The Instigator
Con (against)
4 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
2 Points

Affirmative Action Policies

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/12/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,827 times Debate No: 43823
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (2)
Votes (2)




I would like to discuss the ongoing debate of Affirmative Action policies, especially in the college acceptance system. It seems that, in my opinion, there is a lot of reverse discrimination when deciding whether or not to accept an equally merit minority (not just the blacks, but also Hispanics) or a non-minority.

My arguments for this debate:

1. Affirmative action policies help to promote reverse discrimination. In order to truly create a color-blind society, we need to eliminate all form of racism, not just switch our views to make certain races ahead of each other. This only keeps the cycle going, and we will never become equal.

2. Students accepted into a high level school by affirmative action policies are often unprepared to handle the schools they have been accepted into. If they need affirmative action policies to get in that school, they usually can't keep their grades high enough to stay in the school. It would be better to go to a lower-level school and get good grades than to be accepted into an ivy-league school and fail out of it. The workforce would be more ready to accept a hard working graduate with a 4.0 GPA from a low level school than they would be to accept an ivy-league graduate with a 2.5 GPA.

3. It is morally damaging to tell someone that they need affirmative action to succeed. How would you like to be told that you can only achieve what you want to because of your race? Or be told that, because of your race, you need an advantage to succeed in life? This is also not even true anymore, although I will not argue that there may have been a point in time where this was true. The President of the United States, also considered the most powerful man in the world, the richest man in the world, and one of the most influential people in the world are, in fact minorities. Barack Obama, Carlos Slim Helu, and Oprah Winfrey all became successful in life without any use of affirmative action policies.


Before I begin, I would just like to thank you for setting up this debate. This is my first online debate, unless you count arguments on Facebook.

1. Affirmative Action policies do not attempt to drive one race in front of another. The policies attempt to put all races on equal footing. I hardly think Affirmative Action makes up for the deplorable actions committed against the benefactors' ancestors over the past 200 years.

2. Students that are given an advantage through Affirmative Action policies are not being used to reach a quota, since racial quotas are illegal as decided in Regents of the University of California v. Bakke. With that said, it is unlikely that Ivy League schools would accept a student if they did not believe that they could succeed at their school. After all, it is still Harvard/Yale/Princeton/etc.

For example, if a student born in the Philippians had a 3.8 GPA and a 2080 SAT score, being an ethnic minority might give this student an advantage over a Caucasian student born in America with a 3.85 GPA and a 2130 SAT score. It is up to the discretion of the college what is more important. The first student's heritage allows for a different point of view to be voiced in a classroom discussion, bringing to light a new insight that benefits everyone around him, an insight that the other student just simply would not be able to provide. The Admissions departments likely would value this more than the extra .05 GPA and 50 SAT.

Affirmative Action is not a deciding factor, it's just a bonus. A student with a 2.3 GPA and 1480 SAT score is probably not getting into Princeton no matter the person's ethnicity.

3. Barack Obama attended Columbia and Harvard, and both are Ivies. Since Obama's family is Kenyan, and because those schools have Affirmative Action policies, it is safe to assume that Obama did benefit from Affirmative Action policies, deeming your last premise false.

Affirmative Action is more important now than it has ever been before.
Debate Round No. 1


Thank you, Pro, for accepting this debate. It is my first debate as well, how ironic!

1. "Affirmative Action policies do not attempt to drive race in front of one another."
Although I must agree with you, that these policies do not attempt to make one race seem better than another, that is exactly what is happening here. There are two ways to look at the past: you can either learn from it, or try to even the score. Affirmative action is trying to 'even the score' by making up for slavery and prejudice against minorities. By doing this, we are simply making the same mistakes again (obviously in a lighter way).

2. "Students that are given an advantage through Affirmative Action policies are not being used to reach a quota"
Yes, there is no set quota allowed in the admissions process. But you hear all the time of schools advertising their diversity. A school with higher diversity is almost always considered better in the eyes of applicants. As for schools admitting unprepared students due to affirmative action policies: <;

3. "Affirmative Action is not a deciding factor, it's just a bonus."
That small bonus can be the difference between being accepted or rejected to a university. So yes, it can be a deciding factor.

Lastly, I would like to bring something to your attention. What happens to the poor non-minorities, who can't afford college or a good enough school to prepare them for college? This isn't as much of a problem for minorities; Affirmative Action is on their side. Not every White or Asian is wealthy. Some struggle to stay alive. So when colleges decide whether to choose the poor Black or the poor White, the poor White will have no chance at all.

Affirmative Action fights fire with fire, but I am saying that it would be smarter to fight fire with water. We are all equal, so stop using policies to enforce racism.

Thank you for accepting this challenge.


1. We both agree that slavery was a bad thing and that mistakes were made, but I am attempting to assure you that trying to make up for it via Affirmative Action (AA) is not a mistake.

2. "A school with higher diversity is almost always considered better in the eyes of applicants"

Diversity should be very important to not only the applicants, but also for the college. This shows that AA is a good thing. As I have said previously, more minorities provide for alternative viewpoints for all students to consider. If all students thought exactly the same, common beliefs will only be intensified, including stereotypes.

In your article, Kashawn, the "most likely to succeed" from his high school, was not admitted through the use of early action. Besides, in the end, he earned the grades he needed to continue. Also, Kashawn"s roommate and the other 50 minorities in his LLC were thriving at Berkely, a top 20 university. AA benefitted least one of them

3. This quote was taken out of context. Although I will admit that I misspoke, I did explain myself following that sentence. However, I will provide another example:

Say you have three applicants. Applicant one is a white male (gender doesn"t not matter) from Rhode Island with a 3.70 GPA and a 2130 SAT score. Applicant two is a white female from Virginia with a 3.97 GPA and a 2360 SAT score. Finally, applicant three is an African male originally from Rwanda who moved to Oregon when he was nine and earned a 3.65 GPA and a 2090 SAT score. If you could only choose two, which two would you pick?

AA is used primarily among mid-to-top tier universities that look at applicants holistically. Anyone, no matter what ethnicity, can get into a community college provided they pass the school"s preliminary examinations. Between the grants from the state and the will of the student to better his education, whites, Africans, Hispanics, and everyone in between can "have a chance."

For these reasons, I strongly urge a Con vote.
Debate Round No. 2
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by neutron031 5 years ago
Haha I realized that as soon as hit the submit button. I was like "Shi....."
Posted by saruking 5 years ago
"For these reasons, I strongly urge a Con vote." says the Pro. lol Did you just betray your own side?
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by paigeb 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: I was not swayed coming into this debate. I had not really taken a good luck into these policies, so thank you to both of you for the information you both provided. Both of you had very convincing arguments. Pro and con were both tied on conduct, also. I did have to say con had better grammar, as I observed little spelling errors or commas. However, I did have to agree with the last reason pro provided. Vote pro.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: I'm not hearing enough from Pro to support AA. More diversity isn't impacted, so I don't know why it matters within the round. Providing a balance for people who would otherwise be discriminated against isn't well-warranted, nor is it impacted either. So I'm left with Pro's responses to Con's points, and most of them are just mitigating. It's not sufficient to remove Con's case, and as Con's points are better warranted and impacted, any survival on their part through the debate wins it for him.