[eDebate] Race, Debate & Towso

Josh jbhdb8
Wed Apr 9 13:46:28 CDT 2008

Hey Rashad,

First, as I said before, I dont want to appear in any way to dismiss or
discount your feelings about debate.  It is very sad, given that you were in
Semis of the NDT and a former CEDA National Champ that you were in
pain/miserable so much of the time.  We need to do better across the board
to make people feel included/valued.

Second, I am one of those people that often got mad at you and thought you
could have "done better" in many rounds. However, let me say that my
dissapointment had more to do with how much raw debate ability you had.  In
other words, to me, you were great at theory, great at tricky arguments, BUT
could have been great at anything.  Doctor Warner seems to intuitively
understand that to me learning "strategery" is an important debate skill but
deep learning and exposure to areas of public policy research is much much
more important and is why debate, to me, is academically defensible.  If I
were to sketch out my "theory of debate" it would be based around a good
controversial subject of public policy creating a fair platform for
investigation and discovery.

Now, I realize that what you are saying is that "you never wanted to work on
that farm." Oddly enough, most of my belief in this system comes from my
experiences as a poor kid who couldnt afford things and hated school.
Debate seemed a much better method of encouraging learning, seemed to let
you find all areas of learning, and created a democracy of the library that
allowed anyone the same access to information (and power) as anyone else.
In my experience (especially today with google news, google scholar, library
electronic resources, interlibrary loan, and google books) being poor has
almost nothing to do with being able to research.  Also, I have always
supported (and will always support) much more diversity in topics.  I hate
that we just debate foreign policy questions over and over and over and over
and over when there are so many important domestic questions (including and
maybe dominated by race, orientation, and gender questions).

In addition, I believe there is an inherent value to being able to
articulate why things are true and false.  I tell my teams that I dont care
how many times a judge says "well they had a card" some "alternatives" are
absurd...Some DA impacts have close to zero real world probability.....To
me, you being able to explain why the effect of your stance against "words"
has more probability of preventing realistic pain/impact etc than your
"plan" is to cause a North Korean nuclear strike is critical to your ability
to speak meaningfully in the current political climate...an incredibly
valuable skill in a country where "gay marraige = lose" and "Obama's
preacher = lose."  Its NOT enough to speak truth to power....How you speak
truth to power is as important as choosing the words you speak with care.
If we cant teach debaters to explain why risking death might be worthwhile
for a worthy cause or sometimes the probability of preventing a small impact
outweighs the magnitude of a massive but improbable impact we are not doing
a good job.  The point is that learning that skill is incredibly important.
The world is filled with self-interested utilitarian hedonists.

I guess what I am trying to say is this.....I have known you since you were
a senior in high school.  While you were your own debater....Was my desire
for you to <progress> as a debater through becoming more substantive driven
by my desire to "whitewash" you?  Or is there an acceptable secondary
story?  If you really believe my desire was to make you a "good white
debater" I will accept that.  I certainly feel terrible about how much pain
you obviously felt during an incredibly successful debate career.  Are my
educational goals for debaters (to learn as much as possible about the
subjects we discuss) inherently race-norming and whiteness privleging?

Anyway, I hope you see none of this as dismissing what you said.  Reading it
made me feel terrible for how I must have made you feel sometimes.  I hope
you are willing to help me continue to learn from the experience,


On Wed, Apr 9, 2008 at 2:07 PM, RW <blackslaw06 at yahoo.com> wrote:

>   Sorry, I had to repost.  I don't know what to do about formatting.  I
> thought my last name would appear with the post but it didn't, so it's
> unclear who posted.  RW = Rashad (former West Ga debater).
> I am going to enter this discussion with great reluctance, but I just
> couldn't resist.
> This entire edebate discussion is very sad and reminds me of 8 years of
> pain that I suffered during my participation in debate and the lasting
> effects that it has had.  These two guys have accomplished something
> amazing.  Winning CEDA Nats is no easy feat.  I know as I was only able to
> do it once.  It takes a lot of hard work and great timely debating (and in
> my own experience a small stroke of luck).  I am so happy for Towson, Deven,
> and Dayvon.
