[eDebate] I Vdare the Community to truly stand up

matt stannard stannardmatt
Thu Jul 31 15:20:39 CDT 2008


I appreciate your post, Nick, and pledge absolute solidarity with you.  
 
I think there IS a difference between those who would, in the context of debate, argue against topic abandonment and for a policy framework, and Stix's VDare crap.  Stix might have made a few points vaguely resembling "framework" arguments (which I suppose could be quoted, EXTREMELY out of context, to make a framework argument--though nobody better ever do so in front of me), but his overall thesis is: (a) blacks are unfairly privileged (!), (b) the judges who voted for Towson cheated, and (c) Towson's title is a sign of the white guilt and intellectual decline of the university system.  Those three arguments are the core of his attack.  He is ignorant of the nuances of framework debates, and the only reason he's even paying attention to the debate community is that a couple of African-Americans had the audacity to win a national title.  
 
NOBODY in the college debate community is making the arguments Stix is making, and I am afraid that the effort to conflate Stix with the pro-policy side of the debate community risks both divisiveness and a charge of opportunism (that I am not making towards you, to be clear).  
 
While I am disturbed that many in the college debate community are reluctant to publicly declare their solidarity with Towson, I remain convinced that people can make limits-based arguments in the context of debate without getting stuck with the underlying ideology advanced by Stix.  That doesn't mean that Towson and others can answer back with arguments about the ideological links between framework arguments and identity-based marginalization.  It just means that the two are not intrinsically connected in a social and political sense: progressive-minded people of all identity groups can and do debate these issues out from multiple sides.  As someone who has coached both sides of this and voted for both sides of this as a judge, the differences between "policy debate good" and "African-Americans winning a title using nontraditional arguments bad" is perfectly clear to me.
 
Thanks again.  It means a lot.
 
matt stannard



Date: Thu, 31 Jul 2008 15:59:52 -0400From: nicholas.brady89 at gmail.comTo: edebate at ndtceda.comSubject: [eDebate] I Vdare the Community to truly stand up
May i first begin this by saying to Mr. Stennard, I am truly sorry for what happened to you. I wish this internet jackasses would stop using the n-word to brand ppl when i know damn well that they would never say that your face. I have experienced this same thing many a times, but seeing that made me think of all the times i've been called a nigger on the internet. I've been called that word on the internet more times than i have fingers and toes, but the sad part of all this is not the fact that i was called a nigger -- i mean i'm black, its a sad reality that this is is how a good portion of this nation sees me and i've gotten to the point where it doesn't hurt me much -- but rather that the site that i have been called nigger the most was on cross-x.com. Now I understand that the website is full of immature, debating losers, but honestly i want to use that as a jumping off point. Even though I'm sure the community is mad to have a "white supremacist" critiquing it, but honestly is the article very much different from what you say every single round that you hit a critical team? Sure some teams attempt to "out-left" or counter-critique their way through performance arguments, but the grand majority of this community could quite frankly use that article as a piece of evidence in one of their "louisville" blocks. When i was running project arguments every round i heard the same things while they were prepping: "get out the louisville file" even though my argument was drastically different from the louisville case and they would go through the same "stick to the topic" "fairness over education" "limits is the best standard" "predictability key to good ground" "bpo is best framework" kind of arguments that are very common in these kind of rounds. I do believe that once we get past this white supremacist writing style, his ad hominem attacks on these black debaters, and the like we can find the exact same type of arguments as his foundation. I think the reason why the debate community feels repulsed by this article and is attempting to sweep it under the rug is because you have read this article, have literally seen ur arguments in this article like a mirror, and feel repulsed more at yourself than anything else. It is a common reaction when you are having a type of metaphysical correspondence with your own inner "racism" and instead of actually dealing with yourself, you attempt to destroy that which is making you have such an awakening. If a person looks in the mirror everyday and is repulsed by their image they would much rather throw out the mirror than work on themselves. When i read this article i shrugged my shoulders because honestly I'm used to hearing his argumentation -- its nothing more than what you have given to all performance teams.Now let me take a bit of a radical stance and this is when i am sure ppl will begin to hate what i am saying. This Vdare article -- to a limited degree -- hit a nail on the head. Now don't get me wrong, he pulled out a sludgehammer to hit a small nail and destroyed much of the land around him -- but still he did hit a nail. The nail I think is that these project affs are a form of ethnic whining -- and I say this as a person who has run them and honestly believed in them. I will first highlight this point: PROJECT ARGUMENTS WERE AN EFFECTIVE, MEANINGUL, AND ULTIMATELY SUCESSFUL TOOL. So please no backlash from project runners who think i'm some conservative debater speaking -- i truly believe that like the Black Power movement and Civil Rights movement, project critiques played an important part in progressing this community. But what startled me recently was that while I was judging at the Baltimore Urban Debate League -- a 99 percent Black/Latino debate league -- people were running project affirmatives accusing other black ppl of being white supremacist? That made me freeze. I understand the line of argumentation -- Black ppl can be white supremacist too. But literally the negative never ran topicality, never ran framework, never ran a defense of fiat -- they ran Empire. But the affirmative in the 2ac got up and read these blocks saying "topicality is bad", "fiat is white supremacist", etc. Project critiques have gotten to the point in this community where they are just as generically bad and unspecific as a politics da and normativity - wtf? Thats because we have gotten to the point where project critiques are "non-unique" -- they are horrifically generic attacks on a community that is not all-together exclusive. Project critiques were supposed to open a space for minority and poor debaters and guess what? It has. Good job, pat on the back, round of applause for everyone!So what now?Well, I will leave that up to the debaters and coaches to decide. All I will say is that i "Vdare" you all to stand up for progress within the debate community. People who are devoted to the project of racial, class, and gender equality within this activity need to realize that the time for whining about racial dominance of white debaters and demanding ballots for some cause that is so splintered and unspecific that it is utterly idiotic to say this is a "movement" has come to an end. At the same time it is time for this larger community to understand that this: yes, this community is going to change a WHOLE lot and we need to stop making the same damn canned answers about predictability this and fiat that. This vdare article only shows what these canned, framework answers always were: a kneejerk reaction to a revolution of diversity happening in this stale, white, middle-class, male community. As lil wayne would say: "this is history in the making, now shut the fuck up and let me make it". This community is changing for the better and we all need to stand up from our stagnant feuds of style -- old guard versus new guard, black versus white, critical versus policy -- and keep on moving for the sake of progress.-NickLeader of a Crunk Revolution
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