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Should the U. S. A. Allow schools to teach racism and color aware/conscious programs?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/17/2020 Category: Education
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 358 times Debate No: 124048
Debate Rounds (3)
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In case anybody is confused by the term color-aware, In this context it refers to relatively new programs in which historical cases of racism are taught and discussed in public K-12 school systems. I am against this idea because it involves massive government intervention in a subject that should be debated by individual families, Not for everybody to hear in a public school classroom. Also in most cases especially for younger kids, Racism has not affected their everyday life yet, And if it has, Again it should be discussed among families. Also, I don't think I've heard a clear point in the past few years from most proponents of these type of programs as to why it is necessary to be taught about racism-related subjects other than possibly to push a political agenda. I claim that because most of these programs are in major cities mostly run by Democrats. In center and Republican (conservative) cities and towns, These programs are often much smaller or non-existant.

*I am not at all suggesting that the Democrats are pushing a political agenda, I am just stating a fact that they are mostly found in Democrat-run cities. Thank you for your participation to whoever accepts this debate as I think this is an important discussion. *


I don"t really see the downside of a more inclusive school system. You admit yourself that in conservative cities the programs are near nonexistent, But which states are most notorious for bringing up the rear on equality? Red states. So maybe they can follow the laboratory of democracy idea and learn from blue states.

I don"t get the argument saying it"s a massive government intervention either seeing as the government operates the public school system in the first place.

Also white kids and black kids learn more about other races by first hand experience being around other races. I sure didn"t learn much about my black friends talking to my white family about racism. Exposure to other races at a young age is the best way to cure racism. No kid is born racist more often than not they pick that up from their family.
Debate Round No. 1


OK, Let me clarify what I meant by "massive government intervention" because you might have missed that part of my argument. What I"m saying is that when government public school systems were founded around 100 years ago, They weren"t founded on a premise to teach values that people once acknowledged were better taught by parents.
90-100 years later, That boundary has mostly been discarded in our culture (more so in blue states), With curriculum being written on every subject imaginable, Like global warming/climate change, Sex education, Inclusion, Diversity, And many more.

Also, What exactly is this "laboratory of democracy" idea you speak of? Can you explain and elaborate a little as you didn"t mention any details? If I had to guess, It probably has to do with inclusion (a concept which I"m skeptical of as well, But that"s a separate thing).

The bottom part of your argument is slightly confusing. It makes sense that kids can learn about different races by being around them, But that has nothing to do with teaching it in a public school classroom. For that kind of experience, They can just try to find neighbors or people that their parents know and spend time with them. But the real kicker of this confusing argument is that you say "Exposure to other races at a young age is the best way to cure racism". Are you suggesting that kids somehow have racism present in them if they only hang out with their own race? In my opinion they are probably too young to understand the concept of racism, At least the younger kids are. So why waste resources, Teachers and taxpayer dollars on something the kids likely won"t understand?


Well first off "values" is a open ended word, There"s no agreed value in anything.

Part of the purpose of a public school system is to expose the public to different ideas and opinions. If parents don"t like it, They have the option of private schools. It doesn"t make sense not to talk about race in a classroom because this is a continually growing racially diverse country, With often quite a different racial percentage in the classroom than with students" parents and grandparents. Racial, Sexual and religious demographics are not where they once were and it"s falls to the job of the school system to inform students of that in a setting that can provide ample context.

If a child in Alabama grows up in a household and neighborhood where the views on race are antiquated at best, That can influence their opinion of the minority group later in life. In short, Children aren"t born racist, Being racist is due to racist influences during the child"s development. If there is a school in place with educational material to correct their views on race, Particularly if they share a classroom with minorities, Then anyone opposed to that would fall on the side of keeping racist views in society.

The whole point of an inclusive America is to treat people with respect and acknowledge their contributions to their communities and workplaces regardless of race, Gender identity, Sexual orientation and religion. It all goes back to the two unwritten rules we learned in elementary school - "treat others the way you want to be treated and if you can"t, Well you"re just a dick".

