It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


Skirmish: wahoo V Lukefj: Racism

page: 1

log in


posted on Jan, 23 2004 @ 09:16 PM
The topic for this debate is "Racism can be controlled by legislation."

wahoo will be arguing for this proposition and will open the debate.
Lukefj will argue against this proposition.

Each debator will have one opening statement each. This will be followed by 3 alternating replies each. There will then be one closing statement each and no rebuttal.

No post will be longer than 800 words and in the case of the closing statement no longer than 500 words. In the event of a debator posting more than the stated word limit then the excess words will be deleted by me from the bottom. Credits or references at the bottom count as part of the post.

Editing is Strictly forbidden.

Excluding both the opening and closing statements only one image or link may be included in any post. Opening and Closing statement must not carry either images or links.

As a guide responses should be made within 18 hours. However if the debate is moving forward then I have a relaxed attitude to this.

The winner will receive 1000 ATS points the loser (on condition of completion) will receive 500 ATS points. This on top of generous points allocation for Debate forum posts.

The debate will be judged by an anonymous and independant judging panel after the closing statements. Results and comments will be posted when the decision has been made.

This debate is now open, good luck.

posted on Jan, 26 2004 @ 07:47 AM
I await your opening...wahoo. Good luck and happy debating.


posted on Jan, 26 2004 @ 05:37 PM
First off my apologies to my esteemed peers, I was out of town this weekend and failed to check in, nevertheless I am back and we are underway....

Since the dawn of time the human animal has made a practice of racism. From killing what we feel to be "lesser" humans, to enslaving those we perceive as weaker. One need only to look back at the history of the human race to see that without the intrusion of legislation and jurisprudence, that we would STILL be living in a slave state. Without the foresight and compassion of visionaries in the last century, slavery would still be alive and well. Sure one can argue that racism and slavery are two seperate things, but is not racism merely a stepping stone to the debasing of other humans whom are perceived as different. Only through legislative acts such as the abolition of slavery, the equal oppurtunities employment act, affirmative action and others, are these very thoughts and feelings effectively dealt with. Once again my apologies and I look forward to a lively debate!!!!

posted on Jan, 27 2004 @ 08:12 AM
I would like to start by thanking Kano and the judges for allowing me to challenge myself and my views by participating in this debate.
To my opponent Woohoo I look forward to a very exciting and challenging debate.. best of luck to you.

As my esteemed opponent mentioned racism has existed since the dawn of time. However, racism today is not the same as that which we faced 40 years ago. Yes, slavery in its previous form is gone. However, that form of racism did not disappear through legislation per say, but through a hard fought civil war, and although this form of racism, as it existed 40 years ago, has been legislated out of existence, I propose that it IS still very much alive today. Racism has become institutionalized through legislation, rather than being legislated out of existence. The new racism has become increasingly apparent. Simply ask anyone of Middle Eastern decent trying to enter the United States these days. The new racism comes in the form of xenophobia. The anti-terrorist ideology that is prevalent today following 9/11 has furthered this cause in the name of patriotism and homeland security. Everyone who is foreign, who wishes to enter the country is now a “terrorist” first, and is guilty until proven innocent. This is clearly a form of racism that has not been corrected by legislation, but in fact, has been institutionalized by legislation.

Although we may feel slavery no longer exists, I assure you it is alive and well. Our current economic system in the western world, the market state, is much more interested in the needs of multinational corporations than the third world countries and their people which they in essence put to slavery. Legislation is very much behind these multinational corporations and against the poor and deprived of our societies.

Back to you woohoo (I feel like I’m making fun of you when I say that

posted on Jan, 27 2004 @ 07:52 PM
Well it would seem we are under way....

First I would like to establish exactly what it is we are debating here. Racism is defined by Webster's Collegiate Dictionary as, and I quote.." racial prejudice or discrimination." Legislation is defined, also by Webster's as..."the exercise of the power and function of making rules (as laws) that have the force of authority by virtue of their promulgation by an official organ of a state or other organization."

