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Round 1. Ycon V intrepid: Affirmative Action

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posted on Jun, 9 2004 @ 03:17 PM
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Debate 1

The topic for this debate is "Affirmative action programs have worked."

Ycon will be arguing for this proposition and will open the debate.
intrepid 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 24 hours, 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 their replies and possibly 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 Jun, 10 2004 @ 03:54 AM
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Openint statement Forfeited.

[edit on 10-6-2004 by Kano]



posted on Jun, 10 2004 @ 11:45 AM
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Thanks to Kano for setting up this debate. I also wish you well, Ycon. I look forward to a lively debate.

Opening statement.

Affirmative Action Programs(AAP) were set up in tumultous times, to bring equallity in the workplace and educational institutions, for minorities and women. This concept is a good one, but has the ideal come to fruition? I will be showing, in later posts, that AA has not achieved its goals. Also that in some cases has actually done more harm than good. Back to you, Ycon.



posted on Jun, 11 2004 @ 03:41 AM
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Debate --- Affirmative Action

Id like to thank the ATS staff and Kano for setting up and making this debate possible. Also, the judges need to be thanked for the time they take to judge each of these debates.

Argument 1


by intrepid
Affirmative Action Programs(AAP) were set up in tumultous times, to bring equallity in the workplace and educational institutions, for minorities and women. This concept is a good one, but has the ideal come to fruition? I will be showing, in later posts, that AA has not achieved its goals. Also that in some cases has actually done more harm than good. Back to you, Ycon.


Thank You intrepid, I look forward to this debate with you and wish you the best.

Let me start by commenting on your opening statement. The tumultuous times, disorder was partly because of the discrimination across the country back then. Affirmative Action did bear fruit and still is, but because we still have discrimination we dont get as much fruit as we had hoped for. As far as the goals being achieved, not totally, but basically yes. Minorities were able to finally get education and profession positions, that were in the past, unreachable.

In this debate I will go through the history of the Affirmative Action Policy and how it has evolved into what it is today. You will see that Affirmative Action was needed in the past and will continue to be used in the future, at least until man is able to treat each other as equals and not discriminate.

President John F Kennedy was the first to use the term Affirmative Action in 1961. Kennedy's executive order declared that federal contractors should "take affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed, and employees are treated during their employment, without regard to race, creed, color or national origin."

This was the beginning of an attempt to stop discrimination in America. We have come along way since then, but there are those who still discriminate against women and minorities.

Affirmative action was a tool for women and minorities, that provided training and helped with recruiting. This provided them with access to education and professional opportunities. Without this access many women and minorities would not be where they are today.

Over the last 30 or so years there has been much progress and many have benefited from Affirmative Action Programs. These programs work but there are still many companies, individuals and society that place barriers in front of women and minorities. These barriers need to be broken down so that we can ensure that opportunities reach those who dont want to settle for traditional jobs that women and minorities had to take.

The following is a basic timeline of Executive Orders and Acts. For more details see www.infoplease.com...

JFKs Executive Order 10925 in 1961 created the Equal Employment Opportunity Committee (EEOC). Then the Civil Rights Act was signed by Lyndon Johnson in 1964. In 1965 Johnson gave a speech on the concept of Affirmative Action, basically stating that the Civil Rights Acts alone were not enough. Let me quote him here.



"You do not wipe away the scars of centuries by saying: 'now, you are free to go where you want, do as you desire, and choose the leaders you please.' You do not take a man who for years has been hobbled by chains, liberate him, bring him to the starting line of a race, saying, 'you are free to compete with all the others,' and still justly believe you have been completely fair . . . This is the next and more profound stage of the battle for civil rights. We seek not just freedom but opportunitynot just legal equity but human abilitynot just equality as a right and a theory, but equality as a fact and as a result."

Later that year Johnson enforced Affirmative Action with Executive Order 11246 and in 1967 amended it to include discrimination against gender. In 1969 The Philadelphia Order initiated by Nixon was set in place because the Craft Unions and Construction Industry didnt want to let blacks into their closed circle. Clinton has guidelines set for AA in 1995.