Also the phrase laboratory of democracy is a widely understood and quoted phrase that comes from Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis in New State Ice Co. V. Liebmann where the Justice spoke of each state as a laboratory of ideas and that the best results of experiments in law and social policy in different states could be measured against the other to find the best results for the nation.

Also also I"d like to direct your attention to the sentence that came directly after the sentence (you know the one you thought was the real kicker) explaining that exposure to other races was the best way to cure racism:

"No kid is born racist more often than not they pick that up from their family"
Debate Round No. 2


First of all, Before I mention anything about your response, I looked up the Supreme Court case you mentioned (New State Ice Co. V. Liebmann), And found out according to federalism. Org (exact link posted on bottom), That Louis Brandeis' argument regarding the experimentation of social policies and laws in different states doesn't connect to the rest of the case. From my understanding, This case involved a Oklahoma statute made in 1925 stating that nobody was supposed to be engaged in the manufacturing or distribution of ice without a proper license. The court ruled in a 6-2 majority that this statute violated the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment of the Constitution. Justice Brandeis' argument was supporting states having the freedom to experiment ways to tackle "economic and social concerns", But since this case was mostly economic and involved a buisness, It is irrelevant to the "inclusive America" narrative.

In terms of your response, I'll give you your point that the concept of values depends on a person as people have different political ideologies. However, I strongly disagree with your opinion that just because our demographics are changing as a country, Schools have the unwavering right to teach racism. That is not a strong enough case to justify dicussing racism on its own because I think most younger kids would treat other kids equally regardless of race. That's the essence of a color-blind society. However, If their parents support truly racist views (I don't use that term lightly), Or if the kids have problems interacting with other races, Then I could get behind a program that discuss racism, But only with an interview with the parents and sufficient evidence to prove that they did it. It can't be just for anybody who just wants to join in.

I also wanted to briefly add that the color-blind system (which is being called out by some Democrats, And the source of the programs we are debating today) from my understanding started as part of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s and 70s, A movement universally applauded by almost all U. S. Citizens, Regardless of political ideology. Given this idea came from the Civil Rights Movement, I am astonished that this idea is being marketed as "perpetuating and spreading racism" by certain people and textbooks as supposed to stopping it.

*In case you don't have enough room to express your argument here, Feel free to post on the comments section as I meant to have 4 rounds for this debate instead of 3. *
http://encyclopedia. Federalism. Org/index. Php/New_State_Ice_Company_v. _Liebmann_(1932)


Your first paragraph has literally nothing to do with anything about this debate. The phrase labradorite of democracy is just a saying that can be applied to numerous different social programs in America. It can absolutely be applied to programs in America that address race relations as well. For example, Red states are literally decades behind blue states when it comes to equal treatment for African Americans, But by extension women and members of the LGBTQ+ community. Much of this has to do with backwards approaches to inclusiveness and empathy.

But at the end of the day the studies are clear on the benefits of teaching acceptance and tolerance to young children. And I"d like to point out that you who bear the burden of proof in this debate not only haven"t given any evidence showing any detriments of these programs in schools, But you also haven"t shown that children are better off learning about other races through their families instead of listening to people with higher education.

The good news is though none of this even matters because schools aren"t doing away with these programs, They"re building on them. And that thankfully can only lead to a more enlightened, Open minded populace.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Lisa.Estevez 2 years ago
Good afternoon,
I disagree that racism should be taught in school. The purpose of public school is to provide the content and skills that are needed to meet the college and career readiness standards. Public school is responsible for meeting the needs of students in order for them to appropriately access the curriculum and beyond. It is not responsible for teaching children and teens what to think and how to feel. In America, Citizens are encouraged to be free-thinkers. Our country was founded on this idea to be creative and inventive for the purpose of life, Liberty, And the pursuit of happiness. Citizens are allowed to form their own opinions, However, Dark they may be.
However, I do believe there are opportunities, Within the curriculum, To facilitate rich conversation and debate on the subject that would lead to improved thinking and a call to action for a more respectful society. Racism is a hard topic because it is created out of hatred. Hatred only inspires more hatred. Love is the only answer for hatred. Love only comes from God and that is not allowed in public school.
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