[eDebate] Winks and movements

Ede Warner ewarner
Thu Nov 15 04:47:44 CST 2007


Josh and the rest of the community,
 
Just wanted to take a moment to thank Josh for starting a thoughtful post about perhaps small steps that could be taken to make debate more real and less pretend.  Josh, and several, perhaps MANY others, understand that there is more than one way that motivates people to debate, and perhaps incremental steps can be taken to move towards a policy debate community that better accommodates varying interests in debate, instead of just the debate is fun, debate is a game folks that are hanging on for dear life.  Or are they?  Given the response to Josh's post, I wonder.
 
I can write a thoughtful, well-written post that shuts down further public challenges by everyone involved.  It clearly demonstrates that debate as game or fun, has real costs on real people's lives.  Then people stop talking momentarily, until a good theory discussion comes up.  And when the compromise candidate Josh declares a small step away from the game, we see the strength of the backlash almost immediately.  And what do you now, the backlash is looking for even more ways to justify and fortify that game, to entrench that game, and to subtly, but surely ignore the REAL!  Not today partner!
 
Let me say this to those unwilling to answer my posts, but quick to defend debate theories to protect the game.  Let me say this to those holding on tight to debate as a game just as Kelly Dunbar did several years ago saying that the community had to choose: activism or game.  Or Joe Zompetti did when he called for the end of "personalized debate", I today stand resolved: "Debate as a game, debate as pretend" must die.  And I will do everything in my power to see that it ends.  You seem to believe that you have a right to debate as a game, and that I should leave and go elsewhere, but you are so, so, so very wrong.
 
I have a right to sit at the table where Malcolm, Thurgood, Shirley, James Farmer, and Martin were excluded.  They were told, you can't decide what debate looks like when you debate whites, but you can debate us on our terms.  Now, forty years later, I see calls for the implicit nature of a fairness call to me, "wink, wink, it's code for those of us who love debate."  As if...
 
as if I would have made a decision to take this abuse for seven, no 17 years, because I didn't love debate.
as if I would have brought into this community 75 students to the severe backlash they faced for challenging the idea of debate as a game, because I didn't love debate.
as if I would walk away now, because I didn't love debate.  
 
I won't walk away unless you kill me.  That's how much I LOVE DEBATE!!!!!
 
I love debate as an educational leadership activity for better policy decision making in a multi cultural society.  I hate and will use the rest of my remaining energy on killing debate as a game.  And whoever follows me so be it.  I don't care if not one other person agrees, not one other program, not one other person in one other program, and not even if the Louisville debate team if they choose to stop fighting: if it comes to that.  I will die walking alone if that's what it takes.  Whoever gets in the way: we fight and someone dies.  That could and perhaps will be me.  Those who like the game have a lot of clout: I saw the new Burger King commercial...
 
The "game" you wink about Kade, for your offensive assertion that you wink for those who "love" debate. Your fairness code, is a product of an unjust enrichment inherited from a time when the winks were legalized. Stand on notice Kade about your "winks".
 
Now when you wink, consider whether the game as constructed can in 2007 with all the problems of the world that debate could be a real solution for, instead of contributing to the problem.  When you wink, consider if debate as a game can withstand a social movement to stop the pretend world, in favor of the real.  I don't think it can.  So, now Kade, I wink back.
 
Debate as a game is going to die if I can help it...Debate as an educational exercise activity in political leadership and decision making is going to wink, one day soon.  Where Scott Elliott is so very wrong and full of his white privilege that keeps him from seeing how easy it is to destroy debate as a game, is he ignores the challenges that Blacks have faced: and by comparison, tearing down the institutional walls of a game, even one with Sopranos level of protection, pales to where my people came from.  Slavery, segregation, the game of debate?  Yeah, Mike Korcok, I'm winking now. 
 
Now Kade, you can continue to wink and align yourself with any and everyone that is up to the challenge.  Because history will remember this as the site of the last civil rights movement of social justice, where the world, and in particular America finally got back on the right track.  They will remember this as the site of the first true social movement that got beyond mere defining demographic characteristics, to a world of thoughtful consideration of how we make policy decisions in a multi-cultural society.  So continue to wink Kade, 'cuz I'll be winking right back.
 
With undying love,
 
Ede
 
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