Now when I first viewed this topic I felt it almost to broad to be addressed adequately in this forum. But it would seem that my colleague and I have agreed to keep this focused on the U.S.

Luke you go so far as to say that slavery was NOT stomped out by legislation but rather by the Civil War. What constitutes war? First off, before the U.S. can declare war, it must pass through legislation, and be ratified by Congress, or in other words war is an act of legislation voted on by legislators. So it is easy to see that slavery was abolished by the legislation that allowed the Civil War, and by the 13th Amendment which stemmed from the Amistad Case, the 13th Amendment being yet another act of legislation.

Now just because slavery ended here in no way did racism stop. In fact if anything it gathered steam and pretty much came to a head on December 1st 1955 when a woman by the name of Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white man. Are blacks the only victims of racism? Not by a long shot but in this country their's is the most well documented and followed story of the struggle against it. This catalyst set forth a course of action which culminated in the Civil Rights Act of 1964, yet another piece of legislation aimed directly at racism and discrimination.

So, in summation i have outlined several acts of legislation that have proven effective in the fight against racism. I really fail to see how one can argue against history, but I trust you will do your best!

As a side note I would like to address some other comments you made in your opening statement. As for your views on the plight of Middle Easterns in todays society, I feel I must point out that this is more a matter of racial profiling, that given the horrific events of 9-11, feel are a necessary evil in today's world. As for your attempt to misdirect our attention to the socio-economic stratification perpetuated by free enterprise, I feel your pain but this has NOTHING to do with our topic. Both of these I believe ARE however fine examples of what is called a straw-man argument. (I learned that in Logic and Critical Thinking a lovely class.) So know my compadre the ball is in your court.

BTW I too feel as if your making fun of me, my tag is WAHOO, not woohoo which i believe is that pseudo-chocolate milk crap

posted on Jan, 28 2004 @ 10:23 AM
Well put Wahoo and I appreciate your proficiency with a dictionary. Laying out the exacting phrases we are to look at is valuable and will help to keep our discussions here pointed, I will also close my argument regarding the continued existence of slavery (although it does pertain specifically to racism) in order to keep the discussion more focused.

Now, on to the meat of my argument.

Wahoo, you point out that I mentioned that war, perhaps eliminated racism, however, you failed to acknowledge that I actually indicated that neither the civil war, the Amistad case, the end of formalized “slavery,” nor Rosa Parks brought an end to racism. All of these events simply helped shape racism from its previous form to that which exists today.

Despite the Civil Rights victories of 30 years ago, which you mention, official racial prejudice is still reflected throughout the criminal justice system. Skin colour significantly enhances the chances of being stopped, searched, arrested, and imprisoned in the great United States of America where racism is supposed to have been legislated out of existence!

It is interesting that you have attempted to put racial profiling off as a side note. Racial profiling is not simply a creation resulting from 9-11. The American police use it extensively, everyday. Examples to follow. Racial profiling is the process of targeting someone for investigation on the basis of that person's race, national origin, or ethnicity. Webster’s definition of racism, which you excluded (by accident I’m sure)in your previous post, racism is a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial difference produce an inherent superiority of a particular race. Thus, racial profiling is clearly an act of racism that flies in the face of your prized Civil Rights Act of 1964, but has now been legislated into acceptance due to 9-11, although it has been prevalent within policing agencies for decades.


In December 1998, David Calvin James, 47, a tool-and-die maker with no criminal record, was jumped by the police who beat him with a flashlight and fists, and sprayed his face repeatedly with pepper spray. He was taken to jail, but released for lack of evidence. According to James' lawyer, Jamie McAlister, "His only sin was that he was in a drug area, walking alone and he was black." The severe beating cost James the use of his left arm and he has filed a lawsuit for damages against the Phoenix Police Department.
Source: Arizona Republic, January 5, 2000

In October of 1997, San Diego Chargers football player Shawn Lee was pulled over, and he and his girlfriend were handcuffed and detained by police for half an hour on the side of Interstate 15. The officer said that Lee was stopped because he was driving a vehicle that fit the description of one stolen earlier that evening. However, Lee was driving a Jeep Cherokee, a sport utility vehicle, and the reportedly stolen vehicle was a Honda sedan.