> No national champion should be treated this way; no debater should be
> treated this way; and really no one should be treated this way.  How you all
> could be so nasty to people who are members of your community is shocking to
> me, but I guess not surprising.  These two debaters are in pain in what
> should be one the happiest times of their life.  It seems that the
> community's reaction to their style of debate, to their accomplishments, and
> to the corresponding pain and outrage they expressed on this forum only
> seems to prove their criticism of the community.
> I offer my very own apologies to Deven and Dayvon because I feel complicit
> in all of this.  I feel like an older brother who stands by and even walks
> away while his younger brothers get abused because I experienced many of the
> same things you are going through.  I experienced many of the same things
> that the Louisville debaters have, and yet for the most part, for reasons I
> cannot comprehend, the community thought of me or thinks of me as an
> insider.  I am not, was not, and could not be for many of the reasons Towson
> and Louisville have been so brave to say to you.
> For many years I have let others discuss my experience in debate, but I
> guess I should speak about some of them myself.  Debating was such a painful
> experience for me, especially towards the end.  I have not really been able
> to participate since the octafinals ballots came in at the 2003 NDT ending
> my career.  I put the files down, sighed in relief, and walked away from an
> activity that was so important to me for so long because it's just not a
> comfortable place to be black or anything other that a rich white man.
> Many of you disagree, but you can't.  The consensus is on my side.  I am
> telling you, Louisville is telling you, Towson is telling you, and many
> others, including a powerful coalition of women, are telling you.  How can
> you deny it?  Because you can't see it?  Because you can't feel it?  Because
> there's no policy or card we can cite?
> Well, I am going to spend some time explaining in some detail the ways in
> which I feel race impacted my debate career and it is my belief that race
> impacted every debate I ever had, from my decision to join debate to my
> style of debating.  Warnings:  (1) I am going to make universalizations
> about black people and white people, but I think they are important to the
> discussion, (2) I am going to make some assertions largely based on how I
> feel and how I felt as a temporary "member" of your community, and (3)
> before you look for counter arguments and places in which you disagree I
> would appreciate it if you just digest what I say and reflect and consider a
> world in which it's true if only for a second.  I am no longer a debater and
> I am not really interested in debating with any of you anymore.  This is
> just a perspective that I offer in hopes of shedding light to many of you
> and showing solidarity with Dayvon and Deven.  I am adding to what many have
> said and I am going to do it with examples,  stories, and my own thoughts.
> Also, let me say that I think that debate has so many benefits and I would
> not be where I am or who I am today without debate.  This is part of like a
> 12 year internal conflict where I struggle with my love and hate of debate.
> I also would like to say that I understand those who defend traditional
> debate, but I also understand those who criticize it.  Traditional debate
> makes sense in theory, but breaks down in practice in many ways.  I also
> don't really know what traditional debate really is anymore, but my own
> understanding of that has actually improved after listening to Towson's
> final round debate.  I don't think traditional debate, as being defended by
> many here, has much to do with plans or topics so much as it has to do with
> preferred argument styles, which are based on academic elitism.  In fact,
> one thing I found intriguing is that Towson and Louisville (when I debated
> them) sound nothing alike.  In fact, Towson sounded much more like
> traditional debate (as I understand it) and used language that the debate
> community likes a lot more, which is why their success doesn't surprise me
> and also why the community is likely feeling some heat.
> Background Info & High School Debate
> I grew up in Newark, NJ and debated at Newark Science.  We were like an
> original urban debate squad before there were UDLs.  I had a very weak
> educational foundation and wasn't a very good student.  It was through
> debate that I became smarter and became a better student.  I learned so much
> from my fellow debaters, lab leaders, and coaches and it saved my life.  So,
> I have a lot to thank the community for.
> However, my experience in the community was not a pleasant one.
> Initially, I was ignored and left to the corner at debate tournaments.  I
> did not and could not fit in and the white debaters made no efforts towards
> inclusion.  They would all congregate and do whatever they did while me and
> my teammates sat on the sidelines.  Likewise, people didn't really talk to
> me at debate camp.  They didn't want to debate with me either.  They thought
> I was stupid.  All of this of course changed when they heard me debate, but
> minorities are not allowed to play in debate unless we are good debaters,
> which is awful.
