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A Problem In The Community?

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I woke up this morning to a post on DebateComplents' Facebook page of a white male trying to start a fundraiser to go to camp, so I decided to see how much he raised since April 23rd, and the answer is: Not a dime. A gentleman commented on the post with the following:

 

 

I'm not making an argument, but I want to make a comment. I think that it's interesting seeing the results of people trying to get funding on these websites from the debate community. This student has raised no money in 21 days, while another effort by three female black students has raised $2215 in nine days. I don't know the financial situation of any of these debaters, so as far as I'm concerned it is functionally a race and gender issue. Do people donate to the other group more because they are black and female? What is the place of white male students who can't afford to go to camp? Do they deserve less assistance? I seriously don't have a position on any of these issues, I just think its interesting. I will say that as a white male debater who had to fund raise to come up with the money for camp last year, I was put in an interesting position in which I felt that I didn't necessarily deserve scholarship funds like other demographics did, yet I still wanted the high level instruction with debaters who were extremely talented. Just some things that this made me think about.

Is this a problem where you can be black, and a female, and people will just throw money at you, yet if you are white and male you don't get anything? He provides a backstory and everything, while the females just say something along the lines of "We can't afford camp." I'm not belittling them by any means, I just think it's messed up for them to get infinity times more what he got in around 10 less days.

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If we're being real honest, I think the reason why everyone is put in an awkward situation is because of the nature of income-inequality (brought to you by Capitalism!) and how it affects people beyond the borders of race or sex. However, i think the reason why there tends to be more support for non-white or non-male debaters is for the same reason that there is affirmative action in many other aspects of society. People of these identities have, historically, had considerably fewer opportunities (and arguably still do) than white males, whether it be post-civil war economic status of Black individuals, or historic job/pay opporitunities of women in relationship to men. So i don't think that it is because he is white and male that people think that he is undeserving of the money, but rather, due to the way socio-economic conditions have played out in relationship to race/sex, people (in general) feel more of a need to provide aid to those who don't fit into the identity that is statistically related to privilege.

 
What i actually take issue with is this line right here:

 

Is this a problem where you can be black, and a female, and people will just throw money at you, yet if you are white and male you don't get anything? 

 

I realize that you're not intending to be "belittling" to the individuals receiving the money, but the way you frame the two debaters' situations makes that somewhat ambiguous to say the least. individuals who rely on fundraising probably have little to no money "thrown" at them. Additionally, the way you compare the situation of the two debaters here seems to be insinuating that the reason why the black female is receiving this support is simply because she is black and a woman. There are MANY reasons why individuals could be contributing to her charity such as: her lack of funds, low income, or simply having generous friends who want to see her do well.

 

You're positing the results of the two fundraisers as if a group of people looked at the white male student, then the black, female student, and made the conscious decision to only help the black female. this simply isn't representative of either the fundraisers, or the students' connections to the donators. 

 

I'm not implicitly calling you a racist or sexist or anything, but while i understand that you are raising an important question which definitely deserves discussion, you should be careful about how you linguistically phrase and rhetorically frame these questions, because both of those definitely shape how people perceive your messages and comments.

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I think RyeZOAM is correct.  However, I'd like to take what he is saying here and take it a bit farther:

 

You're positing the results of the two fundraisers as if a group of people looked at the white male student, then the black, female student, and made the conscious decision to only help the black female. this simply isn't representative of either the fundraisers, or the students' connections to the donators. 

 

The two different fundraisers are incomparable.  While I'm not saying there isn't the potential for a finding that correlates with your thoughts, BobbyS, I am saying that there needs to be much more work on making them comparable.    There are too many variables that aren't taken into account went postulating the thoughts presented in your post.  However, you could use that inductive reasoning to motivate a study/experiment.  Your current comparison between the two is what is called a "pre-experiment," pretty unorganized, and doesn't rigorously test your hypothesis.  However it gives insight into the topic to justify creating an experiment/test to determine if your hypothesis is true.  

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I doubt that he made this post as a precursor to a scientific evaluation of the claim. The reality of the situation is that if this scenario had been presented in reverse, with the white male getting significant funding and the black females not making a single  dime after twice the time, then there would be some outrage to say the least. That is the sum point being made. It’s an acknowledged truth that MOST people would sooner donate to a black female than a white male, in a situation such as this. I’m not saying that there is any absolute correct solution to these types of scenarios, and I acknowledge that there could potentially be more to the story here; however, at the same time, I do think that these types of clear dichotomies should be discussed. The thesis I have always lived by and will continue to do so is as follows:
On the individual level, race, sex, background, upbringing, etc., should not hold a ranking in any hierarchy.