As you can see this has been a continual battle to fight discrimination.
Back to you intrepid



posted on Jun, 11 2004 @ 01:03 PM
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I have to agree that AAP's are a wonderful concept, one that most people could get behind. In my research I was surprised to find that equallity for minorities was favored by the majority of people. On this topic, siop.org... it stated, "Lipset and Schneider (1978) examined nearly 100 opinion polls completed between 1935 and 1977. They concluded that Americans strongly support equality of opportunity and the elimination of discrimination, moderately support compensatory action (e.g., extra training for minorities), and oppose preferential treatment and the use of quotas. Sigelman and Welch (1991) provided an analysis of many national surveys of attitudes toward affirmative action. They concluded that both Blacks and Whites support equal opportunity and affirmative action in general, and oppose preferential treatment and quotas. In all cases, support was somewhat higher among Blacks than Whites. Lynch and Beer (1990) cited public opinion polls, Lynch's in-depth interviews, and other commentators to make the point that Whites dislike affirmative action that involves quotas or preferential treatment, though they support equality and compensatory action."

It could be argued that society was already moving towards equallity, the beginning of activism of the 60's to today shows that "people" want to see equallity. People however are not the decision-makers in business. Yes there has been progress for minorities and women but this progress would have come about without AAP's. People were becomming more vocal and the level of advances that we have today would have been reached. But is there equallity, no. Who are the CEO's, President's, upper level managment, men, and mostly white men.

Has AAP done any harm? Notice what the same study reveals about AAP's.
"Under strong preferential treatment, decisions are based solely or primarily on demographic status. For example, merit is not measured, an unqualified minority is selected, or the less qualified minority applicant is favored. Some authors refer to this condition as discrimination in reverse. In most cases quotas would fall in this category because they require the selection of a certain number or proportion of minorities regardless of qualifications." So a person works hard to get an education, works hard in the employ of a company, and if the company employs quotas for AA, a promotion that should be to the deserving candidate may go to someone else. This is out of your control. You've already done your part, became educated, exemplary work, unrewarded. Would this garner resentment in an individual? Even if you agree in equallity? It would in me. In this way AAP's may actually be a step backward, as a person that wants equallity see that it doesn't exist. One less voice for equallity. How often does that happen? Certainly moving in the wrong direction.



posted on Jun, 12 2004 @ 08:09 AM
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Debate --- Affirmative Action



Argument 2


Yes intrepid, equality for minorities is favored by the majority of people. Of course blacks support it more. Theyre the ones being discriminated against. The white male doesnt know what it feels like to be discriminated against. Reverse racism cases are the white mans attempt to stop a system that has been put into place to not only stop discrimination but to also add diversity in professional fields. A high proportion of claims filed were found to lack merit and less then 2% of 91,000 employment discrimination cases pending are reverse discrimination cases. The few percent of white males that are past over for the minorities, will have to settle for a different university or position.

Affirmative action definition is a system designed to remedy past discrimination and eliminate current and future discrimination.

Affirmative Action as a system, is more then equal opportunity. The difference is Affirmative action sets goals and quotas that allow minorities to by-pass some of the white population. It is needed to compensate minorities for centuries of slavery or oppression.


by intrepid
Has AAP done any harm? Notice what the same study reveals about AAP's.
"Under strong preferential treatment, decisions are based solely or primarily on demographic status. For example, merit is not measured, an unqualified minority is selected, or the less qualified minority applicant is favored. Some authors refer to this condition as discrimination in reverse. In most cases quotas would fall in this category because they require the selection of a certain number or proportion of minorities regardless of qualifications." So a person works hard to get an education, works hard in the employ of a company, and if the company employs quotas for AA, a promotion that should be to the deserving candidate may go to someone else. This is out of your control. You've already done your part, became educated, exemplary work, unrewarded. Would this garner resentment in an individual? Even if you agree in equallity? It would in me. In this way AAP's may actually be a step backward, as a person that wants equallity see that it doesn't exist. One less voice for equallity. How often does that happen? Certainly moving in the wrong direction.


There is very little evidence to support that Affirmative Action recipients are less qualified. There were two field studies that showed, performance did not drop as a result of implementing Affirmative Action. Some case studies have shown positive benefits to organizations that have implemented Affirmative Action.

It is a myth that only women and minorities benefit from Affirmative action. We all benefit by being part of a well educated work force. When minorities are educated and put in professional fields, they are able to educate their children.