> Anyone who thinks resources don't matter is a fool.  I couldn't afford
> debate camp, even though it was free.  My school paid for me to go, but I
> barely had money to eat, let alone money to copy books.  I would be so
> ashamed at camp, but I wouldn't say anything.  When we were sent to the
> library I just went back to my dorm.  I once almost got into a fist fight
> with John Oden (Greenhill) at debate camp when we worked on an Ecofem/Deep
> Ecology K and my portion (of mainly good cards) was much smaller than his
> and it angered him.  He accused me of being lazy, which seemed like the
> better explanation for me at the time.  But there was a limit on what I
> could copy and I couldn't say it to him.  I felt ashamed when I couldn't
> contribute to the book fund so Colin Kahl could get us more warming books.
> Debate camp is sooo expensive and even when it's free it's too much, but
> where would I be without it?  I wouldn't have been half the debater I
> became.  Not only did I get to go to camp, I went to the best camps with the
> absolute best lab leaders.  I was very fortunate.  Not everyone is so
> fortunate.
> I think even those people who point to the many research advantages of
> debate, and of "switch side" or "substantive" debate, more specifically,
> misunderstand how difficult that is.  The nature of debate requires a lot of
> copying and printing.  Debate camp wasn't a special circumstance for me.
> It's not like I would be able to copy those books once I got home..  I
> didn't have a computer.  I didn't have internet access, and I definitely
> didn't have a lexis code.  The research benefits of the activity were
> largely lost upon me at that stage and although I had access to more in
> college, I was still at a disadvantage.  There's an expensive barrier to
> entering into topic research and topic specific debates.  I spent a lot of
> time developing my debate skills in ways that didn't involve research.  I
> focused a lot more on the nature of arguments and how I should phrase them.
> I was criticized as blippy, but that was really a product of time spent on
> efficiency.  I worked on delivering speeches that were only what the judge
> needed to flow and small phrases that I would collect in my head from judges
> in critiques that signaled to me how they processed arguments and how to
> best spit them back out at them in ways they understood.  Everything I said
> started with an easy statement you could write down followed by a small
> explanation.  These were things I had thought about when I wasn't
> researching.  I could deliver speeches with minimal prep time because I had
> already mapped out many of my debates in my head.
> Debating in high school was tough.  I was teased a bit, dismissed a bit,
> and marginalized a lot for where I went to school.  Debaters are quick to
> remind you how much better their school is (continued into college).  We
> didn't really have a debate coach and it was very hard to keep debaters.
> Newark is not a safe place and many parents didn't allow their kids to stay
> late for debate and then catch public transportation home, so we lost a lot
> of debaters.  Even more debaters were lost because they had to work to
> contribute to the family expenses.  These are just some of the socioeconomic
> realities that we faced.  I had partners who couldn't read, couldn't speak
> English, and some who were just out of it.  It was frustrating.  I begged a
> friend to attend the Emory tournament with me my senior year  where I would
> eventually become top speaker.  With a 3-2 record we debated Head Royce
> (Jake Foster and Tina) and I tried to beat them by myself because my partner
> was sick and I couldn't ask any more of her.  I got a 30, but just couldn't
> get to that last argument on Normativity to win that debate and upset one of
> the top teams in the country.  Kind of the story of my high school debate
> career.
> I was teased a lot for running Normativity, but it was the only way I
> could beat a team single handedly with a 2NC/2NR.  I took awful debaters to
> 4-2 records at St. Marx, Greenhill, Wake, and 6-2 and Harvard with
> Normativity.  No one could figure out that it was out of necessity.  From
> coaches to debaters and all I could think was what do you expect me to do?
> Who's cutting my politix cards?  My partner is illiterate and I just want to
> debate.  I'll take anybody.  It's hard to get minorities to join and stay in
> debate.  My partners would quit, partly because I was mean to them out of
> frustration, but a major part was that there was no reason to stay.  There
> was no place for them in the activity.  They weren't good debaters and were
> consequently invisible to the community.
