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

Donald Trump's Wall is not a Racist Symbol

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/29/2017 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 1,679 times Debate No: 99418
Debate Rounds (3)
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I will be taking the pro position of this debate. I will argue that Donald Trump's wall on the border of the U.S. and Mexico is not a racist symbol. Con will argue that it is a racist symbol.

I attempted to debate this earlier, however my opponent who accepted the debate decided to punk out even before he posted his argument, so I only want serious debaters.

Rules for debate:

R1) Acceptance Only
R2) Post Arguments Only (No Rebuttals)
R3) Rebuttals to R2 (No New Arguments)


Accepted. I will argue that President Trump's Wall is a symbol of racism.
Debate Round No. 1


To start off, I would like to thank my opponent for accepting the debate. Here's to a great, but short, debate.

The idea that Donald Trump's "border wall" is a symbol of hatred and racism is stemmed from the idea that Donald Trump himself is a racist and therefore anything he puts his stamp on must be racist as well. This just isn't so.

I'd like to go back and take a look at Trump's views on minorities. Somehow it became the notion that Donald Trump hates all minorities, especially Mexicans. Why is this, exactly? The idea didn't start from the right (Conservatives) and also didn't start from the middle (Moderates). Before Trump threw his hat into the presidential race, there was no mention of him being a racist. Why is this? Well, it goes to figure that it's because he wasn't running for the highest office in the world. Basically, it didn't matter that he was supposedly racist, or even a bigot.

The whole racist rhetoric pretty much started when he talked about building a wall on the border of the U.S. and Mexico and that he would make Mexico pay for it. Then he also mentioned taking care of illegal immigrants by making them leave the country. I would like to note that illegal doesn't equate toracist. Wanting to secure our border is not racism, it's logic.

I'd like to now take a look at some facts about the wall that will be built.

1) Walls are not racist.

Inanimate objects are not, nor are they capable, of showing any form of bigotry or racism. They are incapable of showing emotion, therefore cannot form racist ideas and thoughts. Only humans are capable of discrimination. This proves that a wall (inanimate object) cannot be racist.

2) Securing our borders is not racism.

It's actually necessary. The reason being, if a country has open borders and we allowed anyone and everyone to enter, that country's identity will eventually be destroyed. Every country needs to maintain its identity, otherwise will cease to exist as a reputable people. It also opens up said country's vulnerability to foreign enemies wishing to destroy it.

3) There are many Hispanics living in the United States.

There are 56.6 million Hispanics living in the united States as of July 1, 2015. These are legal residents living here in the States. Donald Trump has never stated that he wanted to deport every Hispanic person living here in the United States. And legal residents should not have fear that they will be rounded up. The wall does not represent a barrier for those who live here legally, but rather a barrier for those who try to enter illegally.

And what is the definition of racism?

  1. prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one's own race is superior.

Racism is the hatred of someone based solely on that person's race; a belief that their race makes them lesser than you. Based off the definition above, coming from Google Dictionary, the wall cannot be a symbol of racism, as it is merely an inanimate object that is being put there to secure our border.

And even the liberal website, Politifact, says that Donald Trump never said anything about rounding up a bunch of Latinos just to do it. And he definitely did not say anything negative about legal immigrants.

The wall is only being ridiculed by the far left who already have a deep hatred for Donald Trump. They will do anything they can to try and bring him down, including accuse him of racism where there is none. He is also being accused of sexism and "women hating." When you have a racist in the White House with the ability to have people deported, then any reason he gives to deport must be a racist one. However, this just isn't truth.


Walls aren't racist, Trump isn't racist, and no one is deporting hoards of Mexicans just because their skin is brown.

If you're here legally, you have nothing to worry about.

America needs borders just like every other country does. Without borders we cease to survive and our identity will cease to exist.



My argument is that President Trump's proposed border wall (the "Wall") is a racist symbol. In order to convince the audience of this I will work to establish that the Wall is a Symbol, that it is a Symbol to Racists, and that it is a Symbol of Racist policies to Racists and is therefore a racist symbol. Note also that the burden of proof is favorable to my argument; I must merely cite that ANY people find it to be a symbol of racism, and not that it is a symbol of racism to all. Symbols mean whatever they are interpreted to mean, and if some people interpret this symbol to be racist, then it is therefore unarguably a symbol of racism TO THAT AUDIENCE and therefore the argument must carry. 

