forfeited this round.


I will not add anything to this debate, only say that my arguments still stand and let this go to the voting.
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by Ragnar 2 years ago
Thank you for the clarification; I believe you, but I did not see that on the charts provided...
Posted by Ore_Ele 2 years ago
Just a note about the source, it is not talking about crimes as a per 100,000 rate. It is talking about total crimes. So if the black crime rate is more than 14% than it is a higher rate than the white. For example, Blacks make up 14% of the population, but 28% of all crime. You should also notice that they make up 49.7% of all murders, and 55.6% of all rapes. Again, while only being 14% of the population. As such, the statement that a black person is "more likely" is true.
Posted by Ragnar 2 years ago
Bloody thing. 50th, auto correct on smartphones is proof of how dumb they are.
Posted by Bunny100 2 years ago
Well i will give it my best shot and listen to what you say? challange accepted
Posted by Ragnar 2 years ago
I want to accept... but I want my 250the debate to not end in a forfeit.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by AlbinoBunny 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct: Pro forfeited so looses the conduct point, sorry Pro. Con's conduct was fine. (CON) S&G: Pro's grammar wasn't great, Con wrote well. (CON) Convincing arguments: Pro said that racial abuse was wrong, so it should have a bigger punishment (than something). That wasn't very convincing, or clear. Con clarified what the punishment should be "bigger than" and provided freedom of speech argument and the result should equal the punishment arguments. (CON) Reliable sources: Pro didn't provide sources and Con provided some sources to back up her case. (CON)
Vote Placed by Daktoria 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: While Pro forfeited the last round, Con's arguments were so atrocious that they didn't deserve merit. First, Con refers to freedom of expression, but Con doesn't realize that freedom of expression isn't people's only freedom. People also have freedom of impression. This is represented in the Constitution through freedom of assembly. The second point is Con treated people as if they're statistics which they're not. While statistical analysis might be useful for figuring out a practical way to enforce the law, it's inappropriate in adjudicating or legislating the law in figuring out what we ought to practice. Lastly, Con ignores the value of motive when discussing physical abuse. In fact, motive is what defines guilt versus innocence since people can be duressed, intimidated, harassed, and provoked. If a black mob jumped a white person while hiding behind multiculturalism, then the black mob should be additionally punished, but Con wouldn't recognize this point.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:25 
Reasons for voting decision: Use spell check. Don't forfeit. Argue something better than racial superiority/inferiority and debuted the opponent's claims... sources for cons government statistic being in direct disagreement with what we were told it said (unless gambling is the true violent crime).