> These are socioeconomic limitations that people of color tend to have that
> make participation in the activity difficult.  You largely ignore them.  I
> faced economic, educational, and social barriers that just made
> participation difficult.  The fact that I was going through these things
> rarely bothered me as much as the indifference I faced from the community.
> All I wanted to do was debate because I loved the activity, but the
> community has problems embracing people just for being there.  No, you have
> to debate a certain way, make certain arguments, and be a nice black guy and
> if you don't you get it.  You get it from judges, coaches, and peers.  What
> was I to do?
> College Debate
> Well, I would go on to college and debate for one reason and one reason
> only:  to win a national championship and fulfill what I thought was my
> destiny.  College debate was an even worse experience for me.  I never felt
> a part of the community.  People would say awful things to me in
> conversation and in debate rounds.  At CEDA nationals I got a 29 from the GW
> coach along with a this was the first time I've judged you where you weren't
> the angry black man.  Freshman year, at my first tournament, my partner and
> I argued that constructive engagement was a loaded and racist term used to
> justify Apartheid.  The 2NC overview included an example of how the media
> refers to black people as articulate which is really a back handed
> compliment.  End of debate judge drops and says  to me and only me you a
> very articulate.  She realizes what she says and my facial reaction, and
> says but you are!  Freshman year, at my second tournament, my partner and I
> smoked Kansas State and the judge after she dropped us says to me you were
> really good, I almost didn't realize it was you.  (I had never met this lady
> before).
>  Each tournament was more emotionally exhausting than the last.  And I
> struggled to find a way to articulate my anger and pain.  Early on, I tried
> calling people out on their racially insensitive comments and was rewarded
> with crossed-eyes by judges and very often losses.
> My freshman year I watched Rachel Saloom integrate an argument near and
> dear to her heart and it was an inspiration to me.   I wanted to discuss
> issues of race, but couldn't find a way to do it.  I couldn't find a ton of
> Race IR literature that discussed things the way I needed them to.  My
> coaches offered very little help beyond the above mentioned constructive
> engagement CP.  The best I could do is brick by brick, stone by stone; the
> best judges could do is say nuclear war outweighs?every time without fail.
> So, debaters would say what they wanted and I had to deal.  Eventually I
> would learn to stay far away from issues dealing with race because they
> weren't winning arguments (not unless accompanied with  impact turns).  I
> would learn to let comments and arguments go by.  I would constantly
> question whether I should stay involved in debate, but by this point it was
> all I knew and my ticket out of Newark.
> I was constantly criticized for my style of debate.  Dave Arnette swears
> that all you had to do was make an argument and you would beat me.  It hurt
> each time.  I couldn't get a speaker award to save my life because my
> arguments weren't what the community really wanted to hear.  I think that
> too was partially based upon race.  I was never a funny white guy who could
> tell you jokes and go in depth about my ontological being
> (stuffwhitedebaterslike # 7) (See, e.g.  Goof Garen, Alex Berger, Andy
> Ryan).  I had a fundamentally different way of debating based on pure
> strategery and little fun.  I tried to do what made me happy, which was
> mainly winning and frustrating the crap out of opponents.  I found out very
> early what debate was all about and how the institution would create
> barriers to my participation and I conquered them.
> Louisville has been right all along about one thing:  the structure and
> rules of debate are used as a weapon to exclude people and this has a
> disproportionate impact on minority debaters.  However, I used the
> community's weapons against it with relative ease.  I used debate technique
> to get ahead.
> Technique alone is 5 wins at any given tournament.  That's almost elims
> right there.  If you are quick, don't drop arguments, and understand how
> debate arguments interact you will win debates.  You don't have to know the
> topic, you just have to know debate.  This is how I neutralized my relative
> educational disadvantage and relative lack of resources.  The one thing I
> did have in high school was a Roger Solt handbook.  I built an entire debate
> career off of debate theory and speed because it was all I had in the
> beginning really.  These are things usually used to exclude people like me
> because it is a powerful weapon.  I never had the knowledge base or interest
> in debate to compete on straight up substance, at least not as that is
> defined by the community.  This community's insistence on the same rules and
> the same topics would allow a boy from the ghetto to debate consult china
> and global warming (note that this is the one area of substance where I was
> far superior than most because Colin Kahl and Sherry Hall schooled the hell
> out of me, exceeding anything I ever received at school up until that point)
> for half of his career.
