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New article against project debate

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There's no such thing as project debate.

 

We had a parli team last-year that called themselves a "project team" because they would do nothing except queer the topic. For example, if the topic was questioning if the USFG should expand low income housing programs, their plan would be to do it but only for queer people and would read queer rage arguments and other radical queer theory. You're telling me that they're not what they self-describe to be? Sounds pretty essentalizing tbh. 

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I'm telling you that you don't know your debate history. The term "project" is a reference to an iteration of performance debate run by Towson roughly a decade ago. It refers to a specific set of kritikal arguments (none of which are queer). It is long since defunct - Towson doesn't refer to themselves as "the project" anymore and the critical left in debate aggressively dismiss the term. The term has survived, though, as a misnomer stand in for all race performance debate by people outside the policy community because the people don't know what else to call performance debate. It's aggressively essentialist and masks both the distinct nuances between present positions and their respective differences with Towson's project.

 

I don't know them, but your parli team seems to fit the mold of outsider-looking-in. It's likely that they heard someone inaccurately refer to kritik debate as "project" debate and decided they wanted to pretend to be policy debaters. Nonetheless, there is no college policy debate movement called "the project". The article refers to a nonexistent referent. I have no idea what you think a single parli team has to do with the existence of a movement in college policy debate or why you thought that was relevant for the thread. I nonetheless cannot overemphasize how aggressively teams distance themselves from the term, and how insulting it is to call a college leftist policy team a project.

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I agree and disagree with it. 

 

Yes it is probably true that debaters who have oppressed social locations usually only obtain success if they have the money but it doesn't mean that suburban people of color who read race args don't deal with racism in debate. Many circuits haven't liberalized yet so they get attacked with micro aggression and isolation.

 

If the worst a debater of color every has to deal with is microaggression and isolation within the debate community, life is pretty good.  Everyone faces microaggression; miscommunication is part of life.  If the worst thing an Asian debater ever has to deal with is being unfairly expected to be good at math, he doesn't have a whole lot to complain about--especially compared to his counterparts at a low-functioning CPS school, who have been utterly failed by a school system up through grade 9 and have to deal with classmates getting shot on a monthly basis.

 

And it shows because the number of oppressed identities reading arguments about their oppression at tournaments like the TOC is very low.

 

This is a non-sequitur; it could also be because oppressed identities don't want to read arguments about their oppression in debate rounds!  The ones at Marshall certainly didn't.  I have one student at Joslin who kind of does, but who wants to stick with hybrid affs (which I think are perfectly theoretically legitimate and are the best way to talk about issues of race, gender, and sexual orientation in debate rounds).  

 

It doesn't mean that we should not have these discussions because they may be privileged in debate but they sure as hell aren't outside of debate. Sometimes debate is the only space that they get to talk about these issues. This is definitely the case for many Queer debaters who don't have the ability to come out to their families.

 

If you need a space to talk about these issues, raising them in the round through a nontopical Aff seems like a terrible space to do it.  By definition, reading a nontopical K Aff in a non-elimination debate round happens in a room with 3 other people, two who are forced to oppose you and one who is required to remain neutral.  If you raise an oppressed identity in a debate round, your opponents (who will never just concede the round in deference to your identity) are forced to either argue against your oppression or to derail by blaming it on something else (capitalism, probably), telling you it shouldn't be discussed (framework), or telling you it doesn't matter compared to another identity (counter-Ks).  The debate round by its very nature can't be the safe space you want.

 

Take your example, queer debaters who can't come out to their families.  99% of the debate community would be fully supportive of their sexual orientation outside the round.  If such debaters wanted to talk about their problems to strangers outside of a competitive debate, the vast majority of debaters would lend a sympathetic ear and listen.  Raise the issue in a debate round and those same debaters are forced to oppose you--and if they're not on board with your cause, they'll be angry at you for their perception of you using your oppressed identity as a sword to win rounds and a shield to avoid criticism for it.  

 

You are looking at oppression very rigidly but it can be very confusing and different for each and every debater. To one person it can look like someone using their own identity just to win debates and they happen to go to a wealthy school so they win even more but to them it could be a legitimate thing that influences the way that these kids act in their every day life.

