Fauxlaw vs Undefeatable; JRob RFD

Author: JRob ,

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  • JRob
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    Another user recommended I post my RFD here as an alternative to providing an outside link. Thought that was a good idea.


    As this was directly cut from a word document, the structure is somewhat poor, but I've spent too much time writing this as is. The original is still available via the link above. 

    RFD:
    Hello. I should start by saying that I am as unbiased as you can ask for in this particular topic – I’m not even American. I should also point out that I had issues with the arguments of both sides – dismiss my conclusion if you find cause to, but know that this is my sincere vote. I’ve put a substantial amount of effort into this RFD. 

    Below this page is a summary I’ve compiled while reading the debate. Green represents my thoughts on the matter, while Purple is representative of a thought that isn’t pointing out any flaw of either side. 

    PRO: It’s – for the most part – true that there is no written legislature that encourages mistreatment of black Americans. [At least – nothing that CON could provide. I am, admittedly, not well educated in American politics - save for what I can gather from this debate.]
    However, your definition of “systemic” does not specify written legislature – merely that ‘systemic’ means that “something is done according to a system or method”. For instance, in your example – a ‘systemic disease’ as your debate seems to imply, would refer to a genetic disorder – where the genes are responsible for ‘writing’ the rules. If the body is diseased regardless of the written rules – as in a viral or bacterial infection – then it’s still – by this very definition – systemic – affecting the whole system. 
    By way of comparison – America undeniably has a problem with racism. The disease is there – its symptoms are present tenfold, in protesting minorities to inexplicable disproportionate incarceration all the way to a rich history of segregation and police brutality. No, the government doesn’t explicitly encourage it in law – but it’s there, and the fact that there’s still not enough done about it – as CON proves – is enough evidence to fulfill their BoP.
    TL; DR: Yes, 100% non-conformance is a “pipe dream”, and yes, it’s hard to find it written in black and white that there is disproportionate treatment of black and white – but a government that sits relatively idle whilst 13% of its citizens experience an extremely disproportionate level of incarceration and health issues is a government that operates on a racist system. It is systemically racist. If it were a different group experiencing these issues – one that didn’t have an extensive history of being discriminated against, then there might be another cause to be considered. 
    But: If it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, and swims like a duck – it’s certainly not a flamingo. Doesn’t matter what the name tag says, and doesn’t matter that it was told to be a chicken.

    CON: Please stop declaring that you’ve won. In all aspects, this is up to the voting collective, and the cheeky jabs at PRO fall on unappreciative eyes. “Tsk, tsk tsk.” “…that’s why PRO’s arguments fail…” “Through the ignorance of PRO…”. I considered giving PRO the conduct point.
    That said – PRO never satisfactorily rebuts the core of your argument – which is effectively an appeal to authority – corporations pour millions of dollars into ending racism, experts agree that systemic racism exists, incarceration rates are disproportionately skewed to black Americans. 
    When PRO does touch these core tenants, the rebuttals are often based off a technicality as opposed to a rebuttal of the thing in itself – PRO dismisses source [1] on the basis of irrelevance and poor reliability, (which I still question) PRO dismisses several arguments in their last round that allows you no room to respond, PRO dismisses the corporations line of thought on the basis of poor referencing, etc. 
    As it stands, you have my argument vote by a hair – and you certainly might not get other votes. The final round would have helped.
    [By way of transparency, I’ve also included conversations with both PRO and CON post-vote submission, see final page.] [Only accessible via link.]



    Definitions:

    “Systemic”: describes something that is done according to a system or method; a systematic approach to learning that involves carefully following the program's steps; what relates to or affects an entire system; a systemic disease affects the entire body or organism, and systemic changes to an organization have an impact on the entire organization, including its most basic operations. 
    “Racism”: A belief that race is a fundamental determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race; behavior or attitudes that reflect and foster this belief; racial discrimination or prejudice. 
    “Government”: U.S. city locales, states, and federal government. 