(Originally published as "Driving While Black Examined in San Diego" in the San Diego Union Tribune on December 13, 1997.)

In the summer of 1998, an African American family's vacation got off to a bad start when two officers from the Nassau County Sheriff's Department in Florida pulled them over. The officers refused to tell John Tolbert why his family was pulled over. The Tolberts stood on the side of the highway as the officers "searched the inside (of) the car, they took all of our luggage out of the trunk placing it on the highway and search(ed) every piece, they open(ed) the hood of the car, search(ed) under the hood, they looked inside the filter under the hood, they searched the trunk, they took the back lights out (of) the car inside the trunk and search(ed) it." The officers called in another officer with a K-9 unit. No drugs were found. The officers continued to humiliate the Tolberts by searching them and making Mrs. Tolbert lift her t-shirt. Finally, after enduring this 2 hour stop, the officers issued John Tolbert a warning for weaving. Said Tolbert, "If I was a white man with his family, and said I was going on vacation as I told the officer, they never would have searched the car for two hours and embarrass and humiliate me and my family. I felt like we were not citizens of the United States."
Source: Complaint filed with the ACLU, November 1999

I find it impossible to agree with you when you state “I have outlined several acts of legislation that have proven effective in the fight against racism,” when from coast to coast across American soil racism, as shown by the above examples, has not skipped a beat.

794 words…that was close.

posted on Jan, 29 2004 @ 08:00 PM
Haha yeah I’ve been known to pull out a dictionary at a moments notice….

Luke, you mention that all these events which I so eloquently laid out for your esteemed perusal, failed to bring about the end of racism, but instead shaped it to what it is today. And I agree with you 100%. I never said anywhere that racism was dead. But one would have to be intellectually challenged to fail to see difference that the aforementioned legislation has made on the issue of racism.

You keep worrying this racial profiling issue like a dog worries a soup bone. Here’s another definition for you (I warned you)… Racial profiling - the use of race as a consideration in suspect profiling or other law enforcement practices. This to me is worlds apart from the issue we are discussing here. Plus the incidences that you have so thoughtfully outlined for us seem to me to be isolated occurences. Not to mention that I am aware of no law ANYWHERE that says in the event of pulling over a black man in a high crime area, one should beat, humiliate and harass him. Not that I’m saying this doesn’t happen, sadly it does, but the fact remains that you have failed to show where this is a product of legislation. It is in fact a product of the misuse of power by a very, very few law enforcement officials. Racial profiling also is not, to my knowledge a product of legislation but rather a departmental POLICY of a few police departments throughout the U.S. So it is therefore a moot point to argue this non-law.

Now back to our debate.

As even my esteemed peer has noted in his own words, the face of racism has been changed dramatically over the last few decades due to laws and acts passed by Congress and ultimately the American people. In addition to the laws I have already mentioned, others in recent years have furthered this battle against racism. The Equal Oppurtunities Act defends against racism and discrimination in the work place and has been proven effective over time It also has assisted minorities in obtaining better housing than in the past, thus bettering their postion.
In more recent years, Affirmative Action has furthered hiring practices of minorities and helped them obtain spots previously unobtainable in the academic world.

You see without all this legisalation in the past century, we would be no further as a society than we were in the mid 1800’s. Sadly without laws and the agencies that enforce them standing over them, some people would not do that which is inherently correct. Simply put....treat others as you would want to be treated.

Back to you my friend………

posted on Jan, 30 2004 @ 10:36 AM
Wahoo, thank you for your eloquent, yet erroneous rebuttal.

