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Argument for Reparations to African Americans

debatability
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9/24/2015 12:35:12 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
I want to have a discussion that will potentially help my performance in a debate competition over this topic this weekend. I'm basically posting my case, but treat this like a normal forum post. Give your view on the topic, tell me what is wrong with mine, ect.

Hopefully this will generate insightful discussion.

The resolution is worded this way - The United States Federal Government ought to pay reparations to African Americans.

My partner and I argue that the usage of the word ought is different from the word should in that it implies moral obligation. Issues of feasibility aren't too pertinent to this debate because even if the government *can't* pay raparations, one could still argue that such a moral obligation exists.

For our first contention, we cite Lyons, an expert in the field of reparations.

Lyons breaks this argument in favor of reparations into three prongs.
Firstly, he claims that the moral debt has remained unpaid to ex-slaves. This is substantiated by Keith Elson, a U.S. representative who notes that ex-slaves and their descendants never were compensated for their losses; no type of monetary reparation has been given to African Americans.
Secondly, Lyons recognizes that there is a material disadvantage suffered by descendants of ex-slaves. Simply put, the effects of slavery have put African Americans at a strong economic and social disadvantage in contemporary society. Ever since the abolition of slavery, discrimination has been a continual challenge faced by the African American community. Rasell explains that the effects of not only slavery, but also more recent discriminatory policies that the United States Federal Government either instituted or allowed to happen such as segregated schooling, Jim Crowe, and voting inequity have a strong impact on African Americans in the 21st century. Rasell lists multiple issues faced by African Americans that are directly related to discrimination including inequalities related to wages, employment, education, health insurance, retirement plans, and more. All these setbacks directly contribute to an enormous wealth gap between caucasians and African Americans. Pew Research Center has found that the net worth of a caucasian (sum of possessions owned minus money owed) to be thirteen times larger than the net worth of an African American, as shown by a 2014 study - thus solidifying the link between 18th and 19th century racial injustices and contemporary society. Slavery directly resulted in segregation and other racist policies. Such policies directly result in the institutionalized racism experienced by African Americans today.
Lastly, Lyons believes that there was unjust enrichment enjoyed by those who benefited from slavery. Elson, in his case in favor of reparations specifically notes that the United States Federal Government paid reparations to slave owners, rather than the slaves themselves. Slave owners were given 300 dollars for each free slave. Taking inflation into account, the compensation for slave owners would be over 1,000 modern dollars dollars per slave.
Given that African Americans have received no compensation for atrocities that clearly affect them today, and given that caucasians have benefited from slavery in numerous ways, the USFG ought to pay reparations to African Americans.

Our second contention makes the claim that reparations effectively combat problems faced by the African American community.

Paying reparations allows for African American communities to grow in a way that other programs working to combat racism simply can"t. This is because a large sum of money can combat a major problem for African Americans - lack of familial wealth. Even if an African American family makes a healthy sum of money per year, they still lack a buffer that many caucasian families have. Refer back to our Pew Research study in contention one; one of the biggest drivers of the wealth gap talked about in this study is known as intergenerational assistance. Caucasian families often have wealth in their families that has accumulated over many years and African American families lack this buffer. This hurts African Americans in two ways.
Firstly, African American families struggle to pay for large expenses such as college and often accumulate debt. As explained by Conley, "if one has a buffer and doesn"t have to work two jobs to pay for college, they are more likely to graduate in four years." Caucasians have this buffer through familial wealth that steadily grows, and African Americans do not due to institutionalized racism.
Secondly, as explained by Coates, "a black family that has an income of 100,000 a year on average lives in a neighborhood that is comparable to a white family making 30,000." Caucasian families, through intergenerational assistance, are more likely to have the money or the familial assistance to go and buy a house in a good neighborhood. Caucasians are placed in a virtuous cycle - the houses in their affluent neighborhoods have better tax bases to fund their schools these schools attract buyers and drive up home values (Holland 2014). This forces African American children into lower quality schools because many of them don"t have the means to buy a nice house, although their annual income is a healthy amount.
Taking this problem into account, reparations are the answer because they give African Americans the buffer that caucasians lack via a healthy sum of money that can help a family buy a better house or afford college for their child without going into debt.
Maiello from Reuters substantiates this claim. Reparations not only help African Americans but boost the entire economy. According to Maiello, reparations lift large quantities of people out of poverty, and act as a stimulus, by incentivizing more spending and innovation among african americans. Thus, not only do reparations benefit African Americans, but also the entire American economy.

