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Ndt Finals: Emporia Versus Northwestern

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his bullying & assorted ad homs in a community of debates speaks volumes about your character and your skills.   And speaking of silencing voices or attempts to silence voices.  Not to mention its a perf con with your overall point--before I told my story--you just labeled me--without any basis except that I questioned what I saw as practices and ideologies which others had been silent on.

 

So much for minority viewpoints & inclusion.  I guess thats a bunch of rhetoric.  

 

So much for thinking outside the box.... this nathan guy must hate performance and Ks and philosophy.

No one is saying you're wrong because you're an asshole. People (specifically YounGun) are giving warranted reasons why you're wrong, and others (specifically TLF, Mr Zulu and Gonzavaba) are calling you an asshole, seperate from the actual debate. Gonzaba's insult is pretty stupid (I don't think you're bad at debate; you're just bad at empathy), but I don't think he was ever trying to argue with you. 

 

I also might be more sympathetic to you if I didn't know how much of an asshole you were from other posts.Specifically this one, where you say Emory is a bad camp because it supports UDLs too much.

 

Debating with a significant portion of UDL debates/debaters is going to skew debate in certain ways.   For many of those attendees Emory may have been their only camp or they have been to Emory multiple years.  I entails some  assumptions on my part in 2 or 3 respects.

 

Yes Nathan, some racist-ass, not true assumptions. Of course in this post you seem to extoll the value of UDL. I guess if its the lesser of two evils...

 

 

 

 

I'm not going to respond to your post point-by-point because I'm at school and don't have time to, but it seems like the crux of your argument is "Emporia can't solve all American cultural problems, so they shouldn't try to solve anything. They must know this, so obviously they're just trying to win". This seems to be holding Emporia to an unreasonably high standard; they have been successful in that they (and every team that has made similar arguments) have caused discussions like this to start.

 

You end your post with the typical "If you have a problem with racism, just create your own league instead of trying to fix ours. We don't want you" argument. I don't think I have to explain why literally everything Emporia said is a response to this, but I (or someone else) can if you want.

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I am not one to believe hate deserves hate. Maybe that's a position a lot of cultural theorists like Wilderson and them believe is wrong, but I believe that attitude prevents progress. As several of the colonialist authors teach us, growing up in an area where there isn't intolerance is a form of privilege in and of itself. I think calling people 'bad at debate' and 'racist assholes' for having a different opinion based off their own lived experiences are counter-intuitive to changing their minds; and I speak from an area where I've had people try to convince me of reverse racism/sexism, denying white privilege, LGBTQ people being sub-human, things far more awful and outlandish than "I think that one debate round doesn't solve racism". I think if you're going to explode and antagonize one of the most contributing members to this site because he has a different opinion on the round or debate, you're kind of being absurd. Maybe that's fine in the round, but when we're just considering hypotheticals outside the round it's unnecessary and only really fractures the community. Considering I've seen debaters run arguments (kritikal ones) that are probably far more offensive to certain identity types (myself included), I think it's important we recognize that kritikal debate isn't intrinsically more valuable. I'm not advocating a particular point per se, but I'm just reminding people to be civil in their opinion and understanding of someone else's position.

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my bad, i missed your one line congrats amidst all your attempts to say the round was poorly executed. And just so we're clear, I'm not trying to have a debate with this tool. firstly because i can't debate the issue better than the round that already happened and is in question, but secondly because neither can he  - in fact, he doesn't even know what happened in the round he's running his mouth about. for those of you who don't know (as has been suggested before) the hostility toward this person isn't isolated to this post. it's not about immediately responding to dissent with hostility, it's about troll bashing. 

 

nathan, you're not worth talking to. you rant about the round and the issues in them as though you have some insight that the rest of the community, the round, the panel all missed when in fact you clearly didn't actually listen to the round. i've watched the online feed multiple times now; it's way more than clear enough for you to catch the part of the round i'm referring to -- when the 2ac slows way down, elevates his voice, and very clearly and specifically responds to the very argument about comparing narratives you make. so either you didn't listen, or you're bad at flowing debate. that's not an ad hom, i just warranted it. 

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Part I:

This is slightly off topic, but it involves me being labeled "racist" because I suggested Emory wasn't one of my top options.

 

Well...this is a bit of a manipulation as I recall.  It wasn't a matter of saying Emory was good/bad.  It was a matter of ranking.

Based on what the typical student who is looking for high achievement and high achievement peers--

Its also more likely that the students in a non-emory camp have their interests aligned.  They have direct accountability

from their parents in terms of money spent or even made some of their money in a summer job.  

 

This isn't racist.  This is based.  Saying something about race doesn't mean racist.  For instance, black people tend to listen to rap and soul versus other forms of music.  I'm not quite sure about the empirical basis of this statement--but given that most of those stations which are explicitly run as African American.

 

Saying that going to an institution where there is a high pressence of African Americans doesn't means its racist.  For instance, if I say you might want to go to Harvard or Vanderbilt versus one of the schools in the WAC--thats tied to results--not some racist animus.

 

To me....the act of labeling my act racist, without sorting out the deeper reasons is a bit reactionary...a bit of a knee jerk reaction.  Particularly because you don't know me and don't entirely know my motivations.  You don't know how I treat African American people or my history with African American people.  Actually, my debate partner in college was gay and black and he's an accomplished lawyer now.  I have a lot of respect for him and people like him--thank you very much.

 

Part II:

Ok....you're in a class.....History of American or European Art and History of Europe/America.  You're taking notes expectantly for the test you're going to have in 2 weeks.  Suddenly....a third party enters the room and says "you don't have the right to take this class--we've decided because this class is about Europe--and Europe has racist and colonialist roots--we aren't going to offer it anymore.  Instead, we're going to offer only minority history.  We know you came to the university to study American history......we know you've paid your money for American history.....but we don't any of that is important.  We think there are racist roots in Europe and everything associated with white people.  We also think this will make things easier for all minorities--we think it will be more "home" if we silence those parts of our history.

 

What is your reaction?

 

What if your university (or high school) took away your major or your most prized class?

 

In the context of the university there are alternative courses in history/humanities.  In the context of debate....you can have these conversations and auto-biographies anywhere.....