    Rules:
    • R3: No new arguments.
    • No new sources after debate concludes.
    • No waived rounds – forfeiture.
    • No declaration of victory in R4.
    • 4th round conclusion only.
    • No addressing voters for voting suggestions.
    Faux Law: R1:
    “The Proper Interpretation of “Systemic””
    1.a: If CON refutes the definition of “systemic”, they’ll be moving the goalposts.
    1.a.i: “System” refers to policies and written legislation. Reiterates that anecdotal evidence is poor quality.
    1.b: Systems should be clear. Groups of individuals – sub-group – may adapt it. Don’t blame the system – blame the individuals. [Interesting angle. Is a system not an emergent property of it’s individuals? Curious to see where CON will go with this.]
    1.b.i: An officer acting alone is not the “system”.
    1.b.ii: Legislation isn’t omnipotent – can’t control fully. “100% conformance is a pipe dream.” 
    “The Proper Interpretation of “Racism””
    2.a: Vague strike at BLM.
    2.a.i: “BLM” suggests the system is an issue, and that BLM singles out “blacks as a protected class”.
    2.b: If the system is the issue, the system would specifically mention something about them. 
    2.b.ii: Equal Protection Clause cases; 
    1. Removal of “blacks only” signs for violating EPC.
    2. Changing of school system – violating EPC – combined schooling.
    3. Overturning of interracial marriage laws – violated EPC.
    2.b.ii: Summary of above – all court cases show an effective system dealing with previously defined ‘racism’. 

    Undefeatable: R1:
    “Experts agree there is a problem, and all evidence points toward it.”
    Quotes an “in-depth” research, showing that heart attacks were more common in black Americans living in “states with high levels of structural racism”. The study suggests there is discrimination in “educational attainment, income, wealth, credit, employment and incarceration.” CON’s main point here is health disparity. Valid, according to the study quoted. 
    Quotes misuse of standardized tests, quotes misuse of an algorithm determining health care.
    Increased incidence in myocardial infarction – heart attack. [If PRO digs into this a bit more, this might be a potential weakness – how does racism cause myocardial infarction? Potential confounding factors abound.]
    Quotes MIT president – “remarking the problems existing within the system.”
    “Call to Action”:   [12?]
    Mostly ethos – an appeal to emotion. Notes that billions of dollars have been donated to ‘end systemic racism’. 
  • JRob
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    Faux Law: R2:
    “Rebuttal: Institutional Racism”
    1.a.: Dismisses the evidence of health issues on the basis of uncertainty – quote – “should be 2401” is instead “1905”. Therefore, not sufficiently reliable. [Not a sufficient rebuttal for this point – ‘sufficiently reliable’ can be argued. “Certified Six Sigma Black Belt Primer” could use some explanation. PRO’s first sign of weakness.]
    1.b.: Notes that the hospital system in America is a private industry – and therefore is irrelevant to this debate. Apparently agrees that there is a problem.
    1.c.: Extends point of the Supreme Court being effective.
    1.d.: Argues that education, income, wealth, credit and employment don’t fall within the resolution. Notes that incarceration is within the government system – but dismisses the source and dismisses this point along with it. [Seems fallacious – if CON can successfully rebut 1.a, this point is moot.] [It was never addressed.]
    1.e.: Strongly rebuts the “photo ID = racism” point – strong variation across states does not count as systemic. 
    1.e.2: Notes that it’s a choice where to live – state-wise. [Seriously? “If you don’t like it here, move?” This is an absurd rebuttal – 1.e.3. was more than sufficient, and the inclusion of this sub-point weakens PRO’s position.]
    1.e.3: Voter I.D. requirements = racism = false – required for welfare benefits, firearms, marry, liquor, etcetera.
    “[Extend Definitions]”:
    2.a.: Extends definitions.
    2.a.i.: Notes again that CON’s [1] is to be thrown out considering that the issues it addresses aren’t in the “wheelhouse” of government. Also notes that not the entire population is affected, and therefore cannot be systemic. 
    2.a.ii: Requests that – as they fall outside the definition – all topics outside the wheelhouse of government are to be ‘null and void’. Notes that CON must stick to the definitions.
    “Systemic is not Institutional”
    3.a.: Systemic – defined. 
    3.a.i: Quotes a source that implies institutional racism is at fault.
    3.a.ii: Notes that there are initiatives to ‘fix’ the problem.
    Corrects PRO’s mistake regarding the number of Supreme Court justices. Reiterates B.o.P.

