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
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.