 

Part III:

As a side note, If the people that ran these arguments were truly commited to the argument and not the ballot--you couldn't stop them from telling the story in the halls.  They wouldn't care about the ballot.  Don't get me wrong, they deserve the ballot if they do it by using a just means--performative & particularly identity-centric performance is a rigged game.  It just seems this advocacy is disengenous.  They aren't exhausting the 100 other means and alternatives that don't involve neglecting the resolution or the interests of the other team.  Performative auto-biographies based on suffering, oppression, and victimhood just reverse the hierachies.  The original hierarchies were bad--but the reversal is just as bad--just as race-centric.  This is especially the case when there are alternatives which don't tradeoff with traditional debate--something which has massive value for minorities.  If you don't think it has value--don't do the activity--but don't steal the activity from other people--don't rip their time and their investment in the activity away from them.  

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nathan_debate, on 04 Apr 2013 - 22:44, said:

My argument is their core argument "The Wiz" is not at all consistent with the more radical components of their argument. This this an argument Northwestern missed entirely.

 

I'm all for the K....but debates like this aren't particularly educational in a way that telling his story after the debate in 3 minutes couldn't have been--or having some sort of storytelling

roundtable wouldn't have been.

I think you're missing the point of the story. The Wiz/Wizard of Oz is a story about inclusion and acceptance of difference which is totally in-line with their arguments about creating a homeplace in debate (ie making minority voices, particularly quare bodies, more comfortable in debate). If your argument is that stylistically they contradict the inclusivity inherent in the story, then I'll answer that below.

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I don't think Shaw is concerned about 1 debate round versus a day or month or year of occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan. The two simply don't compare.

 

And I'm saying debate imperialism is different.

You've missed the point again. Obviously one round in isolation isn't going to have a drastic impact on US imperialism (but I think in this instance it may have a pretty big impact on "debate imperialism"). The point I'm making is just that we do have an impact on imperialism if we choose to talk about it.

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Forcing people to read auto-biographies of victimhood to win is another form of imperialism--in terms of subjectivity which internally turns the ultimate impact of the 1ac.

 

Just scratching the surface....but what stories of oppression would you be able to tell which trumped the stories they told?

Debate isn't a contest of competing stories, it's a contest of competing methodologies. You still haven't told me which part of their aff makes debate about trading auto-biographies or, as you put it later, "90% biographical". The point isn't trying to "out-victim" the other side (which, admittedly, is a really stupid way of going about it) but to present a different methodology with which to challenge the problems the aff brings up.

 

 

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Four problems in a nutshell:

1. Dropping f-bombs is not consistent with the Wiz or creating a "home" for other people. F-bombs signify a violent household (literally rhetorical violence).

They can be used in a negative way, sure, but they can also be used in a rhetorically powerful way, which is how they were used in this instance. I would agree if they were speaking to children, but they were speaking to adults who are fully aware of the rhetorical power of the word "fuck".

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2. The anger and power-over dynamic exhibited by the aff in cross-ex is pretty deplorable....turbo charges the empathy claims & pretty much that empathy is the gateway to solving societal problems like the aff and solving them in the real world for the rest of our lives.

So being aggressive in cross-x is bad? If that's the case then a good portion of the top policy-only teams are exactly the same way. Admittedly, Elijah may have been a little too aggressive but that doesn't change the argument they are making.

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3. The framework arguments make by the affirmative were not "Wiz-llke" or accomodationist--they were exclusionary--they prefigured the result of the debate.

I'd love to hear you explain how arguing for more minority standpoints in debate is exclusionary.

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4. The neg allowed a place for the neg, but the neg didn't allow a place for the neg. The UDL example as well as the overall demeanor in the debate. This was the UDL example. (it certainly provides a "home" for many, many students without being explicitly exclusionary)

I'm going to assume you meant "The neg allowed a place for the aff, but the aff didn't allow a place for the neg." If that's the case, then you still haven't done a good job explaining how they could have done their aff topically (I'll answer your eco-racism stuff later).

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And your point about the Clean Air Act, while proving my argument paradoxical--doesn't disprove the historical issue I pointed to.....or the ability to use eco-racism as an argument on the topic.

In fact, I can envision an aff for Eco-Racism which leveraged the Clean Air Act as an empirical example of how controls do actually stop pollution--so leveraging the "letter of the law" against itself

we can in fact decrease the pollution & its effects in African American, minority, & poor communities.

That would be an interesting idea if the majority of the environmental justice and eco-racism literature wasn't going in the exact opposite direction. Even if you win that the Clean Air Act does stuff, it doesn't change the fact that either a) corporations will just ignore it and pay the penalties because it's cheaper or B) that Congress wouldn't give corporations a shitload of leeway like they already do (because a good portion of them are paid by fossil fuel lobbies). The problem isn't one of policy, but of mindset. Changing the former doesn't change the latter, the Clean Air Act is the empirical example.

 

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Thats debatable. I think the "steal the stage" or non-accomodationist model proves that its more about ballots and trophies.

Are you seriously that dense that you think they argue this way purely so they can win debates? What about other teams that deploy this style of argumentation that you DON'T see in outrounds at national tournaments? Could they ostensibly change their style and maybe win more debates? Perhaps. But they don't do it for that reason. They do it because they legitimately feel that debate excludes their voices. And sure, there are teams that are really successful at doing it (Emporia, West Georgia, Towson, OU). This is a competitive activity, there will be winners and losers. But you're ridiculous if you think that the only reason the read the arguments they do is so they can win debates.

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If you want debate 100% like you want it......make your own league. You can't expect any sport to transform their practices 180 degrees. Thats also a more effective strategy.

 

And they would be protesting academia itself rather than debate. Its far more fundamental--than debate. Its intitutional norms & hiring criteria--but you could have an event in the

space with institutional support--but you aren't going to magically change 200+ years of debate practice much less the institutional -isms with a ballot. In fact, I would argue

that it goes back to Aristotle and the notion of ethos & what constitutes credibility.

We've been gender-editing cards for years because teams started criticizing gendered language. The community is now in the process of shifting away from using ableist language because teams are starting to criticize it (thanks in no small part to Sarah Lundeen and West Georgia). I think those are 180s from where we used to stand on those things.

 

My partner and I read an Edelman aff this semester, in which a good number of my 2ACs I spoke about how hard it was for me to come out as bisexual, and how it made my life so much easier if I gave up on the notion that my purpose to contribute to the future through reproduction and instead focused on contributing through my own jouissance. Wanna know how many teams went for framework? 2. The rest engaged on a methodological level (cap bad and Red Pedagogy were common arguments). Even 5 years ago exponentially more teams would have just went 1-off framework. I think that's progress.