That's about all we have... feel free to give thoughts. I didn't bother to link my sources, but totally can.
YYW
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9/24/2015 2:07:44 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/24/2015 12:35:12 AM, debatability wrote:

I'm going to offer some rebuttals. This might be helpful. It's an interesting topic... one of the better ones the NFL has come up with of late... which is in noted contrast to the garbage they've been coming up with in the not so distant past.

The resolution is worded this way - The United States Federal Government ought to pay reparations to African Americans.

jolly good.

My partner and I argue that the usage of the word ought is different from the word should in that it implies moral obligation.

Your analysis is correct. I would say "moral duty" but the substance is the same, so you're right.

Lyons breaks this argument in favor of reparations into three prongs.
Firstly, he claims that the moral debt has remained unpaid to ex-slaves.

Without conceding that moral debt can be quantified into a dollar amount, or that thee is a moral debt at all, both of which I'll address in a bit, consider this:

The only people to whom a moral debt would be owed would be to those blacks who were descended from slaves. Not all blacks in the United States were descended from slaves; of those who were, many are descended from slaves who attained freedom before Lincoln's presidency. If any slave had freedom before Lincoln did his thing, they were already in their rightful position. So, to compensate those people who were not descended from slaves at the time of Lincoln's presidency would be to unjustly enrich them; that is to say, give them money that they don't deserve because they are not connected to that class of persons who were not legally enslaved at the time.

The other thing to consider is that the resolution talks about "African Americans" generally, rather than slaves specifically. The whole point of reparations is that slavery was NOT THE ONLY wrong perpetuated on black people. For example, segregation, denied political rights, manifest inequality before the law, inferior educational opportunities, if any, etc. So, slavery may have been the most egregious wrong, but it's not the most proximate cause of black "problems."

All those other "causes" (Jim Crow, etc.) -like, the stuff that came after slavery- that's what's really the predominate factor in blacks being in the place that they're in, if you buy the narrative that races rise and fall together (which I do not... but a lot of people do... so there it is... that's the argument).

Now, in terms of a moral debt, with respect to all wrongs perpetuated against blacks, (hereinafter referred to in general as "history"), how can you quantify that kind of harm? If you buy that the specific and general harms in history are trans-generational (as the resolution basically necessitates that you believe, unless you were going to run a K, which I might, for that reason), such that they carry into the present, then your next task has to be to define what that harm is.

Once you define what the harm is, then you can get to a discussion of what should be done about the harm. What is the position that blacks should be in, relative to what they are? What conceivable kind of reparations (like, e.g. money) could remediate that series of abuses, if, in fact, history is filled with abuses? Affirmative action? (It's been tried; didn't work.)

The point to that question is to illustrate that just because there are real problems with racial inequalities, does not mean that (1) there is anything that can be done to fix it, and (2) even if there is something that can be done to fix it, that the "thing to be done" should be done, because the costs may be so great, in the aggregate, that they outweigh the benefits of doing them.

This is all very abstract, of course. But consider the case of black school children who do not have adequate school supplies, because their parents are poor, because they are black and grew up in an environment with limited educational opportunities and they never self-actualized. So, like almost every family in south-central LA or the south side of Chicago.

What should the government do? Buy them macbooks? Not buy white kids macbooks? It's a frivolous example, but the point reins true. Even if we accept that there is "a harm" in a general sense, that does not mean that the harm can be quantified or remediated. Or, said another way, that doesn't mean that reparations will put blacks where they ought to be in society, if it is your claim that blacks as a race are not where they ought to be.
Tsar of DDO
YYW
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9/24/2015 2:10:05 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/24/2015 12:35:12 AM, debatability wrote:
Paying reparations allows for African American communities to grow in a way that other programs working to combat racism simply can"t.

This is probably the weakest point of your case, because simply having money doesn't mean that you know how to use it to your benefit, to society's benefit, or, even if you do know how, that you will... and that gets to the heart of why reparations in monetary form are a terrible idea.

To give people who do not have money lots of money (regardless of their race), who have no experience in managing wealth, is an invitation for disaster and/or waste.

See generally, like every lottery winner ever.
Tsar of DDO
YYW
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9/24/2015 2:21:56 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
The counter-argument to reparations is collective investment in human capital... so, like the stuff that FDR and LBJ tried to do, before those projects were dismantled by their successors. Reagan, for example, was the great destroyer of social welfare for all in the United States.

That being said, I think you have to look at this debate in terms of what position blacks should be in, but are not, because of history. However, the same could be said for anyone who is poor, because economic injustice extends far beyond black people. It touches like 90% of all people in the United States. Likewise, the solution to that problem is also the method to put blacks in their rightful position: it is to raise all of society, not try to raise discrete parts of society, to a higher standard of living. This is likewise (for reasons I think you can kind of fill in without my having to type them out) why you can't only talk about reparations for blacks. You have to talk about investment in human capital among all, rather than just some of society's members.