What im saying is that if you compare two individuals, one a black female, and one a white male… then the only thing that should matter is the way they as individuals are – no outer reality/stereotype/social taboo should apply in their comparison. On the individual basis, these descriptive, socially charged differences should not apply.
My point in sum is that the trend for society to hold a ‘soft spot’ (for lack of a better word, I recognize how this sounds bad but I can’t think of a better term right now) based on  populous  occurrences and social taboo rather than on an individual basis is very wrong. 

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I mostly created the thread to have a discussion on the matter. Another reason this could be is the fact that 5k sends 3 people to camp while in the other fundraiser, 5.1k sends one person to camp.

My outrage was not that one was black/female and the other was for a white male, far from it. My problem is that they simply said "We need money to go to camp, give us money please," while the other had his entire life story and, in my opinion, a legitimate reason to get the money.

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There are less black people in the activity than white people.

 

There are less females in the activity then males.

 

Having diverse amounts of people is better than a white male dominated activity. Not saying you shouldn't give money to the guy, but obviously people will try to encourage different backgrounds.

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There are less black people in the activity than white people.

 

There are less females in the activity then males.

As someone who debates on the Illinois circuit (Not Chicago, Illinois.) I go to the only school where the majority is the black body. It's been strange to not see a ton of black people at every event.

 

Edit: A member of CE Byrd liked my first post. My life is complete.

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at some point you have to question the morality of designated moneys stictly to the cause of diversifying the activity. The individual must be taken into account at some point, and judged as such. im not saying anything specifically about the scenario in the thread right now. more of a general idea

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I doubt that he made this post as a precursor to a scientific evaluation of the claim. The reality of the situation is that if this scenario had been presented in reverse, with the white male getting significant funding and the black females not making a single  dime after twice the time, then there would be some outrage to say the least. That is the sum point being made. It’s an acknowledged truth that MOST people would sooner donate to a black female than a white male, in a situation such as this. I’m not saying that there is any absolute correct solution to these types of scenarios, and I acknowledge that there could potentially be more to the story here; however, at the same time, I do think that these types of clear dichotomies should be discussed. The thesis I have always lived by and will continue to do so is as follows:

On the individual level, race, sex, background, upbringing, etc., should not hold a ranking in any hierarchy.

What im saying is that if you compare two individuals, one a black female, and one a white male… then the only thing that should matter is the way they as individuals are – no outer reality/stereotype/social taboo should apply in their comparison. On the individual basis, these descriptive, socially charged differences should not apply.

My point in sum is that the trend for society to hold a ‘soft spot’ (for lack of a better word, I recognize how this sounds bad but I can’t think of a better term right now) based on  populous  occurrences and social taboo rather than on an individual basis is very wrong. 

You're right, he wasn't trying to make a scientific claim.  I was just trying to say in a nice way that no one should make any claims about the community, especially ones about reverse discrimination, without data.  There is plenty of data about the disproportionate about of minorities that are put at a disadvantage in the community and the lack of minority judging in college debate.  

 

Your arguments devolve into something that scarily similar to conservative's arguments against affirmative action...

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You're right, he wasn't trying to make a scientific claim.  I was just trying to say in a nice way that no one should make any claims about the community, especially ones about reverse discrimination, without data.  There is plenty of data about the disproportionate about of minorities that are put at a disadvantage in the community and the lack of minority judging in college debate.  

 

Your arguments devolve into something that scarily similar to conservative's arguments against affirmative action...

i realize that you could insinuate an argument against affiramtive action from what i said but thats not what im attempting to pose. 

also, and no disrespect, but considering this thread is discussing different forms of discrimination, its pretty rough to say that my argument is 'devolving' into a 'conservative' argument. Thats begging to create a polarized controversy with someone completely unnecessarily.

 

but anyway, while i recognize the disportionment of minorities in the community, i still would support deeper consideration outside the realm of race/gender. not to say that this wasnt considered in this scenario, because we dont know

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at some point you have to question the morality of designated moneys stictly to the cause of diversifying the activity. The individual must be taken into account at some point, and judged as such. im not saying anything specifically about the scenario in the thread right now. more of a general idea

Actually, diversity for its own sake is not only a compelling state interest, but guarantees that debate doesn't turn into an echo-chamber for people who have similar backgrounds. The environment you grow up in shapes you, and is in turn shaped by your race and your sex. Growing up white and male teaches certain assumptions about being "normal", assumptions which are thrown into question by the presence of people who didn't grow up white and male. 