Heres a study done with views of students at elite law schools on affirmative action and diversity. Law Schools were virtually all white before Affirmative action. They were asked how Affirmative action has influenced their educational experience. General they say that the diverse classes are superior to the all white classes and want even more diversity.
www.uwm.edu...

Affirmative Action does work, the nation will continue to benefit as the years go by. We still have a lot of discrimination even with Affirmative Action. Minorities receive less pay then white males in many areas. People still stereotype minorities by saying they are less capable then whites. Minorities are at the disadvantage, they are coming from low income families in high crime areas. They need Affirmative Action and choice of a better future.



posted on Jun, 12 2004 @ 08:59 AM
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Well Ycon,
First you state, "There is very little evidence to support that Affirmative Action recipients are less qualified. There were two field studies that showed, performance did not drop as a result of implementing Affirmative Action. Some case studies have shown positive benefits to organizations that have implemented Affirmative Action." I would like to see some hard data on that. I have given you information in my last post that when quotas are implemented, qualifications are not a governing factor, demographics are used.

The Chronicle of Higher Education that you quoted, I found was echoing what I put forth in my last post. It states, "The Gallup survey strongly suggests that the critics of affirmative action are wrong. We now have hard data that demonstrate that affirmative-action policies do indeed confer benefits on all students, members of majority and minority groups alike. Moreover, the results of our study show that those policies can also contribute significantly to the specific missions of various educational institutions -- in this case, law schools.

Although it is far from a panacea for the racial problems of higher education, affirmative action appears to provide powerful educational benefits. Nine out of 10 students reported that diversity had had a "positive" impact on their educational experience. Students said they believed that, in a racially diverse environment, they learned more in class as well as during informal discussions with other students outside of class -- that they gained a much broader perspective on a variety of educational and personal matters." That has already been determined.

Of coarse equallity for all is what most want. But, again, is it so? No, you stated it yourself, "We still have a lot of discrimination even with Affirmative Action. Minorities receive less pay then white males in many areas. People still stereotype minorities by saying they are less capable then whites. Minorities are at the disadvantage, they are coming from low income families in high crime areas. They need Affirmative Action and choice of a better future." Well AAP's have been in place for decades and, as you said, they are not working. Equallity is still not there, no matter how much we wish it could be.

You state, " Affirmative Action as a system, is more then equal opportunity. The difference is Affirmative action sets goals and quotas that allow minorities to by-pass some of the white population. It is needed to compensate minorities for centuries of slavery or oppression." We may feel the need to level the playing field, makes sense to me, not out of a guilty conscience for my ancestors mistakes but because it would make society better. The point is that AA has had it's chance to work, and it hasn't. We need something else that will actually create equallity, not a patch-work solution.



posted on Jun, 13 2004 @ 10:48 AM
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Argument 3

Intrepid, the URL below has 41 links that I found the following information on. You will see that these facts do support Affirmative Action even if goals and quotas are not accepted by the majority. The past 3 decades we have made big differences in the minorities lives. We still have a long way to go. Another 30 years of Affirmative Action and upgrades in education for minorities in grade school and high schools, should level the playing field.

www.bedfordstmartins.com...
1. AA and Diversity Project
News and announcements

June 23, 2003: U.S. Supreme Court upholds Affirmative Action for universities.

April 18, 2003 Racism, it has been said, is America's original sin, the central, most persistent and divisive problem in our history. It remains so today. Is it lawful, acceptable and appropriate for government to take special measures to promote racial diversity? As a nation, are we better for Bakke or not? To both questions, we say unequivocally: Yes. Certainly, we have made substantial progress in race relations over the past five decades.

April 7, 2003 AA double standards - Bush's father and grandfather were Yalies. So who was going to hold it against Bush the Younger if his SAT scores were 180 points below the median score for the Yale class of 1968, or because his grades put him in the 21st percentile of his incoming freshman class? Nobody sicced the Justice Department on Yale for admitting this mediocre white student over smarter kids who had better grades. So if it's okay to allow rich kids like Bush to go to the front of the line at the admissions office, why is it wrong to try to level the field by giving some consideration to poor black kids?

5. AA Special Report defenders of AA say that the playing field is not level yet and that granting modest advantages to minorities and women is more than fair, given hundreds of years of discrimination that benefited whites and men.