The counter argument to that is that, yes, perhaps we should be investing in all of society's potential, but that ignores the unique and particular harms that blacks suffered, and continue to suffer, thus entitling them to reparations.

The response to that rebuttal is, even if I grant you that blacks deserve reparations, if the giving of reparations would make them worse off than before, then reparations should not be given at all, because it would exacerbate the problem that the solution was purposed to remediate. Evidence for this will be introduced in the form of poor people who get money and then do stupid things with it.

Then you say, well, should we just teach black people financial literacy? I'm going to say, ok, well then how far are you willing to go? Shall we create schools to teach blacks to be the future leaders of America, too? Should we put white men in black homes to teach black boys how to be men, because their fathers have abandoned them? The point is that when implementing the remedy becomes more costly than the remedy itself, the remedy is futile.... and in this case it would be, because no person who will receive a lot of money after having lived a life in poverty is going to care... they're going to blow it, just like basically every lottery winner does, regardless of race.... and then not only are blacks in a worse off position than they were, in addition to the fact that taxpayers are out of all that money, but the social problems have not been changed. They will still exist, or, if anything, be made worse because the waste of any reparation money will be obvious to everyone... like, it would be the stuff of news stories.
Tsar of DDO
YYW
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9/24/2015 2:22:52 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
But one way or another, you've got to talk about more than slavery... you've got to talk about history up until the present, as cause for reparations. Or at least until Brown v. Board.
Tsar of DDO
Romanii
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9/24/2015 2:51:03 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/24/2015 12:35:12 AM, debatability wrote:
I want to have a discussion that will potentially help my performance in a debate competition over this topic this weekend. I'm basically posting my case, but treat this like a normal forum post. Give your view on the topic, tell me what is wrong with mine, ect.

I am literally going to destroy you -_-
YYW
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9/24/2015 3:00:38 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/24/2015 2:51:03 AM, Romanii wrote:
At 9/24/2015 12:35:12 AM, debatability wrote:
I want to have a discussion that will potentially help my performance in a debate competition over this topic this weekend. I'm basically posting my case, but treat this like a normal forum post. Give your view on the topic, tell me what is wrong with mine, ect.

I am literally going to destroy you -_-

Idk. I think that there are very strong arguments that can be made for reparations which are not pecuniary, whether they have monetary value or not. The resolution does not limit "reparations" to "money." The term "reparation" is much broader than that, and in general, good debaters will focus on much more than just money.

They might talk about, like, giving black people enough money so that their kids don't starve, but then that's just welfare; to call it a reparation would be insulting, demeaning, etc.

The other thing to realize -back in the vein of "no reparations"- is that there remains a legitimate and unanswered question, in all cases, as to why the Federal Government (and specifically US taxpayers) should have to pay reparations when the majority of the US tax base had nothing to do with slavery, or "history" generally.

So, do you have a right to unjustly deprive others of what is theirs to put another where they ought to be, even if we assume that money can do that? No, obviously not, because justice is giving each their due; not taking from others what is theirs. I know the tension there might be hard to understand, so maybe this will put it less abstractly:

Just because black people may be entitled to reparations does not mean that the federal government should be the one to do it, because to do it would be unjust at others' expense.
Tsar of DDO
Romanii
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9/24/2015 3:02:27 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/24/2015 3:00:38 AM, YYW wrote:
At 9/24/2015 2:51:03 AM, Romanii wrote:
At 9/24/2015 12:35:12 AM, debatability wrote:
I want to have a discussion that will potentially help my performance in a debate competition over this topic this weekend. I'm basically posting my case, but treat this like a normal forum post. Give your view on the topic, tell me what is wrong with mine, ect.

I am literally going to destroy you -_-

Idk. I think that there are very strong arguments that can be made for reparations which are not pecuniary, whether they have monetary value or not. The resolution does not limit "reparations" to "money." The term "reparation" is much broader than that, and in general, good debaters will focus on much more than just money.

They might talk about, like, giving black people enough money so that their kids don't starve, but then that's just welfare; to call it a reparation would be insulting, demeaning, etc.

The other thing to realize -back in the vein of "no reparations"- is that there remains a legitimate and unanswered question, in all cases, as to why the Federal Government (and specifically US taxpayers) should have to pay reparations when the majority of the US tax base had nothing to do with slavery, or "history" generally.

