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

White Privilege Exists

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Debate Round Forfeited
Wylted has forfeited round #3.
Our system has not yet updated this debate. Please check back in a few minutes for more options.
Time Remaining
Voting Style: Open Point System: Select Winner
Started: 4/8/2017 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 1,602 times Debate No: 101816
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (10)
Votes (0)




I will defend the statement that "white privilege exists".

Con must defend the statement that "white privilege does not exist".

No ridiculous interpretations or troll arguments.


Definitions are important in a debate like this, and my opponent has chosen none. The unfortunate thing about the term "white privilege" is that sociologists define it in so many ways. A particular problem with this term is that two people can be and often are arguing with each other on whether it exists, when both parties if they knew the other party's definition may agree with each other.

To make sure that me and my opponent are on the same page, I will be providing a fair definition that gives us both plenty of ground to debate on.

The definition I offer is as follows:

"White privilege (or white skin privilege) is a term for societal privileges that benefit white people in western countries beyond what is commonly experienced by the non-white people under the same social, political, or economic circumstances."

This is a fair definition that give us both plenty of ground to argue.

I will do my best to make an affirmative case for the fact white privilege does not exist, but I will remind judges that pro has more of a burden of proof than me. While it is nearly impossible to prove a negative, proving a positive, especially one of this magnitude should be easy, if in fact it is true.

Good luck fuzzycatpotatoe
Debate Round No. 1


I define white privilege more broadly than Con: white privilege is the assertion that, on average, white Americans have better social and economic status than nonwhite Americans. If you select a random white, they probably have a better life than a random nonwhite.

Con's definition restricts privilege to the point of nonexistence. Con's definition requires that two individuals have sociopolitical and economic circumstances. (I group political and social, as measuring political status seems impossible.) If two people have equal sociopolitical and economic circumstances, then their lives are (roughly) equally privileged.

Instead, we must hold one status constant: examine two individuals, one white and one nonwhite, with roughly equivalent sociopolitical (or economic) background, and determine if they have significantly different economic (or sociopolitical) status. If Con denies this definition, I ask them to explain how two persons with equal economic and social status could be evaluated in terms of privilege.

Moreover, this debate isn't about whether whites or blacks are responsible for white privilege -- only over its existence.

White privilege has two main components: economic and social. Let's open with economics:


The average white has more economic clout:

* INCOME: The median white has an income of $57k, compared to $39k for Hispanics and $33k for blacks. Or: whites average 50% more income. [BI]
* POVERTY: 9% of whites live in poverty, compared to 24% of blacks and 21% of Hispanics. Or: whites average 2x less poverty. [KFF]
* WEALTH: The median white has $141k in assets, compared to $13k for Hispanics and $11k for blacks. Or: whites average 10 times more wealth. [CNN]

This unequal wealth is amplified by institutional and community failures:

* HOUSING: Black families making $100,000 typically live in the kinds of neighborhoods inhabited by white families making $30,000. This is largely due to past racist federal & local housing policies. This forces nonwhites to live in worse neighborhoods, with worse health & schools & communities, that prevent them from getting ahead. [Atlantic]
* HIGH SCHOOL: 87% of whites graduate high school, compared to 73% of blacks and 76% of Hispanics. [NCES] This forces nonwhites to pursue less lucrative careers and face higher unemployment.
* COLLEGE: 47% of whites had college degrees, compared to 33% of African Americans and 23% of Hispanics. [HR] This forces nonwhites to pursue less lucrative careers and face higher unemployment.
* EMPLOYMENT: When equivalent resumes were sent to the same employers, black college graduates had about the same callback rate as white college graduates who were also felons. Or: comparably-qualified black noncriminals and white criminals have an equal playing field. [SP]
* UNEMPLOYMENT: 4.3% of whites are unemployed, compared to 8.1% of blacks and 5.9% of Hispanics. [BLS] Or: whites are 40% less likely to be unemployed than nonwhites.

These gaps are persistent. Black income was 55.3% of white income in 1967, two years after LBJ enacted laws against literal Jim Crow segregation. Black income was 60.7% of white income in 2014.

The average white has substantial advantages over the average nonwhite. Whites start higher up on the economic ladder. Whites also have an easier time climbing the ladder. Whites are thus doubly privileged.


There's much more racism against nonwhites than against whites. Racism against blacks more often comes from positions of power -- eg, racist federal redlining [Atlantic] or Rep. King [Twitter] -- than does bigotry against whites.