 

There are certainly teams using their identity just to win debates.  I judged one from Homewood-Flossmoor at the Evanston tournament this year--a team of girls running a Women in Debate Aff.  I picked them up, because they did debate better than their flustered opponents.  In retrospect, I feel I should have talked to tab and possibly filed an ethics complaint against them.  As per my general rule, I signed my ballot before giving an oral critique.  When I asked the HF team, who had talked about how they personally suffered from their coach's discrimination against women, if they had talked to their coach about their Aff, they laughed and said their coach knew about it and was cool with it.  If they honestly felt discriminated against, you certainly couldn't tell from their attitude once the round was over.  (This was also a round where I was already close to giving them a loss and 0 speaker points for lying--throughout the round, their response to framework was that they couldn't run a topical plan to raise this issue; in the 2AR, they claimed their Aff had real effects because other teams were persuaded to write and run a "find Amelia Earhart" Aff, which sure sounded topical to me.)

 

And if even if you're not lying about it, you're still using your identity for strategic purposes.  The competitive value in personalizing the debate round is that it makes the opponent look like jerks if they don't negate without sufficient sensitivity.  And you've made it so that losing isn't something you can learn from, it's a personal slight.  How is that better than talking about your identity outside the round where the people you're talking to are allowed to just agree with you like they personally want?

 

Just b/c there is a rich/poor divide when it comes to debate programs doesn't mean that debaters shouldn't explore these topics

 

Explore, yes--but through hybrid Affs and neg Ks that offer a reason to reject an Aff with a plan.  Talk about issues that matter to you, but do it in a way that lets you have a fair, impersonal debate.  Some good hybrid Affs I've seen:

 

From the Infrastructure Aff - Universal Design (ableism issues)

From the Latin America Aff - Autodefensas (feminism), Trafficking with a plan (feminism), Maquiladoras with a plan (feminism)

From the Oceans Aff - Makah Whaling (natives - OK, not really a good Aff because it should lose instantly to a "give the natives sovereignty" CP, but it is theoretically legitimate), colonialism impacts to Warming harms, feminist impacts to desalination or antibiotic resistance (I know Squirreloid wrote the former but had difficulty getting his students to run it; my students didn't fully develop the latter but tried it out in a few rounds).

 

The privacy topic I debated in 2000-01 was fantastic for hybrid Affs, and the Surveillance topic next year should be as well.  I personally ran Abolish Gun Control with racial oppression and feminism advantages on the privacy topic (and if you don't know how those work, I'd suggest you look up some literature on gun control policies in the South from 1865-1970).  Next year, if I were still debating and wanted to do it, I could run a pretty valid hybrid Fat Acceptance Aff of "End health surveillance in the PPACA and Let's Move programs"--except that particular oppressed identity isn't quite so accepted in the identity politics world and wouldn't get anywhere near the judge and debater sympathy as more commonly used oppressed identities, and I wouldn't feel like spending every Saturday night after a tournament shaking with anger at the nasty responses from judges and Neg teams.  Because the dirty little secret of basing a K Aff on a personal oppressed identity is that if there were actual racists, sexists, and homophobes on the debate circuit--the kind you might find at takimag.com, one of the conservative backlash articles linked by the Federalist article this thread is about--running these Affs would be a hellish experience and would result in a lot more tears than trophies.

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I agree and disagree with it. 

 

Yes it is probably true that debaters who have oppressed social locations usually only obtain success if they have the money but it doesn't mean that suburban people of color who read race args don't deal with racism in debate. Many circuits haven't liberalized yet so they get attacked with micro aggression and isolation.

 

If the worst a debater of color every has to deal with is microaggression and isolation within the debate community, life is pretty good.  Everyone faces microaggression; miscommunication is part of life.  If the worst thing an Asian debater ever has to deal with is being unfairly expected to be good at math, he doesn't have a whole lot to complain about--especially compared to his counterparts at a low-functioning CPS school, who have been utterly failed by a school system up through grade 9 and have to deal with classmates getting shot on a monthly basis.

 

A) Isolation literally means getting kicked out of debate because white judges/ coaches were offended by the arguments you run. This has happened to many debaters.

