Round 1. Dreamz V DeltaChaos: Affirmative Action

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posted on Feb, 20 2004 @ 12:32 AM
The topic for this debate is "Affirmative action programs have worked."

Dreamz will be arguing for this proposition and will open the debate.
DeltaChaos 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. This means any editing, for any reason. Any edited posts will be completely deleted.

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. However, if people are consistently late with their replies, they will forfeit the debate.

Judging will be done by an anonymous panel of 11 judges. After each debate is completed it will be locked and the judges will begin making their decision. Results will be posted by me as soon as a majority (6) is reached.

This debate is now open, good luck to both of you.

posted on Feb, 20 2004 @ 05:25 PM
Affirmative action is an action that can be described as including a diverse array of programs and policies. There are various uses of affirmative action that are outside of what most people generally think of that include - military veterans and civil service jobs in which veterans were allowed extra points on the civil service exams by being a former member of the military, diversity in colleges is allowed by the Board of Regents in most schools allowing prospective students from Alaska and Hawaii over students from more populated areas such as New York or California. Generally these issues aren’t used in affirmative action debates, but the fact remains they are policies that wouldn’t have happened without affirmative action.

Over the course of history we have discriminated against African Americans, American Indians, women, Hispanics, and Asian Pacific Americans. One might look at the tone of history and say, "Things may have been bad and unfair, but that’s history." Well on some points you would be correct but it still does not eliminate the underlying issue that we as Americans have a history of injustice and to be fair we need affirmative action to eliminate some of these injustices.

Time and time again we ignored women and non-whites in all political, legal or moral communities that mattered. This occurred through laws we followed and laws we ignored. During this time we expressed America as the land of the free the land of equality when in fact we were anything but equal. People throughout history ended up trapped in this paradox of injustice and without affirmative action around to bridge the gap of inferiority we would have a social system that had non-whites and women at the lowest level of our society. Without affirmative action we would have lost various great leaders, inventors, CEO's, policy makers that have helped evolve America from our once intolerable unequal society to one that is finally starting to catch up with what our nation was founded on. Every man, women and child are to be treated equally never stated that some men were superior to others.

Some Federal laws that have been enacted in the name of affirmative action are -

Hiring - For federal contractors and subcontractors, affirmative action must be taken by covered employers to recruit and advance qualified minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and covered veterans

U.S. Code : Title 29 : Section 621 Age Discrimination Act - That states no person should be discriminated against on bearings of age alone. This allowed for many elder members of society to gain jobs that wouldn’t have been allowed to them if this law was not enacted.

Disabilities Act - Refers to men and women who have disabilities that before this law was enacted had little or no chance of gaining unemployment because of medical issues, accessibility and other obstacles.

Civil Rights Act of 64' - Allows people equal opportunities regardless of race, sex, religion, ethnicity and has allowed the US job market to become much more diverse since enacted in 64'.

Executive Order 11246 - Further added to the previous law by adding that all governmental agencies must abide by the same law as previously stated.

These are just a few of the laws that have been enacted and these are not some of the more serious ones that will be brought up later in this debate, The point of this opening statement is to allow anyone here who reads this material to understand that without these affirmative action laws on record our society would not of evolved into what we are today. This is just the beginning and our society has much more to work on and with affirmative action we can continue to bridge the gaps between people in this country and someday have a nation that truly is equal.

posted on Feb, 21 2004 @ 12:02 PM
First, I would like to wish my esteemed colleague Dreamz the best as we engage in this battle of brainpower and literary loquacity. You no doubt will prove a most stimulating opponent.

Next, thank you Kano for the opportunity to participate in this competition. I appreciate the personal challenge it represents.


In 1961, President John F. Kennedy issued Executive Order 10925, establishing the President’s Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity and which stated in part, “…The Contractor will not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, creed, color, or national origin. The Contractor will take affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed, and that employees are treated during employment, without regard to their race, creed, color, or national origin”.

Equal opportunity legislation was promulgated with all the best purpose by Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, but has come to lend credence to the saying, “The road to Hell is paved with good intentions”. Decisions made by our leadership with regard to the betterment of our society, others’ societies, the natural environment, the economy, and other components of all our lives have often produced unintended negative results.