> The community hated me for it, but again it was survival.  I competed on
> my own terms.  I am not saying that I couldn't debate substance, but I
> didn't have to anymore than the community had to debate me on race.  So, I
> took my W and my 28s and skipped awards ceremonies because I knew I would
> never talk pretty enough for you all.  You definitely know how you want us
> to speak.  One of my angrier moments happened at Kentucky my senior year
> when me and my partner beat a Berkeley team, in a break round, that was in
> the semis opening week and Jason Peterson went on about how Tejinder (who's
> not white, but he debated very similar to the above listed debaters) was
> clearly the best debater in the room.  I am like um, he just dropped a
> voting issue and went for a topicality argument he couldn't win.  How could
> he have been the best debater?  That's debate 101, you have to clear
> hurdles.  I just thought it was unnecessary.  It was a big win and it
> crushed my spirit.  Hester walked in and had assumed for 15 mins that we had
> lost.  Judges would just rip me all the time for winning debates the easy
> way based on the very rules created by the community.  Andy Ryan said he
> never really liked my debate style and should probably not have him judge
> me.  This was while I was in tears after another Kentucky debate where the
> panel also included Steve Mancuso and that dude from CSU Fullerton who
> debated at ASU.  I could never debate Kentucky in front of a panel that
> wasn't all white men.  Finding a panel not comprised of all white men was
> difficult against anybody really.  And every debate with Kentucky was about
> white privilege.
> The community ripped me when I debated with Sarah and I resented it so
> much.  She got all the credit and it was if I was along for the ride.  It
> drove me crazy for a whole year.  Sarah was a great, great debater and no
> one could speak to you guys like Sarah.  She was smart and well read and
> substantively solid, but bless her heart she couldn't really win debates.  I
> always felt slighted and underappreciated.  I had to stop debating with her
> to prove (mainly to myself) that I could be successful without her, which I
> successfully did at Ga State and then I quickly got over it and begged her
> to take me back because I knew I could win more and easier with her because
> no one in the world complimented me better.  She had all of the substance I
> lacked and could communicate with judges in a way I couldn't.  You all loved
> her and expressed mainly disdain for me.  Even though it was a 50/50
> partnership I felt like the community saw me as a tool because I didn't talk
> the way they wanted me to.  Despite all of that I have nothing but extreme
> love for Sarah.  I feel like she is the one person who could look into my
> eyes and see how painful it was for me to participate in the activity.  I
> think she knew and she knows and that's why we were ride or die debate
> partners even in the midst of fights!
> Many will think this had nothing to do with race, but it's about the
> communities preference for a particular style of debate to the exclusion of
> others that ultimately stifles the ways in which minorities find other ways
> to engage in the activity.  My style of debate was a deliberate choice to
> compensate for my substantive disadvantage and for my general lack of
> interest in almost every topic and every debate presented to me by this
> community.  I really don't care about federal control in Indian Country and
> I don't care about economic sanctions against North Korea.  I don't think
> many black debaters care for your topics very much.  They are such random
> topics that have very little to do with our material condition.  Even the
> good topics were ruined by the arguments that debaters gravitate towards.
> It's all so precarious.  Random debate topics and far fetched affs =
> stuffwhitedebaterslike #2.  I am not going to research that all day and I
> ain't gone talk about it all tournament.  Let's talk real issues in
> meaningful ways!
> Anyway, my choice of debate would ultimately be criticized by Louisville
> and their argument is partially true, but my counter has always been a
> questioning of whether the rules of debate are a hindrance to black
> participation or an opportunity to use logical strategic thinking to
> overcome other deficiencies created at least partially by race.
> I think it's an opportunity.  "CP solves the case, they have no reason why
> we X is a good idea" is a dummy proof strategy that even Harvard and
> Northwestern debaters can't deal with.   The problem is that white debaters
> and traditional debate are flawed, and we are starting to exploit that.  You
> have blind spots.  You heart the topic and want to debate substance as much
> as we want to discuss race.  You may set the agenda but there are always
> ways around it.  And despite years of training you can't beat a
> conditionality bad or PIC argument (there are no new args, you can't get
> caught off guard), have not figured out that if you have no theory args you
> have to impact turn CPs or their NB, and just flat out don't listen in
> debates.  I don't think Kansas was listening in the final round at CEDA.  I
> believe that any debater, including black ones, who can flow and answer
> arguments can beat half of the teams in this community with their own
> arguments (requires very little training).