 

I don't think their goal is to get teams like Northwestern, Georgetown and Wake Forest to stop reading policy affs (because they probably aren't going to). Rather, I think their goal is to make debate more accommodating (such as by making critical affirmations of the topic more acceptable). What does that world look like specifically? Honestly, I couldn't tell you. But not trying is not acceptable to me.

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The fact the ballot was made by only one judge means everybody so confident in the absolute truth of their opinion of the ballot needs to reconsider.

 

I totally 100% was rooting for and believed Emporia won the round. Then again I also thought I won the round against Brair Woods CH this year, and a few other rounds as well. This is debate. If there was an absolute truth in an argument then this activity wouldn't be possible.

 

It's not even that some of you are wrong in your criticisms of nathan's opinion, it's just that yall are dicks about it. Being offensive to somebody because of their opinion isn't really different than insulting someone for their religion or something else.

 

I think it's a dumb idea to go one-off framework, don't get me wrong, and I think that's what cost NW the round. With that said, there are legitimate arguments for NWs framework, and legitimate ones against. I don't see why anybody didn't flip shit at Fort Hays (aside from the post-round nonsense, and also there most likely was but you get what I'm saying) for getting up there, reading a story about a guy with an erection and proceeding to run an author who studies a field widely considered to marginalize third world populations and literally believes we should forget about atrocities. I'm not saying doubling or Zupancic is wrong, but that argument was arguably waaaay more fucked up than saying 'you should at least normatively defend a resolution' or 'forcing a decision between narratives is bad'. Being kritikal doesn't automatically make you less X or whatever than being straight up policy. I'm really playing devils advocate here, put honestly there are good sides to all arguments and to some judges some are more convincing and some debaters can argue some better than others.

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Part I:

This is slightly off topic, but it involves me being labeled "racist" because I suggested Emory wasn't one of my top options.

 

Well...this is a bit of a manipulation as I recall.  It wasn't a matter of saying Emory was good/bad.  It was a matter of ranking.

Based on what the typical student who is looking for high achievement and high achievement peers--

Its also more likely that the students in a non-emory camp have their interests aligned.  They have direct accountability

from their parents in terms of money spent or even made some of their money in a summer job.  

 

This isn't racist.  This is based.  Saying something about race doesn't mean racist.  For instance, black people tend to listen to rap and soul versus other forms of music.  I'm not quite sure about the empirical basis of this statement--but given that most of those stations which are explicitly run as African American.

 

Saying that going to an institution where there is a high pressence of African Americans doesn't means its racist.  For instance, if I say you might want to go to Harvard or Vanderbilt versus one of the schools in the WAC--thats tied to results--not some racist animus.

 

To me....the act of labeling my act racist, without sorting out the deeper reasons is a bit reactionary...a bit of a knee jerk reaction.  Particularly because you don't know me and don't entirely know my motivations.  You don't know how I treat African American people or my history with African American people.  Actually, my debate partner in college was gay and black and he's an accomplished lawyer now.  I have a lot of respect for him and people like him--thank you very much.

 

I went to the Emory debate camp and the worst debaters weren't from UDLs; they were from rich suburban schools. They were kids that didn't really want to be there, but had rich parents who heard "Emory debate camp" and figured that would be a good resume-builder for their child. 

 

I went to Emory on a UDL scholarship. I felt accountable to Emory, which covered half of the fees for the camp. I felt accountable to my parents, who had to pay less than other parents at an absolute level, but had to sacrifice more relative to our income than most ot the other families who sent kids there. I felt accountable to my grandparents who also sent some money to help pay for my camp. I felt accountable to myself, since I had to work to pay for part of the camp. Do you really think the westminster and chattahoochee kids that were there felt the same obligation to so many people and groups?  

 

You're right; I don't know you personally. But I do know that you made a judgement about a camp based not on personal experience or empirical data, but on the fact that it is accomadating towards UDL students. I think that says a lot about your character.

 

PS: "I'm nice to black people" and "My debate partner in college was black" are not reasons you aren't racist. Even "I have a black friend!" doesn't make you not racist.

 

Part II:

Ok....you're in a class.....History of American or European Art and History of Europe/America.  You're taking notes expectantly for the test you're going to have in 2 weeks.  Suddenly....a third party enters the room and says "you don't have the right to take this class--we've decided because this class is about Europe--and Europe has racist and colonialist roots--we aren't going to offer it anymore.  Instead, we're going to offer only minority history.  We know you came to the university to study American history......we know you've paid your money for American history.....but we don't any of that is important.  We think there are racist roots in Europe and everything associated with white people.  We also think this will make things easier for all minorities--we think it will be more "home" if we silence those parts of our history.

 

What is your reaction?

 

What if your university (or high school) took away your major or your most prized class?

 

In the context of the university there are alternative courses in history/humanities.  In the context of debate....you can have these conversations and auto-biographies anywhere.....

I think a better analog would be going to college to get a degree in European or American history, and then being told by the college that part of the  graduation requirements are x number of classes about the history of European/American imperialism. Emporia doesn't want all policy actions to be excluded from policy debate (I'm pretty sure they said almost exactly that in CX of the 1AC), they just want to "creat[e] a homeplace in debate (ie mak[e] minority voices, particularly quare bodies, more comfortable in debate", as YoungGun explains 

 

I think its reasonable for a college to create the kind of requirement I described above. Imperialism is a very important subject in European and American history, just like Debate Imperialism is an important subject in high school and intercollegiate debate.

 

Part III:

As a side note, If the people that ran these arguments were truly commited to the argument and not the ballot--you couldn't stop them from telling the story in the halls.  They wouldn't care about the ballot.  Don't get me wrong, they deserve the ballot if they do it by using a just means--performative & particularly identity-centric performance is a rigged game.  It just seems this advocacy is disengenous.  They aren't exhausting the 100 other means and alternatives that don't involve neglecting the resolution or the interests of the other team.  Performative auto-biographies based on suffering, oppression, and victimhood just reverse the hierachies.  The original hierarchies were bad--but the reversal is just as bad--just as race-centric.  This is especially the case when there are alternatives which don't tradeoff with traditional debate--something which has massive value for minorities.  If you don't think it has value--don't do the activity--but don't steal the activity from other people--don't rip their time and their investment in the activity away from them.  

