The Instigator
Quesadillas
Pro (for)
Winning
7 Points
The Contender
Coolguy11
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

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  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Quesadillas
Voting Style: Open Point System: Select Winner
Started: 3/29/2018 Category: Society
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 859 times Debate No: 111990
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (0)
Votes (1)

 

Quesadillas

Pro

White privilege is defined by scholar Peggy McIntosh[1] as "unearned power conferred systematically [on the basis of being white]" exists. Privilege is not a personal system of benefits, rather, it is institutional endorsement and protection granted to members of dominant groups based on the control or influence of the larger system by those groups. This is largely why many forms of privilege become invisible to those who experience them. To say that someone has white privilege does not mean that they suddenly have the magical ability to call upon their whiteness in times of need, but that they don't face the same kind of discrimination that people of color may face in similar circumstances.

One example of white privilege is how Black hair is policed in professional environments. in 2016 a London woman was told by her employer to wear a weave to work as her natural hair was unprofessional[2]. On another occasion she came to work wearing cornrows, and was asked when her hair 'would be back to normal'. The idea that traditional styles of black hair are inherently unprofessional stems from western standards of beauty that have historically governed professional jobs. If a white woman decided to wear her hair in a bun, or french braid, she wouldn't be sent home or told her hair was unprofessional. Another instance of white privilege is the way that 'whitened' names increase a job applicant's chance at getting a callback for a job interview[3] (think Jose to Joe, or Lei to Luke). Applicants who changed their name to keep from disclosing their ethnicity become more than twice as likely to receive an interview than those who applied with their birth name. In coming round I will expand up these warrants and offer more as appropriate.

[1] https://www.cpt.org...
[2] http://www.bbc.com...
[3] https://hbswk.hbs.edu...
Coolguy11

Con

I'll give it a shot. So obviously I don't think white privilege (let's call it WP for short) exists. I'm not quite sure what you mean by the term "systematically," are you talking in public policy or just societal views? Same with "power," again would that apply to governmental rules or just societal advantage? You cited the example of a London woman having to wear a weave and linked it to traditional black styles of hair being viewed as unprofessional. I noticed two issues: that is just one woman and it wouldn't quite represent society. Another issue is this, along with the name example, conflate race with culture. Yea I'll agree here in the US we tend to favor certain cultures over others, but that is not the same is favoring race. Plenty of minorities have conventional American names, and I don't think names are racialized (i.e. names do not have a race). What do you think?
Debate Round No. 1
Quesadillas

Pro

Not understanding an argument is not an answer to an argument. If you don't know what the argument is saying, read the link or do your own research.

Con claims that evidence for the policing of black hair is weak because Pro only provides one example. Well, here's another[1], and another[2], and another[3]. I can't help that Con has failed to test these claims or do their own research. If Con cannot be bothered to engage the Pro's arguments in good faith, then they concede the argument.

Con admits that 'in the US we tend to favor certain cultures over others' - that is the textbook definition of privilege; refer to link one in round 1. White people have done nothing to earn their culture being preferred over other cultures. Further, preference of white cultures isn't unique to the United States. See the second link provided in this round; Even in Africa, Black Students are having to fight white administrators in order to maintain their natural hair types.

Yes, people can have 'white' names without being white, but that doesn't respond to the argument being made. The fact that people who have nonwhite names have such overwhelming pressure to change their names in order to get callbacks for jobs is a problem. If Maria won't get a call back, but Mary will, it's white privilege.

Finally, con bites into the criticism this debate makes when he refers to white names as 'conventional American names'. White, European culture is not the standard. The assumption that it is, is a glaring instance of white privilege; the expectation for white culture to be everyone's baseline is an invisible and unearned benefit - white privilege.

Con does not put in the work for a good faith debate, vote Pro.

[1] https://www.npr.org...
[2] https://www.dailydot.com...
[3] http://www.ebony.com...
Coolguy11

Con

I see you're one of those people who refers to me in the third person for some reason. Anyway, telling me to do my own research is not an argument; it just shifts the burden of proof. It is not my job to back up your claims, it is yours. Alright cool, four total examples of hair being policed. Again, that does not represent society as a whole. Also, natural hair is different than a hairstyle; natural hair is natural hair, but a hairstyle is a preference, and that has nothing to do with race. For the second time, race is different than culture; people in Scandinavia are white, but they have a different culture than we have in America, for example. If a minority has what you call a "white name," then they would be preferred in hiring, also according to you. So it's not about race then is it? Because race is not a factor here, just the name. By the way, your attitude is kind of poor, you're clearly just trying (key word: trying) to make me look dumb instead of having a civil discussion. You can get marked down for poor conduct, FYI.
Debate Round No. 2
Quesadillas

Pro

I'm speaking in the third person because it's a debate tradition[1]. It keeps things from getting personal, and ensures that my arguments are for the judges rather than for my opponent. My job in this debate is not to change your opinion, it is to maintain the burden of proof the resolution establishes, which I do.

