[eDebate] ans Warner

Ede Warner ewarner
Wed Nov 7 16:27:37 CST 2007


Scott,
 
What you've done outside of the competitive round to promote policy debate is not only commendable, but outstanding.  Kudos.  Wondering how much backlash you've faced as a result of the changes you've attempted?  Wondering how much true change is ever created in social movements without much backlash?
 
The fact that you can't see the level of stress, and difficultly, and backlash involved with challenging conventions regarding the nature of policy debate may suggest a problem for you to understand how diversity, or the lack thereof, truly functions in this community.  I would hope that people do remember that I walked away from the position.  If their simplistic position is "he walked away because he doesn't want to create change" or that "he took his toys and ran" is all they get, then fair enough.  If they don't see the difference between maintaining the status quo under the illusion of "I'm changing the system" by bringing more Blacks and others into policy debate as it is currently constituted, but are unwilling to ALSO see the relationship between current conventions that they legitimate by not challenging them in the debates, that it is possible their work is not making the student, nor the community better.  You see Scott, true diversity understands that when difference is entered into a situation, the outcome should change both parties involved: the newcomer, as well as established guard.  Your approach is to bring more people to the established guard and eliminate anything that doesn't fit within your conception of what the established guard should be is one sided, and can never make the established guard better.  You are saving the diverse population by bringing them to a game you choose not to challenge.  
 
My approach is a recognition that my difference as a Black man, if truly validated, should take something away from the established guard, BUT ALSO, to bring something that makes the guard better.  Bring students to the game, and using the collective experiences of those students, think critically about how the game can be made better.  If done correctly, it's a win-win for the game and for my students.  And the stress from the backlash those attempts created, drove me from feeling capable and comfortable to lead a group of folks that at the time, were generally hostile to what I was trying to do.
 
Now, if needed, I can talk specifically about how our sacrifices challenging the game of debate, create the possibility for it to get better, as well as what I and my students can gain from participating in the game.  Just wondering if you can do the same?
 
Ede

>>> 

From: <scottelliott at grandecom.net>
To:Ede Warner <e0warn01 at gwise.louisville.edu>, <edebate at ndtceda.com>
Date: 11/7/2007 5:10 PM
Subject: Re: [eDebate]  ans Warner
Ede, You have obviously been sitting on your ass and not seeing my teams. I do
more than call bullshit when I read it on e-debate. What have I done? Good
question. Hmm. Let's see:

1.Wrote a very detailed topic paper to give the community a valid choice among
good topic areas-before I was even coaching.
2. Came back to teaching and coaching-specifically CEDA coaching because I care
about the activity.
3. Created a brand new policy debate program--the only one in Louisiana.
4. Brought back policy debate on the high school level to the state of Louisiana
as the preferred form of debate.
5. Giving seminars to high school coaches on how to coach policy debate so that
more students at all levels of our educational system have access to the
benefits of policy debate.
6. Hosted the first college hosted high school policy debate tournament in
Louisiana in years--some say its been at least a decade.
7. Decided to host a college policy tournament for Mardi Gras, specifically
taking into account the other possible tournaments within my region and sister
regions.
8. Cajuns, African Americans and Native Americans from UL-Lafayette (all
distinct ethnic groups that even you would have to agree are underrrepresented)
advancing to elimination rounds at every tournament they have entered so
far--all by arguing the topic straight up, no kritiks, no slashing or wrists
and no complaints within the rounds that we are small school, oppressed, or any
other non-germane issue. [I'll see your "bringing more minorities into the
activity," and raise you bringing policy debate back to an entire state and
students who had zero access to policy debate. If you are going to get into a
pissing contest over participation, I certainly won't be persuaded that your
project has made a significant impact outside of your own program.]
9. Been pushing for changes to the CEDA constitution on some of the issues.
Certainly for better topics.

Given that I have only been an active coach of CEDA for a grand total of two and
a half months, I think I have done a lot. I put my money where my mouth is and I
am pretty proud of what I have accomplished so far, given the resources that I
have and the amount of time I have had to do it.

At least I did not quit and run away after being elected to be a President
of CEDA. You had the opportunity to make HUGE changes in the organization and
you pissed it away. Now you have the gall to tell me that I do nothing other
than pontificate on e-debate. You threw away your leadership credibility when
it was given to you on a silver platter. Maybe we should just all forget that
the community gave you the forum AND political power to make real changes and
you pitched a fit and walked away from the opportunity.

