Instigator / Pro
28
1545
rating
3
debates
100.0%
won
Topic

Systemic Racism Exists

Status
Finished

All stages have been completed. The voting points distribution and the result are presented below.

Arguments points
12
0
Sources points
8
2
Spelling and grammar points
4
2
Conduct points
4
1

With 4 votes and 23 points ahead, the winner is ...

bronskibeat
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Last update date
Category
Society
Time for argument
Three days
Voting system
Open voting
Voting period
One week
Point system
Four points
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Contender / Con
5
1468
rating
3
debates
0.0%
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Description
~ 756 / 5,000

PRO: Will argue that systemic racism against black people exists in America.
CON: Will argue against the existence of systemic racism against black people in America.

DEFINITIONS:
Racism: Prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against a person or people on the basis of their membership of a particular racial or ethnic group, typically one that is a minority or marginalized.
Systemic racism: A form of racism that is embedded as normal practice within society or an organization. It can lead to such issues as discrimination in criminal justice, employment, housing, health care, political power, and education, among other issues.

STRUCTURE:
ROUND 1: OPENING ARGUMENTS
ROUND 2: REBUTTALS
ROUND 3: DEFENSE/NO NEW ARGUMENTS/CLOSING STATEMENTS

Round 1
Pro
Opening:

America has a long and complicated relationship (to put it lightly) with race. If you look at its history you will find slavery, segregation, lynchings, etc. Events and actions that most would agree were awful. Despite its dark history, America has shown a great deal of progress in its dealings with racism. 

One of America's biggest milestones in racial progress was the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (https://www.eeoc.gov/statutes/title-vii-civil-rights-act-1964). It marked the end of segregation, and prohibited discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin. Many saw this as a fresh start for America’s relationship with its black community, and believed that this was a leveling of the playing field between races. Unfortunately, the solution to America’s racism would not be that simple. 

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 in its prohibition of it, helped to further stigmatize open displays of racism. But it did not eradicate the perceptions, biases, prejudices, etc., that make up racism. Many American’s had the same view of the black community that they had in 1963, as they did in 1965, they just couldn’t be as open about it. Since the 1960s, we have made much progress in the common perceptions of the American black community, but many prejudices still remain and are still very much apart of our society. Since they are apart of our society, they are also prevalent within the institutions of our society.

Unconscious/Implicit Bias:

When many think of what racism looks like, we often think of intentional and explicit examples of it like far right hate groups, racial slurs, or hate crimes. But racism isn’t always so overt and intentional.

The role of implicit bias in systemic racism is important because it explains why racism still persists successfully within America’s institutions: It’s largely invisible to most white Americans. Like I said above, racism does not need to be intentional or explicit to be considered racism. Implicit biases (also known as unconscious bias) are stereotypes, attitudes, perceptions, and prejudices that people attribute to another group of people without being aware that they’re doing it: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0191308509000239

Why do these biases against black people persist? One big area of influence is mainstream media/entertainment and it’s long history portraying black people as one-dimensional caricatures up until relatively recently: https://www.ferris.edu/htmls/news/jimcrow/links/essays/vcu.htm Recently, we have seen a surge of diverse portrayals of black life which I hope will have positive impact on how black people are perceived by society, but we’ll have to wait on the data to find out. Media’s influence is so strong that studies show race biases can be “subtly transmitted via televised nonverbal behavior”: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3764987/ Another study showed that “Black males were featured in the primary crime story subject nearly 70% of the time even though crime statistics show that Blacks are only responsible for 31% of arrests during the same 3-month period.” https://www.hilarispublisher.com/open-access/coverage-of-black-versus-white-males-in-local-television-news-lead-stories-2165-7912.1000216.pdf


The following studies show just how bias inspired by negative black stereotypes can manifest in different areas of American’s institutions:



  • Applicants with white sounding names were 50 percent more likely to get called for an interview than people black sounding names despite having similar resumes:  https://ww.dartmouth.edu/~econ27/Bertrand02.pdf
  • Using a police training video game, the effect of ethnicity on shoot/don't shoot decisions was examined. African American or White targets, holding guns or other objects, appeared in complex backgrounds. Participants were told to "shoot" armed targets and to "not shoot" unarmed targets. In Study 1, White participants made the correct decision to shoot an armed target more quickly if the target was African American than if he was White, but decided to "not shoot" an unarmed target more quickly if he was White. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12500813/

Evidence of Modern Systemic Racism:

The following studies/data display examples of the systemic racism we see in many important pillars of American life: Education, employment, housing, healthcare, and the legal system/law enforcement. 


Education:




Employment:



  • Black employment in the testing sector is suppressed in the absence of testing, a finding which is consistent with ex ante discrimination on the basis of drug use perceptions. https://www.nber.org/papers/w20095#fromrss

Housing:


    • Black home buyers are 105 and 78 percent more likely to have high cost mortgages for home purchases even after controlling for credit score and other key risk factors: https://ww.nber.org/papers/w22004

Heathcare:


  • A substantial number of white laypeople and medical students and residents hold false beliefs about biological differences between blacks and whites and demonstrates that these beliefs predict racial bias in pain perception and treatment recommendation accuracy: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4843483/


Legal System/Law Enforcement:

  • White defendants are twenty-five percent more likely than black defendants to have their principal initial charge dropped or reduced to a lesser crime. White defendants with no prior convictions receive charge reductions more often than black defendants with no prior convictions: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3036726




What these examples show are the disparities and obstacles that black people in America face when dealing with many of the institutions that the majority Americans deal with on a day to day basis. These studies reflect real world experiences that have larger consequences than just what these studies cover. A black student not receiving the same amount of care as a white student in school may very well have a domino effect on many different aspects of their life. A patient not receiving proper healthcare may effect their ability to pursue work or take care of their family. It all interconnects. A more nuanced, educated, and empathetic understanding of racism in America is needed to combat these issues.


Con
Forfeited
Round 2
Pro
Extend arguments.
Con
Forfeited
Round 3
Pro
Con fully forfeits. Vote for pro.

There's a lot of ground to be covered in a debate/conversation like this with far more depth than just what I covered in my opening arguments. It's unfortunate Con could not participate, but I look forward to debating this topic in the future. Thank you for reading.
Con
Forfeited