> One of the many ways the community created racial damage was in the
> pitting of me against Louisville.  I think this contributed to them not
> liking me and considering me a part of the establishment before I could ever
> speak for myself.  My popularity amongst white debaters actually increased
> as Louisville came on to the scene.  Now, all of a sudden I was an insider,
> which I was not and resented many of the discussions I had with people about
> the topic.  Debaters would cite me as an example of traditional debate
> without my permission and in instances I would never agree with (Kentucky
> for example should NEVER be allowed to use my name to their advantage
> EVER)..  Louisville hated me before we spoke and before we had ever
> debated.  It was as if I had debated them in every debate of their life.  In
> reality, I had always wished Louisville would win every debate not involving
> me.  Consequently, all my Louisville debates were painful.  They treated me
> like I was any old other debater, which should not have been done.  I am
> not.  I shared in their narrative and couldn't really say that because they
> were trained to call me racist, and I was trained to win debates.
> I find it shocking that the community let Kentucky run west is best for a
> whole year.  I can't believe I was a part of a community for 8 years that
> would allow that to occur.  It was painful to debate the argument and
> painful to even be around during its run.  It sucked having my partner and
> coach tell me to calm down and instead of ranting make some random arguments
> with cards that made logical sense but no sense at all to me.  Every debate
> with them was a terrible experience because we would have to alter our strat
> to avoid getting me involved in a west is best debate, so even when it
> wasn't there it was there.  I think that whole year and that argument is a
> nasty stain on the entire community.
> That's just one example of an argument that this community tolerates and
> embraces without question that make made my participation in the community
> problematic.  This supposedly liberal community that criticizes racism when
> it's convenient but has no idea how many times and how many ways race enters
> every debate is largely ignorant or indifferent to reality.  I would average
> about 2.5 debates a tournament with a race issue that I either had to let go
> or had turn nasty in some way.  I will share 3 and note that I have
> forgotten about many others (and skipping a lot).
> (1) Reapropriation.  You say aff.  We say Indain Country racist.  You say
> we reapropriate it.  Implicit in the argument is a concession that the term
> is racist.  Translate in my head:  you call me the N word or the F word and
> I say hey that's racist or homophobic.  You say nope, I've changed the
> meaning.  What!?  Judges vote for it every time though because it's
> accompanied by a card that says its possible.  Doesn't make black folk want
> to be in your community.  (2) You say words don't matter and judges vote for
> it again because you have a card.  That argument only makes sense to white
> men because I can't think of a word that would hurt them?although maybe
> Towson has!  (3)  We say stop cultural genocide.  You say CP, exclude this
> tribe and the ultimate impact after 5 cards is prolif.  I am no fool.  I can
> attack your internal links until I am blue in the face but I will lose w/o
> offense.  To win this debate I have to impact turn proilif.  Perfectly
> acceptable and expected strategy that makes nooooo sense to me cause debate
> makes no sense.
> At the other end of the spectrum was Fort Hays, who constantly got a pass
> on blatantly racist arguments because they were hippies.  Them was some
> racist hippies and they made my participation in the activity a nightmare.
> At the NDT I had to hear them say that for a black male to debate the death
> penalty on the treaties topic was racist because I should be talking about
> Indians.  They actually challenged us to prove our connection to the topic.
> There I was in front of 3 more white guys and I had to discuss how racism
> had impacted my life and my decision to run that Aff.  It was literally like
> being put in front of a crown naked and asked to entertain.  Two of them
> didn't buy my suffering.  There wasn't enough detail.  Not enough pain.  I
> was outraged and only comforted by the fact that this would be the last
> prelim I would ever have.