Have you ever tried talking to "the people that ran these arguments", or do you just expect them to come to you? It seems like a pretty unfair burden to expect any team that wants to change the practices of debate to walk around to everyone else in the community and talk to them personally. 

 

Shanara Reid-Brinkley has written scholarly articles on "these arguments". Rashad Evans has a blog in which he writes about "these arguments". resistanceanddebate.wordpress.com is blog dedicated to "these arguments". I don't really know what more you expect. I kind of doubt Emporia would have had as much success as they did if they stood outside Weber State picketing instead of actually debating. 

 

Rashad Evans has a pretty good analysis of the "presumption of innocence" question as it relates Whiteness. His post is in a different context (this and this), but has arguments relevant to Part III of your post.

 

Source

 

Also, why do white people always get the benefit of doubt?  Why is it that you all always understand when white people are under attack but don’t ever think Black people are under attack?  How was her first post polite and our response an attack?  Her post wasn’t engaging and it wasn’t insightful.  It was ridiculous.  Your defense is more ridiculous.  You haven’t even considered that we might be right? That our anger is properly placed.  That our concerns are warranted.  You, sir, are indeed a cookie cutter oppressor.  You don’t sound any different than the rest of them.  Neither does Sarah Spring.

 

It’s a cookie cutter oppressor move to play the victim.  We are trying, you are not.  We are engaging, you are not.  We are open minded, you are not.  We are being nice, you are not.  We are being attacked, you are not.  Life is really bad for us, you have no idea.  I am not your oppressor, I am your friend.  I am not here to hurt you, I am here to help you.  I have your best interests at heart, but if you question my intent I may turn on you.

Why do you get the presumption of innocence?  We can’t have an engaging discussion if you suffer from amnesia.  White people do not get the presumption of innocence in a Black world.  If this is a precondition for conversation we can’t talk.  White people are not presumed allies in Black world, you have to actually and always be an ally and you will still always be suspect because we recognize that the fruits of whiteness are sometimes too sweet to turn down.  So, first we need to shatter the myth of white innocence and Black guilt before we can continue to talk.
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There is almost no other arenas where people get such a shake as in debate.  But thats based on a non-dogmatic, rationalist approach--its precisely that approach which is at the base of its openness & diversity, etc..   

 

Also, there aren't as many hate-driven arguments post-round because the focus isn't on social location.  Remember: the Bill Shanahan event occurred post a round on racism.  Labeling someone a racist, based on 2 minutes of their lives or even 60 minutes of their lives in a debate round is an incredibly large charge.  Whats paradoxical to me is this:

1. destroys any hope of home for other people in the activity (ie the more european or white or priviledged--you don't belong, your stories are less worthy).  As if there is something wrong with the Hobbit and Harry Potter.......or To Kill a Mockingbird or the Red Badge of Courage.  (i apologize if there are sub-textual narratives I haven't considered which these would link to).

2. only results in re-versing hierarchies. (I covered that before).  It creates a race to the bottom.  thats just as ethnocentric.  

3. its pretty essentialist critique of rationality & everything europe (aka stereotyping).  Again.  African Americans and minorities have both used rights as a mechanism for change.  There are minorities on the front in the pages of Time & Forbes & our most reputable publications.    So history suggests these stereotypes which form the basis of the argument are not only static and procrustean, but also perpetuate stereotypes themselves.

4. European science has empirically saved the lives of millions of Africans & minorities.  And science has been used to disprove myths

which under-wrote priviledge in the first place. 

5.  Eurocentric education got them where they are.  Empirically its worked for them.  

6. All of this is pretty outrageous given the pressence of alternative frameworks or mechanisms both in the debate and outside the debate......and even far beyond the horizon of debate.

7. Blaming debaters......when the problem is much deeper seems misguided as well.  Competitive debate is a poor leverage point.  Publishers and professors who churn out books which effect millions are a far better target.  And scarcity of time and resources proves you should focus on the highest leverage points.  In fact, focusing on the wrong points displaces our focus.  

8. And the alternatives to Eurocentric decision-making & power are worse.  Your ideas about the non-western create a romantic image grounded on myth.

9. I can PIK out of all the bad parts of the Enlightenment and the West.  First, we're in a post-enlightenment era.  Its the failure of the West to live up to its promises is whats wrong with the West.  We don't need less of the West per se--we need more of it.  The historians who suggest the root cause is the West are dead wrong--its bad human decisions--people who allowed power to go to their heads.  Power isn't unique to any culture.

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There is almost no other arenas where people get such a shake as in debate.  But thats based on a non-dogmatic, rationalist approach--its precisely that approach which is at the base of its openness & diversity, etc..   

 

Really? You think debate has more hate than any other institution you can think of? Try prison, courtrooms, the workplace, school... there are lots of places where people are treated really badly on a regular basis, but competitive interscholastic policy debate is really not one of them (at least by comparison).

 

Also, there aren't as many hate-driven arguments post-round because the focus isn't on social location.  Remember: the Bill Shanahan event occurred post a round on racism.  Labeling someone a racist, based on 2 minutes of their lives or even 60 minutes of their lives in a debate round is an incredibly large charge.  Whats paradoxical to me is this:

 

So, in order to label someone or something racist, one has to interact with them for more than an hour? That's the criterion? So, if I see a Klansman march down the street in full KKK regalia, can I not label him a racist just because I haven't known him for an hour? This example sounds extreme, but according to the KKK, they're a pro-love, anti-hate group, so why should we trust someone just because they say they have good intentions? Why should we wait?

 

When talking to a person who attended the Emory debate camp, you have defended your position that you shouldn't go to the Emory debate camp because there are too many black people there by saying "well, my culture is better and smarter than yours". Why should I defer on labelling that racist?

 

Pointing out that many of people's practices and ideas are racist in a debate round isn't a witch hunt; it's a good faith effort to fight discrimination by confronting a lot of the people (sometimes unwittingly) doing things to support it.

 

Doing something that has negative reprecussions on people, when its effect will distributed in an unfair way due to their race, is doing something racist. Doing something racist makes you a racist (at least in that moment). Ideally, people who do racist things (racists) should want to change, and pointing out what you're doing and why it's flawed can encourage you to stop doing it. Often times however, racists would prefer to talk about how oppressed they feel for being called racists rather than the racist thing in question, which unnecessarily derails these conversations and betrays their true intentions.

