[eDebate] No Justice, No Peace

scottelliott at grandecom.net scottelliott
Mon Aug 4 16:32:59 CDT 2008


I meant "African-American Debate Association" in the previous post.

In response to your  "hidden agenda" argument:

I don't have a hidden agenda. I have been open about my agenda(s) concerning
CEDA and debate in generally. In fact, I am probably too open for most people.
But, it is what it is. If my tone sounds insulting, it is because, as usual, I
am plain spoken and blunt in my assessments. I don't try to couch my responses
and criticisms in niceties. No sense of white guilt is here to prevent me from
saying what I think needs to be said. I obviously don't worry about
popularity--even less now that I have a new puppy.

It is not an attempt to get rid of you. I am just pointing out that I don't
think you are nearly as successful in your efforts as you think you are. Sure,
you have made about a hundred white people feel guilty. But, if the overall
goal of your project is to increase Black participation in the activity called
"policy debate," I think the evidence of overall failure is evident. One or two
examples does not make for a real social reform. It is akin to a person saying,
"some of my best friends are black." What are we going to do, say, "well
Louisville made it to the NDT and Towson won CEDA Nats, see, we have Black
particpation!" Is this real change, or a few scraps thrown?

Name ONE reform the NDT has made that has led to an increase in minority or
women's particpation. Name ONE! Its been a decade. I kinda feel guilty about
doing this, but didn't MLK write a book or essay called "Why we can't wait."
Maybe it is time to say African-American students can't wait for the lip
service of CEDA and NDT and a few token wins.

I think you have pretty much wasted your efforts. I think there are alternatives
to reforming the NDT and CEDA on these issues. I think that the merger between
CEDA and NDT has created certain competitive norms and inequities that make
CEDA beyond reform on this particular issue. All the time you spend trying to
make a few debate coaches and program directors feel guilty could be better
spent creating an organization that will actually implement those goals you
espouse. All the time you spend on e-debate and at Wake could be better spent
at Temple, Howard and Southern Universities creating a debate organization on
YOUR terms.

It is not a matter of "trust." It is a matter of someone showing you an
alternative clearly exists and that your proposal(s) actions for reform suck.

Scott Elliott

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