[eDebate] Future of Debate
Thu Apr 10 22:54:33 CDT 2008
Dear Debate Community,
This would be my first message on edebate but to some of ya'll i might be
familiar. I debated in high school and a freshman in Johns Hopkins now,
looking to get back into debate. I have watched closely what has been said
about Towson's recently and first would like to extend my congratulations to
this school. There has been a long struggle for acceptance of minorities in
debate and i congratulate on perhaps completing the first part of this
struggle: winning a championship.
I repeat this is merely the first part of the struggle... this does not
prove the community has gotten to the promise land, but merely affirms the
truth that serves as the foundation for all "project" teams: that debate has
the potential to be a liberating, self-critical, and accepting apace. Now
that this foundation has been proven, now we must move forward so that we
may achieve true diversity in this community.
So not wishing to get into the nitty gritty of this very heated debate, i
hope to cut directly to the chase: WHAT NOW? I talk to a lot of teams that
run performance project arguments, and most of us accept that we won't win a
debate championship but do it mostly to make a point and open up dialogue.
Well dammit, we in the building to put it bluntly. A championship has been
won and I think that Towson CL has proven that this issue of the White
Aesthetic versus Revolutionary/Black Aesthetic needs to be addressed. So
lets address it and fuck the fault lines.... lets work to address this
Nothing of substance in the debate community has been done from the top....
that is against the very idea of debate. Developments happen on the
ground... by debaters and the arguments we make. So now that we are in the
"off-season" i think the only duty of those at the top should be to allow
these discussions to happen and to help facilitate them. How can we make
this happen? Well we have Many great topics this year that would breed
excellent debate on the nature of racism, classism, sexism, education, and
urban politics that also allows great self-reflection into our own history
of exclusionary practices. There is a topic choice regarding urban
education, a topic regarding prison reform, i believe Andy Ellis is writing
a reparations topic paper, and there are other urban topics being written.
We are fresh off of a foreign policy topic.... i say lets take this great
oppurtunity to actually take Towson CL on their offer to debate something
close to a Black Aesthetic. Lets debate something close to home and issues
that affect us personally (more personally than the fate of russia and that
country's effect on global markets and shit.... i mean something in our OWN
Also I demand that top tier debate programs begin looking at urban
debaters... stereotypes about quality are not necessarily true. There are
soooo many bright and talented debaters that with coaching could be the next
crop of great debaters to take this league by storm. Again, let us take up
Towson CL on their argument to be more inclusive of a Black/Revolutionary
All i'm saying is that the least we could to celebrate the win of a team
that has done much to uncover the hidden racial bias of this community is to
at least create the debate structure upon which US debaters can then take
the ball and begin to roll with it. Either this could just be another season
or this could be seen as a turning point in debate history.Let us not
blindly and apathetically live out history, let us take it into our hands as
agents for change and justice. Let us all become the change we want to see.
Let us get past the old divisions, take up arms together, and make a road
towards a better tomorrrow. Well past hippy shit :-), let us at least take
baby steps to allow for real change to come about.
Leader of a Crunk Revolution
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