[eDebate] No Justice, No Peace

Ede Warner ewarner
Mon Aug 4 17:00:21 CDT 2008

Mr. "I got all the evidence, you got none" aka Scott,
Let's see what happens when we make a few concessions. 
Ede's reform movement bad:  Let's start with the obvious as proven by what is said to Louisville all the time when discussions of purpose as well as bill's claim to couch the social change discussion during the outburst. What academic college debate privileges over all else:  a game of strategy to produce competitive success.
Scott's position - Evidence of Louisville creating social change - Absolutely zero. I'll concede that.
Evidence of winning debates from 2000 - 2005 (when we stopped debating these arguments in the name of Black participation. - A NDT and CEDA quarterfinal finish, a bunch of elimination round qualifications at national and regional NDT and CEDA tournaments, and a wagon of speaker awards in eight years. Until 2005, when we shifted and broadened the strategy, an overall squad winning record.
Scott says about that competitive success, "token crumbs that only further prove a lack of social change."
Ede says, 1) "if winning is the name of the game, we've had about the same levels of success at Louisville as I had coaching the old way, so what difference does it make?"  2) I was able to take our competitive success from winning and turn it into jobs and scholarships and assistants for folks that would NEVER have gotten these opportunities in CEDA/NDT?  Is that tokenism too?  What about the Fullerton, Long Beach, and Towson competitive success that in some part was based on the earlier actions of Louisville.  3) If the entire activity is based on competitive success, why would we ever be given wins?  Our students have for years complained that we are given high points and losses, isn't that also an effective way to assuage guilt?; 4) When are wins legitimate?  Only when they are done the way everyone else does them?  Then that means all the wins received after speed was introduced are token wins too, huh?  At somepoint, every innovation starts with token wins, right?  When do they become legit?
Now to the lack of social change arguments:  The lack of reforms are part of the criticism since both organizations CEDA/NDT lack the institutional structure to adopt the reforms by deferring too much power to the actual competition and being driven more by competitive equity in their decision making than by other priorities.  
Just wondering by comparison, how Scott's teams have performed over the last decade doing it the "right" way?  Or are all of wins a product of "white guilt"?  And if they are, does that make our success more or less important?  If you say less important, by what standard are you using, social change?

Scott's Your reform: a new league.  If the black directors leave, that would be 5 of 119, NDT/CEDA would be forced to rethink?  Not sure why, but if you say so. Hey Scott, do you leave to join our new Black only league and how does that work?  Since the HBCU's got rid of their debate programs when they realized that whites would no longer engage them in persuasive audience debates in lieu of tournament debates, what type of league should this be?  
You keep working on getting those other four black directors to roll with you...I'll take my chances with our token success and my inspirational vision that I can move towards real social change.  Good luck Mr. Evidence.
As usual, you find innovative and creative ways to waste my time,
Ede Warner, Jr.
Director of Debate Society/Associate Professor of Communication
University of Louisville
308E Strickler Hall
ewarner at louisville.edu 


From: <scottelliott at grandecom.net>
To:<edebate at ndtceda.com>
Date: 8/4/2008 05:33 PM
Subject: [eDebate]  No Justice, No Peace

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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