[eDebate] UDL's and college debate-check the facts.

Aaron Olney aaron.olney
Tue Aug 5 12:40:18 CDT 2008

Scott reminds me of the rich white kid who "has black friends".

On Tue, Aug 5, 2008 at 1:31 PM, <scottelliott at grandecom.net> wrote:

> As usual, Ede you are  wrong on several fronts. I think the ignorance is on
> your
> part.
> The Louisville project, circa 2008 was put to me this way 1) Policy Debate
> is
> too fast and too technical (I heard it four times this year alone) and 2)
> What
> have YOU done to increase minority participation in policy debate? These
> are
> the claims made by your teams as the key issues in college policy debate.
> 1) On the first issue, speed and technique. The evidence from UDL's refutes
> this. If enough resources are put into minority debate programs, then
> students
> can compete on those pesky technical topics and at a pretty fast clip. My
> African American students seem to be able to handle the complexities of the
> job
> and don't go home crying about the Klan of speedy speakers.
> 2) The more important point, what have YOU done to increase minority
> particpation in policy debate at the college level. (I'll stand by my
> record any
> day of the week.) I say if you create it, they will join. My program is a
> good
> examle. From zero policy teams to ten teams. From zero African American
> students to five in just one year, in rural Lousiana.  Again, what have YOU
> done to increase minority
> particpation in policy debate at the college level? This is the question
> your
> teams pose to other teams around the country for at least eight years now.
> I
> simply turn the mirror back at you and ask, what is your project doing to
> actually create real advancements in the numbers of minorities
> particpating. I
> say your strategy(s) of debating about debate is a failure.
> You claim the reason why minority students do not participate is because
> the
> topics are not germane to their lives. This is not me being paternalistic
> Ede,
> this is straight up saying you are flat wrong. The past three topics and
> this
> Ag topic have huge areas of research about the African-American expereince
> in
> America and in the World.
> I think your teams last year missed out on huge opportunities to
> show how America's historic racism permeates our international relations.
> You
> missed a huge teaching opportunity. I believe
> your Project impoverished them and denied them a deeper analysis of race
> issues
> in America and in the World. No Paternalism here.  The
> current agriculture topic has a huge area regarding racial politics.
> Seriously,
> the entire history of U.S. Agriculture is bound up in racism (e.g.
> slavery). I
> just finished reading an article on how German POW's were used in the South
> to
> maintain
> cotton harvests during WWII, and to keep Black sharecroppers poor. Over 1
> million African children will starve to death this year because the United
> States has a cotton subsidies policy that benefits almost 100% white upper
> class farmers. If you cannot convice minority students of the signficiance,
> and
> relevance of these issues to your African American students--that is YOUR
> failure, not a failure of the Topic. Your Project's focus on how debate is
> done
> ignores the real issues of race the permeate just about every policy topic
> we
> have. Can you not find an issue regarding race and racism inherent in a
> Universal health care topic?
> You say the debate practics and topics make it where African American
> students
> do not WANT to compete. First, I say not true. I say it is because they
> cannot
> afford to compete. The UDLs prove this and my own program proves it. If you
> build a program and fund it, they will come. Second, I say it is your
> failure
> to show how these issues effect their lives, not the topics. Third, not
> everyone wants to play water polo. I don't like Halo III. Just because many
> students do not want to debate does not mean that policy debate is racist.
> You say debate dehumanizes the Black expereince because it wieghs impacts.
> I
> think that you have not taught your students how to make good arguments
> then. I
> would vote for a racism impact with a deontology D-rule and, in fact, I
> have
> voted for it. The same with Justice impacts. Learn to take out a nuclear
> war
> impact--its really not that hard. Policy debate does not exclude.
> But it does force people to defend their arguments.
> You say the reason why HBCU's left policy debate was because the norms of
> policy
> debate changed. The only HBCU I know persoanlly was the Southern University
> program. It stopped because of budget cuts. I think that there has been
> almost
> zero push (Andy Ellis and a few are doing some work) by the policy debate
> community to bring HBCU's back to policy debate. I think that if time were
> spent recruiting and building new programs, instead of debating about
> debate,
> real cahnges would be made. Ask yourself-which has a better chance of
> increasing
> minority particpation in college polic debate--talking about how debate is
> unfair within debates, or going out and creating a new policy program at an
> On the other hand, if your claim is true that HBCU's left because of a
> culture
> of exclusion, then you end up back at the orginal discussion point--namely,
> your attempts to change the culture of policy debate have been a failure.
> It
> has NOT increased Black participation in this activity to any significant
> degree. And, therefore, it may be time to create an alternative
> organization
> that will serve the needs of these underrrepresented students. From either
> perspective your Project is not advancing your cause.
> You claim that my argument about economics is racist and it ignores the
> Black
> middle class. No. Not true. I think middle income students across the board
> cannot afford to debate. I also think that a large percentage of the middle
> class Black students you are referring to go to colleges and Universities
> that
> do not have programs. So, what is racist about saying the resources
> (Directors,
> coaches, and travel funds) do not exist for these students to participate?
> Your
> ignorance of economics is distressing.
> Your last point is that I am stereotyping Black students. Dude, you are the
> one
> promoting, via your teams, that Black students cannot or will not compete
> because college policy debate is too technical and debaters speak too fast.
> My
> African American, and African-descent, debaters are insulted by YOUR
> stereotyping of Black students as not being able to handle the complexities
> of
> United States Public Policy. They are insulted by your insinuation that
> unless
> the topic deals with which is better East Coast or West Coast hip hop,
> Black
> students won't participate. We find issues of relevance to students
> personal
> lives in every topic. Its called research.
> Maybe you should check out what your teams are saying and arguing as part
> of
> your project. Because the only stereotyping going on is within your
> Project. I
> always like the racism charge when it is thrown because it usually gets
> people
> off on the track of "I am not racist, some of my best friends........" I
> think
> you should check yourself Ede, see what racial stereotyping you are engaged
> in,
> if it matters. I believe your focus on debating about debate, rather than
> the
> racial issues inherent within these topics is hurting your students  and is
> not
> really advancing your overall cause.
> Scott
> p.s.
> Give me at least another year to get the state of Louisiana back on track
> with
> policy debate, and I will take your $200 and show you that I can do in just
> a
> few years, what you have failed to do in a decade. It seems, however, that
> you
> would be the best person for the job. You would have the best chance of
> reaching out to HBCU's and minority dominated Universities. But, when
> someone
> tries to give you power, real power for real change, you always run away
> from
> it.
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