B) No obviously that isn't the only thing. You are simplifying the model minority argument btw. Its more about how Yellow bodies are forced to denounce their own identities for the sake of protection. This happens a lot in south asian communities when kids refuse to wear religious wear because of the fear of being bullied or attacked. I mean if i were you i'd read up on the violence that other communities face. Check out darkmatter poetry. They do a better job explaining this than a tired kid with nats to prep for.  

 

And it shows because the number of oppressed identities reading arguments about their oppression at tournaments like the TOC is very low.

 

This is a non-sequitur; it could also be because oppressed identities don't want to read arguments about their oppression in debate rounds!  The ones at Marshall certainly didn't.  I have one student at Joslin who kind of does, but who wants to stick with hybrid affs (which I think are perfectly theoretically legitimate and are the best way to talk about issues of race, gender, and sexual orientation in debate rounds).  

 

My response to this is two fold

A) Yes there are kids who dont want to talk about their identities and that is completely fine

B) There are also coaches who prevent their kids from reading these types of arguments. And even if they don't directly say it doesn't there is a fear associated with doing that. 

 

It doesn't mean that we should not have these discussions because they may be privileged in debate but they sure as hell aren't outside of debate. Sometimes debate is the only space that they get to talk about these issues. This is definitely the case for many Queer debaters who don't have the ability to come out to their families.

 

If you need a space to talk about these issues, raising them in the round through a nontopical Aff seems like a terrible space to do it.  By definition, reading a nontopical K Aff in a non-elimination debate round happens in a room with 3 other people, two who are forced to oppose you and one who is required to remain neutral.  If you raise an oppressed identity in a debate round, your opponents (who will never just concede the round in deference to your identity) are forced to either argue against your oppression or to derail by blaming it on something else (capitalism, probably), telling you it shouldn't be discussed (framework), or telling you it doesn't matter compared to another identity (counter-Ks).  The debate round by its very nature can't be the safe space you want.

 

Debate may be a terrible space but for many it is the only place they have. Especially kids who come from heavily white areas. Debate also forces kids to learn about what it means to be "brown" or "black" or queer or transgender and that is good because it gives these specific kids an understanding of what kinds of oppression they will face when they leave debate. I would also say that performance debate for those who really do care about the issues is something that can lead to positive change and that is net valuable.

 

Take your example, queer debaters who can't come out to their families.  99% of the debate community would be fully supportive of their sexual orientation outside the round.  If such debaters wanted to talk about their problems to strangers outside of a competitive debate, the vast majority of debaters would lend a sympathetic ear and listen.  Raise the issue in a debate round and those same debaters are forced to oppose you--and if they're not on board with your cause, they'll be angry at you for their perception of you using your oppressed identity as a sword to win rounds and a shield to avoid criticism for it.  

 

A) Education on the topic solves 

B) Method debates are a really good way to productively discuss the topics of racism/queerness/etc

C) "they'll be angry at you for their perception of you using your oppressed identity as a sword to win rounds"- There are always going to be people like this. I have met a few myself tbh. The one thing you have to understand. People don't always read these arguments to change other people's minds. They do it for many reasons. There are people who do that but we shouldn't punish those who really care about the issues from running these arguments  

 

You are looking at oppression very rigidly but it can be very confusing and different for each and every debater. To one person it can look like someone using their own identity just to win debates and they happen to go to a wealthy school so they win even more but to them it could be a legitimate thing that influences the way that these kids act in their every day life.

 

There are certainly teams using their identity just to win debates.  I judged one from Homewood-Flossmoor at the Evanston tournament this year--a team of girls running a Women in Debate Aff.  I picked them up, because they did debate better than their flustered opponents.  In retrospect, I feel I should have talked to tab and possibly filed an ethics complaint against them.  As per my general rule, I signed my ballot before giving an oral critique.  When I asked the HF team, who had talked about how they personally suffered from their coach's discrimination against women, if they had talked to their coach about their Aff, they laughed and said their coach knew about it and was cool with it.  If they honestly felt discriminated against, you certainly couldn't tell from their attitude once the round was over.  (This was also a round where I was already close to giving them a loss and 0 speaker points for lying--throughout the round, their response to framework was that they couldn't run a topical plan to raise this issue; in the 2AR, they claimed their Aff had real effects because other teams were persuaded to write and run a "find Amelia Earhart" Aff, which sure sounded topical to me.)