So, do you have a right to unjustly deprive others of what is theirs to put another where they ought to be, even if we assume that money can do that? No, obviously not, because justice is giving each their due; not taking from others what is theirs. I know the tension there might be hard to understand, so maybe this will put it less abstractly:

Just because black people may be entitled to reparations does not mean that the federal government should be the one to do it, because to do it would be unjust at others' expense.

haha that's not what I meant. It's because just a week ago she forfeited a debate with me on this topic -.-
YYW
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9/24/2015 3:06:19 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Really, the strongest argument for reparations is to re-do the way we fund public schools in the United States.

Abolish the property-tax locale model, and replace it with something centralized. It would take trans-generational efforts, but that is the only real way to meaningfully undercut the damage that material inequality has created between urban black youths and almost everyone else -although there are plenty of white-dominated schools in rural america that are far worse than most urban inner-city schools.

But again, that's not a reparation because a reparation has to be unique to blacks.
Tsar of DDO
ShabShoral
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9/24/2015 4:21:45 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/24/2015 12:35:12 AM, debatability wrote:
I want to have a discussion that will potentially help my performance in a debate competition over this topic this weekend. I'm basically posting my case, but treat this like a normal forum post. Give your view on the topic, tell me what is wrong with mine, ect.

Hopefully this will generate insightful discussion.

The resolution is worded this way - The United States Federal Government ought to pay reparations to African Americans.

My partner and I argue that the usage of the word ought is different from the word should in that it implies moral obligation. Issues of feasibility aren't too pertinent to this debate because even if the government *can't* pay raparations, one could still argue that such a moral obligation exists.
I don't see the distinction. "Should" implies morality in itself. It seems like a dead point.
For our first contention, we cite Lyons, an expert in the field of reparations.

Lyons breaks this argument in favor of reparations into three prongs.
Firstly, he claims that the moral debt has remained unpaid to ex-slaves. This is substantiated by Keith Elson, a U.S. representative who notes that ex-slaves and their descendants never were compensated for their losses; no type of monetary reparation has been given to African Americans.
Secondly, Lyons recognizes that there is a material disadvantage suffered by descendants of ex-slaves. Simply put, the effects of slavery have put African Americans at a strong economic and social disadvantage in contemporary society. Ever since the abolition of slavery, discrimination has been a continual challenge faced by the African American community. Rasell explains that the effects of not only slavery, but also more recent discriminatory policies that the United States Federal Government either instituted or allowed to happen such as segregated schooling, Jim Crowe, and voting inequity have a strong impact on African Americans in the 21st century. Rasell lists multiple issues faced by African Americans that are directly related to discrimination including inequalities related to wages, employment, education, health insurance, retirement plans, and more. All these setbacks directly contribute to an enormous wealth gap between caucasians and African Americans. Pew Research Center has found that the net worth of a caucasian (sum of possessions owned minus money owed) to be thirteen times larger than the net worth of an African American, as shown by a 2014 study - thus solidifying the link between 18th and 19th century racial injustices and contemporary society. Slavery directly resulted in segregation and other racist policies. Such policies directly result in the institutionalized racism experienced by African Americans today.
This is only relevant if you can show that A), the Government has any obligation to right prior wrongs and B), that individuals who had absolutely nothing to do with slavery or Jim Crow or any racism of any kind have a moral obligation to contribute towards reparations. You have to advocate a "sins of the father are the sins of the son" framework, which would be very easy to dismantle.
Lastly, Lyons believes that there was unjust enrichment enjoyed by those who benefited from slavery. Elson, in his case in favor of reparations specifically notes that the United States Federal Government paid reparations to slave owners, rather than the slaves themselves. Slave owners were given 300 dollars for each free slave. Taking inflation into account, the compensation for slave owners would be over 1,000 modern dollars dollars per slave.
Given that African Americans have received no compensation for atrocities that clearly affect them today, and given that caucasians have benefited from slavery in numerous ways, the USFG ought to pay reparations to African Americans.
Morality relies on volition. You cannot have moral baggage for things that you did not choose to do. Sin doesn't "trickle down" because someone else decided to do something that benefited you.

Our second contention makes the claim that reparations effectively combat problems faced by the African American community.
Assumes that Gov's aim is maximum utility, and that the ends justify the means, which can be argued against. If that assumption fails, the point becomes irrelevant.