As is the case with equal opportunity legislation. But who could have foreseen the adverse consequences of such seemingly enlightened governance? Surely, such a worthy attempt to ensure equal benefit of employment and education for people across the broad spectrum of society should carry no negative consequence. It should have no effect other than to instill greater confidence in a person for their fellow American and elected leadership, further broaden the middle class by affording those with less the opportunity to gain more, and to increase the quality of life of Americans overall. At least this is the theory.

When the founding fathers termed American democracy ‘The Great Experiment’, they believed it in a literal sense, as they knew that what they were creating was truly unprecedented, and based on a philosophy of government that had never been tested. Like a scientific laboratory, American democracy is a place where these new philosophies of politics would be put to the test. Unfortunately, unlike a laboratory, once a hypothesis is tested on society, there is no turning back. If a hypothesis is found by experimental process in a controlled laboratory not to be sound, it can be discarded, and new hypotheses can be tested in attempt to prove the theory. In society, a theory is developed and hopefully the best hypothesis will withstand scrutiny of the Great Experiment.

This may be an unfair analogy, as of course conditions in a society of nearly 300 million individuals can never be controlled nor predicted, but the Great Experiment is analogous to the scientific method in the context of time. Future societies would do well to learn from our mistake in proposing that equality could be legislated, but likely will not have to, as by such time the real societal processes that lead to equality will surely have taken effect to a more discernable degree.

I speak of the real process of humanity that is forever in motion, and which equal opportunity legislation will only serve to deter. It is a process of higher learning that passively denies us the luxury of ignorance. An education that takes place not in a classroom, but in the real world. A cultural cultivation not only of the mind, but also of the conscience. The process that is the one and only real reason for the momentum of American minority groups – a subtle, simultaneous, and almost unconscious collaborative effort on the part of both majority and minority.

This process is based upon a natural, human, laissez-faire principle, which will not be the basis for my argument in this competition, as it does not directly address the proposition that affirmative action programs have not worked. However, if at the close of this debate I feel confident that I have achieved my goal of victory, in my closing statement I will explain that this is the only process by which human equality will truly be achieved.

Throughout the course of this debate, I intend to prove by compelling argument that equal opportunity legislation works only to further amalgamate the diverse peoples within our society, and in doing so, fosters a political environment conducive to greater divisiveness and tension among the different cultures America represents.

posted on Feb, 24 2004 @ 09:52 PM

Decisions made by our leadership with regard to the betterment of our society, others’ societies, the natural environment, the economy, and other components of all our lives have often produced unintended negative results.

While I understand your sentiment on the above statement it has nothing to do with the debate at hand. It seems more of a generalist stereotype. You must remember that a lot of programs that people dismiss as not working have for the most part helped a part of population that wouldn’t of been helped without these specific programs.

Affirmative Action programs have come a long way from 1965 when President Lyndon Johnson ordered that affirmative action policies be undertaken to remedy the effects of past discrimination. People will say since then they have violated the protection clause of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution and at times they have. But through the checks and balances system we have in America, affirmative action has always had the chances to fix mistakes it may have caused in years past.

As my opponent eloquently stated, "American democracy is a place where these new philosophies of politics would be put to the test.".....
This is very true and affirmative action is no different in that sometimes programs need to be tested, re-tested and tested once again in order for them to implemented correctly.
In 1974 Allan Bakke sued the University of California regents stating that his academic record was better than the 17 minorities that had been accepted over him due to UC's affirmative action policies. In 1978 the Supreme Court vs University of California the Supreme Court ruled that because the admissions policy based race as its sole criterion that Bakke had to be accepted. Now the court did go on to say that race can be considered as a factor, however it cannot be the sole factor. This is just one of the ways affirmative action has evolved and has learned from its past. So to say that the system is inherently flawed is a mistake, because affirmative action can correct itself and has.

The Bureau of Labor report in 1984, found that executive, administrative, managerial, and professional, specialty, there were only 1,474,000 colored women 5.9% of the total, compared to 22,150,000 white women, 91% of the entire number of workingwomen in this category. Another growing concern is white male candidates are being discriminated against, or losing out because of affirmative action programs. If we were to look at the statistics of various white collar professions or if we look at the overall average salaries of white men we would instantly notice that non-whites are still considerably under represented and poorly paid in every category. People of color don't make up the proportions of these jobs even remotely equal to their percentage of the population. They don't earn wages comparable to white men. White men are tremendously over represented in almost all categories of work that are highly paid except for professional athletics. According to a 1995 government report, white males make up only 29 percent of the workforce, but hold 95 percent of senior management positions.
As President Bill Clinton stated, “ When affirmative action is done right it is flexible, it is fair, and it works.” In support of affirmative action President Clinton also mentioned, “Affirmative action has produced a whole generation of professionals in fields that used to be exclusive clubs including more Black, Hispanic, and Asian American lawyers, judges, scientists, engineers, and accountants.” Affirmative action is our only hope not only in for equality in jobs and education but life itself.