 

Idk what happened there but 

A) I wouldn't just throw a team under the bus like that

B) from the looks of it, what they did seems wrong and in-genuine but it is really hard to determine what is and what isn't genuine sometimes. There are some debaters who started out doing "traditional" debate and when they switched over to "performance" debate they debated the identity args like "traditional" debaters and they would get called out for being in-genuine

 

And if even if you're not lying about it, you're still using your identity for strategic purposes.  The competitive value in personalizing the debate round is that it makes the opponent look like jerks if they don't negate without sufficient sensitivity.  And you've made it so that losing isn't something you can learn from, it's a personal slight.  How is that better than talking about your identity outside the round where the people you're talking to are allowed to just agree with you like they personally want?

 

I think being on the "wrong" side of an identity debate isn't that big a deal when compared to the oppression that those reading the aff deal with outside of the round. 

 

 

Just b/c there is a rich/poor divide when it comes to debate programs doesn't mean that debaters shouldn't explore these topics

 

Explore, yes--but through hybrid Affs and neg Ks that offer a reason to reject an Aff with a plan.  Talk about issues that matter to you, but do it in a way that lets you have a fair, impersonal debate.  Some good hybrid Affs I've seen:

 

From the Infrastructure Aff - Universal Design (ableism issues)

From the Latin America Aff - Autodefensas (feminism), Trafficking with a plan (feminism), Maquiladoras with a plan (feminism)

From the Oceans Aff - Makah Whaling (natives - OK, not really a good Aff because it should lose instantly to a "give the natives sovereignty" CP, but it is theoretically legitimate), colonialism impacts to Warming harms, feminist impacts to desalination or antibiotic resistance (I know Squirreloid wrote the former but had difficulty getting his students to run it; my students didn't fully develop the latter but tried it out in a few rounds).

 

The privacy topic I debated in 2000-01 was fantastic for hybrid Affs, and the Surveillance topic next year should be as well.  I personally ran Abolish Gun Control with racial oppression and feminism advantages on the privacy topic (and if you don't know how those work, I'd suggest you look up some literature on gun control policies in the South from 1865-1970).  Next year, if I were still debating and wanted to do it, I could run a pretty valid hybrid Fat Acceptance Aff of "End health surveillance in the PPACA and Let's Move programs"--except that particular oppressed identity isn't quite so accepted in the identity politics world and wouldn't get anywhere near the judge and debater sympathy as more commonly used oppressed identities, and I wouldn't feel like spending every Saturday night after a tournament shaking with anger at the nasty responses from judges and Neg teams.  Because the dirty little secret of basing a K Aff on a personal oppressed identity is that if there were actual racists, sexists, and homophobes on the debate circuit--the kind you might find at takimag.com, one of the conservative backlash articles linked by the Federalist article this thread is about--running these Affs would be a hellish experience and would result in a lot more tears than trophies.

 

 

Soft left affs don't always solve and soft left affs don't account for the performances themselves. It is all dependent on the specific person. 

 

Just a btw: For a lot of suburban debaters it is easier for them to win reading traditional arguments but they choose to read args about their identity for very specific reasons. 

 

And Conservative Backlash will always exist.You see it with spreading, nuke war scenarios and now identity debate. It isnt a reason we shouldn't do it. And If the superintendents and College administrators terminate debate programs due to a few articles from the radical right then that is sad. But lets be honest they aren't.  

 

We can debate this until the cows come home but it isn't going to change the fact that identity debate is here to stay. The big thing to take from this is that the performance debaters are usually the ones who go down to ferguson and protest. The Performance debaters are usually the ones who join groups to fix material oppression of the black and brown communities and that is a positive impact of doing this kind of debate which isn't a product of most soft left debates because it still feels very disconnected from your social location.

 

If anything would you rather have a space full of debaters discussing important topics such as identity or debaters reading 40 cards from Lacan and calling it an aff.  