 

1. destroys any hope of home for other people in the activity (ie the more european or white or priviledged--you don't belong, your stories are less worthy).  As if there is something wrong with the Hobbit and Harry Potter.......or To Kill a Mockingbird or the Red Badge of Courage.  (i apologize if there are sub-textual narratives I haven't considered which these would link to).

 

Umm look around at an average national circuit or college debate tournament. White people are not having difficulty finding homes in debate. For those that do have trouble, it's not because of their whiteness. There are all kinds of things that may cause a person to feel uncomfortable in the activity--gender, sexuality, class, and a TON of other circumstances, societal or individual could cause it, but there is no widespread, systematic oppression of white people either in contemporary America or contemporary debate. Speaking as a white person who has debated for both an underfunded urban high school program where most students were non-white, and some of the whitest debate teams on the country at Michigan and Wake Forest, I can assure you that finding home in debate now is not a problem for white people, who make up an absurdly large number of competitors overall and successful competitors specifically.

 

On what planet do you live in which there is a bias against white authors in elementary and high school? We all read The Red Badge of Courage or To Kill A Mockingbird in high school. British Literature, along with American Literature (which is primarily by white people, especially the early parts that every class starts with) are requirements to graduate most public high schools in this country. States in the South are passing cirricula that demonize anything that isn't from a White, Christian, perspective. Most black writers we hear about in school write about being black or racism, so that we don't even know of black authors who talk about all the stuff we experience just by being people.

 

The only people allowing black people destroys a home for are racists, who think their home is defined by its anti-blackness. Good riddance.

 

2. only results in re-versing hierarchies. (I covered that before).  It creates a race to the bottom.  thats just as ethnocentric.  

 

These are all vacuous buzzwords. You never covered anything elsewhere, because your ideas are incoherent. What race to the bottom? Where's the starting line? When are we meeting? (BTW, anyone else attending the mass meeting of debaters on "re-versing racial hierarchies by killing all white people" lmk where it's at, someone must have forgot to send me an e-vite)

 

3. its pretty essentialist critique of rationality & everything europe (aka stereotyping).  Again.  African Americans and minorities have both used rights as a mechanism for change.  There are minorities on the front in the pages of Time & Forbes & our most reputable publications.    So history suggests these stereotypes which form the basis of the argument are not only static and procrustean, but also perpetuate stereotypes themselves.

 

How are we criticizing everything rational? I think you're absurdly irrational, which is why it's kind of easy to argue against you. Being irrational, I doubt you'll agree with the logic I'm dropping on you.  I'm responding to you mainly for the benefit of clearly demonstrating to others, who may not have thought about these issues that much, why you're wrong and why your attitudes perpetuate racism. I don't have much hope for you, because you don't seem to care about racism.

 

How are we criticizing everything European? If you think everything European is above any criticism and can't be racist or fucked up, you need to get over your immutable love of everything European, because it's racist.

 

4. European science has empirically saved the lives of millions of Africans & minorities.  And science has been used to disprove myths

which under-wrote priviledge in the first place. 

5.  Eurocentric education got them where they are.  Empirically its worked for them.  

6. All of this is pretty outrageous given the pressence of alternative frameworks or mechanisms both in the debate and outside the debate......and even far beyond the horizon of debate.

7. Blaming debaters......when the problem is much deeper seems misguided as well.  Competitive debate is a poor leverage point.  Publishers and professors who churn out books which effect millions are a far better target.  And scarcity of time and resources proves you should focus on the highest leverage points.  In fact, focusing on the wrong points displaces our focus.  

8. And the alternatives to Eurocentric decision-making & power are worse.  Your ideas about the non-western create a romantic image grounded on myth.

9. I can PIK out of all the bad parts of the Enlightenment and the West.  First, we're in a post-enlightenment era.  Its the failure of the West to live up to its promises is whats wrong with the West.  We don't need less of the West per se--we need more of it.  The historians who suggest the root cause is the West are dead wrong--its bad human decisions--people who allowed power to go to their heads.  Power isn't unique to any culture.

 

This last post is so stupid I think you might just be trolling (and if so, hats off, but 3,989 posts of that means nobody's really the winner). In case you're serious, um, your argument that we can "PIK out of" the bad parts of the West can be equally applied to science. What's good isn't European science (which actually wouldn't have even got to Europe if not for the preservation and advancement of philosophy and medicine by the Islamic world, which itself was influenced mainly by Chinese thought), but science. I have no problem with the science that's is currently being researched brilliantly in Japan and across the non-Western world. I have no problem with science from Europe or the US either- unless the scientists or, more likely, the idiots reaping the benefit of that science think there's something intrinsic to their culture or race able to produce scientific knowledge. The other stuff mentioned, like education (lol Chinese civil servant exams established educational meritocracies centuries before the West and the US education system is currently like 30th in the world... you were saying?) or medicine isn't intrinsic to the West, either.

 

In fact, the only characteristic that I *can* see as intrinsic to the West is the insistence of some people living there that universal human attributes, like being logical or smart or good at inventing stuff that helps people, are intrinsic to their own culture. At least in the 21st century, I don't know of any other cultures that think they're the only people in the world that are good at education or innovating new things (I'd hate on them too, but at least they don't have the power to set global policy according to their racist beliefs). It was that arrogant belief that allowed and still allows certain elements of the West to care less about the rest of the world and create policies that hurt a lot of people, just because, well, they're not as "smart" as us or whatever.

 

Debate is a great leverage point because it's a community that attracts smart people and encourages them to be smarter. Debate provides a lot of people with the intellectual tools to really make an impact on the world. And that's because debaters have a really intelligent perspective on argument, one in which you have to clash with arguments head-on rather than ignore them, and be open to changing your mind on any perspective. In fact, lots of people agree that debate makes people really smart: it's why institutions like CSIS give internships to sweet college debaters, so that they could get the best and brightest to go to their think-tanks and help make policy. My college debate partner got the CSIS internship, and will be doing just that next year. The last round of his career was in the octos of the NDT this year, to Emporia. Do you really think that their arguments will have no effect or impact on his overall intellectual positions re: his respect for the credibility of objections to policy on racial grounds? I don't think everything about all of their and various other K/race/project/whatever teams are all correct (which would be impossible, seeing as since they're good debaters, they often switch up their arguments) and I honestly do disagree with some common arguments or argumentative tools (for example, the utter inability of policymaking to produce effacacious outcomes for persons of color and society overall, or the centrality of narrative experience to politics, or the utility of the black-white binary relative to other, more nuanced racial analagies etc etc etc), but honestly you're proving their point right in front of me. In order for policymaking to ever be effective, we at least have to have a somewhat honest and realistic assessment of racial politics. And you seem unwilling to have that conversation.