    Undefeatable: R2:
    Preface; “If even a handful of innocent black men has been consistently judged poorly by the legislative laws and ideas set in place, then systemic racism exists.”
    “The Expert Syllogism, Clarified”:
    Reiterates the premise of their R1: that because experts agree that a problem exists, there is a problem. [Of systemic racism.] [Potential appeal to authority fallacy…?]
    Notes that PRO must show why there is effort put into a ‘non-existent’ issue. Makes a remark about systemic racism not existing in Australia. [Comedy gold.]
    “Health Care Issues”:
    Notes that governmental inaction is a severe problem in the health system – compares a stock market crash with government inaction to this particular point. 
    “”All governments have some degree of involvement in healthcare because essentially all countries have a centrally funded agency that is concerned with public health issues.””
    “Incarceration Concession from PRO”:
    Notes that PRO did not fully rebut the incarceration point, expounding:
    Notes that African Americans constitute a disproportionate part of the prison system. Notes that Bush and Al Gore wanted to introduce a law to prevent racial profiling. Notes that drug arrests were similarly disproportionate: 
    "African Americans constitute approximately 13% of the U.S. population and 13% of its drug users; however, African Americans constitute 35% of drug arrests, 55% of drug convictions, and 74% of drug imprisonments."
    Brings up the concept of “unconscious racism” – and that judges cannot find this point ‘tenable’; “The Supreme Court made it possible for a racist officer to justify pulling over only African Americans by showing that he had the modicum of reasonableness necessary for probable cause 248, or, in cases of a Terry search, mere “articulable suspicion.”
    Notes dropped arguments – denying racism would be a slippery slope, corporation investment into ‘non-issues’. 
    Notes that education, healthcare and legislative branches have problems – and inaction can be just as bad as negative action. 

    Faux Law: R3:
    “Taken to Tsk”:
    1.a.: ‘Syllogisms don’t work sometimes.’
    1.a.i: Quote – “The attempt to solve a problem… as being a problem?” [CON clearly states that if experts say there is a problem, there’s a problem. This ‘rebuttal’ is uncharacteristically poor of PRO – suspected to distract the voter as opposed to actually responding to CON.]
    1.b.: Refers back to their previous argument in rebuttal. [PRO should have addressed the quote presented by CON - hard to drop a source of that magnitude on these grounds alone.]
    1.c.: Notes that Australia and Antarctica are irrelevant. [PRO is now rebutting the wrong concept – AU/ANT were [albeit poor] examples of where experts do not point toward systemic racism. If CON had quoted an Australian source there would be cause for this rebuttal, but a direct comparison is acceptable.]
    “Health Care”:
    2.a.: Reiterates that healthcare is beyond the scope of the government. Reiterates that PRO has not shown anything in the legislature that shows proof of systemic racism. 
    “Incarceration”:
    3.a.: Notes that CON strays from the resolution – that incarceration rates are the responsibility of individuals not following policy. [?]
    3.b.: Notes that some individuals exhibit racist tendencies – but the ‘handbook’ does not instruct them to do so.
    3.c.: Argues that the incarceration point was not dropped. [True, addressed here.]
    “Prisons and United States v. Clary”:
    4.a.: Again, retreats to the concept that “legislature does not encourage racism”. Data accepted. 
    4.a.i.: “Blacks commit a higher percentage of total crimes by more than double, even though the White population is larger than the Black population by a factor of 5.7x. Commission of crime is a personal, individual decision, not a systemic coercion.” [This is the WEAKEST point in the entire argument. If this were unmentioned, PRO's argument would be significantly stronger. It is not logical by any stretch of the imagination that 13% of the population commits more crime than 76% of the population. To think this is to imply that African Americans are SIGNIFICANTLY more innately driven to crime is plainly untrue.]
    4.a.ii.: The differing sentences for different drugs defence. [Well put.]
    “Dropped?”
    5.a. 
    5.a.i: Notes that the “black ghetto” argument is ‘dead’. [This voter agrees – CON didn’t go into this point much – but I feel as though PRO deliberately waited to address this to weaken CON’s argument. No effect on either side.]
    5.a.ii: Denies that the ‘slippery slope’ point was dropped because it never existed in the first place. [It did, but it was sort of a passing reference in CON’s ethos-based opening as opposed to a fleshed-out point.]
    5.a.iii: Denies the corporation point. [I find this rebuttal unsatisfactory. The source is there, plainly, in R1. A minor mistake in referencing isn’t enough to drop the entire argument.]
    “Conclusion”
    6.a.: States that CON has failed their BOP. (On basis of no documentation of racism.)
    6.b.: Accuses CON of shifting the goalposts – ‘systemic’ to ‘institutional’. 
    6.c.: Accuses CON of introducing material outside the scope of the resolution. [I find this particular bit to be moot. The “black ghetto” point can be discarded, certainly, but the education point, point about corporations, etc, still stand. The bit about AU/ANT was by way of explaining a point - dismissal of the analogy alone doesn’t address the point it was explaining - expert acknowledgement of an issue.]
    6.d.: “I won.”
    Undefeatable: R3: 
    P1: Experts use “systemic racism”, PRO has not rebutted this. The Supreme Court isn’t part of the system by PRO’s logic. Government is at fault. [?]
    P2: States that “If we deny systemic racism, … minorities will be snuffed [out] like a candle.” [?]
    P3: “I won.” [Underwhelming final round.]