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I'm telling you that you don't know your debate history. The term "project" is a reference to an iteration of performance debate run by Towson roughly a decade ago. It refers to a specific set of kritikal arguments (none of which are queer). It is long since defunct - Towson doesn't refer to themselves as "the project" anymore and the critical left in debate aggressively dismiss the term. The term has survived, though, as a misnomer stand in for all race performance debate by people outside the policy community because the people don't know what else to call performance debate. It's aggressively essentialist and masks both the distinct nuances between present positions and their respective differences with Towson's project.

 

I don't know them, but your parli team seems to fit the mold of outsider-looking-in. It's likely that they heard someone inaccurately refer to kritik debate as "project" debate and decided they wanted to pretend to be policy debaters. Nonetheless, there is no college policy debate movement called "the project". The article refers to a nonexistent referent. I have no idea what you think a single parli team has to do with the existence of a movement in college policy debate or why you thought that was relevant for the thread. I nonetheless cannot overemphasize how aggressively teams distance themselves from the term, and how insulting it is to call a college leftist policy team a project.

louisville

 

;)

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It goes to a point Squirreloid and I have made here before--for all the rhetoric of "empowering oppressed minorities" used by the pro-K side, at least in the high school, the actual effect is that it gets used by the most privileged debaters as a strategic tool to reinforce privilege. A school like North Lawndale may be running K Affs, but the teams that win with it are rich magnets and suburban schools. Because the real privilege in debate isn't about race or gender, it's about money and support.

 

Interesting thesis, and probably true in many cases, but it wasn't true in mine. I think you'd have been pretty upset with what aff I ran on the Latin America topic, but I certainly wasn't one of the "most privileged debaters" in terms of "money and support," and my partner and I were quite successful with it. This is similarly true of other debaters who win a lot of important tournaments, run kritikal and performance affirmatives, yet lack institutional funding, large numbers of card-cutting coaches, and the other properties that come to mind when "rich magnets and suburban schools" and "money and support" are mentioned. It's an empirical question in the end; it'd be great if someone actually produced some research about it. Sounds like the sort of thing that would make for a great sociology or anthropology research paper.

 

Also re: the communist theory thing, that sounds like more of a problem of poor public education and literacy rates in Soviet Russia, not an intrinsic fault of Marxist  theory (or Leninist theory, but forget that stuff).

 

And I don't know, y'all, I took some introductory political science and sociology classes last semester and a lot of college freshmen were being taught about Marx, Spivak, Bhabha, Said, Butler, Foucault, and other "high-theory" authors we read in kritiks. It's really not that difficult, if you're a good communicator and sufficiently knowledgeable about the material, to explain it to people who haven't been exposed to their writing before.

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Interesting thesis, and probably true in many cases, but it wasn't true in mine. I think you'd have been pretty upset with what aff I ran on the Latin America topic, but I certainly wasn't one of the "most privileged debaters" in terms of "money and support," and my partner and I were quite successful with it. This is similarly true of other debaters who win a lot of important tournaments, run kritikal and performance affirmatives, yet lack institutional funding, large numbers of card-cutting coaches, and the other properties that come to mind when "rich magnets and suburban schools" and "money and support" are mentioned. It's an empirical question in the end; it'd be great if someone actually produced some research about it. Sounds like the sort of thing that would make for a great sociology or anthropology research paper.

 

The most important thing isn't *debate* money and support, it's money and support long before that in terms of general education.  If you went into high school reading near, at, or above your grade level, you're significantly privileged compared to a lot of inner city students.  

Which doesn't mean direct debate support doesn't contribute to general outcomes, but the impact of education quality before you even get to high school is the really big discriminator.  (Basically, Edgehopper and I deal with a level of underprivileged that is hard to make up for even with significant coaching investment).

Edited by Squirrelloid
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It goes to a point Squirreloid and I have made here before--for all the rhetoric of "empowering oppressed minorities" used by the pro-K side, at least in the high school, the actual effect is that it gets used by the most privileged debaters as a strategic tool to reinforce privilege. A school like North Lawndale may be running K Affs, but the teams that win with it are rich magnets and suburban schools. Because the real privilege in debate isn't about race or gender, it's about money and support.