 

atldb8r: your post is awesome. it's telling that nathan doesn't directly engage with any of it, because you basically hit everything head-on.

 

re: criticisms of tone, style, etc. I don't think people have an obligation to be nice to racists. People like Nathan have demonstrated, over and over again, that their intent is not to address serious problems of discrimination. I spent a bunch of my time to write out several paragraphs explaining why I thought he was wrong- if in the process, I got somewhat insulting, sorry I'm not really sorry. It's 100x more insulting to be racist and defend your comments that you shouldn't go to a debate camp because a lot of black people go there with "West is Best"- my response is comparatively courteous.

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hen talking to a black person who attended the Emory debate camp, you have defended your position that you shouldn't go to the Emory debate camp because there are too many black people there by saying "well, my culture is better and smarter than yours". Why should I defer on labelling that racist?

Great post, but I should point out that I'm not black. 

 

 a white person who has debated for both an underfunded urban high school program where most students were non-white ...

is a better description. Sorry if my first post was misleading.

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Great post, but I should point out that I'm not black. 

 

is a better description. Sorry if my first post was misleading.

 

Reading back, it wasn't. I misread it, sorry. Edited my post accordingly. It doesn't make nathan's conduct any more or less defensible.

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First, you jumped the gun a bit.  Although, I could have been a bit clearer.  My argument was that debate was pretty much a safe place.  Which you then said it was.  Ironic.  I uniquely said it was made worse by personal attacks.

 

Black folks don't need to be catered to feel comfortable.  I imagine very few think of the race implications of being coached by a Coach K or a Rick Patino or a Pat Summit (retired UT women's coach).  Or think that race experience hindered their

career in any way.  Nor probably do any of the UDL coaches.

 

Also, learning to live in different cultures is beneficial--on both sides.  In a globalized society--which will only get more so--these cross-cultural experiences are important. (sans aspersions to covert and secretive racism).

 

Also, apparently black folks want to be around black folks....but thats not racist.  But white folks decide to go to a more "white" institution and its racist?????  Thats not a double standard at all.

 

Debate is a great leverage point because it's a community that attracts smart people and encourages them to be smarter. Debate provides a lot of people with the intellectual tools to really make an impact on the world. And that's because debaters have a really intelligent perspective on argument, one in which you have to clash with arguments head-on rather than ignore them, and be open to changing your mind on any perspective.

 

1. Thats not what you get in blame game of race conversations.

2. I'm sorry--no one owes you anything.   Inequality is a fact of life.  The thing that will keep you down most in American society is your own lack of courage and fear, which this K perpetuates in 3 ways

 

1. Disables real clash.  Cross-worldview debates in the presence of the ballot aren't effective--it only yields guilt, ego, and anger-fests.

2. Being accused of being racist is just as foreign to you as.  Its like being called a rapist or domestic abuser.  I've never been accused of either--but I can imagine the charge.  The problem is there is a difference between being actively racist and passively racist.  Or saying stuff which could have racist overtones.

3. It may not be a witch hunt, but it feels close and has lots of parallels.  There wasn't a way out for non-witches except to drown....the person accussed of racism is just trying to get back to even.  And there isn't generally material evidence either way.  

4. We all live in a society which has vestigages of race and power.  I don't see how its politically productive to decry our mutual history.  Yes, its our mutual history.  

 

Yes, I'm sorry for racism.  Yes, I'm sorry for slavery.  Yes, I'm sorry for the other bad stuff that people in power did governing my previous relatives.  I'm sorry if my relatives got involved in something in a way which hurt minorities of any kind.

 

But in 2013, its time to look forward and not backward.  Those philosophies which do look primarily backward tend to be pessimistic and lock-in their views of reality......rather than seeing the Blue Ocean opportunities for unity and social change.  Lets send $250 to $1000 to Africa.....instead of trading accusations of racism.  Thats material change in the lives of 250 to 1000 people.  Thats real freedom to what was slavery before.

 

I don't know how learning of the great White conspiracy against all people of color will help your partner at CSIS.

Confronting your priviledge can take lots of forms.  They don't have to be with a ballot.  The way its performed in debate feels a lot more like 40 floggings or the iron maiden, rather than a discussion about uncovering the real stories of priviledge or (un)priviledge among majority or minority communities.  You can bring awareness and concsiousness raising without the punishment of a ballot.  That was the 60s and it actually caused social change--10 years of this argument in debate....and not much change beyond people winning debate rounds because of victim narratives.

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The requirement to take other classes I don't have a problem with.  What I would take issue with:

1. Being forced midstream not to.  Thats not what you bought.  Thats not the promise the university made to you.  (aka social contract around being affirmative & negative and actually defending an institution for half your debates).  This model deprives minority and the majority of that opportunity.

2. By not talking about the Europeans except in an oppressive context....you miss the nuance.  Thats a false story of history.

 

What about the anti-racists who think that parts of the Enlightenment still offer the promise of a better day and a better way....and a more unified future forward.  Remember, its the enlightenment values and western values and rational grounded values which best create accountability for the problems of enlightenment.  More free speech is the anti-dote to most of the problems of free speech.

 

Is reason incapable of creating a case for social change?  Are Western values incapable of helping minorities?

 

Everyone puts on a good image.  That doesn't prove anything--this goes both ways.  Plus your reference to the I the KKK kind of proves my point.  While its instructive....it really puts my racism on a whole 'nother level.  Instead of being unintentially racism....suddenly my racism can be equated to basically what society deems the highest level of it.  And I don't see how you can label me racism....while you've been using the English language and making pretty rational arguments.  Hey pot....its me kettle.  

 

We're ALL deeply embedded and implicated in the systems of Eurocentrism.....some of them helped to get us to our current trajectory......some have been abused by people in power.  But that doesn't make the ideologies themselves bad or corrupt.  For instance, those same values could have potentially held Cheney or Bush responsible for violations of international law or .  And if your answer is "well the elites always win or the system is rigged."--not only is that a self-fulfilling prophesy, but it begs a number of questions of what you are even arguing for.  To single individuals out seems a bit short sighted.  