Scott


Quoting Ede Warner <ewarner at louisville.edu>:

> Scott,
>
> It seems we agree on most everything than I guess, except for your claim
> essentializing comments about "performance debate".  Look, I'm not sure when
> or what you've seen Louisville do in debates, nor do I know what you mean by
> the term performance debate, but let's be clear: what we do can be taken to
> any administrator at any time and I can feel confident that it won't hurt
> support for our program.  That is action and not just "complaining about
> diversity in debate."
>
> Since you think all we do is complain about the lack of diversity in debates,
> let me throw you a few bullets:
>
> I suspect we are currently one, if not the only, team in the country that
> uses Affirmative Action judging to prefer our judges.  Do you know of any
> others?
> I suspect we there are few current teams with more diversity, in terms of
> debate style relative to the broad population and in terms of demographics.
> I still haven't defended the types of performance you are critical of and you
> can't explain why Louisville debate creates those types of performances.
> Louisville debaters asked opponents to substitute their preferred judges for
> lay judges two years ago.  Not sure anyone else has.
> We have more competitive sacrifices in the interest of diversity than anyone
> in this community: bar none.
> While we haven't consistently supported regional debate as much as I would
> like, we have more than most squads in this country.  And our lack of support
> has little to do with lack of interest since many of our competitive
> sacrifices have kept our program in constant flux and instability over the
> last couple of years.
> Of course, all of this ignores that I made a choice to try something that
> created an entirely NEW population of students in this activity, who have
> spent careers dedicated to challenging some of the things in rounds that you
> claim I should be supporting...
> So when you say that I should "follow your lead", I ask?  What have you done
> that's worthy of my support of your leadership Scott?  From where I sit, all
> you do is run your mouth on edebate and complain that Louisiana doesn't have
> any programs.  Anything else?
>
> Stop being ignorant and then I might respect what you have to say,  And yes,
> I find your flippant insults wrongheaded AND personal.
>
> Ede
> >>>
>
> From: <scottelliott at grandecom.net>
> To:<edebate at ndtceda.com>
> Date: 11/7/2007 1:15 PM
> Subject: [eDebate]  ans Warner
> Ede, why do you think I am mounting some type of personal attack. I am not
> trying to discredit you. I am trying to point out some factual issues.
>
> I agree with you that the speedy nature and over-reliance on masses of
> "evidence" led to and continues to lead to the decline of CEDA debate.
>
> However, I do not think your "project," and debate as performance art is
> going
> to stem the decline or bring schools back into the fold.
>
> Lay judges and "experts in the field" are fine with me. I had to adapt to my
> judges all the time when I was a debater. I have been pretty consistent in my
> criticism that MPJ creates the insularity you speak of. This shift occurred
> primarily after, and because of, the merger between NDT and CEDA.
>
> I have some very simple and concrete proposals that I do not think are
> contridictory and I have advocated for years:
>
> 1) focus on regional debate rather then the national mega-tournament death
> march
> to the NDT
>
> 2) Topics that are narrower. Or, minimally, topics that constitute a coherent
> declarative sentence. LOL
>
> 3) Semester long topics
>
> 4) Topicality as a voting issue.
>
> Example: I read the case outline of SFSU. I even went and read the "I was a
> sex
> slave for the Taliban" article they cite. [Very nice, I am sure
> administrators
> would love to read that during budget time.] I don't think they offer a
> security guarantee or forieng assistance. And, they should lose, even if they
> break me of my heteronormativity through their discourse. Making T a voter
> would go a long way toward reigning in those who believe that shoving
> bullwhips
> up their ass is the only way to explain sadomasochism's critique of
> patriarchy.
>
> 5) getting rid of mpj
>
>
> Almost everyone of these issues arose immediately prior to or as a
> consequence
> of the NDT/CEDA merger Ede. Frankly I was shocked to see the extent to which
> policy debate has died when I returned to coaching. I went off on the CEDA
> hierarchy because tournaments were not posted in time to make travel
> arrangements--only to find out there WERE NO TOURNAMENTS. Look at the Spring
> Schedule. After January, there is virtually nothing other than NDT Districts
> and a littany of "National Championships."
>
> If you truly support diviersity--which I believe you do--then I am at a loss
> as
> to why you do not join me in supporting these changes. But simply stating on
> e-debate or having your students claim in debate rounds that debate is not
> diverse is not enough. There are real changes that can be made to the
> structure
> of CEDA (I give no hope for NDT) that would make the world of debate a better
> and more diverse place.
>
> Scott
>
>
>
>
>
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>





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