Key Stories - Affirmative Action Tops NAACP List

July 14, 1998 Declaring that "race and skin color" still dominate every aspect of American life, NAACP President said that protecting the nation's embattled AAP must remain at the top of the civil rights group's agenda. Clinton resumed his crusade to improve race relations in America by vowing to battle the tide against affirmative action and reverse recent actions in California and Texas.

17-18 The Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action By Any Means Necessary
Judge Throws Out Anti-Affirmative Action Petitions 3-25-04

19. Corporations Challenged by Reparations Activists - USA Today article
The original benefactors of many of the country's top universities Harvard, Yale, Brown, Princeton and the University of Virginia, among them were wealthy slave owners. Lawyers on the reparations team say universities also will be sued.

40. Washington Post: Opinion
The 10 Percent Solution-Polls for AA but against Quotas (public opinion is manipulated) SAT scores Clinton says "not a perfect predictor."

AA: We Know Better - racial fairness still eludes us. Berkeley's law school, African American admissions are down 80 percent as a direct result of Proposition 209's ban on racial preference.

AA: Beyond Diversity AA improves the relative position of the group that lies at the bottom of the heap. It aims to end the racial ordering of American society. Rejected white applicants suffer a hurt that blacks know all too well the hurt that comes from being judged disfavorably on a criterion unrelated to individual merit and over which they have no control.

AA's Long Record - The elimination of many sex-based barriers in education is one of AA's best success stories. AA has revolutionized higher education, the best predictor of economic success. A study of the Federal Contract Compliance program, which requires larger federal contractors to make a good-faith effort to meet goals and timetables for hiring and promoting minorities and women, found that female employment rose 15.2 percent at those companies and only 2.2 percent elsewhere. Those women were paid better than women at other companies. The greatest myth about AA is that it provides preferential treatment to disadvantaged groups. In fact, it is a remedy.

AA: The Army's Success . . . - an institution where AA works and works well the U.S. Army. Not that the Army is a racial Utopia by any means. But nowhere else in American society has racial integration gone as far or has black achievement been so pronounced. Indeed, the Army is the only institution in America where whites are routinely bossed around by blacks. All candidates are held to the same standards. AA can do what it is supposed to do when there is an unambiguous guarantee of equal opportunity, clear standards of performance and a commitment to raise people to meet those standards.


AA does work



posted on Jun, 13 2004 @ 01:33 PM
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Post Forfeited.

[edit on 13-6-2004 by Kano]



posted on Jun, 14 2004 @ 01:59 AM
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Affirmative Action

Closing Statement

"Affirmative action programs have worked

In conclusion we can clearly see that Affirmative Action Programs have worked. Many minorities are now in professional positions. Corporations and Universities now have more diversity which is a benefit to all Americans. Affirmative Action is definitely needed to remedy past discrimination against the minority.

Opinion polls agree with Affirmative Action, people in general believe its good for the country. When the idea of a preferential treatment or a points and quota system are brought up, people tend to disagree saying it is unfair and/or reverse discrimination. I say, what about the jocks that get into universities with lower grade point averages (GPA) and SAT scores? What about the fact that President Bush had low SAT scores and was given preferential treatment?

Minorities are considered a plus when entering Universities because diversity is needed, it benefits our society in many ways. So why is it unfair to give minorities points for being minorities?

Discrimination may always be a part of life, even those who say they dont discriminate may pick another white man over a black man when hiring. They may feel more comfortable working together. Affirmative Action Programs were not designed to stop discrimination. They were designed to remedy it, to bring more minorities into the professional fields. To help stop the stereotyping of the minorities and hope that people will eventually realize that God did create all men equal.

The Affirmative Action Programs may not of done enough for the minorities, but it was a start and it did do what it intended. Education is an important factor in determining who will be excepted in a college or university. In many cases minorities come from poor schools with lower grade curves. This needs to be changed, all schools should keep their standards up. Lowering grade curves will only set our kids up for failure. Parents need to make sure their children get the proper education.

One last point before I end my closing statement. In my second argument I felt it was important to show the opinion of the law students because they are the ones who have seen the all white classes change over the years to a more diverse class. They learnt a lot not only about diversity but also on how well the Affirmative Action Programs worked. The point is, people may need to be a participant in a program to realize how well it works.

