[eDebate] Reparations. Resp to Andy

scottelliott at grandecom.net scottelliott
Thu Apr 17 09:29:17 CDT 2008

I answered Matt's arguments already in a previous post Andy. The issue is not
timeliness or persuasiveness of impacts. The issue is balance within the topic
literature. My reading of the reparations literature has been, (1) We need
reparations; 2) we need reparations, just not the kind of reparations person 1
was writing about; and (3) we need reparations, but we need them for my
oppressed group too. So, we have plan; plan-plan; Plan-Plus; and

The issue is not whether there can be debates. The issue is whether they would
be good debates. On GE, for example, there are a multiplicity of debates pro
and con on the central question of whether GE should be restricted.  On the
Reparations topic, the issue of whether to give reparations is rarely debated
in the literature. The central issue is how the reparations should be paid
out?land give backs, money, education reforms, etc. Few people argue
reparations are bad. And those that do are overwhelmed by the literature that
is pro-reparations. My suggestion/request is real simple:

Give me a list of credible authors that say reparations are bad. Not, ?your form
of reparation is bad, but my form is better.?  Why? Because that is just a cute
way of teams running two affirmative cases.

Example: Native Americans. The classic case is Give the Land Back. There just
are not that many authors out there writing on the issue. Mostly because they
view it as absurd to begin with. However, the one's that do present arguments
are one's that call for different forms of reparation--just another version of
the affirmative.

This is distinctive from GE. Why? Because there are authors identified in the
topic paper that clearly come down on the negative side of the debate. There
are a multiplicity of possible affirmatives that create negative arguments.
While there are some appeals to Justice (there is an entire section on genisms
and racism as well as feminism); the entire topic does not presuppose a central
element such as reparations.

One last point before my class. The reparations resolution is a good example of
why we should go back to semester long topics. This would probably be a good
topic for a single semester. But for an entire year, it will probably get


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