 

But put the significance of diversity-for-its-own-sake aside. The "individual" who "must be taken into account" is fundamentally shaped by race and sex. Growing up in an environment where you must struggle just to achieve an equal playing field shapes the individual involved. There are enormous discussions of the way in which "growing up black" and "growing up female or queer" involves psychological traumas that must be overcome. 

 

Your argument is "white people are also disadvantaged" because of poverty, and this is true. But if you have an individual who is hurt in three ways (poor, black, female) versus an individual who is hurt in one (poor) but substantially benefited in two others (male, white), then I think it is clear that the individuals who most need help are the most injured.

 

In that sense, while the donations are unequal, they aren't unfair because they serve to correct for an ongoing inequality.

 

Imagine there are three people; one who is full, one who is hungry, and one who is starving. If you only have food for one, who would you feed?

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Actually, diversity for its own sake is not only a compelling state interest, but guarantees that debate doesn't turn into an echo-chamber for people who have similar backgrounds. The environment you grow up in shapes you, and is in turn shaped by your race and your sex. Growing up white and male teaches certain assumptions about being "normal", assumptions which are thrown into question by the presence of people who didn't grow up white and male. 

 

But put the significance of diversity-for-its-own-sake aside. The "individual" who "must be taken into account" is fundamentally shaped by race and sex. Growing up in an environment where you must struggle just to achieve an equal playing field shapes the individual involved. There are enormous discussions of the way in which "growing up black" and "growing up female or queer" involves psychological traumas that must be overcome. 

 

Your argument is "white people are also disadvantaged" because of poverty, and this is true. But if you have an individual who is hurt in three ways (poor, black, female) versus an individual who is hurt in one (poor) but substantially benefited in two others (male, white), then I think it is clear that the individuals who most need help are the most injured.

 

In that sense, while the donations are unequal, they aren't unfair because they serve to correct for an ongoing inequality.

 

Imagine there are three people; one who is full, one who is hungry, and one who is starving. If you only have food for one, who would you feed?

 

I seriously object to you referring to being black poor or female as an injury

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I seriously object to you referring to being black poor or female as an injury

Then you seriously misunderstood my point.

 

I'm not arguing that being black is bad, I'm arguing that being black makes you a target (much like being poor or female does). 

 

Do you deny that being black, gay, or female puts you at a comparative disadvantage in a society that hold racist, homophobic and sexist views?

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Actually, diversity for its own sake is not only a compelling state interest, but guarantees that debate doesn't turn into an echo-chamber for people who have similar backgrounds. The environment you grow up in shapes you, and is in turn shaped by your race and your sex. Growing up white and male teaches certain assumptions about being "normal", assumptions which are thrown into question by the presence of people who didn't grow up white and male. 

 

I agree with this concept, but not to the extent that you do. The link you post about white privilege doesn't do much to prove how blackness or poorness shapes a person's entire epistemology. I agree that one's background impacts the assumptions that one makes about the world, but I'm not convinced that there's all of this knowledge that only black people or poor people or women are likely to have about things, so I don't see why debate would benefit much more from having diversity. I support things like UDLs and making debate better for women, but I do that because I'm concerned with overall increases in participation rather than because I'm concerned with increasing argumentative diversity. I think to the extent that one's background significantly influences one's thought processes it's mostly through encouraging biases of some sort or another. The top level knowledge that is accessible to all seems much more significant to me than first hand experience with being oppressed.

 

Edit: However, after a bit of reflection I do perceive some significant benefits to diversity through the cross cultural social interaction that will accompany participation in debate. That seems like a good reason for me to support diversity in and of itself rather than as a byproduct of increased overall participation.

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Then you seriously misunderstood my point.

 

I'm not arguing that being black is bad, I'm arguing that being black makes you a target (much like being poor or female does). 

 

Do you deny that being black, gay, or female puts you at a comparative disadvantage in a society that hold racist, homophobic and sexist views?

I dont deny that but your linguistic framing was that being black, poor etc is an injury. if you don't want someone to point it out don't put it that way.

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I dont deny that but your linguistic framing was that being black, poor etc is an injury. if you don't want someone to point it out don't put it that way.

I missed the ^ and it the down button. My bad sir.

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But put the significance of diversity-for-its-own-sake aside. The "individual" who "must be taken into account" is fundamentally shaped by race and sex. Growing up in an environment where you must struggle just to achieve an equal playing field shapes the individual involved. There are enormous discussions of the way in which "growing up black" and "growing up female or queer" involves psychological traumas that must be overcome. 