Thank you intrepid, I enjoyed debating you on the subject of Affirmative Action.



posted on Jun, 14 2004 @ 11:03 AM
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For my closing statement I will re-enter a Readers Digest version of my third rebuttal, with the offending 2nd link removed.

Ycon, I appreciate the research you have done but it shows what we already know. We ALL want equallity. What we want and what is reallity are two different things. I would be suprised if AA didn't work in the millitary. It is a government agency and can enforce AA policy. But this is a small percentage of the workforce.

As far as Bush getting into Yale, did he bump a black person? A woman? A black woman? We don't know. Maybe he bumped a white person with a 4.0 GPA that didn't have the clout of George Sr. An interesting point can be found at wizbangblog.com... It deals with minorities that have not been disadvantaged, but may use race, or AA, for lesser qualifications.

A thread on Affermative Action in the NBA came up on the ATS board Saturday night. There wasn't one person that thought this was a good idea. It was thought that performance was more desirable than racial diversity.
End quote from 3rd rebutal.

Has AA really leveled the playing field to give minorities an even break? It has been put forth by my opponent that the problem could be that many minorities come from poor schools with lower grade curves. Why isn't AA working here then? It would seem more logical to me, if AA worked, that it would be implemented right from an early age and actually give these kids a chance. Why isn't it? Because AA is a token, thrown to ALL of us from those truely in power, white men, who want us to think that we have wonderful programs in place to insure that the equallity we want is there. IT IS NOT.

There are alternatives to AA, viable solutions to actually achieve our goal of equallity. Google it and you will be reading for months. It's time to consider options to AAP. It has failed its goals, and let us all down. The limited success it has had is like an anchor to society, it is holding us back.

Thanks to Ycon, good debate, to Kano, as always, an interesting forum and a premature thanks to the judges and those that took the time to follow this topic.



posted on Jun, 14 2004 @ 11:39 AM
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Ok, I'll take the sparkly clean judges off the drying rack and set them to work. Results in a day or so.



posted on Jun, 16 2004 @ 02:49 PM
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Ok, the results are in. In this debate Ycon has defeated intrepid by a margin of 6-2. Congratulations to Ycon and comiserations to intrepid.

Some judges comments:

Pretyy good debate. Could have been a bit better with more research bit it was enough. Ycon made the best argument in my book so she gets my vote. Good job by both participants.


Although two posts were forfeited for some reason (Ycon's opening statement and intrepid's third argument), this was still a very good debate. Maybe it's me, but I failed to see how intrepid's second argument supported his position. The quote from the Chronicle of Higher education supports Ycon's position and intrepid didn't do enough to tackle it.

Intrepid had a good argument that he didn't use enough: "There are alternatives to AA, viable solutions to actually achieve our goal of equallity [sic]." If he would have given examples and showed that there is no need for AA, he probably would have won.

In the end, I have to go for Ycon.


Give this wide a palate to paint on, both the Pro & Con arguments can choose their respective niches & pwerdrive home their points; neither really did that. Without the COn picking that all important niche to shape the debate, it was a 'give away' of sorts to the Pro argument: topical, surface skimming supporting arguments were ample and easy to reference.
Had the Con argument chose to expand on early the "alternatives to AA" that were alluded to in their closing, it would have been a different decision.
First time I saw "two fouls" in a thread: kind of like a couple boxers jock hunting & losing points!!


Well done to both of you, it was a very interesting read and I enjoyed it very much. However, I felt Ycon had the edge in this debate, but intrepid you should be proud of your contribution. Thanks both of you.


Technically, I found YCON had a better approach with his/ her strategy - the inclusion early on of a timeline of (US) legislation was very useful to me (as a Brit!) and I noted that Intrepid had one post forfeited - never a good position to be in (especially as YCON forfeited his/ her openning statement). I would have liked both debators to state their word counts but that is just a personal foible of mine.

Both debators are to be congratulated on their use of English and grammar - clearly they had both taken pains to write in a word processor to eliminate typo's and spellings etc. There was an attempt by both parties to answer one anothers previous posts, which kept the debate "flowing".


Thankyou to both of you, and good luck to Ycon in round 2.



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