 

Plus...this type of hyper-apprehension about positions of power.....denies reformers a place to stand.  Their perpetually trying to be more authentic to their community.....but unable to get the legal protections which creates real accountability and justice for those who are racist or use their power for ill.  Whats so wrong about using the masters tools......to build a more just society......to fix the problems.  Or to borrow another metaphor--for turning swords into plowshares.  You see this in culture and music all the time--new artists--borrowing on the classics--but with a new eye.

 

I didn't see the West Geogia debate....but I think the idea of creating a new reality.....rather than getting stuck in a rut of talking about the past (or in Rorty's words the lefts inventing new words for the institution & the "man").  You don't need to read any more identity theory or performance to know how to change the material lives of people.  In fact, that may be the wrong place to act (isolated).  Because I'm at a loss to see how the movement or performative debates have move the needle.  Sure, there is the high or afterglow of--that debate was so different--it changed me.  But thats not material change in the life of black-folks and you know that.  Where is the change?  Where is the change?  Might I suggest that like Eurocentrism....the model is flawed....its accusatory tone and forcing change with the barrel of a ballot doesn't really cause fundamental change.  Debate itself hasn't changed except to maybe get a couple more wins for black folks.  If it had caused change.....MJP wouldn't be necessary.....and getting new strategies to defend it wouldn't be necessary.

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I think a better analog would be going to college to get a degree in European or American history, and then being told by the college that part of the  graduation requirements are x number of classes about the history of European/American imperialism. Emporia doesn't want all policy actions to be excluded from policy debate (I'm pretty sure they said almost exactly that in CX of the 1AC), they just want to "creat[e] a homeplace in debate (ie mak[e] minority voices, particularly quare bodies, more comfortable in debate", as YoungGun explains 

 

I think its reasonable for a college to create the kind of requirement I described above. Imperialism is a very important subject in European and American history, just like Debate Imperialism is an important subject in high school and intercollegiate debate.

 

Eh, I'm not sure that analogy quite lines up. Although taking classes on European/American imperialism (i.e., performance-style debates) may facilitate a positive learning experience, those imperialism classes are locked into a competitive format, which means the American History student is forced to negate the ideas behind the class and cannot simply learn from the lessons taught in class. (Non-Metaphorical Translation: Although performance debates can be educational/informative/"good", debate is locked into a competitive format that forces policy teams to attempt to negate the opposing team's [often unfalsifiable] claims; they cannot merely sit back and learn from the experience as a student would learn from a class.)

 

If Emporia doesn't want policy teams/actions to be excluded from debate, what are policy teams supposed to do when they're forced to debate teams who performatively "create a home place in debate"? In other words, assuming Emporia's argument that we should "make minority voices heard" in-round is true, what is the policy team to do - decide that those types of rounds are simply a part of debate, allow the opposition to preach their message, and accept defeat? (My questions are not rhetorical and not intended to be sarcastic; I am legitimately interested in a response.)

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The point of empathy is to understand someone from their perspective. To see where they are coming from.

re: criticisms of tone, style, etc. I don't think people have an obligation to be nice to racists.

1. I said emory isn't as good as other camps. I'm sure a number of other people in the community

would agree with me, because not everyone goes to Emory.

2. I am apparently pro using reason rather than emotion and personal narratives to resolve disputes.

I would think that you agree with me on some level--because of the nature of our discussion and

likely some of the discussions in your high school and college classess--as well as exchanges with professors.

3. There is also.

a) I think the idea of reversing hierarchies is a bad idea. I see alternatives beyond that.

b] I think accomodatist models and radical nationalist ones are bad. They just replicate what they try to solve. BTW, the modus operondi of the rhetoric of the previous group you mentioned is this model. (ie you replicate the model you try to avoid). I'm just trying to save you from becoming the enemy you hate. I'm not sure how that makes me a bad person.

 

I've volunteered 2 years with the UDL in Washington DC....never taking a dime for judging debates for the full season of high school.....and middle school debates (excluding tournament conflicts with my coaching responsibilities--ie my job). Thats a pretty large commitment. I think that hardly qualifies me as a racist.

 

Having a black debate partner doesn't make me a non-racist. That is correct, but a racist couldn't have made a 1.5 year relationship work in the context of debate. There would have been too many blow-ups.

 

I'm not perfect, but my imperfections don't give others the right to put me on the couch (psychoanalyst style)....or the stand in judgement (Perry Mason) for crimes they themselves are guilty of.....on two levels (the alternative debate....and the personal life debate--we are all Americans....we all use Eurocentric institutions, ideas, and world views). Plus, reason, as opposed to bias is kind of the basis of the Innocence project, and the principles it stands for in our court system. Without that reason and accountability.....hate, myth, bias, and inequality would reign in those and other cases across the country.

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b] I think accomodatist models and radical nationalist ones are bad.

 

I have noted your strategic use of a bracket (instead of a parenthese) to prevent your b-subpoint from becoming B)

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Eh, I'm not sure that analogy quite lines up. Although taking classes on European/American imperialism (i.e., performance-style debates) may facilitate a positive learning experience, those imperialism classes are locked into a competitive format, which means the American History student is forced to negate the ideas behind the class and cannot simply learn from the lessons taught in class. (Non-Metaphorical Translation: Although performance debates can be educational/informative/"good", debate is locked into a competitive format that forces policy teams to attempt to negate the opposing team's [often unfalsifiable] claims; they cannot merely sit back and learn from the experience as a student would learn from a class.)

 

If Emporia doesn't want policy teams/actions to be excluded from debate, what are policy teams supposed to do when they're forced to debate teams who performatively "create a home place in debate"? In other words, assuming Emporia's argument that we should "make minority voices heard" in-round is true, what is the policy team to do - decide that those types of rounds are simply a part of debate, allow the opposition to preach their message, and accept defeat? (My questions are not rhetorical and not intended to be sarcastic; I am legitimately interested in a response.)

I think one of the great things about debate is that it teaches you to argue both sides of an issue, despite what you personally think. This means that when dealing with questions like those that Emporia raises, debaters can attempt to negate their claims in a round, but come to a personal decision that they base their actions upon outside of the debate round. Teams like Emporia force teams like Northwestern to question their assumptions relating to debate. Even if people don't change their mind in-round, they very well may after the tournament ends.