I'm pretty sure their argument is that this logic is bad and racist, like right now you are enforcing the model minority myth.

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The term has survived, though, as a misnomer stand in for all race performance debate by people outside the policy community because the people don't know what else to call performance debate

Or really: what else to call people who aren't white doing debate

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Wow what a misinformed quote! I'm sure that a cross-x member will be able to help explain how these arguments aren't simply "logic racist" and that believing in social justice doesn't make you a "Social Justice Warrior."

I'm pretty sure their argument is that this logic is bad and racist, like right now you are enforcing the model minority myth.

Hm.

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The most important thing isn't *debate* money and support, it's money and support long before that in terms of general education.  If you went into high school reading near, at, or above your grade level, you're significantly privileged compared to a lot of inner city students.  

Which doesn't mean direct debate support doesn't contribute to general outcomes, but the impact of education quality before you even get to high school is the really big discriminator.  (Basically, Edgehopper and I deal with a level of underprivileged that is hard to make up for even with significant coaching investment).

 

That's a different, true claim, but it doesn't show that "the most privileged debaters" utilize kritikal affirmatives (it's them and an array of other, less privileged debaters, including inner-city ones), nor does it show that they're used "as a strategic tool to reinforce privilege," which implies intent (strategy), not coincidence (reinforcing privilege).

 

Regardless, it's unclear to me how this is a problem unique to K affs; if students are suffering due to their receiving a comparatively-poor education, the problem is apparently in literacy and other skills that aren't being optimally developed for them. Would they be doing better against fast-talking policy debaters with three advantages and a plan? I'm doubtful. If anything, I'd imagine that it's easier to keep up with performance debates, which are usually about putting everyday experiences into theoretical contexts, than many policy debates, which usually require fairly advanced understandings of theories and phenomena unique to the natural and political sciences and current events, information that I'm doubtful are more commonly known to the inner city students you're discussing. Is it easier to give three reasons that Royal 10 is misguided and weigh the politics DA against it, or to discuss racism and classism, when your life is apparently already burdened by their intersection (e.g. your not receiving a good education for being in a poor-and-black-and-brown urban neighborhood)?

 

Like I said, it's a largely empirical question. This discussion will go nowhere beyond our competing intuitions and weak inferences without research on it.

 

 

Hm.

 

Funny, but yee wrote "this logic is bad and racist," as in "this line of reasoning is ...," instead of "logic is bad and racist," which would align with Miro's post (and I guess the article in the OP).

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Funny, but yee wrote "this logic is bad and racist," as in "this line of reasoning is ...," instead of "logic is bad and racist," which would align with Miro's post (and I guess the article in the OP).

Eh, a distinction without a difference, since yee didn't write that the logic was invalid for any reason, just that it was "bad and racist." Let's just say that the rhetoric I've seen in debate rounds and on cross-x.com hasn't persuaded me the commenter Miro was responding to was wrong.

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Funny, but yee wrote "this logic is bad and racist," as in "this line of reasoning is ...," instead of "logic is bad and racist," which would align with Miro's post (and I guess the article in the OP).

Yeah I meant this string of reasoning is based upon an assumption that is bad/racist i.e. all asian people are smart/well off. I'm not saying Edgehopper was being racist, I'm saying that their argument would follow like that.

 

Maybe these misconceptions are why articles like the OP are written

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Regardless, it's unclear to me how this is a problem unique to K affs; if students are suffering due to their receiving a comparatively-poor education, the problem is apparently in literacy and other skills that aren't being optimally developed for them. Would they be doing better against fast-talking policy debaters with three advantages and a plan? I'm doubtful. If anything, I'd imagine that it's easier to keep up with performance debates, which are usually about putting everyday experiences into theoretical contexts, than many policy debates, which usually require fairly advanced understandings of theories and phenomena unique to the natural and political sciences and current events information that I'm doubtful are more commonly known to the inner city students you're discussing. Is it easier to give three reasons that Royal 10 is misguided and weigh the politics DA against it, or to discuss racism and classism, when your life is apparently already burdened by their intersection (e.g. your not receiving a good education for being in a poor-and-black-and-brown urban neighborhood)?


