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thealtman

Who will win the NDT this year?

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I'm really trying to respect that Rutgers won this debate, but to be honest, I just can't.

 

I thought the 1NC was childish and disrespectful. Going around and making fun of people for 8 minutes of your speech is no way to win a championship in my mind.

 

I don't really care if they won on the flow. I would have voted against Rutgers because they were actively trying to ridicule their competitors and divide our community.

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I think they just don't solve anything - how does this result in community building? Did any teams look "unified" at the end of the rounds? The framework of community is almost entirely incompatible with the alternative of agitation. Why does the black humor thing have to make people uncomfortable - that is, there is a huge difference in humor among consenting friends and putting down your opponents for 6 minutes in front of hundreds of people. Where is the bright line for when this is OK and not OK? Should we encourage highschoolers to insult other debaters? To body shame other debaters? If there is a disabled debater, is the wheel chair fair game? The idea of building any successful political praxis off of insulting people's looks is mindnumbingly regressive.

 

 

I guess the bigger point I'm making is that there is a huge difference in making teams uncomfortable because of complicity in racist args/practices (if the Rutgers 1NC was you didn't disclose, policy bad, and general shittery of Georgetown, that's a WAY more persuasive strat (and where they were winning)). The idea that doing such builds community is incredibly short-sighted, and more importantly, is not political in the least. This round is what conservatives imagine when they take their critique of identity politics (whatever that nebulous term means) to the extreme - where people only talk about identity with no regard to larger practices, politics, coalitions, etc. and it devolves into personal insults (I wish the 2AC read a card on this.) But, making harassing people in an educational setting based on immutable identity characteristics is generally repulsive. I really don't want a community where I feel unsafe to speak without being harassed

It is possible that Rutgers' rhetoric went too far in that round; I do not think, however, that their performance means that 1) you still can't vote for their model of body politics independent of their performance of black humor and 2) black humor necessarily entails the visceral comments you're describing or would EVER devolve in ableist slurs. There's a HUGE difference between calling Ezra "timmy-timmy-turner looking head" and joking about physical disabilities. Honestly, as someone else described on the other post about this finals round, the uncomfortablility of simple comments such as I described above just proves the fragile character of whiteness, and mimics the experiences blackness constantly undergoes due to the prominence of whiteness both internal and external to debate. I'm not certain if you are, and shouldn't be one to assume, but it is absolutely impossible for white people, like me, to determine what liberation is, and what a community is in a world constituted by anti-blackness, especially or black people.

 

Being uncomfortable in your own body is structurally produced by white supremacy - in a world where whiteness determines standards for beauty, can you not see how the performance merely reveals this and flips the script to superimpose whiteness' own standards on itself? Obviously being uncomfortable is bad, but their argument is that it is the feeling black people undergo literally every day because of prevailing power dynamics. This is community building - if they win that this is the condition of blackness, of constant vulnerablity and uncomfortability then their strategy reveals why particular bodies are inevitably excluded under the aff's "community" due to the precarity of their existence, and generates a space where bodies can truly understand the experiences of bodies who suffer because of anti-blackness.

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It is possible that Rutgers' rhetoric went too far in that round; I do not think, however, that their performance means that 1) you still can't vote for their model of body politics independent of their performance of black humor and 2) black humor necessarily entails the visceral comments you're describing or would EVER devolve in ableist slurs. There's a HUGE difference between calling Ezra "timmy-timmy-turner looking head" and joking about physical disabilities. Honestly, as someone else described on the other post about this finals round, the uncomfortablility of simple comments such as I described above just proves the fragile character of whiteness, and mimics the experiences blackness constantly undergoes due to the prominence of whiteness both internal and external to debate. I'm not certain if you are, and shouldn't be one to assume, but it is absolutely impossible for white people, like me, to determine what liberation is, and what a community is in a world constituted by anti-blackness, especially or black people.

 

Being uncomfortable in your own body is structurally produced by white supremacy - in a world where whiteness determines standards for beauty, can you not see how the performance merely reveals this and flips the script to superimpose whiteness' own standards on itself? Obviously being uncomfortable is bad, but their argument is that it is the feeling black people undergo literally every day because of prevailing power dynamics. This is community building - if they win that this is the condition of blackness, of constant vulnerablity and uncomfortability then their strategy reveals why particular bodies are inevitably excluded under the aff's "community" due to the precarity of their existence, and generates a space where bodies can truly understand the experiences of bodies who suffer because of anti-blackness.