This racism is powerful: Online racism has a strong correlation with black mortality rates [Conf]. And the already weak black health status is worsened by racism, which increases disease burden among blacks compared to equivalent socioeconomic-status whites [UMich]. Racism is literally killing blacks.

In short: racial bigotry leans heavily against nonwhites.




I am going to ask the judges to disregard pro"s definition. My definition is fair, and is cited. While his definition is just some random series of words that popped into his head. Not to mention he seeks to impose an unfair definition and argue a truism. According to the definition my opponent offers, all he has to do is show the average black man makes less money than the average white man, and he has proven his case.

Most people on both sides of the white privilege debate agree that the average income of blacks is lower than of whites for example but debate why those differences exist. Bottom line is I provided a fair definition, cited the definition and my opponent must adhere to it as opposed to the definition he made up on the spot.

Wealth Gap

When looking at whether a wealth gap exists or not, it is important to compare apples to apples. Things like what does the average black plumber make compared to the average white plumber? If blacks tend to value education less than whites, then obviously they will be paid less on average. If black people focus on finding a job that makes them happy, while the average white person is consumed with making as much money as possible, then there will obviously be discrepancies in income, which is why we must compare apples to apples.

Quoting a study done by Christina Houseworth "We find that black female nurses earn 9 percent more at the mean and median than white female nurses, controlling for selection into nursing employment. Among K-12 teachers, black females earn 7 percent more than white females at the median. There is no black-white wage gap among all women with a bachelor"s degree."

My opponent already provides the reasoning for a lot of the wealth gap, by pointing out that blacks are more likely to drop out of high school, and are less likely to pursue higher education.

The only evidence he uses to support his argument is the income gap, which is already explained by life choices that black Americans are more likely to make, and we can see that when we compare apples to apples, blacks actually make more money in the same fields as whites.

The wealth gap as opposed to the income gap {Meaning net worth as opposed to income) is also just an indicator of the average black decision making problem, which differs than the average whites because of cultural differences in the 2 communities. Owning your own home is the biggest contributor to your wealth level, and if blacks want to rent because it is more convenient, and cheaper than the cost of owning a home, that is really not from any "privilege". If their life strategy is to enjoy life to it"s fullest by spending all their money, as opposed to saving it, that is there decision and not because anyone is racist or white privileged. It"s also not a bad philosophy to have. I personally am also a renter and refuse to save money.


1.My definition is cited and fair.
2.Pro"s definition is just made up on the site and unfair
3.Unless good reason to reject my definition is given, it should be accepted, but the reason must be extremely good. The person who first offers a definition usually gets to keep their definition.
4.Pro has failed to explain how differences in wealth and income are a result of any white privilege.
5.Pro dropped my point that he holds the BOP, so that stands

I am posting this with a mere ten minutes left, but it is absolutely correct and voters should vote con. Sorry for portions of this being rushed.
Debate Round No. 2


In the comments [arc], Con states: "you keep trying to debate truisms[.] ... You are a coward, and it really is not going to work here. ... Way to debate a truism. Also way to only noob snipe. I bet you crapped your pants when I accepted this".

I accept Con's definition of privilege in hopes that Con will stop whining.

I'll rebut Con's case, extend my own, and provide conclusions.


After complaining about my use of "some random series of words that popped into his head", Con attempts to rebut my 10 studies with one citation and a whole lotta "words that popped into his head". Let's address the study.

Reverse Wage Gap

Con's study argues that black college-educated women make more than white college-educated women. The study doesn't address Hispanics.

First: In the US, 37% are nonwhite. 13% are black. About 1/3, or 4.3%, are blacks with college degrees. About 1/2, or 2.1%, are black women with degrees. Black women are <6% of US nonwhites. At best, Con disproves white privilege for 1 in 20 nonwhites. Hardly a rebuttal.

Second: Con's study controls for education (p10). In short, it compares blacks and whites with equal education. Yet blacks are less able to pursue education. Con's own study explains (p5):

"For black men born in the South and those born outside the South but born to poorly educated parents, the wage gap is related to the lower quality education they receive. O’Neill and O’Neill (2005) conclude that differences in the quantity of education and the quality of skills account for most of the wage gap between white and black men and women. .... Blacks are likely to have a lower supply for education and therefore in order to make the investment worthwhile, those who choose to attend post-secondary schooling are of higher average ability. Consequently, blacks who attend college may be of higher average ability than whites who attend post-secondary schooling."