The executive order in question:

In this context, I will be using the following as the definition of a Symbol:
"a thing that represents or stands for something else, especially a material object representing something abstract."

My argument will be constructed in these steps:

A. Establishing that the idea of the Wall is a Symbol.
B. Establishing that the Wall will always remain a Symbol.
C. Identifying crossover between Racism and evaluation of the Wall.
D. Determining that the Wall is a Symbol of Racism.

Disclaimer: This argument does not require that I prove that the Wall is a racist policy. This argument is solely regarding the issue of whether the Wall is a symbol of racist policies (i.e. that it is a symbol of racism). Please do not expect or require that I prove anything other than the symbolism of the "actual" Wall.

A. Establishing that the idea of the Wall is a Symbol

First, it must be noted that the wall is only an idea, and not an actual wall. It will/may become an actual physical structure, but at the time of this debate it is merely a proposal documented in an executive order signed by President Trump. This nonexistance is immaterial.

On the campaign trail three chants were heard at most Donald Trump rallies:
1. Lock Her Up! (generally regarded as non-literal; indicating that Hillary Clinton is a crook and unfit for the White House)
2. Drain the Swamp! (definitely non-literal; regarding removing corruption from Washington DC)
3. Build the Wall! (a literal dictate; regarding the proposed ~2000 mile wall on the US-Mexican border)

While "Build the Wall" is a literal chant, the very nature of chants is inherently symbolic. The chant (Build the Wall) represents the policy idea that Mexicans should not have free access to cross the border into America. Even opponents of the Wall understand the concept of and need for defending borders (although many don't agree with this policy plan in particular). Mr. Trump spent hundreds of hours in rallies extolling the virtues and necessity for this Wall, but a list of virtues won't get you as far as a pithy chant. The chant is symbolic of the Wall, and the Wall is itself symbolic of the plan.

When Trump spoke on immigration he discussed a multi-pronged immigration strategy, including travel bans, the border wall, funding increases, and other measures. Rather than reciting this litany of ideas, it was convenient for all (supporters and opponents alike) to refer to Donald J. Trump's immigration policies (especially with respect to Mexico) by mentioning the Wall. While the travel ban and Wall are covered by different executive orders they are still both part of Trump's immigration plan. In effect, the Wall is the de facto symbol of Trump's immigration policies.

B. Establishing that the Wall will always remain a Symbol
The Wall can be build (once its specifications are defined; i.e. the 2000 mile length is disputed, as is the height, building materials, etc.) and so it can literally become a thing and transcend symbol hood. I contend that it will not and can not do this because it is an ineffective tool for accomplishing its stated task (i.e. keeping out illegal immigrants and drugs from Mexico).

Already on the Mexican-American border there are tunnels, catapults, ladders, and UAVs (AKA drones) that can transport people and/or drugs across the border - and there isn't even a wall to contend with. When there is a Wall, there will still be tunnels underneath it, catapults that launch over it, ladders that scale it, and UAVs that can soar over it. For reference, recall that every maximum security prison in the USA is surrounded by walls (undoubtedly more daunting than what will be erected across thousands of miles of Texan land) and people are known to escape and drugs are notoriously easily able to get in. If a prison wall can't stop them, whilst manned by armed guards and dogs and topped with razor wire, then how could an unmanned wall fare any better, especially when it has millions of times more area to protect and thousands more people attacking it?

In total, the stated effect of the wall (i.e. keeping out illegal immigrants and drugs from Mexico) is already a lost cause. It cannot accomplish its duties and will, upon the first documented case of its failure to do so, it will become a Symbol all over again. It would become a symbol of Trump's failure, rather than his untested policy. It would then become a rallying cry of Trump's opponents rather than his supporters.

If, on the other hand, it accomplishes its goals, it would remain a symbol of Trump's SUCCESSFUL immigration policies. The Wall would become a byword for Trump's success, and therefore remain a symbol.

Given that the Wall is a Symbol before it exists, its nature as a Symbol will remain, and although what it symbolizes (either success and/or failure) may change it will always remain a symbol.

C. Identifying crossover between Racism and evaluation of the Wall.

To determine if the Wall has been effective (once it has been built) we will use two tools to determine its success: statistical correlations and anecdotal observations. I will show that the former is invalid and the latter is unavoidably, inherently racist.