Clearly you admit that racism still exists…despite numerous attempts to legislate it out of existence. Clearly this is not a display of control; in fact it appears very much as though racism has the ability to react to legislation in order to maintain its existence. Racism exists because people of all races inherently fear that which is different, legislation cannot control or eliminate this. I would be remise not to point out that I agree that legislation has had an effect on racism…in fact I believe I have stated throughout the debate that legislation has affected racism. However, what legislation has not been able to provide is control of racism, which is the topic of this debate “Racism can be controlled by legislation.” History has shown that legislation repeatedly shows inability in this capacity. It does show glimpses of imposing change on racism, but not control. The riots, beating, racial slurs, and protests that are evident throughout history and continue today clearly indicate that racism is not under control and further underline that legislations failing in this regard.

I have used racial profiling as an example of racism that legislation has not been able to control. Your very definition you propose for “racial profiling” indicates the clear existence of racism which links back directly to your definition of racism. Racial profiling is clear discrimination based on race. Legal authorities recognize this, academic institutions recognize this, why don’t you? The incidences I presented are far from isolated cases, I chose a few from thousands, if not tens of thousands that occur across the country of the United States of America. To show that these are not simply isolated cases turn on the news this evening. I don’t think you will sit through an hour without seeing an example of racism.

You state and I quote “Not to mention that I am aware of no law ANYWHERE that says in the event of pulling over a black man in a high crime area, one should beat, humiliate and harass him.” This is exactly my point! There is not legislation to this effect, in fact, there is legislation that is in place that opposes this action, but the fact that these instances occur, and on a regular basis, are a clear indication of the lack of impact that legislation has had in controlling racism

You also state that “Racial profiling also is not, to my knowledge a product of legislation but rather a departmental POLICY of a few police departments throughout the U.S.” You may be right in this regard; however, there is legislation in place that is supposed to prevent racial profiling. I refer you to, as one example,
Thus, again a glaring indication that legislation does has not displayed the ability to control racism.

Ahh yes, I do admit the face of racism has changed, but it has not been controlled by legislation. Change does not imply control. I applaud legislator’s attempts to curb racism; however, there has been no indication to date that has explicitly shown control of racism imposed by legislation. Some legislation such as your prized “Affirmative Action” has in fact promoted further racism among people. People provided job opportunities specifically on the basis of race. This may have been legislated to bring about change, but it has not controlled racism and further indicates that racism continues to be rampant.

I have never indicated that the legislation put in place over the last century has not been beneficial in improving the position of different races across the country. What the legislation has not been able to do is control racism and that is the topic of this debate.

Back to you Wahoo!

posted on Jan, 30 2004 @ 06:34 PM
Ahhh my friend Luke, I see now where you are mistaken. You see, the topic of our debate as even you quoted is “Racism can be controlled by legislation”. By now I’m sure everyone would be disappointed were I not to offer yet another definition from Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. Control- to exercise restraining or directing influence over….Now by your very own words we both agree that legislation has had an effect on racism. One might even go so far as to say a RESTRAINING influence on racism, which is the very definition of control. You seem stuck on the idea that we are debating whether or not racism has been quashed by legislation, unfortunately that is not our topic. I think you are confusing control with eradicate. Yes racism is still by my own admission a factor of our society, but by agreement of us both vastly different than it was years ago. You seem to think that in just a little over a hundred years our society should be perfect and without a shred of racism. Our government, when compared to other world governments is in it’s infancy, but I am confident that given time it will rise to be the best model of government in the world, and will have dealt with topics such as racism. Again, given time.

Next I must applaud you for your tenacity in regards to this whole racial profiling thing. Obviously it is something that you feel very passionate about, as I have already proven that there is no legislation demanding racial profiling, and shown that racial profiling IN ITSELF is not racism, but rather a tool for law enforement officials. I freely admitted that there are incidences that can definatley be construed as racism, but these incidences are isolated, and perpetrated by a very small percentage of law enforement officers. But since I feel I have already proven beyond a reasonable doubt that racism can and is being controlled by legislation I will humour you for a moment.