In short: blacks have less education opportunities & worse education. Those who survive the broken system are stronger candidates. But the ones left behind aren't so lucky.

Thanks for the evidence, Con!

Life Choices

Con states: "If blacks ... value education less than whites ... obviously they will be paid less[.]"

Con provides no evidence that blacks value education less OR that this causes worse black education attainment rates. Instead, Con's own study and my evidence [NCES][HR][Atlantic] strongly suggest that black people are incapable of pursuing education because they live in worse neighborhoods with worse schools and have less access to the expensive college route.

Con states: "The only evidence he uses ... is the income gap, which is already explained by life choices that black Americans make. .... If their life strategy is to enjoy life ... by spending all their money ... that is there [sic] decision and not because anyone is racist or white privileged."

Again, Con provides no evidence that black "life choices" are the cause of income/wealth disparities. My evidence shows that -- over and above educational challenges -- blacks are biased against when pursuing a job [SP], which prevents them from advancing their own income.

Moreover, income disparities have persisted since 1967 [see graph]. Con's argument only works if blacks made the same "life choices" under literal segregation as today. This is absurd.


Con fails altogether to rebut crucial portions of my case.

* Con fails to rebut [Atlantic], which shows that black families making $100,000 live where white families making $30,000 live (due to racist federal policies) and so have poorer schools & communities.
* Con fails to rebut [NCES] and [HR], which show that nonwhites face higher high school dropout & lower college success rates. Con's own study supports my claim that blacks have less access to education!
* Con fails to rebut [SP], which shows that for identical black & white college-graduate resumes sent to the same employers, blacks had the same success rate as white criminals.
* Con fails to rebut [Conf] and [UMich], which show there's more anti-black racism & that that racism literally kills blacks through disease burden and health administrator bias.

In short: I have provided 4 areas (housing, employment, education, health) where nonwhites of equal status with whites are biased against:

* Rich blacks live in poor neighborhoods with poor schools.
* Whites have easier & longer education.
* Among identical resumes, the preferred candidate is white.
* Blacks die younger because of racism.

Under Con's own definition of privilege, I still win.

Reminder: I can't rebut Pro's Round 3 speech. Judge, don't let Pro raise new arguments against points they chose not to answer before.


Con's study supports my case.

Con's case lacks evidence.

Con failed to rebut my evidence.

My evidence shows nonwhites face worse housing, worse education, worse employment, and worse health -- just for being nonwhite.

Thank you.


This round has not been posted yet.
Debate Round No. 3
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Wylted 2 years ago
I wish I could have responded in time. This idiot tried define privelige into existence and not in the way any sociologist in the world would.
Posted by cakerman 2 years ago
If you want to reopen this debate and challenge me i'll give it a go Fuzzy
Posted by FuzzyCatPotato 3 years ago
Hey Wylted, how's that "coward" thing going?
Posted by FuzzyCatPotato 3 years ago
Indeed. My pants are soaked.
Posted by Wylted 3 years ago
like trying to debate that russia attempted to influence the elections. Way to debate a truism. Also way to only noob snipe. I bet you crapped your pants when I accepted this.
Posted by FuzzyCatPotato 3 years ago
Noted. I'll keep my cowardice in mind.
Posted by Wylted 3 years ago
you keep trying to debate truisms like if russia attempted to influence the election. You are a coward, and it really is not going to work here.
Posted by Capitalistslave 3 years ago
Could I argue that there are no white people, thus no white privilege?
Posted by ilovejews7 3 years ago
white privilege exists. , some people,however, believe that america has a" jewish privilege" problem. there is a white privilege problem, rather then an ethnocentric jewish problem. jews are not infallible people that are above the law. philosemitism has no influence in american law enforcement, or for that matter, politics.

people use these articles as a basis for 'jewish privilege"

excuse my unedited grammar sentence structure punctuation
Posted by ilovejews7 3 years ago
white privilege exists. Some people, however, believe that there is also a "jewish privilege" problem-- not just in america--but also in the united kingdom. I think there is a white privilege problem--rather then an ethnocentric jewish problem-- that is argued often by neo nazis. jews are not infallible people that are above the law.

excuse my horrible unedited grammar and wrong punctuation
This debate has 0 more rounds before the voting begins. If you want to receive email updates for this debate, click the Add to My Favorites link at the top of the page.

By using this site, you agree to our Privacy Policy and our Terms of Use.