Instigator / Pro
21
1597
rating
22
debates
65.91%
won
Topic

On balance, affirmative action based on race for colleges/universities in the United States does more harm than good.

Status
Finished

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

Arguments points
9
0
Sources points
6
0
Spelling and grammar points
3
0
Conduct points
3
0

With 3 votes and 21 points ahead, the winner is ...

Novice
Parameters
More details
Publication date
Last update date
Category
Education
Time for argument
Two days
Voting system
Open voting
Voting period
Two weeks
Point system
Four points
Rating mode
Rated
Characters per argument
30,000
Contender / Con
0
1479
rating
2
debates
0.0%
won
Description
~ 492 / 5,000

Affirmative action
The term affirmative action refers to a policy aimed at increasing workplace or educational opportunities for underrepresented parts of society. These programs are commonly implemented by businesses and governments by taking individuals' race, sex, religion, or national origin into account.

We are only debating this based on race, and in college/university admissions.

This is a net harm debate: more harm than good/more good than harm.
The burden of proof is shared.

Round 1
Pro
Resolved: On balance, affirmative action based on race for colleges/universities in the United States does more harm than good.

FRAMEWORK
  • Affirmative action (binding in the description and cannot be contested): The term affirmative action refers to a policy aimed at increasing workplace or educational opportunities for underrepresented parts of society. These programs are commonly implemented by businesses and governments by taking individuals' race, sex, religion, or national origin into account.
    • NOTE: For this debate affirmative action based on race for colleges/universities is being discussed. 
  • Harm: injury, damage, or problems caused by something that you do
    • Harm vs Good in the analysis of a policy will maintain their commonplace understanding, of its societal impacts. 
OV
  • There are immediate basic elements of affirmative action we can label as counterproductive and inefficient. 
    • For one affirmative action reinforces racism. It stipulates that by default, some races are automatically lower than others, and thus require anything other than their achievements. 
      • In that regard, affirmative action undervalues achievements, by perpetuating the idea that one's opportunity came by the avenue of their race, making affirmative action inherently racist. 
    • Just as an article in Stanford Magazine states, "Perhaps the most tragic side effect of affirmative action is that very significant achievements of minority students can become compromised. It is often not possible to tell whether a given student genuinely deserved admission to Stanford, or whether he is there by virtue of fitting into some sort of diversity matrix" (The Case Against Affirmative Action).
  • Let us expand on these arguments. 

COUNTERPRODUCTIVE
  • Let's agree that affirmative action is designed to help certain groups of people. 
    • Despite these intentions, a report from the US Commission on Civil rights, perhaps the most qualified entity to speak on this issue concluded that affirmative action has done considerable harm to the people it purports to help.
      • NPR records, "That's according to a new report from the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. Affirmative action or the use of racial preferences, as the report calls it, has not only led to high dropout rates but increased the black-white income gap" (NPR). 
        • "The evidence that mismatch has hurt African-American and Hispanic students' chances of having careers in science or engineering was highlighted in a report of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights in 2010. The data and methodology of the research have not been challenged. The researchers' conclusions have not been rebutted" (The Sad Irony of Affirmative Action).
      • Affirmative action increases dropout rates and black-white income when it was designed to improve outcomes. 
    • This immediately would constitute destroying affirmative action by any reasonable standard. 
  • And therefore, affirmative action based on race for college admissions does more harm than good. 

ASAIN AMERICANS
  • One of the biggest arguments for affirmative action is that it benefits minority students. According to KPBS for example, affirmative action "encourages minority groups to work harder to get into such schools." 
    • However, this assessment is dishonest and faulty at best because Asian Americans who are minorities are the largest victims of affirmative action. 
      • For example, Asian special interests groups filed a lawsuit against Harvard and other selective institutions for clear discrimination against them through their affirmative action policies. 

RESULTS OF ITS REMOVAL
  • California banned race-based admissions in their state. These were their results. 
  • Both failure rates and grades immediately improved.
After race-blind admissions went into effect, the media broke into pandemonium. Accusations that Berkeley was now “lily-white” were levied. Yet this was not the case. While minority students did drop from 58.6 percent of the student body to 48.7 percent, white students made up a bare majority, and Asian-Americans came in second at 38 percent. What happened to the other minorities?
They went to institutions like UC-San Diego, UC-Riverside, and UC-Santa Cruz. These schools are all part of the prestigious University of California System, attended by only the top 12.5 percent of California high school graduates.
At UC-Riverside, the results were impressive: African-American and Hispanic student admissions skyrocketed by 42 percent and 31 percent, respectively. Failure rates collapsed, and grades improved.


CONCLUSION
  • Affirmative action in college admissions is a broken system. As David Sacks and Peter Thiel state in "the case against affirmative action," "a racist past cannot be undone through more racism." 
    • Affriamtive action reduces graducaton rates 
    • It increases dropout rates 
    • It discriminates against and harms Asian Americans
    • It perpetuates negative stereotypes against different groups of people, as well as necessitating them in its implementation making affirmative action based on race in admissions inherently racist. 
  • Onward to CON. 
SOURCES



Con
Forfeited
Round 2
Pro
EXTEND
Con
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Round 3
Pro
Extend
Con
Forfeited