You state Luke and I quote, “…..I chose a few from thousands if not tens of thousands that occur across the country…”, referring to cases of alleged racial profiling that ended in violence or humiliation. Now I’m not sure where you got your numbers, but I will give you the benefit of the doubt, and extract an arbitrary figure of 20,000. Now according to the U.S. Department of Justice statistics, over the last 4 years there have been an avaerage of 796,000 sworn, full-time law enforcement officers. Now we take your “alleged” 20,000 incidents of racial profiling gone wrong, and extract a percentage of 2.51256% when divided by the average number of officers at work in a given year. 2.5%, Luke by most statistical parameters this does not even warrant further study.

Racial profiling in it’s intended form IS NOT a form a racism but a response to statistics. I pulled a state at random, the state of New Jersey. According to the State Attorney General’s statistics, blacks account for over 60% of arrests for weapons and drugs, while making up only 13.5% of the population. So you see racial profiling is a sad necessity, in it’s intended form.

I realized when reading back over our posts that I neglected to mention a monumental piece of legislation. Brown vs. The Board of Education 1954, this act singlehandedly put an end to segregation in the public school system. This was also one of the base laws for my prized Affirmative Action, without which many minorities would not have access to the education that they now do. Yet another fine example of a restraining influence on racism (control).

If you feel there is even a need for any further discussion, please feel free…….

posted on Feb, 3 2004 @ 11:14 PM
Please excuse my tardiness. It was Super Bowl weekend and it has taken some time for my vision to clear, not to mention the site problems here. However, now that I reread your post, I’m not sure if it was the booze or your muddy logic that has so confused your argument. I will attempt to provide, not that it is needed, even further proof of legislations inability to control racism by exposing the perpetual inadequacies of your argument.

My dear friend Wahoo, I do enjoy your attempts to weasel out of the true argument through the use of “word manipulation”…this is a valid tactic as the evidence as stated in the examples above is clearly against you. However, your logic is clearly faulty. “Influence” and “effect” clearly do not mean the same as control. Example you ask? Sure. A large puddle blocks your way across the street…this puddle clearly has an influence and effect on you as you have the choice of either wading through it or going around, but can you say the puddle now controls you? I think not. The reason the puddle does not control you is because, being a rational, living, breathing human being (I know I’m assuming a lot here) you still have a choice. The same still applies to those who feel racism is still an option…they have the choice of expressing it in other ways, hiring policies, racial profiling, etc…or they also still have the choice to flat out be racist, like the KKK. Ask Rodney King how well legislation is doing. Ask the millions of other African American, Chinese, Lebanese, Indian, and Hispanics, how legislation is doing. The reply will be a resounding “NO.”

Before I leave the topic of your “word manipulation” behind, I would like to clarify a few things through the use of the true dictionary of the English language, the Oxford English dictionary. “Control” unlike in your earlier argument is not mere influence…it is defined as the power to give orders or restrain something, or a means of restraining or regulating. Let’s now look at “restrain,” defined as to hold back from movement or action. Finally, “regulate,” defined as a control or direct by means of rules and restrictions. There are lots of regulations out there, but the freedom of choice that continues to exist does not allow for control or true direction. There are thousands of thousands of non-isolated incidents of racism all the time; it’s on the news every night. Legislation has not held back racism, if it had, it wouldn’t be a topic of such lively debate here on this forum.

You have yet to show one example of explicit control of racism…can you? I don’t think so. However, I have shown several clear examples of Legislations failure to control racism. There is legislation across the United States prohibiting the use of racial profiling…yet it continues. Although you say it is a necessary evil, if legislation has been put in place against it…should it not be controlling it?

I don’t expect racism to be gone, but the legislation put in place has clearly illustrated its inability to control human choice. Some choose to be racist and this cannot be controlled by legislation.

I will not argue further on the basis of racial profiling being a racist tactic. It clearly is, I have shown that it is, I have given examples of legislation put forth prohibiting it as a racist practice, and legislation hasn’t worked. Move on.

Your explanation with the use of the statistics from NJ is clearly biased as a result of racial profiling. If the number of the people you pull over, search (illegally), whose houses you raid, etc… are predominantly black, you are bound to have statistics like those you present. That is the very reason, why racial profiling has been legislated against, with insignificant success.

