Tue Apr 8 14:04:17 CDT 2008
I thought Mario Chalmer's 3 would be the most unbelievable thing I saw last
night. After reading some of the recent posts, it looks like I was wrong.
When I first read Adam Jackson's post, I thought it was an emotional
overreaction. I've had two very challenging debates against him and
originally thought his post was just an extension of the passion he always
exhibits and a frustration towards the lack of dialogue regarding change
I read and largely agreed with the sentiments expressed by Tristan and Josh.
Becoming defensive is expected when you're accused of being complicit in
Then I read the posts by Andy and Dayvon and was floored. I understand
defending the practices of policy-driven research, technical modes of
decision-making, and differences over tactics of liberation. I've defended
and will probably continue to defend those things. What I don't understand
is how anyone could make or encourage any of the statements that Andy and
Dayvon mentioned. Statements like "I knew that panel would come through,"
"Did you see that chicken Towson brought Malcolm?" and all the encounters
Dayvon mentioned in his experiences at camp make me more upset than any
round I've ever lost.
I understand college debate isn't guided by the rules of PC. Nonetheless,
I've always believed that the practitioners of our activity had souls that
were guided by attempts to make debate better. Sometimes misguided,
sometimes reactionary, sometimes absurd, but always present and always
guided by love of the game. The comments above are not merely disrespectful,
they're criminal. Robbing someone of a fair competitive experience by making
or being complicit in racist, demeaning commentary violates every principle
of this activity that I love and work to uphold.
To answer Adam's original question, what did you do to deserve this
treatment, the answer is nothing. Nothing justifies the comments above.
Nothing justifies others listening to the comments above and laughing at or
I gave Ozzy a high-five after he won the debate against Towson. He's one of
my role models and I was proud of the awards he earned after enduring so
many setbacks. I saw Dr. Harris and went up to him to share some details I'd
remembered after our debates against Towson. Even though Dr. Harris didn't
ask for any of the information I provided him, Kansas has helped us fill in
gaps in our scouting before and I thought of it as a normal act of
disclosure, not an act guided by a desire to see Towson lose.
There is an ocean of difference between supporting your friends and the
practice of disclosure and making or accepting the comments above. If some
debaters and coaches don't see that line, it's up to other debaters to
challenge them. That none of the comments were made directly to Towson only
makes it more important for the rest of us to stand up and fight against
what we all know is wrong.
Towson CL had one of the most incredible runs through the outrounds of a
national champinonship that debate will ever witness. If any of you still
doubt it, allow me to make one thing clear; Towson CL is incredibly,
incredibly good. Their wins weren't products of luck, white guilt, or the
CEDA tournament. They were products of nearly flawless debating by two
brilliant debaters. When Towson met Kansas BJ in the Octos, Kansas' record
up to that point was 80-17. That loss was only the second time all year they
lost on a 3-0. Fort Hays was the Quarters draw, fresh off an 8-0 finish at
the D3 qualifier, a feat that has only been replicated in the past few years
by debaters that eventually made it to the Semifinals or further at the NDT.
Speaking of semifinals, their opponent their was the only debater since the
NDT-CEDA merger to capture the Top Speaker award at both national
championships. When they arrived at the finals, they debated the
tournament's top seeded, 13-0 Kansas JS, a team where both debaters earned
incredibly high speaker awards.
The statements made against Towson were ignorant products of hate. Anyone
with a brain or a heart knows that this is one of the best teams in the
country. Congratulations Towson, I hope none of the stupid comments people
have made have diminished your joy at the incredible awards you've brought
back to Baltimore.
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