> Aside from some substantively problematic arguments, Fort Hays also
> introduced a style of debate that frustrated me to no end.  It was a style
> of debate steeped in privilege.  It moved debate over to this truly abstract
> world.  There were no plans, no discussion of the resolution, and half of
> their speech was we don't have to defend that.  Then NU and Dartmouth would
> perfect this when they went plan-less and more theoretical.  Affs had become
> metaphors!  They had effectively neutralized all of what made me a
> successful debater and talked in tongues as far as I was concerned.
> And that my friends is why I am very happy for Towson.  The window that
> was created to allow for my success earlier in the decade was starting to
> close and I am so glad that another one opened for another set of black
> debaters to use the silly style of debate introduced by you hippy elites to
> gain access to the community and make you confront your racist community.
> Plan-less, non-topic based  debate was all the rave in my final year and
> your own creation.  You started this and Towson is running with it.  This
> Towson victory is an example of Black debaters finding a way to participate
> in this activity in a way that they can be successful and comfortable.  And
> this edebate discussion is the way the community tries, as per usual, to
> reinforce and reestablish its white supremacy.
> Quite laughably, this community tries to disguise its lack of
> inclusiveness as a criticism of their methodology not their argument, which
> is code for get your Barndt card and your plan so we can outweigh it with
> politix.  Undoubtedly, you want them to repackage their argument in a form
> that is more suitable for you to attack using your old toolbox of silly
> debate arguments.  Perhaps even in the form of Marxism because you have all
> read those books and are well versed.
> Black debaters can find ways to participate.  One rule you all have relied
> on in the past is that there are no rules and you have to make arguments.
> That's why I had to engage west is best instead of just standing up and
> saying No, No, and? No.  Now, you have to engage Towson instead of saying
> no.  Your rules.  Your game.
> You all feel uncomfortable.  The R word is your N, F, B word.  People are
> questioning their participation in the activity.  Perhaps in the same way
> that we constantly question our participation?  I imagine a hypothetical
> world where you all have to debate Towson and Louisville every round at
> every tournament.  What would you do?  Quit?  Well, that's likely how Towson
> feels about debate now.  But fortunately for you, you  don't have to debate
> Towson every round now do you?  The community needs to accept alternate
> forms of debate, alternate forms of debaters, and alternate forms of
> expression.  There is simply no single way to debate.
> The debate you are having on edebate is a debate best saved for debate
> rounds.  I've always maintained that debate ain't racist is fair game in
> these debates.  I don't think it makes you any more racist than you already
> are accused of, does it?  I don't think you do it because you know it's not
> a winning/defensible argument, so you are just going to scare them out of
> saying it or bully them into quitting over edebate.  Leave the champs
> alone..
> Elitism, CEDA, NDT, and Andy Ryan
> Also, on this NDT/CEDA thing.  This whole discussion is awful and also
> apart of the racist ideology of debate that is always looking for ways to
> include some, exclude others and determine who's worthy and who's not.
> There is room for two national champions and it's fairly disgusting that
> this discussion is being had on the heels of a black team winning CEDA
> Nats.  How can any on you in the community witness these things and then say
> that the community isn't racist?  Or at least hostile towards black
> debaters?  Why aren't any of you living out your many K alternatives where
> you embrace the other, endorse love, or what have you.  It's not a safe
> place for black debaters, and I am quite surprised at those of you saying
> that debate is better than regular society.  The mere utterance of the
> argument makes you wrong.  It cannot be true when success in the activity is
> largely based upon resources and pedigree.  Furthermore, this attitude is
> likely based upon liberal arguments made in debates, but it's not what you
> say it's what you do.  You talk nice in very broad and theoretical terms
> about philosophical issues that you think include race or make you a good
> person, but you have no idea what any of these books you are reading and
> citing mean.  It's all academic.  Compassion was once a good K alternative.
> Where's that now?  Where's the love advocated by Kansas in the final round?
> Ethics of responsibility?  Where's the rest of those feel good words that
> you drop into your long K tags that you later claim solves all of the aff?
> Don't talk about it, be about it.  And the community's UDL arguments is not
> an answer its part of the problem.  If the community is not a safe place,
> why then are UDLs a good idea?  Their entire participation is conditional.
> I definitely think that there is a difference between the two tournaments
> that privileges certain teams at the NDT and is certainly a place where
> Towson was going to have trouble.  The NDT is where resources matter most.