Over the last decade (2007-2017) the illegal immigration population in the US has stabilized, dropping from a peak of (estimated) 12.2million in 2009 to its current (estimated) value of 11.1 million. (And while these features may be low, with estimates reaching up to 20 million, at these these year on year stats are consistent, although they could all be increased by up to 10 million across the board)

The issue here is that, given no year-over-year change in the illegal immigrant population in a pre-Wall United States, the statistical significance of the shift in illegal immigration will be invalid. There simply won't be enough Mexicans moving to or from the US in the coming years to make any sound deductions from the data.

Since statistics can tell us nothing, we will have to look for anecdotal evidence, and this leads us to a prickly problem. Drugs smuggled from Mexico look just like drugs from other countries. Crimes committed by illegal Mexicans (that go unsolved) look just like crimes by non-illegal-Mexicans. Since we cannot examine the evidence of the crimes to determine if the wall is effective, we must therefore look for the only other trace evidence of illegal immigration: the illegally immigrated Mexicans themselves.

In short, the only plausible way to determine if the Wall has been effective is to look for people who look like illegal Mexicans. This can only be accomplished by authorities casting suspicion on anyone of a race that could be confused for an ethnic Mexican. This is commonly known as Racial Profiling, a practice that has been decried as racist and declared illegal.

It becomes unavoidable to recognize that the actuality of the Wall will spur actual, active racism.

D. Determining that the Wall is a Symbol of Racism.

So far I have shown that the Wall is and will always be a Symbol, and that the actual Wall (not the Symbol of the Wall) can only be evaluated through racist practices. The Wall symbolizes policies that will inevitably incite actual racism, vis a vis the racial profiling and potential harassment of anyone appearing to be Mexican. Since the Wall must be evaluated, and its evaluation will include racism, the Wall will be linked to racism in discussions for years to follow. Again, discussion and hearsay are not indicative of actual racism in its initial intent, but its existence will foment racism all the same. Meanwhile, the Wall will have been and will remain a symbol of immigration policies that will definitely and indefinitely be linked to racism.

As such, it is clear that this Symbol will come to, if it does not already, represent racism in America. President Trump's Wall is a Symbol of Racism, both already present and still to come.

Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
13 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by ChadIrvin 1 year ago
No problem. I've been here a while, but I can't get on as much as I would like sometimes. Good luck with your future debates.
Posted by grawlix 1 year ago
Sorry to hear that, and I wish you the best. Thanks for a friendly introduction to the site!
Posted by ChadIrvin 1 year ago
Unfortunately, I am not able to finish this debate. A family issue is preventing me from really focusing on the debate. I apologize for the inconvenience and if I could, I would award this debate win to you. Maybe sometime down the line we can redo this debate.
Posted by ChadIrvin 1 year ago
No problem. Unfortunately, I don't know much about that.
Posted by grawlix 1 year ago
This is my first debate on this site, and something went terribly wrong when I pasted the text from a word processor. I figured it would be sorted out after posting, but the lines don't wrap and it is practically impossible to read as formatted.

If anyone knows how I can fix this, advice would be appreciated. Sorry for the mess!
Posted by ChadIrvin 1 year ago

So you accepted the debate on the premise that you believe the wall to be a racist symbol, but now you don't want to proceed with the debate because it's not "productive enough?"

I'm not sure I'm understanding then why you accepted the debate.
Posted by grawlix 1 year ago
John_C, I agree with your statement that "it is illegal, Unconstitutional, and poor planning." That's not what the debate is. I don't think this is the most productive debate, but I wanted to try out the platform. Maybe start a new one with the topic: "The US Should Not Build a Border Wall"
That topic would allow the points you made.
Posted by John_C_1812 1 year ago
Yep, I agree it"s not an obvious form of racism.
Posted by John_C_1812 1 year ago
Why can"t we build walls to protect sovereignty?

If a wall worked for sovereignty then the walls of a home would have been enough? Sovereignty is a Constitutional judicial Separation issue.

The basic principle of a sovereignty is to gain supreme power over a State, that States is describing self-control. How does that work with a wall in basic principle;
Is it because we put doors and windows in a wall?
Is it because only people who know how to open door, open windows, climb a latter, operate a saw, or can dig a tunnel can get past?

A fence or wall will never reach a point of self-control it will always need to be guarded and maintained from outside sourcing. With all the issues addressed in the world multi-tasking provided multiple solutions and can provide solutions described as self-controlled.
Posted by ILikePie5 1 year ago
Why can't we build walls to protect our sovereignty? Other countries do. Is that illegal? Is that racist?
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