[eDebate] A Message to the Debate Community

Josh jbhdb8
Mon Apr 7 17:03:54 CDT 2008


Not sure I follow you entirely here (sure thats me being stupid).  I know I
am also the original "debate if ok" guy...and that probably colors (no pun
intended) how people respond to what I have to say etc.
You say:

> When you say something like:
> "I honestly hope that none of the "backlash" you are referring to has to
> do with race....If you have felt that way that is really too bad.  If the
> community really was that reactionary and unaccepting how could Towson have
> won the CEDA tournament?"
> I think it illustrates the point I'm making. It's important that Deven and
> Dayvon were black in relation to winning the tournament. When you say "how
> could they have won", it was because they had good arguments, and in a lot
> of ways, the community (for the first time) had to be held accountable for
> the decisions it makes on the national stage.

Thats kind of what I was saying.  People recognize the truth of their
arguments and were/are willing to see past their own self-interest to vote
for a good team making good arguments that implicate the judges own
participation in a imbalanced system.

They were/are black, made arguments about the whiteness of debate etc...and
won because people couldn't defeat those arguments.  My point is many people
implicated by their arguments voted for them.....so, at the very least, a
portion of the community who was implicated, saw past self-interest and
voted for them.  This is part of why I think "debate is ok" for the most
part.  Obviously, Andy and others have seen things I did not see and that is
too bad.

I did try to suggest that much of the "suprise" probably had to do with the
fact that the team in question had not had a very good record prior to the
NDT.  When Louisville made their run a few years ago, they had been very
good all year long.  I personally have felt that Deven and Dayvon had just
not put it all together yet and that CEDA was the breakthrough.

I cant speak to the rest of the feelings....You have to also remember there
are all kinds of different "anger" triggers involved in the style of debate
embarked upon by Towson....Nothing in the world seems to get white folks
fired up like being tied to racism....Nothing gets policy debaters fired up
more than "music, performance, K" affirmatives that look at the topic
metaphorically....etc etc etc.  So between, coming sort of out of nowhere to
win one of the two biggest tournaments of the year, running arguments that
fire up whitey, running arguments that fire up Mr. and Ms. policy debater
(me included), there are also other explanations of why "backlash"
occurred.....Despite all that, they WON THE NATIONAL TOURNAMENT....pretty
cool despite all that right?

Maybe its just because I live in a state that stripped affirmative action in
higher education...But, debate can improve in many ways....but still about a
BILLION times better than the "real world."

Now, that said, I am obviously not the team from Towson....I hope that they
have been able to celebrate in the victory...Nobody can take away what they
did.  They are National Champions.


> I would like to think that at the core, a lot of the debate community has
> no problem with the aesthetic of Deven and Dayvon winning the tournament,
> but I want to know what is the core reason behind why it is so difficult for
> people to accept that there are PROBLEMS with the debate community, and
> there are screwed up people in the debate community that must be held
> accountable for their screwed up justifications.
> Besides that, back to my original question...
> What have black people done to deserve the treatment we get in this
> activity?
>  On Mon, Apr 7, 2008 at 4:33 PM, Josh <jbhdb8 at gmail.com> wrote:
> > First, I think there has been a large outpouring of support and cheers
> > even on edebate for Towson.  I personally have seen about twenty letters
> > just on edebate (and personally tried to find every coach and debater and
> > offered congrats myself in email and face to face at the NDT).
> >
> > Second, I think anytime a team that hasn't cleared at most major
> > tournaments it comes as a suprise that they won a tournament.  In this case
> > a happy suprise.  I honestly hope that none of the "backlash" you are
> > referring to has to do with race....If you have felt that way that is really
> > too bad.  If the community really was that reactionary and unaccepting how
> > could Towson have won the CEDA tournament?
> >
> > I also think given the back-to-back nature of CEDA-NDT sometimes
> > congratulations are not loud enough.
> >
> > If people have not said it enough, CONGRATS to Towson and all of their
> > coaches.  As a former CEDA national champion, I am very pleased to welcome
> > Towson to the list of former champs!  What you accomplished is incredible
> > and should be celebrated,
> >
> > Josh
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >  On Mon, Apr 7, 2008 at 4:25 PM, Adam Jackson <baltimoredebate at gmail.com>
> > wrote:
> >
> > >   As a sidebar from the obviously important topic discussion...
> > >
> > > I have a question for the debate community...
> > > What have black people done to deserve the treatment we get in this
> > > activity?
> > >
> > > All of you can run ANYTHING you want and people stay silent (i.e.
> > > Imperialism good, the "gangsta mentality") . At almost every tournament, the
> > > majority of the top debaters who win are white men. AND you
> > > are regarded within the highest levels of success in policy debate,
> > > politics, economics and class.
> > >
> > > But why is it when two black men win a tournament like CEDA, arguing
> > > for things we care about, there's a public outcry to how "wrong" it is?
> > >
> > > I know this hasn't been a subject of too much controversy on eDebate,
> > > but it has been on a lot of news sites and blogs, and I'm totally sick to my
> > > stomach with all the disgusting and deplorable comments made in
> > > Towson's direction.
> > >
> > > Have we done you wrong or something?
> > >
> > > Have we been "too black" lately?
> > >
> > > We're not assimilating fast enough for ya?
> > >
> > > All the work we do to liberate ourselves psychologically from this
> > > white world, of white supremacy according to your white standards, and YOUR
> > > the one's who are mad when WE get sick and tired of adhering to them.
> > >
> > > The part that makes it even worse is that the majority of you won't
> > > even recognize how fucked up it is, and I'm pissed off about it.
> > >
> > > I've been quiet the past few week, but now I'm done being quiet...
> > >
> > >
> > > _______________________________________________
> > > eDebate mailing list
> > > eDebate at www.ndtceda.com
> > > http://www.ndtceda.com/mailman/listinfo/edebate
> > >
> >
> >
> --
> Adam J. Jackson
> Mac Specialist, Apple Store, Towson Town Center
> Public Relations Officer, Towson University Speech and Debate
> Director of Advertisement, Brotherhood:LOABS
> Webmaster, Black Student Union, Towson University
> Cell: 443.824.4273
> _______________________________________________
> eDebate mailing list
> eDebate at www.ndtceda.com
> http://www.ndtceda.com/mailman/listinfo/edebate
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