 

This strategy is empirically successful. The fact that the judges in finals of the NDT were even willing to listen to Emporia's arguments, much less give them 3 out of 5 ballots, proves this. It's definitely too soon to say "Mission Accomplished", but significant progress has been made.

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ATL,

 

As you yourself point out.....all debates force confrontations over assumptions.

 

Given that we tend to deal with liberal resolutions....these include awareness about issues on the affirmative and

broader assumptions from multiple perspectives.  

 

Debate, without a re-arrangement of proof criteria or social-location criteria does this.  Social location and personal

story telling as a means to win ballots--rather than just expressing truth or insight....serves to cloud stories.

Stories get subject to psycho-analysis and authenticity......whether they deserve them or not.  And whose to say....

there is saddly almost no means to verify these claims.  Hopefully everyone is above board in their describing

their narrative and story.  Other non-competitive forums don't have as much temptation to manipulate stories

or subject stories to meticulous criticism.  Stories can just speak truth--and let the truth wash over us.

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So being aggressive in cross-x is bad? If that's the case then a good portion of the top policy-only teams are exactly the same way. Admittedly, Elijah may have been a little too aggressive but that doesn't change the argument they are making.

 

We aren't going to agree on this one.  I don't see anything intrinsically "wrong" with what he's doing.  To me it just didn't seem consistent.  So, contextually with his argument--at least about the Wiz and "Home" and any attempt to gain ethos in terms of answering the empathy arguments.  His demeanor and dismissive attitude wasn't empathetic.  That performatively isn't consistent with a message of community, inclusion, or "home."

 

The "Home" metaphor fundamentally changes many, many, many structures and practices of debates.....perhaps in ways that Witchita hasn't even come to grips with.

 

I realize this is typical of debate.....but the whole point is you've asked for a reform.....a re-thinking.....and overturning of those systems.  As a performative team....who puts emphasis on how we perform our identities.....this is crucially important.

 

Aggressive cross ex is different from dismissive.  He was dismissive.  Northwestern by contrast.....particularly the girl was not as dismissive.  She was open....and empathetic....at least by comparison.  Her position was more of dialogue or a non-competitive format.

 

You say:

1. But debate has wins and loses.

2. Out rounds mean something.

 

Wins and loses are not the signs of a good or even great debater.  One of the assistants at Geogia didn't have the greatest win-loss record....in fact I don't think he qualified for the NDT (I didn't either, although I coached people to it and at it).  He was a comm. member, who was dedicated to his craft......and the community.

 

If people have something to say thats interesting and important--people will stand up and listen.  You can have your own "out rounds" or use an existing audience.

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You've missed the point again. Obviously one round in isolation isn't going to have a drastic impact on US imperialism (but I think in this instance it may have a pretty big impact on "debate imperialism"). The point I'm making is just that we do have an impact on imperialism if we choose to talk about it.

 

  • Why not directly reform debate via letters to the list or creating an alternative format tournament?
  • Why not directly take on material oppression, say domestic violence versus one which is nebulous at best?  (The NFL and the NBA aren't looking to create excellence by bending their rules away from luck or skill.  Neither are the Olympics.)
  • Why not raise money for a class action suit versus oil companies or other multi-nationals which you find to be particularly egregious?
  • Why not write scathing criticisms of the works of academia you find most objectionable or contributing to the problem?
  • Why not be the change you want to see in the world, rather than criticizing others for not adapting the activity to the standards of someone (Ede) who isn't even in the activity anymore?

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setting aside all the other marginally relevant rehashings you're spouting - would you care you explain what you mean by that last question about Ede?

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So being aggressive in cross-x is bad? If that's the case then a good portion of the top policy-only teams are exactly the same way. Admittedly, Elijah may have been a little too aggressive but that doesn't change the argument they are making.

Actually, it does. As a queer debater whose life (and concept of "home") is affected and constituted by gendered communications, the entire affirmative project is made incoherent by their gendered performance in cross-x and in speeches.

 

The 1ACs politics is premised on the creation of a home for black/queer bodies; using gendered forms of communication (ie, repeated use of aggression to silence an opponent; the choice to talk at someone versus the choice to talk with someone*; loudness-as-ethos) turns that project. Queerness is informed by intersections of masculinities and femininities and constituted in relation to both. Using a dominating form of gendered expression makes their project incoherent, because the masculinities that they actively performed in the debate are traditionally a tool for subordinating both black bodies AND queer bodies.  

 

*See Sjoberg and Tickner 2012. [Laura, Ph.D in IR from USC, author of 9 books, editor of the International Journal of Feminist Politics and Professor of IR  and J. Ann, founder of feminist international relations, IR Professor @ AU, frmr president of ISA, professor Emerita @ USC.] Introduction. Feminism and International Relations: Conversations about the Past, Present, and Future.  p11-12 //cchessman

 

Feminist research generally, and this book specifically, draws a distinction between “communicating to†an audience (where the researcher as the authorial voice gathers correct information and informs the audience of that information) and “communicating with†an audience where knowledge is discovered in conversation with diverse others. Floya Anthias (2002, 282) has characterized the moment of communicating with as a “dialogical moment,†where “effective dialogue requires an already formulated mutual respect, a common communication language, and a common starting point in terms of power.†It also assumes good will of all the partners in the dialogue (Anthias 2002, 282).  Mutual respect, common language, good will, and common starting points in terms of power can, of course, never be perfectly achieved. And even finding this rare and excellent combination of qualities between researchers (or practitioners in the policy world) does not guarantee success. Instead, conversations are difficult, and it is hard to avoid coming into the dialogue convinced that one’s own argument is correct and those of others are flawed.  Feminist conversations, then, are ideal-types, to be aspired to if never perfectly achieved. Recognizing these limitations, “dialogue and diversity are seen as strengths†in feminist theorizing (Ackerly, Stern, and True 2006, 5).  Engaging in dialogues that aspire to approximate the communicative ideal-type described above is not only an exercise in theoretical methodology, it is itself theorizing. Marysia Zalewski (1996) tells us that theory can be understood as explanation, critique, or practice; feminist conversations are an exercise in theorizing feminist politics through practice.

 

Northwestern could have had an easy 2NC case turn (in fact, the above card is one such precise case turn) that took out their entire aff, and I was damned disappointed that they didn't. As a queer, I felt personally alienated from the activity from both debaters' performance in CX. Their performance did not make debate a home for me or for any other debater whose "home" is not constituted by traditional masculine performances. 

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