The case is fine if you assume utilitarianism/pragmatism, but you have to be able to defend that vs. competing ethical frameworks. Half of your case disappears if the opponent doesn't accept util, so I don't know why any debater would try to argue statistics against it.
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xus00HAY
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9/24/2015 5:04:08 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
The white people responsible for slavery are all dead. If you want the taxpayers of the USA to pay for what they did, then you are discriminating against people for being white. My grandmother's grandpa left his home and family in Brooklyn and went down there with the US Army to free the slaves, my other ancestors lived in the North or in Europe when there was slavery. Well, you don't care about that, I am white therefore you think I owe them something?
When you debate this issue prove that your opponent is dumb and/or a liar, therefore anything he says is false, thats the only way you can win this one.
popculturepooka
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9/24/2015 4:21:11 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Systemic racial discrimination didn't stop with slavery. I don't get why some people think "but no one alive is neither a slave nor slaveowner!" is somehow a good argument against reparations.
At 10/3/2016 11:49:13 PM, thett3 wrote:
BLACK LIVES MATTER!
Raisor
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9/24/2015 4:21:55 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
I wish I had more time to go over this and brain storm with you.

I'd love to see more posts on this site about critiquing and brainstorming debate cases.

I hope you have blocks about "ought" being divorced from the possibility of an action. Your second contention is consequentialist, in which case the feasibility of an action is clearly linked to the obligation.

I still think the feasibility of an action is linked to ought, I'm stretching my memory but I'm pretty sure Kant says we can't bo obligated to do the impossible in Groundwork? So if your first contention, which is basically a justice contention, Rests on some sort of deontic foundation I think you may still have a problem. Idk how deep into moral theory these debates get. Virtue ethics is deeply linked to actual action as well.

That's my first thought, the practicality of the Rez is linked to ethical obligation, now let me run my arguments why astronomical spending is bad.

Do people run backlash arguments? I'm the real world this would tank blacklives matter and other racial politics like criminal reform etc. so that's relevant from a consequentialist view.
Raisor
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9/24/2015 6:01:44 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/24/2015 4:21:11 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
Systemic racial discrimination didn't stop with slavery. I don't get why some people think "but no one alive is neither a slave nor slaveowner!" is somehow a good argument against reparations.

Do you really not get why? I think you're being a little uncharitable here.

Reparations are a specific type of restorative justice that claims X group of people owe Y group of people money to repay a debt incurred. The logic behind this is difficult to apply when harms are ambiguously distributed across "systems" and the original x and y groups no longer exist.

I can acknowledge the existence of systemic racism and the serious moral obligation our society and government had to fight this injustice while denying that reparations are just. The appropriate and just response is whatever is required to fix the existing systems. Even if the root cause is viewed as material inequality and the best solution is direct cash transfers, this wouldn't be reparations it would be some program aimed at fixing structural inequality.

Basically I think reparations are only justified when there is a victim who has suffered damages and an aggressor who has caused those damages. This does not preclude other means of justice
Romanii
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9/24/2015 6:20:05 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/24/2015 4:24:50 AM, YYW wrote:
Also, I'd be curious to see your argument against reparations...

I think Thett3 made a really good Con case:
http://www.debate.org... (Post 4)
xus00HAY
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9/25/2015 12:49:09 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
The idea here is Germany pays reparations to Jews , therefore America should pay reparations to Blacks.
The citizens of Germany may not have all been nazi s who did the holocaust. But the ones that did not take part in the holocaust, did nothing and kept their mouth shut.
The Americans went down there and killed about 1 out of every 4 white men of draft age, and freed the slaves.
If the southerners did not pay for slaves, whatever Black people who were brought to the south would have stayed in Africa.
, Now if they want to un-do slavery by bringing the Black Americans back to Africa, That program would be something the US taxpayer would be glad to pay for.
xus00HAY
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9/25/2015 1:00:40 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
"United States Federal Government paid reparations to slave owners, rather than the slaves themselves. Slave owners were given 300 dollars for each free slave. "
Look, you are not supposed to own people. Former slaves are people, you can't put a price on them.
The former slave owners may not want to just let them go, but they should have thought of that before they lost the war.
YYW
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9/25/2015 3:29:24 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/24/2015 4:21:11 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
Systemic racial discrimination didn't stop with slavery. I don't get why some people think "but no one alive is neither a slave nor slaveowner!" is somehow a good argument against reparations.

Because taking from those who are not culpable even to give to the deserving is unjust. I'm surprised you don't get why... the reason is obvious.
Tsar of DDO
xus00HAY
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9/25/2015 3:38:59 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
"I don't get why some people think "but no one alive is neither a slave nor slaveowner!" is somehow a good argument against reparations."