 

 

Perhaps i haven't been clear enough, because this is the exact ideology that i find despicable. The automatic assumption that 

1. being black/gay/female as an 'injury' perpetuates the very racism and bigotry that finds itself rooted towards the oppression of others 

2. being black/gay/female automatically associates the individual as one who has struggled greater than another based solely off of broad social categories rather than any specified reality [in the case that nothing is known about the situation of either individual] again perpetuates the cruelty that further oppresses. 

 

also, i am not going to make a big deal out of this because im going to assume that you don't mean what you said, at least not the way you said it, because the insinuation that 'growing up female involves psychological traumas that must be overcome' is a regressive mindset that dismantles sixty plus years of fighting for equality 

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I dont deny that but your linguistic framing was that being black, poor etc is an injury. if you don't want someone to point it out don't put it that way.

Fair enough. It was a reference to Wendy Brown's discussion of "wounded identities". I haven't found a good verbal shorthand for "groups that are systematically fucked by society", and Brown's was catchy

 

 

 

I agree with this concept, but not to the extent that you do. The link you post about white privilege doesn't do much to prove how blackness or poorness shapes a person's entire epistemology. I agree that one's background impacts the assumptions that one makes about the world, but I'm not convinced that there's all of this knowledge that only black people or poor people or women are likely to have about things, so I don't see why debate would benefit much more from having diversity. I support things like UDLs and making debate better for women, but I do that because I'm concerned with overall increases in participation rather than because I'm concerned with increasing argumentative diversity. I think to the extent that one's background significantly influences one's thought processes it's mostly through encouraging biases of some sort or another. The top level knowledge that is accessible to all seems much more significant to me than first hand experience with being oppressed.

Edit: However, after a bit of reflection I do perceive some significant benefits to diversity through the cross cultural social interaction that will accompany participation in debate. That seems like a good reason for me to support diversity in and of itself rather than as a byproduct of increased overall participation.

You and I are very much in agreement. Perhaps my wording was too poor to make the argument clear; I'm not saying a person's identity is reducible to their skin color or sex. 

 

I am saying " one's background impacts the assumptions that one makes about the world" in a way that is meaningful to debate, not only in terms of specific knowledge produced but in the ways in which knowledge is produced. Your discussion of "biases" is my discussion of epistemic predispositions and both have the same implication for debate: vetting those biases or predispositions can only occur when they are confronted, and such biases are only confronted when they are no longer shared.  

 

 

 

 

Perhaps i haven't been clear enough, because this is the exact ideology that i find despicable. The automatic assumption that 
1. being black/gay/female as an 'injury' perpetuates the very racism and bigotry that finds itself rooted towards the oppression of others 

2. being black/gay/female automatically associates the individual as one who has struggled greater than another based solely off of broad social categories rather than any specified reality [in the case that nothing is known about the situation of either individual] again perpetuates the cruelty that further oppresses. 

 

also, i am not going to make a big deal out of this because im going to assume that you don't mean what you said, at least not the way you said it, because the insinuation that 'growing up female involves psychological traumas that must be overcome' is a regressive mindset that dismantles sixty plus years of fighting for equality 

 

This post is a lot of bald assertions.

 

If you believe that society treats whites and nonwhites equally (it obviously doesn't - easily measurable highlights include incarceration and the death penalty), then we are at such foundational disagreement that further discussion is unproductive. 

 

If you believe that society does NOT treat whites and nonwhites equally, then the ways in which they are treated unequally matter, and are often taken for granted by the privileged group. For example, men take for granted many of these.

 

Another example related to my career choice; Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg was asked how many women should be on the Supreme Court of the United States. When she responded with "nine out of nine", people were outraged and shocked. But how long have we had nine out of nine men? Where was the outrage and shock there?

 

If we're on the same page about unequal treatment, then my discussion with "hubris" about epistemology is applicable.

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i recognize inequality and i recognize the ways in which certain inequalities occur. My assertion above all else on this thread is that the individual ultimately comes first.

for example, in the link you posted , some of these things are ridiculous or outdated at best on the individual level. in defense of this claim, look at number 18. Not only is that generic to apply to EVERYONE, but it also assumes upon the individual. it paints a picture of weakness within the individual based on stereotypical understandings. this type of shit only furthers bigotry, as i stated above. Think about it...your saying that since i'm a man, i dont need to fear harassment as a result of aggressiveness or being too upfront. if i were a woman, however, i would be directly subject to this torment.  <--- these types of arguments perpetuate ignorance. 

when the individual comes first, the vicious cycle of oppressive violence can be improved

 

Edit: im not attacking you or calling you a bigot or racist or anything. I get that the goal of each of our methods is equality, we just approach it differently

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i recognize inequality and i recognize the ways in which certain inequalities occur. My assertion above all else on this thread is that the individual ultimately comes first.

