[eDebate] No Justice, No Peace

Ede Warner ewarner
Mon Aug 4 21:24:53 CDT 2008

Your the type of guy that would have told Harriett Tubman that it's too risky to create that underground.
I'm the type of guy that would have said, "they can stay here."
Your the type of guy that believes patience is defined in the scope of a lifetime.
I'm the type of guy that understands social change may take hundreds of years.
Your the type of guy that uses narrow, self-serving definitions of success,
I'm the type of guy that ignores them.
Your the type of guy that believes you have a unique, privileged hold on objective truth,
I'm the type of guy smart enough to ignore those claims.
Your the type of guy that criticizes someone committed to a vision of change.
I'm the type of guy that waves as you stand still.
Your the type of guy that thinks if he screams loud enough that he is right, people will submit.
I'm the type of guy who knows when to engage in selective hearing loss.
Your the type of guy that never changes the world
I'm the type of guy that does.
You don't get it and you probably never will.  The objective truth you seek to prove, hasn't, doesn't, and will never exist.  I'm cool with my choices and the reasoning you deploy to justify that "you are right" and "I'm wrong" is steeped in a different set of lived experiences.  I see a vision that you can't, don't and probably never will, until it happens.  That drive exists until I see a different vision.  The evidence of my successes and failures works well enough to keep me, and several others pushing forward.
The alternatives you see, don't exist for me and people that look like me.  There is no where to run to, no where to hide from institutional forms of domination.  Creating a segregated league has challenges, difficulties, and doesn't replace the purpose of challenging predominately white institutions.  Figuring out how to better challenge those institutions is an important life lesson, not only for me but for my students.
You are right...I don't have to persuade you that I'm right.  Nor do I have to be persuaded by you.
Keep fighting your good fight Scott...
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:Ede Warner <e0warn01 at gwise.louisville.edu>
CC:<edebate at ndtceda.com>
Date: 8/4/2008 06:19 PM
Subject: Re: [eDebate]  No Justice, No Peace
Sorry Ede, but I really do dismiss competitive success  as a measure of a social
movement's success. Why? Because you can argue anything and get wins and speaker
points. Just look at a normal varsity round and we now see that anything can win
a round and get speaker points. By the way, I do think high point loses are
examples of peopple trying to overcome their guilt. "My heart bleeds for you,
you get a 30, but you still lose. I feel better now."

You ask, why do we not achieve social change? I have some very quick, but very
pointed answers for you:

(1) White privlege really does exist in debate. Those who hold the power don't
want to give it up. You have no credible threat, so why should they change?

(2) There really is not a problem. All you are doing is making arguments in
rounds and winning debates. Even winning tournaments. But those are merely
arguments in debates and wins at a game called tournament debate. This is not a
real social movement for real change.

(3) There really is a problem, but you have not isolated the real propblem,
which IO told you this morning--the economic realities drive minority
particpation--not the culture of debate. In fact, it is the openness of this
culture that allows you to even present your arguments for evaluation.

My measure of your sucess is quite simple. When I use the term "your project" I
am referring to the overall project that orgianlly started with the concept of
more Blacks need to particpate in college policy debate.:

(1) Has your project led to a substantial increase in African-American student

(2) Has your project led to a substantial increase in African-American coaches?

(3) Has your project led to more HCBU's or predominantly African-American
programs joining CEDA-NDT?

(4) Are more African Americans juding-prelims and elimination rounds at

The answer to all four is No, NO, NO and No. Unless we do a game with
percentages--we have gone from 3 Black coaches to a whole 5!

I think this is a valid standard to determine the success of a movement for
inclusion. I think the same key questions can be asked in terms of a movement
for gender equality. Your standards to evaluate success are so vague that they
amount to nothing more than If Ede feels warm and fuzzy about it, it must be a

You blow my proposal off as a waste of time. Interesting considering how for ten
years, outside of a few debate rounds, your project has been blown off as a
waste of time. At least I am willing to discuss the issues at hand. Most, if
not all those who hold real power simply click onto the next item or hit delete
when they see your posts.


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