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

matt stannard stannardmatt
Sun Nov 18 19:01:55 CST 2007

I'll be honest, Ede.  I don't completely understand your question. Let me answer it as I think I understand it: Criticizing someone's method isn't saying they aren't a debater. This is particularly true when the debate in question concerns the best strategies and/or tactics for breaking down power hierarchies, increasing the participation of excluded groups in debate, and in other privileged structures. 
As to the second part of your question, I have seen instances where people's arguments against your teams have been "authentic" (that is, sincerely delivered from the best understanding possible of debaters' social locations, delivered from the heart, and with a genuine respect for and acknowledgement of your teams' arguments--up to and including AGREEING with Louisville's central argument and merely differing in the most minor way on tactical questions), and instances where they have not been any of those things.  

Date: Fri, 16 Nov 2007 22:44:26 -0500From: ewarner at louisville.eduTo: scottelliott at grandecom.net; stannardmatt at hotmail.com; ceda-l at ndtceda.com; edebate at ndtceda.comSubject: RE: [eDebate] [CEDA-L] The costs of a game, part 1: An unethical, amoral center

I can and will answer your question Matt, but only after you answer a couple of mine.  What strategy do you know of that over the last seven year's engaged without somewhere, someway made the claim that Louisville's method is bad?  Let's go a step further, do you think that when my student's criticize the dominant paradigms of debate, that the personal nature of Louisville criticisms against student's using those norms and procedures and the same or different in terms of personhood, than claims made by the dominant group against Louisville students?    Do you think a method that defends someone's personhood is the same or different than a method that at least on face, isn't tied to one?  I look forward to your answer.

matt stannard <stannardmatt at hotmail.com>

Ede Warner <e0warn01 at gwise.louisville.edu>, <scottelliott at grandecom.net>, <ceda-l at ndtceda.com>, <edebate at ndtceda.com>

11/16/2007 1:20 AM

RE: [eDebate] [CEDA-L] The costs of a game, part 1:  An unethical, amoral centerEde: You write:"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." I inquire:I assume you meant to write "every" and not "even."  So that your statement should be taken as: In every round they are in, they are told they are not debaters. But I know this is, literally, untrue.   So please clarify.   mjs

Date: Thu, 15 Nov 2007 23:09:31 -0500From: ewarner at louisville.eduTo: scottelliott at grandecom.net; CEDA-L at ndtceda.com; edebate at ndtceda.comSubject: Re: [eDebate] [CEDA-L] The costs of a game, part 1: An unethical, amoral center
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.

<scottelliott at grandecom.net>

Ede Warner <e0warn01 at gwise.louisville.edu>, <CEDA-L at ndtceda.com>, <edebate at ndtceda.com>

11/15/2007 6:50 PM

Re: [CEDA-L] The costs of a game, part 1:  An unethical, amoral centerEde 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 toit actually being posted on CEDA-L. The only way I found Ede personal attacksagainst me was by doing a google search. Ede, you can tear me down all you wantbut 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 thecurrent state of policy debate. To paraphrse Bob Dylan, "it ain't me man, itain't me." I wasn't even around when your project started. But, you are nowtrying to drag me down. I think it is because I am one of the few out there whois actually willing to honestly engage you. Many people are not willing to tellyou the truth--that your project is interesting, but becoming more and moreirrelevant 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 thirtyyears.It does not matter what you think of me and the parameters of e-mail ethics. Ifind 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 runningaround blaming other students for the problems that are inherent in thestructure of the activity. You and your debaters are running around pointingthe the collective finger at other minority students and women, essentiallyclaiming that they are Uncle Toms, because they choose to debate at full speedand do not decide to rap or use fourth-grade-level metaphors. [I have seen itdone in person]. You have raised blaming the victims to a new art-form. You areon par with blaming a poor child for being poor. Yeah, telling freshmen debatersthat they are complicit with racism really advances the cause for institutionalchange.You refuse to actually try to change the formats of debates, or theinstitutional structures that perpetuate the problems you claim you want toaddress. These changes are done at business meetings, not by beating upstudents within debate rounds. You run away from real responsibility when it ishanded to you and a real chance to change the activity is presented to you on asilver platter. You would rather run back to your ivory tower and writeself-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 thatyour "project" is hurting other victims of institutionalized elitism. From mypoint of view, all I have seen as a result of your project is some Louisvillewins, perhaps a few good showings at National Tournaments and a few liberalsexperiencing the ecstasy of collective guilt. But, American policy debate isstill, for the most part, research intensive; speed friendly; and biased infavor of programs with large resources, debaters with high school policybackgrounds, and multiple coaches.Your quote from your book tells me a lot of what you are aboutEde--self-aggrandizement and self-delusion. Just because you had some teamsadvance to elimination rounds at a National tournament DOES NOT mean that youchanged the world. I think the evidence is pretty damn strong that your projecthas been a total failure when one looks at the overall trends on college policydebate. The debate world pretty much functions the same way it did before yourproject--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. Itis easier to whine about racism than it is to actually make real changes. Theonly real changes that can occur will be at the CEDA business meetings.You keep delivering the irrelevant rants within debate rounds. You keepalienating people who believe that policy debate places unecessary hurdles toaccess. That's cool. You keep up the good fight. You are really winning peopleover to your point of view and building up alliances all over the place. Youshould look in the mirror a little closer before you start launching the ethicsbombs.Scott

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