Sorry for the late response, been really busy.

posted on Feb, 26 2004 @ 12:28 AM
Dreamz, apparently you are a skilled debate tactician, as your first undertaking was identifying the strongest threat to your position and attempting to compel the judges that it is insignificant. The statement I made requires no protection, as it stands with integrity independent of what rationale I may utter in its defense. For the sake of clarity, I must say that no statement clearly based on fact may be considered a ‘generalist stereotype’, especially when in fact decisions made by our government have often produced negative results. I hope that you can qualify your assumption in the course of this debate that the statement has nothing to do with it, as it is clear that what we are in fact arguing is whether our leadership’s policy decisions are effective.

Since the point I attempted to make with analogy to scientific method was misunderstood, a new, more specific analogy will reiterate and set the basis for my main point of argument.

When social policies are enacted there is no testing period. As soon as laws take effect they act upon society immediately. When testing experimental drugs, sometimes there are unforeseen side effects. You wouldn’t send the drug to market if it produced the intended effect even though the side effects were intolerable, rather, you would reformulate and retest the drug until the negative side effects were substantially mitigated. Such luxury scientists have. Lawmakers do not, and subsequently, neither do we. The body politic is immediately subject to all effect of social policy negative or positive, whether intended or unintended, foreseen or unforeseen.

EO legislation has erected the very barriers to equality that they were intended to destroy. These laws have set precedent upon which segregation has become the status quo. Segregation has now moved from the workplace and educational institutions, from the bus and public lavatories, and deeper into our hearts and minds. EO law describes and defines our differences and now those differences are used as points of legal contest.

An example of the greater disparity caused by EO legislation is the practice by college social organizations enacting policy limiting acceptance to only those belonging to particular minorities. This extends also to college-owned residence quarters where they are housed. This practice is accepted and even lauded by proponents of AA programs as proof of success of the system. Advocates of AA would contest that a student organization that consisted only of a particular minority was an expression of pride (and unity) in their cultural heritage. Yet an organization that wished to express ‘pride’ in their European heritage would immediately be considered racist. This inequality is exemplified by the fact that when an organization with an all white admission policy is created, these are the same people who will declare it racist. Accepting one standard for a minority group and another for those different from them is, by definition, racist, and fundamentally a policy of inequality. In this instance, well-meaning minority advocacy has inadvertently led to an attitude clearly not in keeping with the tradition of EO policy itself.

As this account seems exemplify the ‘reverse-racism’ argument that has been, in my opinion, overused, I wish to clarify my position. I believe that ‘reverse-racism’ arguments are used not to argue ineffectiveness of policy, but rather most often to disparage political opponents and invite sedition on the part of their constituencies. It is an invalid argument. Reverse racism is a misnomer. The absolute value of racism, whether negative or positive, is positively racism.

I believe that the only way to achieve true equality between us is to allow equality to achieve itself. Planck’s Second Law of Thermodynamics states that the entropy (or disorder) of any system will increase over time unless energy is added to the system. This is a law of physics, but it is a fundamental universal principle that can be applied to this argument.

The human system currently is in a particular state of order, where the subgroups of the system are defined and separate. With EO law, we are only adding energy to the system. EO law places borders of definition around the subsets of human beings, effectively cordoning each from the other. We are too often impatient for progress and in our impatience, we mistakenly believe we can manipulate processes over which we have no power. In time, without added energy, without work or force, equality will become itself. Equality is the natural state of the universe, and what is reassuring to me, is that we cannot wait to reach that state.

Progress, then, is a property of the evolution of life as a whole by almost any conceivable intuitive standard.... Let us not pretend to deny in our philosophy what we know in our hearts to be true.
—Edward Wilson

796 words

posted on Feb, 29 2004 @ 02:23 AM
Need a response from Dreamz in the next 8 hours or the debate will go to DeltaChaos.

posted on Feb, 29 2004 @ 11:24 AM
Dreamz forfeits, DeltaChaos goes through to round 2.

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