You would if you were white
xus00HAY
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9/25/2015 3:46:11 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
If slavery did not happen, then Black America would not exist today. Think about it.
When you hear Debatability whining about how bad slavery was, she might be thinking that Black America would not exist ,if there wasn't slavery
popculturepooka
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9/25/2015 5:58:26 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/25/2015 3:29:24 AM, YYW wrote:
At 9/24/2015 4:21:11 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
Systemic racial discrimination didn't stop with slavery. I don't get why some people think "but no one alive is neither a slave nor slaveowner!" is somehow a good argument against reparations.

Because taking from those who are not culpable even to give to the deserving is unjust. I'm surprised you don't get why... the reason is obvious.

One can benefit from things they aren't culpable for.

Say my grandparents killed your grandparents and took everything they owned as theirs. Fast forward to today: I'm living and benefitting off such plunder; you on the other hand haven't recovered from when your family was plunged into abject poverty. I have no obligation to help you?

One can also be culpable (say, be culpably ignorant) for perpetuating something they didn't originally start, either.

And, again, like I said, systemic racial discrimination didn't stop with the end of slavery; so one wouldn't be paying reparations for slavery, per se - more like all the ills slavery spawned that still exist to this very day (to a lesser degree). It was the start but it certainly wasn't the end.
At 10/3/2016 11:49:13 PM, thett3 wrote:
BLACK LIVES MATTER!
Devilry
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9/25/2015 7:09:45 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/24/2015 4:21:11 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
Systemic racial discrimination didn't stop with slavery. I don't get why some people think "but no one alive is neither a slave nor slaveowner!" is somehow a good argument against reparations.

It isn't a good argument, it's plain old selfishness, a simple denial of the claim that black people are owed reparations. And there's a taste of common sense in it, to be honest. It's a game of personal power, and if white people are to make a concession of owing reparations, then they are belong to that concession. (Not that I don't find it a foul taste, of course.)

I mean I dunno. Maybe if black people could come up with a less censuring way of asking for help - hey, maybe call it 'help' rather than 'reparations' - then maybe things might go a little more smoothly.
: : : At 11/15/2016 6:22:17 PM, Greyparrot wrote:
: That's not racism. Thats economics.
YYW
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9/25/2015 10:59:12 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/25/2015 5:58:26 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 9/25/2015 3:29:24 AM, YYW wrote:
At 9/24/2015 4:21:11 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
Systemic racial discrimination didn't stop with slavery. I don't get why some people think "but no one alive is neither a slave nor slaveowner!" is somehow a good argument against reparations.

Because taking from those who are not culpable even to give to the deserving is unjust. I'm surprised you don't get why... the reason is obvious.

One can benefit from things they aren't culpable for.

Say my grandparents killed your grandparents and took everything they owned as theirs. Fast forward to today: I'm living and benefitting off such plunder; you on the other hand haven't recovered from when your family was plunged into abject poverty. I have no obligation to help you?

No. Reverse the situation, and I might help you because it would be a good thing to do, but not because I was under any obligation to do so.

One can also be culpable (say, be culpably ignorant) for perpetuating something they didn't originally start, either.

In the abstract sense, sure, but in as it applies to the case of black disenfranchisement, the fact that some may be culpable in perpetuating institutional racism does not mean that all are.

And, again, like I said, systemic racial discrimination didn't stop with the end of slavery; so one wouldn't be paying reparations for slavery, per se - more like all the ills slavery spawned that still exist to this very day (to a lesser degree). It was the start but it certainly wasn't the end.

I agree that systemic discrimination didn't end with the end of slavery; but that, again, does not mean that the rest of society is culpable.
Tsar of DDO
xus00HAY
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9/26/2015 12:52:10 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
So Debatability, from what you see here, it is obvious that Reparations to African Americans is a dumb idea. Now I won't go into detail on this, because I might wind up saying something that could be construed as a statement on the intelligence of Black people, that could get me banned from debate.org for making racist hate speech.
In order to win your debate I recommend you concentrate on being cute and your opponent being a stupid liar, and they can assume anything he says is false, I would stay away from the facts.
popculturepooka
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9/27/2015 8:21:46 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/25/2015 10:59:12 PM, YYW wrote:
At 9/25/2015 5:58:26 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 9/25/2015 3:29:24 AM, YYW wrote:
At 9/24/2015 4:21:11 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
Systemic racial discrimination didn't stop with slavery. I don't get why some people think "but no one alive is neither a slave nor slaveowner!" is somehow a good argument against reparations.

Because taking from those who are not culpable even to give to the deserving is unjust. I'm surprised you don't get why... the reason is obvious.

One can benefit from things they aren't culpable for.

Say my grandparents killed your grandparents and took everything they owned as theirs. Fast forward to today: I'm living and benefitting off such plunder; you on the other hand haven't recovered from when your family was plunged into abject poverty. I have no obligation to help you?

