[eDebate] [CEDA-L] The costs of a game, part 1: An unethical, amoral center

Ede Warner ewarner
Thu Nov 15 22:09:31 CST 2007

For someone so concerned with people "playing the victim", you certainly are good at diverting attention from your unethical behavior by launching a landslide of bad arguments which were already answered with evidence to generate offense.  We use to call this debating through a wall.  You got to answer the original arguments which dust your position, before we can consider voting for the new ones.  Well actually, the new ones aren't really new either.  Except maybe the ethics charge, but let me say this again since you really want to characterize what we do as blaming students.  
I am a oppressor, not intentionally, but I participate in a game that makes policy decisions through it's norms and procedures that unintentionally creates a disproportional amount of pain and oppression on minority groups.
Sounds better each time I say it.  I will concede that our debaters need to get better at admitting they are part of the institution too.  Over the seven years, it's been really hard for them to consider themselves debaters, given being told literally even round they are in, that they aren't.
Hey, if it feels better for you to say that you don't participate in the institution, go ahead.  It was "pretend day" on Nick Jr. today.

From: <scottelliott at grandecom.net>
To:Ede Warner <e0warn01 at gwise.louisville.edu>, <CEDA-L at ndtceda.com>, <edebate at ndtceda.com>
Date: 11/15/2007 6:50 PM
Subject: Re: [CEDA-L] The costs of a game, part 1:  An unethical, amoral center
Ede and anyone else who could possible care,

Whatever. You can ask Gordon Stables that the e-mail that was posted on CEDA-L,
(which, by the way, I do not retract one bit) was sent one or two days prior to
it actually being posted on CEDA-L. The only way I found Ede personal attacks
against me was by doing a google search. Ede, you can tear me down all you want
but I still find your "project" to have become a joke.

I e-mailed you earlier to ask what was up with trying to finger me as the "Man,"
when there are plenty of other people that are much more responsible for the
current state of policy debate. To paraphrse Bob Dylan, "it ain't me man, it
ain't me." I wasn't even around when your project started. But, you are now
trying to drag me down. I think it is because I am one of the few out there who
is actually willing to honestly engage you. Many people are not willing to tell
you the truth--that your project is interesting, but becoming more and more
irrelevant every week. They would rather simply nod their heads in agreement,
buy you a beer, and continue doing debate the way they have done it for thirty

It does not matter what you think of me and the parameters of e-mail ethics. I
find what you are doing to be unproductive and unethical.

I find a lot of what you are doing as unethical. You and your teams are running
around blaming other students for the problems that are inherent in the
structure of the activity. You and your debaters are running around pointing
the the collective finger at other minority students and women, essentially
claiming that they are Uncle Toms, because they choose to debate at full speed
and do not decide to rap or use fourth-grade-level metaphors. [I have seen it
done in person]. You have raised blaming the victims to a new art-form. You are
on par with blaming a poor child for being poor. Yeah, telling freshmen debaters
that they are complicit with racism really advances the cause for institutional

You refuse to actually try to change the formats of debates, or the
institutional structures that perpetuate the problems you claim you want to
address. These changes are done at business meetings, not by beating up
students within debate rounds. You run away from real responsibility when it is
handed to you and a real chance to change the activity is presented to you on a
silver platter. You would rather run back to your ivory tower and write
self-congratulatory tomes about how you "shocked the world" a few years ago.
All the while, nothing has really changed. And, nothing will change.

You are too blind in your own fevor and rhetoric of emancipation to realize that
your "project" is hurting other victims of institutionalized elitism. From my
point of view, all I have seen as a result of your project is some Louisville
wins, perhaps a few good showings at National Tournaments and a few liberals
experiencing the ecstasy of collective guilt. But, American policy debate is
still, for the most part, research intensive; speed friendly; and biased in
favor of programs with large resources, debaters with high school policy
backgrounds, and multiple coaches.

Your quote from your book tells me a lot of what you are about
Ede--self-aggrandizement and self-delusion. Just because you had some teams
advance to elimination rounds at a National tournament DOES NOT mean that you
changed the world. I think the evidence is pretty damn strong that your project
has been a total failure when one looks at the overall trends on college policy
debate. The debate world pretty much functions the same way it did before your
project--but now people just have their "we ain't racist" and "speed good"
answers down.

But, I know you won't listen to what I have to say or push for real change. It
is easier to whine about racism than it is to actually make real changes. The
only real changes that can occur will be at the CEDA business meetings.

You keep delivering the irrelevant rants within debate rounds. You keep
alienating people who believe that policy debate places unecessary hurdles to
access. That's cool. You keep up the good fight. You are really winning people
over to your point of view and building up alliances all over the place. You
should look in the mirror a little closer before you start launching the ethics


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