Agree with most of this - the problem is just the brightline - what does this solve? If harassing white people would resolve antiblackness, call me timmy-turner looking ass. But I have no idea why it is neccessary - what does it accomplish? Do I need to be punched to understand why violence is wrong? 

 

And to be honest, I don't think there is any point where this stops. Maybe it's not a disabled person - maybe I make fun of an overweight debater - or someone with a weird face. Do we really think this is OK especially when so many young adults have image issues/self harm? What if someone were to quit debate, self harm, or worse because of bullying in debate? This isn't scaremongering - we know harassment exists in this community, and sanctioning it and rewarding debaters who do such seems to be morally reprehensible. It's not a huge leap to assume someone could bully a disabled person. There isn't a persuasive argument why harassment needs to respond to harassment.

 

Simply put, I don't think the script needs to be flipped in this way for white people to realize antiblackness is a problem (most in debate do now.) The major problem is one of tactics - how do white people resolve these questions? I.e. a kritik of POLICY debate is more relevant here. And, truly, I think you're in a double bind here - either whites can't recognize antiblackness/recommend strategies for liberation so flipping the script is just pure agitation, or they can, and flipping the script really just solves nothing more than harassing individuals.

 

Final point. I don't think, that even if this is a good strategy, it even begins to resolve the community question. Extremely tough time believing debate needs people harassed to form a community. Extremely tough to believe not engaging in method debates, or actual politics, instead of harassing each others looks, is not more productive overall. Empirically, I would guess my view is more well-supported. I'd think about the people who make fun of Trump's hair, or mannerisms, whatever - yes it demeans him like he demeans others, but it doesn't make a political argument, it doesn't organize individuals, etc. It escapes the crux of what is the problem for vindictiveness, and that can't be productive. If we choose to interrogate how Georgetown KL looks instead of how they argue, then that is bad politics.

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Agree with most of this - the problem is just the brightline - what does this solve? If harassing white people would resolve antiblackness, call me timmy-turner looking ass. But I have no idea why it is neccessary - what does it accomplish? Do I need to be punched to understand why violence is wrong? 

 

And to be honest, I don't think there is any point where this stops. Maybe it's not a disabled person - maybe I make fun of an overweight debater - or someone with a weird face. Do we really think this is OK especially when so many young adults have image issues/self harm? What if someone were to quit debate, self harm, or worse because of bullying in debate? This isn't scaremongering - we know harassment exists in this community, and sanctioning it and rewarding debaters who do such seems to be morally reprehensible. It's not a huge leap to assume someone could bully a disabled person. There isn't a persuasive argument why harassment needs to respond to harassment.

 

Simply put, I don't think the script needs to be flipped in this way for white people to realize antiblackness is a problem (most in debate do now.) The major problem is one of tactics - how do white people resolve these questions? I.e. a kritik of POLICY debate is more relevant here. And, truly, I think you're in a double bind here - either whites can't recognize antiblackness/recommend strategies for liberation so flipping the script is just pure agitation, or they can, and flipping the script really just solves nothing more than harassing individuals.

 

Final point. I don't think, that even if this is a good strategy, it even begins to resolve the community question. Extremely tough time believing debate needs people harassed to form a community. Extremely tough to believe not engaging in method debates, or actual politics, instead of harassing each others looks, is not more productive overall. Empirically, I would guess my view is more well-supported. I'd think about the people who make fun of Trump's hair, or mannerisms, whatever - yes it demeans him like he demeans others, but it doesn't make a political argument, it doesn't organize individuals, etc. It escapes the crux of what is the problem for vindictiveness, and that can't be productive. If we choose to interrogate how Georgetown KL looks instead of how they argue, then that is bad politics.

Maybe it is morally reprehensible to make arguments of that nature, and maybe it is possible to achieve uncomfortability in another fashion. However, based on what happened in that round I think Rutgers won the flow, and thus the round.

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Maybe it is morally reprehensible to make arguments of that nature, and maybe it is possible to achieve uncomfortability in another fashion. However, based on what happened in that round I think Rutgers won the flow, and thus the round.

Ya I was casually watching, so I can't really say who won the flow (though, to be fair, in these debates, offense/defense matters less, and I think a degree of intervention is inevitable b/c the judge is being asked to make an active stance, so I'm not sure how much the flow ought to matter.)

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