The renouncement of segregation in the education system…did not control (by the definition above) racism, it may have provided better education…yes you can legislate education, but you cannot legislate the control of racism. The racism continued and continues today within the education system, sure everyone is together, but putting everyone together hardly implies control of racism. Forcing people to teach students they don’t wish to teach does not, in any way control racism. The prejudice continues.

I look forward to your closing remarks, which I hope won’t contain anymore dictionary rhetoric, it truly hasn’t improved your position.

posted on Feb, 4 2004 @ 07:28 PM
Hah! I hear you Luke I'm afraid my head is rather cloudy still as well....

Not however too cloudy to close this bad boy. At the request of my esteemed opponent I shall refrain from any more definitions here, just trying to help! It seemed some things were not clear.

In closing I really have nothing further to add, I feel that I have properly laid out many fine examples of how legislation has helped control racism to the extent that it is now controlled, as I have restated many, many times through the course of this debate, I am in no way implying that racism has been eradicated, but has been indeed controlled. Were it not for legislation that has been enacted throughout the last hundred years, the CONTROL of racism to this point would be non-existent.

I would like to thank the mods of this forum for allowing me to debate, and I would like to thank Luke and assure everyone that I am indeed living, breathing and rational. (good one BTW) Wahoo

posted on Feb, 4 2004 @ 11:21 PM
Thank you for your restraint, I'm sure it was difficult as I have come to believe that you have a third appendage sprung from your shoulder by the name of Webster, and I'm not referring to the young black man who starred on television.

This has been a lot of fun, however, I must point out that I have clearly shown that racism is far from under control. The simple fact fo the matter is, that as long as people have freedom of choice racism cannot be controlled. People fear that which is different, that cannot be legislated or controlled and thus racism will continue without control. Unless legislators are willing to deny citizens the rights bestowed to them by the constitution, then Racism will persist without control.

I believe I have given examples of legislation (i.e. legislation against racial profiling) that has been put in place to try to control racism that has clearly been unsuccessful. There is no clear evidence that it is under control.

I would like to thank the moderators for the opportunity to debate with my esteemed fellow debater Wahoo for the challenge that he put forth.

posted on Feb, 5 2004 @ 01:46 AM
Good work guys, will send out the judging orders when I get home. Results should be in in a day or two.

(Or judges you can start sending votes when you read this, you know the syntax).

posted on Feb, 8 2004 @ 11:23 AM
Sorry for the delay, it was because the debate was so close we had to drag the full complement of 12 judges out of bed to make their judgement.

After doing so we have what I believe is the first draw in the history of ATS debating. Both wahoo and Lukefj finished on 6 votes apiece. Therefore both will be getting the 1000 points for winning a debate. Well done guys.

Here are some of the judges comments:

A very well disciplined and written debate. both did an exceptional job with a rather difficult debate topic, which assuredly could have gone off in a variety of directions and/or paths.

This was my favorite debate yet, and IMO the most evenly and well fought. Lukefj clearly maintained the upperhand early, but wahoo rallied to the top with his clarification of the meaning of "control" in the proposition. Lukefj simply couldn't recover with charges of "word manipulation" alone (as that's kind of the point in a debate).

i just dont think wahoo's argument was strong enough. he conceded too much IMO and it made his argument look weak to me.

This was a very closely matched and fought contest, in good spirit and with lots of humor on an unhumorous subject.

I judge this debate in favor of Wahoo. The focus was slightly tighter and the arguments were coherent through to the conclusion. There was careful focus on definition (especially of control versus eradication) and effective rebuttal on what was interpreted as a red herring - the issue of racial profiling. Woohoo probably wants to conclude more strongly.

But a close fought thing indeed.

[Edited on 8-2-2004 by Kano]

posted on Feb, 8 2004 @ 11:26 AM
Rock On...thanks everyone..congratulations Luke....See Ya'll next time!!!!

posted on Feb, 8 2004 @ 06:36 PM
Great....Well done was a lot of fun. Thanks to all the judges and Kano. I look forward to the next time.

new topics

top topics


log in