Debate Coverage

Dems/Repubs Debate LIVE BLOG: Affirmative Action

*the debate will be less complex than pictured, barely...

The debate has begun! It’s already heating up and arguments are coming fast and fierce. There have already been some unexpected moves. The Dems came out not fully supporting affirmative action, instead stating that everyone wants to see an end of the policy. The question, however, is when. Stay tuned for live updates to this article as the debate unfolds!

  • 8:26 The Republicans are hung up on the prosecution of the Irish Catholics vs African Americans.
  • 8:30 first audience question. Are legacy policies more harmful than affirmative action?
  • 8:33 Dems are busting out studies, talking about how the exposure to people of race in professional and academic settings leads to less discrimination. Repubs rebuttal by saying that’s buying into the logic of racism. Both get snaps from the audience.
  • 8:37 Question from the audience: Is affirmative action harming the chances of other minorities professionally and in academia?
  • 8:40 More prosecution against the Irish! Perhaps the Repubs would have better luck with this line of argument if we were still in the 1850s.
  • 8:43 Question from the audience: What about Native Americans on reservations.
  • 8:45 We have quite the diverse panel: the debaters from the Dems come from Brazil and Alaska, and the Repubs have an Irishman.
  • 8:48 Republicans argue that “one more program” will not solve racism, we can’t let race be a factor. Dems argue that race does affect one’s opportunities in life.
  • 8:52 Repubs argue that we should strive for a meritocracy, and that affirmative action helps people at the cost of promoting a racist mindset.
  • 8:58 Dems argue that there is still measurable racism in this country. The Repubs claim that employers assume that the reason black people with the same resumes as white people are inferior is because “they must have gotten affirmative action”. Audience gasps.
  • 9:00 Audience member challenges the assumption that affluent African Americans don’t face racism. Repubs argue that it doesn’t mean that affirmative action will solve this, saying that “affirmative action doesn’t stop employers from being racist”.
  • 9:08 Repubs argue that affirmative action is a way for polticians to say that they have done something to end racism and then they do no more. Dems argue “who says that?”
  • 9:10 Question from the audience: does affirmative action creates shame amongst minorities when it comes to their relationship to white peers? Dems argue that there are plenty of boosts for white students and professionals, affirmative action is just an equalizer.
  • 9:14 Lots of talk about nigerian ambassadors, someone’s ears are burning! Our Irish friend talks about discrimination in England. Meanwhile, Dems accuse republicans of living in a fantasy world where everyone is equal. It’s really heating up! “Your solution is do nothing, work harder!”
  • 9:19 This is the part of the debate where both sides start to repeat themselves. There are a few gems though. For example, the Repubs just claimed that the dems suggest they are “supporting Jim Crow”.
  • 9:21 Last question: Brazil has a spectrum between white and black, how does affirmative action deal with mixed race children?
  • 9:22 Lots of shouting out the window. What’s going on outside the debate hall? Anyways, the debate has turned into an analysis of various metaphors: weights, scales, etc.

Debates over folks. Thanks to all who cam and the Dems and Repubs for participating. Before the end of the week we will have a video up thanks to our partnership with CTV.