  • JRob
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    --> @3RU7AL
    Here you go.
  • 3RU7AL
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    --> @JRob
    Thanks!
  • 3RU7AL
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    --> @JRob
    CON: Please stop declaring that you’ve won. In all aspects, this is up to the voting collective, and the cheeky jabs at PRO fall on unappreciative eyes. “Tsk, tsk tsk.” “…that’s why PRO’s arguments fail…” “Through the ignorance of PRO…”. I considered giving PRO the conduct point.
    I agree.  A rush to declare victory and implicit ad hominem attacks qualify as poor conduct.
  • 3RU7AL
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    --> @JRob
    Accuses CON of introducing material outside the scope of the resolution. [I find this particular bit to be moot. The “black ghetto” point can be discarded, certainly, but the education point, point about corporations, etc, still stand. The bit about AU/ANT was by way of explaining a point - dismissal of the analogy alone doesn’t address the point it was explaining - expert acknowledgement of an issue.]
    Thorough and fair.
  • fauxlaw
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    --> @JRob
    You want some clarification of the Six Sigma Black Belt Primer" Suggestion as a voter to a voter: look it up. I am not going to waste debate space clarifying to every voter what a source is. Look it up. That's your job as a voter, or don't bother voting. Rather cheeky, don't you think, to summarize YOUR version of my  debate arguments? 3RU7AL can read it from the debate itself. Your summary summarizes badly at best, demonstrating a general lack of understanding the arguments, and that shows in your vote. Example: you did not bother to try to understand what 2,401 and 1,905 [you dropped the ooo's separator commas] represent in the context of SSBB. Easy enough if you.... look it up. Want that said once again?
  • JRob
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    --> @fauxlaw
    The summary is made for my benefit, as a way of clarifying what I'm thinking - it's not an attempt to be snarky, and it's not for 3RU7AL's benefit either. [It's also part of the link on the actual vote - 3RU7AL requested that my RFD be posted on the site as opposed to an external link, which is the reason that it's here.] This was a way of dumbing down a very complicated debate so that I can understand it.

    The note regarding "SSBB" isn't quite what you think it is, either - I assumed at the time that it would be a potential point of weakness if CON chose to challenge it. I didn't think for a moment that CON would ignore that aspect of the rebuttal - which is part of the reason why - as I mentioned to you previously - the health aspect of this debate wasn't part of my final consideration. 

    "A number of CON's points were well and truly ripped to pieces - such as the healthcare and education points..."

    I know you take issue with my vote - and as we've discussed - you are completely entitled to report it and go through that process. If it's decided by the moderation team that I didn't take due time to consider both sides, or if I've somehow violated the voting code, I'm perfectly content to accept that decision - I'm certainly no expert here, and I'm happy to be shown where I've gone wrong. Yet - I would appreciate it if you left that to the moderation team, instead of throwing shade about it in the forum.
  • fauxlaw
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    --> @JRob
    You mean, like the shade you threw by your vote? And then by publishing not just your vote, but a play-by-play analysis on the public forum rather than let the debate language itself prevail? If the summary was for your benefit, why did you publish it in Forum? Can't you glean wisdom from writing it for yourself, by yourself? Let's recall that following the publication of your analysis in Forum, you advise 3RU7AL "Here you go." If it was just for your clarification, you're certainly sharing it, contrary to your claim, because some of the the play-by-play is included in the post that contains the verbiage of your vote. Nice attempt at a justification, but, I don't buy it. And I have reported the vote.
  • JRob
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    --> @fauxlaw
    Comment #28:

    "3RU7AL:
    --> @JRob
    You can always post your RFD under, https://www.debateart.com/forum/miscellaneous/topics
    I'd like to read it but I'm not going to download it from dropbox."

    Comment #29:

    "JRob:
    --> @3RU7AL
    Ah, thanks. Didn't think of that."


    Again - the RFD is here because someone didn't want to download the file from dropbox. That is the only reason. I'm beginning to feel like a broken record, but it's not an attempt to be snarky, there was no malice in my intent - it is a copied and pasted version of the link I provided in the voting section of the actual debate. 

  • fauxlaw
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    --> @JRob
    Broken record? Why must I keep repeating that I am not talking about your vote text. It's the summary that you provided without anyone asking for it, and that I find as poorly written as your vote, thus justifying the report of it.