[eDebate] Reparations-reply to Warner

scottelliott at grandecom.net scottelliott
Thu Apr 17 10:47:53 CDT 2008

Not at all Ede. I even pointed out on the education reform topic discussion how
minority students are being harmed by standardized testing. My students in
argumentation classes have been debating this all semester. But, and this is
the key issue, there is a balance of arguments as to why mandatory testing is
necessary, and even net beneficial for minorities.

Urban renewal/social services programs. The same type of balance is there. Even
the genetic engineering topic has a balance of arguments on issues involving
race and gender.

So, no Ede, I do not think I am trying to exclude race from all debates. There
is no speculation on my part regarding reparations. I have done the research in
response to cases that have called for versions of reparations. I am not the end
all be all of research, but I do know what I see is that the literature that is
specific to reparations is overwhelmingly affirmative. Very few authors who
would oppose it would even consider writing responses.

Ede, we can agree that harms are bad. Slavery is bad. Rape is Bad. Stealing land
is bad. The issue is whether you can have a year long sustainable topic that is
balanced. Depending on how defines "reparations," which, by the way, means "The
act or process of repairing or the condition of being repaired.
The act or process of making amends; expiation.
Something done or paid to compensate or make amends.
reparations Compensation or remuneration required from a defeated nation as
indemnity for damage or injury during a war."
(http://www.answers.com/topic/reparation);  any attempt to right past wrongs
constitutes reparations.

I guess if people want plan vs. plan-plan and plan vs. plan-plus debates, this
topic is fine. I just do not find it appealing.

Quoting Ede Warner <ewarner at louisville.edu>:

> In the spirit of the last four week of healthy discussion, does your position
> below mean we never debate minority public policy controversies Scott since
> they are all "one-sided", or are you just saying that they have we have to
> find different ways to word such topics?  (Like Urban Policy as a means of
> getting at reparations?) Or are you saying that we need to consider changing
> what defines the aff and neg ground to ensure better switch side debate?
> Looking for the big picture implications of your position?  It's not clear.
> The balanced literature you call for is in many ways speculative right?  Risk
> of action?  Why does that ensure better debate as opposed to a concrete
> existing harm where there a wide potential of solvency areas?
> The dichotomy being created is speculative "core policy" impacts discussed
> from both sides versus existing harms versus "core policy" disagreement on
> solvency.  It seems we have preferred the former to the latter without
> necessarily producing superior debates.  But I'm interested to hear how you
> see this Scott?
> >>>
> From: <scottelliott at grandecom.net>
> To:<edebate at ndtceda.com>
> Date: 4/17/2008 09:20 AM
> Subject: [eDebate] Reparations-reply to Stannard
> Matt says: "The idea that a problem area with a strong normative direction is
> bad for negative ground is a fallacy I've heard from time to time for at
> least
> twelve years. Ultimately it's a reductio ad adbsurdum that makes all powerful
> impacts "unfair" because apparently the only consistent and fair ground for
> Scott and others is impact turns. The objection is selectively applied in the
> case of "emotionally compelling" impacts (perhaps the real, unstated
> objection
> is that a disproportionate number of judges will vote for the first team in
> each debate to talk about racism) but could really apply to anything. This
> fallacy is the first cousin to another fallacy, the assumption that if stuff
> is
> really important and timely, we shouldn't debate about it."
> I disagree. A topic should have a balance of policy literature on the core
> affirmative question. Let me give you an example from this past topic. The
> side
> balance on the Iran debate was good. The negative had plenty of evidence out
> there that engaging Iran, on face, was bad. A striaght up debate on whether
> we
> should  engage ewas possible. Afghanistan, however, was a horrible addition
> to
> the topic that I had pointed out a year in advance--namely, we are already
> engaged--the only question is how much more or how do we engage them.
> Negative
> ground consisted of counter-plans, PICs, and Empire K's most of the time.
> For reparations, the key issue--should we give reparations?--the literature
> is
> overwhelmingly afirmative. The major distinctions are whether we give all the
> land back, or just give some of the land back to Native Americans. For
> slavery,
> the distinctions are whether we give every African-American a phat check, or
> do
> we spend more money on intercity schools. The core issue has been pretty much
> determined in the literature. So, yeah, there will always be debates. But I
> don't think they are good debates. There is a difference berween having
> Justice
> form cases as an affirmative choice and having Justice form cases every
> single
> round. I guess there are some affirmatives who will choose a utilitarian
> calculus for debates, but I think most will not. This means, in my opinion,
> that we have a huge percentage of debates devolve into framework discussion.
> Now I know many outthere love those debates. It really is a matter of taste.
> I
> do not prefer it though.
> You charecterization of "if it is timely and important, we can't debate it"
> mischarecterizes the arguments I am making is directly refuted by the fact I
> wrote a topic paper on genetics that is very timely and important, but there
> is
> balance in the literature.
> Scott
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