> It's scouting, it's war rooms, and it's a tense and very old school.  Anyone
> who has been to both should know that it requires a different style of
> debate to win at the NDT.  You have to beat teams down at the NDT.  The
> better the team the more you have to beat them down!  The better the school
> the more you have to beat them down.  And you had better beat them with some
> evidence and in a way that makes judges feel comfortable.  Teams rest while
> gangs of people do their work..  You have to debate NU's top team and every
> top team before it who comes back to write their arguments.  And if you're
> lucky, when you are done you can take on all of Emory.  We all know judging,
> coaching, and debating is flat out different at the NDT.  We once had a
> panel take almost an hour in Octs for a 5-0 against NU in a debate that we
> had clearly won.  One judges explanation:  it's the NDT.
> At the NDT you debate like a white guy and at no tournament is style of
> debate more important.  Perhaps my worse experience in my entire debate
> career happened at the NDT and always exemplified privilege in the
> community.  Semis 2002 against NU again.  We had won a debate on Should =
> past tense of Shall and another on WOMP.  No surprise there were about 10
> people writing briefs on those topics for NU before that debate AND they
> were breaking a new aff.  They break it and they had us.  It was out of our
> zone.  So, we say normativity and NU just as they did at the NDT the
> previous year said performative contradiction and impact is like
> premeditated murder vs manslaughter.  In my head, I am like really?  Are you
> serious?  Semis of the NDT when we have nothing?  We made a very simple
> sexist language argument that went right over the judges head.  No internal
> link to your aff bc you are not USFG and turn sexist language.  Nothing
> personal.
> They didn't even hear us.  For my 2NR I had to look up at Lusky, Scott
> Haris, D.. Heidt, Andy Peterson, and David Breshears (who voted for us), and
> I had to try to get these guys to understand that words matter.  It was
> about sexist language, but for me it was about race.  It was about my 7
> years in the activity and I wanted this win in front of that crowd.  I could
> see as I looked up that it was an uphill battle but I was hopeful.  I
> delivered my 2NR knowing that these judges would not drop this team on this
> argument at this tournament.  The 2ar was new and offensive and the judges
> voted for it.  The judges said they didn't think it was a voting issue,
> which was never our argument.  They didn't want to hear it.  It's all good
> though because my reward would have been Kentucky in the finals where no
> matter what we would have to deal with west is best either in avoiding it or
> going after it.  And how do you convince your partner to put the
> championship on the line because again you would have had a stage to
> confront the community's racism.
> What is very interesting about that situation is that I want people like
> Dave Heidt, Scott Harris, Andy Peterson, and Randy Lusky judging me in every
> round at every tournament...except in those moments where I have to check
> somebody.  They were who I thought they were and I like them all very much.
> I watched Scott Harris struggle with his decision all the way until the very
> end even as he slowly walked over to hand in his ballot.  That's because in
> most instances I want to debate you based on traditional styles but in those
> 2.5 rounds traditional debate breaks down for me.
> As far as Andy Ryan goes.  You are a fraud.  The championship was decided
> at CEDA Nats that year.  The NDT was a victory lap for us.  The 2001
> Quarters debate would have been a victory for West Ga at CEDA Nats.  See, at
> CEDA Nats there are no old Michigan debaters to vote for your snap, crackle,
> pop and fry an egg Sacramento Bee evidence over our actual scientists who
> made solid vaccines bad args under the guise that our cards were just too
> good.  (Giggles).  The NDT is where judges dismiss non-traditional
> arguments.  Especially when it's You vs. WGa and there's an easy way out.
> CEDA Nats is a death trap for your kind and that's why you don't come.  You
> should be ashamed and not proud.  Some of us have respect for the activity
> and all of its debaters and we would debate anywhere there were judges.
> And your words are an example of a certain arrogance amongst the white
> male debaters in the community.  I hope you feel better by dismissing a slew
> of former CEDA champs and I guess stroking your ego.  Now what are you?  A
> random dude at an obscure law firm in Texas who isn't even fit to be my
> local counsel.  Congrats.
> I just think this is all sad and I think the community can do better.  Yes
> you can!
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