[eDebate] Race and debaters.
Wed Apr 9 23:11:23 CDT 2008
I don't have much to say or any answers to these discussions. Many of them
are just painful to read and the problems with race and gender
discrimination in debate still make me sick to my stomach when I think about
The thing I would like to briefly mention is that there are hardly any
current debaters involved in this discussion. Or well, any E-debate
discussion for that matter. I've read Adam, Deven, and Dayvon's posts, but
if I unless I am missing something, they are the only people who debated
this year who have written anything on the subject (I may have missed posts,
if so, I'm sorry).
I'm the first to say that I owe everything in debate to the people that have
coached and judged me. But this conversation, like all of them on e-debate,
will soon end. But we'll only hear from a couple of debaters. This is
quite sad given that these are the people making arguments and the reason
why the activity exists.
I can't speak for everyone that debates or most normal people generally.
However, I think something that is quite lost in all of these conversations
is the role of competition and what it does to debaters. Even though there
are million reasons people debate, most everyone debating goes into a round
to win. I haven't coached yet, but I'm guessing they feel the same (given
how much time and effort with little thanks they put into debate). The
extreme importance on winning means often times debaters don't really care
about who is hurt in the process (If I was debating the 2nd coming of Christ
I would want the decision to be a 5-0). I can't say that debate tournaments
bring out the best in people.
I'm not sure what this means for responding to race and gender
discrimination. Part of me wishes we could do "something" (I have no idea
or the answers) that isn't at these pressure cooker tournaments; if these
means substantially changing debate, so be it.
I think a lot of people might be missing how intense it has to be to put
Yourself on the line in a debate. I couldn't have managed debating longer
than a couple tournaments if I had to talk about myself in a debate; And
Then listen to judges tell me I'm wrong. I can't, for the life me,
understand how anyone wouldn't have the utmost respect for debaters that can
talk about their identity in a debate and let people JUDGE THEM.
The problem might be the only place any discussion about race or gender can
happen is in an extremely competitive environment.
But if the only way change can happen is by watching a bunch of debaters
destroy themselves in debate rounds, thats life. I always hoped for the
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