No matter how much evidence I provide, or how many warrants I offer, con is going to say it doesn't apply to everyone. This is a failure to engage the argument and a reason to vote pro. To say that a Black person has natural hair means that their hair has not been chemically treated to make it emulate white hair. Black hair can still be styled; it can be made into twists, cornrows or kept neat as an Afro. The fact that black hair is policed in the way that it is in comparison to white hair is white privilege. White women don't get told a braid is unprofessional, but black women get told that cornrows are.

On names, Con does not engage the argument in good faith. A person of color can have a 'white' name. Having one actually helps a lot in the hiring process as they are not subject to the biases that exist against their names. However people who do have nonwhite names have lower rates of callbacks when applying to jobs. See the evidence in round 1. The distinction Con attempts to make between race and culture is an arbitrary one. Not all culture is white culture, preferring white culture is still white privilege. When someone with a name like Ashanti has to change their name to Ashley to be recognize for their skills, it's white Privilege.

Finally on Conduct, this debate is set to 'Select Winner'. Judges are asked only to vote on the arguments in the debate itself. There is nothing wrong with my conduct, it's not my fault Con isn't doing the work to engage this debate in good faith.

[1] https://uofadebate.files.wordpress.com...
Coolguy11

Con

Ok you keep using the term "good faith." You cannot just say I'm not putting up a good enough argument because I have a disagreement with you, and merely telling people to "vote pro" is not actually gonna convince them. The reason I say it doesn't apply to everyone is because you have not proven it applies to everyone. If there is a systematic discrimination then you must prove it's more widespread than a few anecdotal examples. That goes for names and hair; you would need to prove it is a societal trend to discriminate. Preferring someone for the culture is not the same as preferring their race. How do I know that? If a black person subscribed to typical American culture (key word: American, not white), then by your logic they would be fine, but if people were actually discriminated by their race, a black person would be at a disadvantage no matter their name or hairstyle. You'd have to prove that race is a factor, not the way people dress themselves or act.
Debate Round No. 3
Quesadillas

Pro

Con continually refuses to engage the Pro advocacy. They move the goalpost after burdens have been met, get caught in actual instances of affirming white privilege, and get angry when they're told to read a source posted in the debate. It is impossible to have a debate with someone who won't engage the arguments in good faith. If my opponent won't do the work to understand the arguments I'm making, yet still demand that I explain myself better, then he deserves to lose. This debate has had a 24 hour time limit for posting, Con has never taken more than 1-4 hours to post. This debate could have been far more productive, so for both substance and conduct I urge a Pro vote.

Voters-
1) Black hair - I explain in round one how typical standards of professionalism unfairly privilege white hair, and how natural black hair is somehow determined to be unprofessional. At Con's request I offer three more examples in round two, and go on to explain how this isn't an isolated thing. All you have to do is google black hair discrimination, and you will more data than you know what to do with. Con can't be bothered to do this, so this flows Pro.

2) Whitewashing names - People of color can have 'white' names. Yes, I get that they're western names and they're common in the US; that is not the point. Just because Luke is a common american name doesn't mean that someone named Lei should have to go by it to get a job callback. The fact that the same applicants can double their callback rates with a name change is white privilege. There is absolutely no effort on Con's behalf to engage this argument.

3) Conduct is not an explicit voting issue in this round, but I ask that voters use their RFD to reflect how bad-faith debating harms the activity.
Coolguy11

Con

This "bad faith debating" you think I'm doing is just an ad hominem, it's not an actual argument. I never moved the goalposts because I've had a consistent standard all throughout: you have to prove society as a whole is doing something, which you have never done. Nobody's getting angry either, you're just saying that to make me look irrational even though I've been pointing out simple flaws in your argument. No, I'm not gonna google your claims, because they are your claims and it is your job to back them up, not me. I never said somebody should have to change their name to get a callback, that is a straw man. Names do not have a race, they are names, not people. You provided very little evidence that this is a societal trend and even if you did, that would prove people are judged on their names, not their races. Merely saying people should vote for you is not gonna do anything; if you were confident in your argument, you wouldn't even have to ask :). Good day to you.
Debate Round No. 4
No comments have been posted on this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Varrack 3 years ago
Varrack
QuesadillasCoolguy11
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: Pro argued that 1) reprimanding employees over "non-white" hairstyles is evidence of privilege, and 2) names specific to ethnic minorities are seen less favorable in job seeking settings. Con's replies were that 1) Pro's sources are anecdotal and don't represent society as a whole, and 2) race is being conflated with culture. Con doesn't really support his 1st point - he never gave evidence as to why Pro's examples don't represent society as a whole, and there's no reason we should treat Pro's sources as somehow unique. He then states that culture=/=race, but Pro replies that POC can have "white" names, and thus wouldn't be subject to privilege in that case. Con never really tears down this assertion, so it's dropped. Since Pro was the only one with a case, and Con's rebuttals didn't take it down, Pro has enough impact to affirm.

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