[eDebate] Reparations Topic

Josh jbhdb8
Sat Apr 5 21:18:03 CDT 2008

Over many years I have consistently supported the idea of a race topic as an
alternative to "no topic/race based alternatives" I would certainly support
a topic (if well-worded) on a subject like this,


On Sat, Apr 5, 2008 at 9:45 PM, Andy Ellis <andy.edebate at gmail.com> wrote:

> I am thinking about   a paper that focuses around the controversy of
> reparations. It could be as narrow as to be tied to a specific aggrieved
> community or it could be expanded to include more. Inclusion and exclusion
> make for core ground in a wide variety of  disciplines.
> There are a few reasons this is good
> 1) Mainstream Policy Literature- Plainly there is a ton, reparations for
> various American injustices have been a wildly popular discussion in law
> reviews and policy literature for at least the last 50 years, there is so
> much internal disagreement amongst various scholars that there is a nuance
> to the debate that can sustain year round debates. The fact that we as a
> community may find that claim dubious until we do some research or see the
> topic paper is perhaps even more reason to debate this topic.
> 2) Literature based impact comparisons that get to the heart of the
> discussion. The full big stick reparations for slavery case links hard to
> politics, hege, econ disads, and extinction level link chains...Give back
> the land does too. No contrived links, but instead a head on literature
> based debate between risk calculus based authors and justice calculus based
> authors. This is the best in depth risk calculus debate we will ever have.
> 3)This community often builds mechanisms of skirting or relegating the
> debate about race to the teams that want to engage it, as some of you found
> out in the last few weeks this literature base is deep and responsive, yet
> many of us dont have to touch into the depth of scholarship ever if we dont
> want to. This topic provides a good entry point into the core of the
> literature with a specific policy focus.
> 4)Uniquely timely--There has not been a time in the last 200 years when
> reparations for injustices would not be a timely topic, but perhaps here and
> now in a community that may be well poised to talk about the racialized
> nature of its practices, we have a unique opportunity. Perhaps though we
> will push the uncomfortable topic to the side...again.
> 5) Stupid Stem and branch topics and an over determined focus on terms of
> art do not rob as much from this topic as others. For example at its worst:
> r: the usfg should provide one or more of the following aggrieved
> communities: people of African descent: Asian American immigrants:
> indigenous Americans; middle eastern Americans, or Latino/as reparations
> consisting of:land, sovereignty, wealth transfers, social institutions.
> Because of where it starts it survives that process better.
> much better wordings than that can be crafted.
> 6) Recruiting. Tell people the topic is reparations. i guarantee they will
> have a stance on it. Honestly i cannot think of a better topic for on campus
> recruiting. I know some of you will say but not on my campus...i think urban
> reform or intellegence reform are less likely to excite interest than
> reparations.
> 7) More to come as the paper gets written
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