for example, in the link you posted , some of these things are ridiculous or outdated at best on the individual level. in defense of this claim, look at number 18. Not only is that generic to apply to EVERYONE, but it also assumes upon the individual. it paints a picture of weakness within the individual based on stereotypical understandings. this type of shit only furthers bigotry, as i stated above. Think about it...your saying that since i'm a man, i dont need to fear harassment as a result of aggressiveness or being too upfront. if i were a woman, however, i would be directly subject to this torment.  <--- these types of arguments perpetuate ignorance. 

when the individual comes first, the vicious cycle of oppressive violence can be improved

 

Edit: im not attacking you or calling you a bigot or racist or anything. I get that the goal of each of our methods is equality, we just approach it differently

 

#18 reads:

 

"18. I can be loud with no fear of being called a shrew. I can be aggressive with  no fear of being called a bitch." 

 

Ask any female attorney how many times judges and co-counsel call them "catty" or "bitches" for being aggressive in court.

 

Hell, I'll raise you one - ask female members of this activity how often they get called catty or bitchy for being aggressive in debates. Directly contrary to your assertion that this is a dated mark of sexism, this form of privilege is active right in front of your face. That ironically proves my argument about needing more participation to disrupt falsely held assumptions. 

 

Your argument about reification conflates gender and sex. My argument is not that women (bodies sexed female) cannot be aggressive, but that they are expected not to be aggressive (their gender role is passive). The role society has for female bodies is passive. We both agree that women CAN be aggressive; but not everyone does.

 

The privilege we/I criticize is the different role expectation, not the different capability. Make sense? 

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You and I are very much in agreement. Perhaps my wording was too poor to make the argument clear; I'm not saying a person's identity is reducible to their skin color or sex. 

 

I am saying " one's background impacts the assumptions that one makes about the world" in a way that is meaningful to debate, not only in terms of specific knowledge produced but in the ways in which knowledge is produced. Your discussion of "biases" is my discussion of epistemic predispositions and both have the same implication for debate: vetting those biases or predispositions can only occur when they are confronted, and such biases are only confronted when they are no longer shared.

 

I agree we agree in many ways.  B)

 

I'm not sure to what extent debate between people with different experiences causes people's underlying thought mechanisms to change, however. I think that debate's inherent nature encourages a large amount of questioning one's own beliefs, and that adding diversity wouldn't contribute very much to its tendencies to do that. In other words, I disagree that biases are only confronted when no longer shared (I do think this argument would apply well to judge diversity, however). In addition, I feel as though academic debate might not work very effectively to shape underlying thought processes, only addressing surface ones. I think that epistemic predispositions are extremely difficult to change, even though debate tries very hard to change them. In other words, even confronting bias does little to erase its underlying distortions. I do think that debates between people with different worldviews are productive, but I get the impression that I think so to a lesser degree than you do. Perhaps my impression is simply unfounded, though.

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#18 reads:

 

"18. I can be loud with no fear of being called a shrew. I can be aggressive with  no fear of being called a bitch." 

 

you fail to understand the major point im making. 

Let me ask you this, is it true that a man can be aggressive with NO FEAR of being called a bitch? Is it true that a man can be loud WITH NO FEAR of being called a shrew?

 

the answer is no. these social absolutes based off of vicious cycles of hate only petrify the issues of time in a state of constant continuation. The indivudal faces all of the prosecuations of reality in her/his own way. there are no true absolutes and calims as such serve bigotry because racism is mutli-faceted and doesnt discriminate against its victims 

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you fail to understand the major point im making. 

Let me ask you this, is it true that a man can be aggressive with NO FEAR of being called a bitch? Is it true that a man can be loud WITH NO FEAR of being called a shrew?

 

the answer is no. these social absolutes based off of vicious cycles of hate only petrify the issues of time in a state of constant continuation. The indivudal faces all of the prosecuations of reality in her/his own way. there are no true absolutes and calims as such serve bigotry because racism is mutli-faceted and doesnt discriminate against its victims 

I agree that only a Sith deals in absolutes, but it feels like you're missing the forest for the trees. Sure, sometimes men get called out for being aggressive, but the standard for "unacceptable aggression" is different for men and women. Ask your female debate compatriots. Or ask yourself why in college, there's about a 50/50 ratio of women to men in NOVICE debate, but as they get more  experience with the community, that ratio drops to about 30/70 (in Varsity).  

 

(source: Bruske's survey of women in debate, Contemporary Argumentation and Debate). 

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Ultimately, yes, it sucks that the white kid didn't make money. Truly. But are we really going to complain about black women gaining the upper-hand for once?

 

Also, reverse racism isn't a thing.

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