[eDebate] Knowing when NOT to debate
Wed Apr 9 00:25:11 CDT 2008
I don't think that you are being responsive to what I said in my second post in response to yours.
I am a black male in america, i have had very similar interactions with white people in particular numerous amounts of times. These aren't isolated incidents, I have had these experiences in college debate as well. Im not saying that "everything is racist" im saying that many of the interactions that I have had with white people in general and in the debate community in particular were experiences were I felt that white people were intentionally or unintentionally otherizing me because of my blackness. I'll give another example, my senior in highschool year I was in the final round of NFL districts. The 3 judges voted against me in a round that I thought was a pretty clean crush, it was a strategy that we had just beaten a previous team from the same school with. A couple weeks later I found out from a debater who was on the opposing team of the final round of NFL's that he had heard those judging talking before the round and said that they didn't feel comfortable
sending team to nationals who would wear black power shirts to a debate tournament (talking about my partner and I). Now im not making excuses for losing that debate, but whether the judges intended it or not, it was racist for them to say that. And these are ADULTS not 16 year olds (but i still don't see why you think that people suddenly become mature when they get to college alot of these kids are the people who usually get less mature becuase they have the freedom to so whatever they want). I am refraining from giving examples from college because i dont want people coming up to me and challenging me on whether what they did was racist because often times white people don't deal well with people calling them racist, and i just dont have time to have those convos in a way that would make them productive, i just don't see college debaters enough in a space were we can have these convos where im not doing other important things like fine tuning the arguements that i
need to get the community to reflect on its institutional practices.
I havent closed my mind to any other possibilties in regards to what people are reacting to, and i have thought about it, i know racism is a powerful word, but im sure i am capable of knowing when something is related to race and when it isn't.
I can give more stories about these incidents, but the point is that for you to question whether im right in asserting that my experiences are related to racism goes to show how quickly white people are to be evasive instead of deal with the issue. And I try to working on my apprehension to interact with debaters, but u respond is if I haven't tried. Its hard to continue to interact with people who continue to engage in the very behavors that i describe before that affirm my feeling about how white people are not very good at dealing with their whiteness. and while i try, to get over this feeling, it gets reinforced so many times. But i will try. But I think people have missed the point of my post, so i will pose it again, i posed this to compliment what adam, and Dr. Warner asked the debate community... What do YOU do to challenge the forms of domination and oppression that this debate community is complicit with. What do YOU do to change these conditions as a
debater/participant/coach etc... who have the intellectual tools that could be vital in eliminating suffering. No one has really answered that to my satisfaction. Im not really concerned with whether people talk to me or not, but more concerned about what we do to help people. I shared my experiences to show people how i got to where i am as a person who talks about racism alot.
And this thing about the guy who ran the bcfl when i was debating (hopefully you know that its a different person now), I have had really bad experiences with him too. Actually on numerous occasions. You may know him and think he's a great guy, and maybe he is, but i knew him too, and i talked to his debaters, and lets just say that i wasnt the only one who had really bad experiences with him, but i dont think its appropriate to get into all that without him to defend himself.
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