My intuition is that, as kritikal affirmatives go outside the resolution, they make it harder for non-privileged people to keep up. You give the example of people discussing racism, but other kritikal affirmatives will talk about sexism, capitalism, interpreting the resolution as a metaphor for X, why we should all become pirates, or why conspiracy theories are true and good to believe in.

In addition, discussing concepts from one's personal life seems hard to me, not easy. Our strongest biases live close to home.

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I'm pretty sure their argument is that this logic is bad and racist, like right now you are enforcing the model minority myth.

 

I think what's more at play here is a disputing of their being an actual "Myth" of a model minority in-so-far as current statistics from the BLS indicate that Asian Americans in general have lower unemployment rates, higher salaries, higher SAT scores, better college prospects, etc. This is especially important given that we are talking about disparities in resources (which are almost always indirectly or directly about money) and that I dispute that a myth exists about model minorities when we talk purely about class differences. 

 

I don't think the rest of that term (model minority) is being disputed, but I'm willing to play the Oppression Olympics and say that most Asian American debaters are far more privileged and less oppressed than Black debaters are. Pretty sure that the empircs are simply going to be on my side for this argument. 

Edited by RainSilves

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I think what's more at play here is a disputing of their being an actual "Myth" of a model minority in-so-far as current statistics from the BLS indicate that Asian Americans in general have lower unemployment rates, higher salaries, higher SAT scores, better college prospects, etc. This is especially important given that we are talking about disparities in resources (which are almost always indirectly or directly about money) and that I dispute that a myth exists about model minorities when we talk purely about class differences. 

 

I don't think the rest of that term (model minority) is being disputed, but I'm willing to play the Oppression Olympics and say that most Asian American debaters are far more privileged and less oppressed than Black debaters are. Pretty sure that the empircs are simply going to be on my side for this argument. 

Keep in mind I don't read these arguments myself, but I don't think that's the point. Their argument is that the majority of asian americans should not be used to represent all. Which is the problem, they are called out for debating the K and being asian therefore privileged, which is a racist assumption.

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Keep in mind I don't read these arguments myself, but I don't think that's the point. Their argument is that the majority of asian americans should not be used to represent all. Which is the problem, they are called out for debating the K and being asian therefore privileged, which is a racist assumption.

What if I assume it based on the demographics at Centennial? 7.5% low income (Joslin and Marshall are over 90% low income). 34% Asian, 50% white, 8% black, 4% Hispanic. Centennial's located in a wealthy suburb of Baltimore.

 

There are non-privileged Asians--my best debater last year was one. But Centennial's "oppressed Asians" are some of the least oppressed people in the current U.S.--even less so when compared historically.

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My intuition is that, as kritikal affirmatives go outside the resolution, they make it harder for non-privileged people to keep up. You give the example of people discussing racism, but other kritikal affirmatives will talk about sexism, capitalism, interpreting the resolution as a metaphor for X, why we should all become pirates, or why conspiracy theories are true and good to believe in.

 

This.  

 

Time is a critical resource when attempting to bring students up to speed.  The more ground I have to cover, the more they're going to fall behind.  The resolution provides reasonable ground to cover even given the disadvantage in reading level and other educational preparedness, because it tends to be a set of material which I can adequately cover at 2h per day, 3 days per week by the time of the 2nd tournament, in addition to argument structure.

 

And there's a significant difference in reading material between these literature bases too.  Most PTX cards are written at an 8th grade level (ie, newspaper).  The hardest policy literature is maybe 10th or 11th grade reading level, maybe, from the academic policy lit.  But the K literature, including the literature used to justify a lot of performance debate arguments and practice, is somewhere in the college+ reading level range.

 

And it's a matter of interest too.  I can interest them in policy stuff.  They care about things happening.  They care about figuring out how to fix things.  But it has to be applicable knowledge - anything that has a whiff of theory about it turns them off.  They can understand mechanical explanations.  (Burning coal -> GHGs -> global warming).  But if it's not immediately applicable, instant attention turn off.  And that goes to debate theory too.  They aren't terribly interested in even Topicality - it feels false to them, just meaningless word games.  They want to talk about the world, not words.  We can get by on T because I can write good blocks, and we tend to run pretty topical cases anyway, but they aren't interested in learning to win on T or Framework or defending their model of debate.  They don't understand Framework.  They don't want to understand Framework. 