No. Reverse the situation, and I might help you because it would be a good thing to do, but not because I was under any obligation to do so.


I disagree. I do have an obligation. Especially if that effect keeps compounding generation after generation and then I institute a system that codifies that sort of behavior and benefits people who do the same thing as my grandparents did and that benefits people who look like me (even if some of those people who look like me didn't do anything bad themselves).

One can also be culpable (say, be culpably ignorant) for perpetuating something they didn't originally start, either.

In the abstract sense, sure, but in as it applies to the case of black disenfranchisement, the fact that some may be culpable in perpetuating institutional racism does not mean that all are.


Do you think someone white (think the freedom riders, for instance) who are actually fighting against institutional racism and who is not perpetuating it is going to object calls for redress? I find that exceptionally hard to believe.

And, again, like I said, systemic racial discrimination didn't stop with the end of slavery; so one wouldn't be paying reparations for slavery, per se - more like all the ills slavery spawned that still exist to this very day (to a lesser degree). It was the start but it certainly wasn't the end.

I agree that systemic discrimination didn't end with the end of slavery; but that, again, does not mean that the rest of society is culpable.

It's a societal problem though. I think you're more focused on personal/interpersonal racism. While that is a thing, that's not exactly what we are talking about here.
At 10/3/2016 11:49:13 PM, thett3 wrote:
BLACK LIVES MATTER!
popculturepooka
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9/27/2015 8:23:03 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/25/2015 7:09:45 PM, Devilry wrote:
At 9/24/2015 4:21:11 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
Systemic racial discrimination didn't stop with slavery. I don't get why some people think "but no one alive is neither a slave nor slaveowner!" is somehow a good argument against reparations.

It isn't a good argument, it's plain old selfishness, a simple denial of the claim that black people are owed reparations. And there's a taste of common sense in it, to be honest. It's a game of personal power, and if white people are to make a concession of owing reparations, then they are belong to that concession. (Not that I don't find it a foul taste, of course.)

I mean I dunno. Maybe if black people could come up with a less censuring way of asking for help - hey, maybe call it 'help' rather than 'reparations' - then maybe things might go a little more smoothly.

Pretty much.
At 10/3/2016 11:49:13 PM, thett3 wrote:
BLACK LIVES MATTER!
Devilry
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9/27/2015 8:26:54 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/27/2015 8:23:03 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 9/25/2015 7:09:45 PM, Devilry wrote:
At 9/24/2015 4:21:11 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
Systemic racial discrimination didn't stop with slavery. I don't get why some people think "but no one alive is neither a slave nor slaveowner!" is somehow a good argument against reparations.

It isn't a good argument, it's plain old selfishness, a simple denial of the claim that black people are owed reparations. And there's a taste of common sense in it, to be honest. It's a game of personal power, and if white people are to make a concession of owing reparations, then they are belong to that concession. (Not that I don't find it a foul taste, of course.)

I mean I dunno. Maybe if black people could come up with a less censuring way of asking for help - hey, maybe call it 'help' rather than 'reparations' - then maybe things might go a little more smoothly.

Pretty much.

Not that I don't think black people are owed reparations, but path of least resistance, you know?
: : : At 11/15/2016 6:22:17 PM, Greyparrot wrote:
: That's not racism. Thats economics.
ErenBalkir
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9/28/2015 5:12:52 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/24/2015 12:35:12 AM, debatability wrote:
I want to have a discussion that will potentially help my performance in a debate competition over this topic this weekend. I'm basically posting my case, but treat this like a normal forum post. Give your view on the topic, tell me what is wrong with mine, ect.

Hopefully this will generate insightful discussion.

The resolution is worded this way - The United States Federal Government ought to pay reparations to African Americans.

My partner and I argue that the usage of the word ought is different from the word should in that it implies moral obligation. Issues of feasibility aren't too pertinent to this debate because even if the government *can't* pay raparations, one could still argue that such a moral obligation exists.

I think u are creating a difference between should and ought, that (get this) ought not to be there / should not be there. They, in their original sense mean the exact same thing. Definition for each are essentially identical.

btw, what is this in preparation for and are u just debating it for the sake of it or do u actually agree with it?
briantheliberal
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9/28/2015 9:04:38 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/24/2015 12:35:12 AM, debatability wrote:
I want to have a discussion that will potentially help my performance in a debate competition over this topic this weekend. I'm basically posting my case, but treat this like a normal forum post. Give your view on the topic, tell me what is wrong with mine, ect.

Hopefully this will generate insightful discussion.

The resolution is worded this way - The United States Federal Government ought to pay reparations to African Americans.

