Thu May 1 12:04:13 CDT 2008
So here is a question to think about.
If most people when discussing them think reparations are "a good idea" in
principal, why doesnt the political climate foster a discussion even close
to supportive of building the political and epistemic power to implement
them? Instead while we say they are a good idea we live in a political
climate which is activley rolling back the results of the long civil rights
movement that form the set of social institutions closest to reparative
justice, america has ever come.
I suspect that there are a lot more questions and objections people have
than they are willing to admit, or at least they know some of the arguments
"other people will make", the debates that we are too sensitive to bring up,
or perhaps many think but they just dont have to confront because they can
use technologies of evasion in order to ignore the framing of the
But, if this good idea is ever to gain political legs people must begin the
process of researching understanding and knowing the arguments, if you think
reparations are a good idea, but are pretty sure they are not politicaly
viable then you need to do the work to connect the good idea part to the
ability to persuade and convince people, if you don't think its a good
idea(which i suspect is the case for many folks) then it makes a good
We talk about open and contentious debates about race as if they where
somehow argumentativly below us, and make bad debates, but if the public
will for reparative justice is to grow in america, it has to answer white
backlash, has to negotiate the oppression olympics, and has to overcome the
unspoken heard of reverse racism, we can ignore the fact that these
debates are real and need to have more people from all spectrums willing to
interpret and advance them, on campuses , in public debates, in your
community, and amongst friends and family.
If you are worried that it won't be debated at any level beyond the agent,
you may have a good concern...but we must ask why...what does it say about
the way we carry ourselves, etchicaly and scholarly to say that we will
resort to the fringe arguments like we where cnn focusing on reverend wright
or flag lapel pins?
What if you don't want to have to win your war impact against a racism
argument? why not? it seems to allow the debate that most people try to
avoid, the aff is likely to be bhind on the link but lets have a year of
debates where we evaluate these things on equivalent playing fileds, and aff
that has a risk of solving significant harm of racism on a policy level
versus the damage to the dominant system that might cause on a policy level,
not on a tangential discourse level, but a head to head policy question
about what priorities should drive political strategy and what frameworks we
use to evaulte risk and harm?
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