[eDebate] Problems With The Game

Ede Warner ewarner
Sat Nov 17 11:33:15 CST 2007


JT,
 
I guess that depends on how we get to diversity.  Much like anything else, you have to start with personal experiences.  I think that my original focus on Black allowed me to pursue methods.  The community's challenge was your challenge: that's too narrow.  So we were forced to consider how ours impacted with others.  In fact, in fall 2006, the University of Louisville changed their mission statement to: effective decision making in a multi-cultural society, and the changes we advocate today are well beyond "Black".  But we had to start with Black before we could get to the broader considerations.  But you are right: any change must be broader than any single group.

>>> 

From: J T <jtedebate at yahoo.com>
To:"Massey, Jackie B." <debate at ou.edu>, <edebate at ndtceda.com>
Date: 11/17/2007 12:16 PM
Subject: Re: [eDebate] Problems With The Game
Many of these  posts recently refer to participation while simultaneously equating "minority" with "black"---and what about women?  Well two women did win the NDT, so we're covered there--right? And why the hell didn't people make a bigger deal about that? So when two African Americans win do we say: "Next!  Next minority please..."  

While there is no denying the overwelming lack of participation among "black" students, there are alot of other minorities, such as Latino/a, Pacific Islander, "Asian" that are woefully underrepresented.  Although these discussion are valuable, they are far from inclusive. This is not to say we need token representatives [..."and from the Latino/a delegation..."], or a race roll call, but perhaps a refocusing of the discussion on the more broad-based notion of cultures...

Before high school students get to college, how much attention is spent on addressing socio-economic factors such as high school resources, external interests?  How many schools actively recruit minority participation?  Do students in UDLs know your school offers scholarships?  Also, social location can play an important part in the perception of the student and is something Directors should consider in making recruitment decisions.

However, once these students start college debate, many perceive it to be unwelcoming, or at least "not for them"...much of this is cultural--a "culture of debate".  This is the area of minority participation that is discussed on edebate.  
Becoming a more welcoming community means expanding narrow parameters of debate.  Believe me, I'm not one to go ga-ga over performance debate per se, but there should be a way we can adapt our rigidity in terms of argument--what is deemed acceptable can have a definitive impact on incoming perceptions of college debate and the possibility of boosting minority participation.

"Massey, Jackie B." <debate at ou.edu> wrote:

As I open two eyes at every tournament

not rose colored glasses

no hidden reason or misunderstood responsibility

the activity is predominately white

everyone says we are all good people

my question about this game

where are all the "black" people at?

everything else between our mouths and the reality is only masking our individual complicity in the "squo"

maybe debate spoils us in thinking if we say the alternative it happens........


massey
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JT

Asst. Debate Coach
Emporia State University
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