My partner and I argue that the usage of the word ought is different from the word should in that it implies moral obligation. Issues of feasibility aren't too pertinent to this debate because even if the government *can't* pay raparations, one could still argue that such a moral obligation exists.

For our first contention, we cite Lyons, an expert in the field of reparations.

Lyons breaks this argument in favor of reparations into three prongs.
Firstly, he claims that the moral debt has remained unpaid to ex-slaves. This is substantiated by Keith Elson, a U.S. representative who notes that ex-slaves and their descendants never were compensated for their losses; no type of monetary reparation has been given to African Americans.
Secondly, Lyons recognizes that there is a material disadvantage suffered by descendants of ex-slaves. Simply put, the effects of slavery have put African Americans at a strong economic and social disadvantage in contemporary society. Ever since the abolition of slavery, discrimination has been a continual challenge faced by the African American community. Rasell explains that the effects of not only slavery, but also more recent discriminatory policies that the United States Federal Government either instituted or allowed to happen such as segregated schooling, Jim Crowe, and voting inequity have a strong impact on African Americans in the 21st century. Rasell lists multiple issues faced by African Americans that are directly related to discrimination including inequalities related to wages, employment, education, health insurance, retirement plans, and more. All these setbacks directly contribute to an enormous wealth gap between caucasians and African Americans. Pew Research Center has found that the net worth of a caucasian (sum of possessions owned minus money owed) to be thirteen times larger than the net worth of an African American, as shown by a 2014 study - thus solidifying the link between 18th and 19th century racial injustices and contemporary society. Slavery directly resulted in segregation and other racist policies. Such policies directly result in the institutionalized racism experienced by African Americans today.
Lastly, Lyons believes that there was unjust enrichment enjoyed by those who benefited from slavery. Elson, in his case in favor of reparations specifically notes that the United States Federal Government paid reparations to slave owners, rather than the slaves themselves. Slave owners were given 300 dollars for each free slave. Taking inflation into account, the compensation for slave owners would be over 1,000 modern dollars dollars per slave.
Given that African Americans have received no compensation for atrocities that clearly affect them today, and given that caucasians have benefited from slavery in numerous ways, the USFG ought to pay reparations to African Americans.


Our second contention makes the claim that reparations effectively combat problems faced by the African American community.

Paying reparations allows for African American communities to grow in a way that other programs working to combat racism simply can"t. This is because a large sum of money can combat a major problem for African Americans - lack of familial wealth. Even if an African American family makes a healthy sum of money per year, they still lack a buffer that many caucasian families have. Refer back to our Pew Research study in contention one; one of the biggest drivers of the wealth gap talked about in this study is known as intergenerational assistance. Caucasian families often have wealth in their families that has accumulated over many years and African American families lack this buffer. This hurts African Americans in two ways.
Firstly, African American families struggle to pay for large expenses such as college and often accumulate debt. As explained by Conley, "if one has a buffer and doesn"t have to work two jobs to pay for college, they are more likely to graduate in four years." Caucasians have this buffer through familial wealth that steadily grows, and African Americans do not due to institutionalized racism.
Secondly, as explained by Coates, "a black family that has an income of 100,000 a year on average lives in a neighborhood that is comparable to a white family making 30,000." Caucasian families, through intergenerational assistance, are more likely to have the money or the familial assistance to go and buy a house in a good neighborhood. Caucasians are placed in a virtuous cycle - the houses in their affluent neighborhoods have better tax bases to fund their schools these schools attract buyers and drive up home values (Holland 2014). This forces African American children into lower quality schools because many of them don"t have the means to buy a nice house, although their annual income is a healthy amount.
Taking this problem into account, reparations are the answer because they give African Americans the buffer that caucasians lack via a healthy sum of money that can help a family buy a better house or afford college for their child without going into debt.
Maiello from Reuters substantiates this claim. Reparations not only help African Americans but boost the entire economy. According to Maiello, reparations lift large quantities of people out of poverty, and act as a stimulus, by incentivizing more spending and innovation among african americans. Thus, not only do reparations benefit African Americans, but also the entire American economy.

That's about all we have... feel free to give thoughts. I didn't bother to link my sources, but totally can.

I normally do not agree with sentiments like these, but you made a pretty compelling argument here. I especially agree with your analysis regarding the disparity in the accumulation of wealth among black and white families in America over history and how it has affected the present. Of course, with arguments like these be aware of white supremacists who will deny these facts, distort reality, make excuses, and treat being black as a character flaw to make the facts you presented appear less valid than they actually are. It's a common tactic used by people here on DDO who constantly deny the existence of white privilege and systematic racism.