 

(I'm serious, if they're not interested, they tune out.  And some of them actively disrupt what we're doing.  I can get them to listen to me explain natural selection and evolution and why it's relevant to the anthropocentrism K for half an hour or more - not because they care about the debate application, but because of the reality of the biology - but I can't get through even 10 minutes on Topicality without significant disruption).

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louisville

 

;)

You're so right lol. I forgot Louisville existed post Ede Warner tbh.

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What if I assume it based on the demographics at Centennial? 7.5% low income (Joslin and Marshall are over 90% low income). 34% Asian, 50% white, 8% black, 4% Hispanic. Centennial's located in a wealthy suburb of Baltimore.

 

There are non-privileged Asians--my best debater last year was one. But Centennial's "oppressed Asians" are some of the least oppressed people in the current U.S.--even less so when compared historically.

I also don't think that's their argument either. If these kind of assumptions are bad, then similar assumptions about income levels are also bad. I also think we're being overly reductionist as to what their argument really is.

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I also don't think that's their argument either. If these kind of assumptions are bad, then similar assumptions about income levels are also bad. I also think we're being overly reductionist as to what their argument really is.

Maybe that IS their argument, but given that the only other teams they hit are ones who have equally, if not more, privilege than they do then it's not really a question of contesting how Centennials "oppressed Asians" as one of the least oppressed people in the current U.S.; it's not gonna go be like a Hispanic kid from a small school going up against Centennial at finals of a major tournament like Glenbrooks, and eve if it that does happen, it's only because the Hispanic team has debaters who had the privilege to attend prestigious SD's and afford coaching from great debaters. What I'm getting at is that in comparison to the teams they hit, they really are seen as "oppressed", albeit they are privileged, but that's only because they compete within a smaller microcosm of high-prestige within debate.

 

This is the magic of arguments like anti-blackness in the way Wilderson describes it: no matter how much money you have, or how much "prestige" you have, you're always already seen as less within the eyes of Civil Society. But this begs the question of who looks better in the eyes of civil society: a young hispanic man working at a menial job, or a black man going on to get his Ph.D. in Economics and already having multiple job offers from different companies? There's a lot of things wrong with what Wilderson says, but I'm not gonna shift the debate to Wilderson right now...I just think that this is one of the reasons why Wilderson is read by even those white kids from Glenbrooks, because it DOESN'T MATTER what amount of privilege you have, you're always already structurally less-than in the eyes of Civil Society. 

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There are non-privileged Asians--my best debater last year was one. But Centennial's "oppressed Asians" are some of the least oppressed people in the current U.S.--even less so when compared historically.

You have a very narrow minded definition of what oppression means btw

Because most Asians have to divorce themselves from their identities and culture to even get these jobs they are oppressed. Oppression isn't a stable concept and can impact different people differently. Access to good schools isn't the only indicator of a person's racial status  

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When unpriviledge debaters debate unpriviledge debaters....the basic argument would seem to be "we agree"

 

This is one of the key areas where having no topical lines makes no sense.  In this case it gives the project team the advantage simply for speaking first.  Because the 2nd team is obviously going to lose for saying "we agree."

 

I realize there are more sophisticated arguments that go on in these debates....but it confuses me how these debates are "fair"...much less "topical" or "germane."

 

Plus the education around race seems incredibly limited.  Race shifts the research burdens away from the topic toward US vs. THEM identity politics debates.  US vs. THEM stories.  Black and white identities, minority and majority identities are essentialized as static, which is simplistic at best.

 

I'm curious about the connection between the culture of race norms and actual race.  For instance, in this world someone who is lighter skinned should theoretically face less of a problem from the question of race.  That is to say the K re-hierarchializes race along race.  Thats like feminists saying that men should be slaves of women.  [that is at least in terms of the norms involved & the links involved]

 

BTW, whats the alternative political and economic system that is set up with the alternative.  What does that world look like?

Edited by nathan_debate
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