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April 5, 2013 / compassioninpolitics

Race Performance Affirmatives: Reflections on the Final Round from the NDT 2013

Part II and III are both useful. I think II is probably the most useful.
I wrote about this more specifically here. You might consider reading that if you haven’t already. Also, I’ve written about race performance as well on Learn Policy Debate. Update: There is now an addendum below part III which has some random rants–which are potentially useful and interesting IMHO.

Part I:
This is slightly off topic, but it involves me being labeled “racist” because I suggested Emory wasn’t one of my top options.

Well…this is a bit of a manipulation as I recall. It wasn’t a matter of saying Emory was good/bad. It was a matter of ranking.
Based on what the typical student who is looking for high achievement and high achievement peers–
Its also more likely that the students in a non-emory camp have their interests aligned. They have direct accountability
from their parents in terms of money spent or even made some of their money in a summer job.

This isn’t racist. This is based. Saying something about race doesn’t mean racist. For instance, black people tend to listen to rap and soul versus other forms of music. I’m not quite sure about the empirical basis of this statement–but given that most of those stations which are explicitly run as African American.

Saying that going to an institution where there is a high pressence of African Americans doesn’t means its racist. For instance, if I say you might want to go to Harvard or Vanderbilt versus one of the schools in the WAC–thats tied to results–not some racist animus.

To me….the act of labeling my act racist, without sorting out the deeper reasons is a bit reactionary…a bit of a knee jerk reaction. Particularly because you don’t know me and don’t entirely know my motivations. You don’t know how I treat African American people or my history with African American people. Actually, my debate partner in college was gay and black and he’s an accomplished lawyer now. I have a lot of respect for him and people like him–thank you very much.

Part II:
Ok….you’re in a class…..History of American or European Art and History of Europe/America. You’re taking notes expectantly for the test you’re going to have in 2 weeks. Suddenly….a third party enters the room and says “you don’t have the right to take this class–we’ve decided because this class is about Europe–and Europe has racist and colonialist roots–we aren’t going to offer it anymore. Instead, we’re going to offer only minority history. We know you came to the university to study American history……we know you’ve paid your money for American history…..but we don’t any of that is important. We think there are racist roots in Europe and everything associated with white people. We also think this will make things easier for all minorities–we think it will be more “home” if we silence those parts of our history.

What is your reaction?

What if your university (or high school) took away your major or your most prized class?

In the context of the university there are alternative courses in history/humanities. In the context of debate….you can have these conversations and auto-biographies anywhere…..

Part III:
As a side note, If the people that ran these arguments were truly commited to the argument and not the ballot–you couldn’t stop them from telling the story in the halls. They wouldn’t care about the ballot. Don’t get me wrong, they deserve the ballot if they do it by using a just means–performative & particularly identity-centric performance is a rigged game. It just seems this advocacy is disengenous. They aren’t exhausting the 100 other means and alternatives that don’t involve neglecting the resolution or the interests of the other team. Performative auto-biographies based on suffering, oppression, and victimhood just reverse the hierachies. The original hierarchies were bad–but the reversal is just as bad–just as race-centric. This is especially the case when there are alternatives which don’t tradeoff with traditional debate–something which has massive value for minorities. If you don’t think it has value–don’t do the activity–but don’t steal the activity from other people–don’t rip their time and their investment in the activity away from them.

1. The illusion of change is on both sides. The ballot will change the world–no it won’t–or else it wouldn’t have taken 10+ years of this.
2. The European model has an empirical record of change that far surpasses the.

1. And yes, its an analogy. European or rationality driven argument doens’t auto-exclude others. You can succeed at a process that wasn’t made for you. This is proven at the Olympics. Minorites succeed all the time–most or many of the sports are Greek or European.
2. And if its a straw person, its a straw person that points to a truth. 30 to 50% of whats on Jon Stewart is a straw person–but its still speaks truth.

Dynamic versus Static Growth:
1. The aff has a static conception of individual potential and how they can succeed. You create a self-fulling prophesy of African American and minority students who can’t succeed at traditional debate or the skills it provides. You also lock in an identity around ”
we can’t succeed at white stuff.” If business is white…we can’t succeed. If politics is white….we can’t succeed. If anything else thats crucial for our survival or enjoyment is white….we can’t succeed. This type of representation of blacks not only is false–as proven by previous African Americans in the elims of the NDT or otherwise successful in debate. And that doesn’t explain the successes of African Americans in academia, public policy, science, the legal field, or a 100 other fields–all of which involved Eurocentric models.

2. The auto-biography model only lets one class of society succeed. Ultimately, it should be the untouchables in India. They’ve been the most oppressed. Everything in society and debate should be re-arranged for them. The european model provides a clear bar of success.

The heart of homophobia, racism, sexism, etc. is its epistemology. We as debaters frequently break down our own epistemology. We can change this shit if we just think about it.

1. Where is the non-Eurocentric hospital you’ll be taking to save you or your kid’s life?
2. What is the non-Eurocentric educational institution which can compete with the West?
3. What is the non-Eurocentric business which can compete with the West? Say with a Whole Foods.

Why aren’t you attending a non-Eurocentric school in a non-Eurocentric company drinking non-Eurocentric lattees with non-Eurocentric movies & culture. Why should we change from our supposed Eurocentric ways if you haven’t and you won’t–despite knowing they are Eurocentric?



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  1. compassioninpolitics / Apr 5 2013 7:24 pm

    I wonder if that 14 reasons rationality is good.

    1. Romanticism (PoCo ???)
    2. Static. Biological determinism.
    3. Essentialism.
    4. DA to the shift away
    5. Eurocentic is a meta-method. Its a melting pot.
    6. Tech good, science good.
    7. Ban Grading metaphor

    Mixing versus excluding.
    Uni-dimensional identity (???).

    Fetishize identity = bad.

    Poisoning the well fallacy.

    Personalization disads.

  2. compassioninpolitics / Apr 5 2013 8:00 pm

    EXACTLY because eurocentrism is the hegemonic model. It tells us who did good and who didn’t. The black panthers failed but MLK succeeded because he wasn’t violent and didn’t violently oppose the system. Los Mata Zetas failed Because they fought back. Eurocentrism is defined by domination of thought. It teaches us- so obviously it says that they’re the only ones who worked. It’s like saying fox news is running republican ads. Empirical success is defined by White.

    Cry me a river…..Timberlake….

    Not a denial of the argument. The idea that more blacks had rights and lives. 99.99% of scholars would agree with me–probably more.
    You have no explanation for how they “rigged the game”
    You define away the terms of success–and yes there will be no success.
    Minorities can vote with their feet–and yet we have an immigration problem–not an exodus problem.

    Also, your method is suspect to the extent that it doesn’t provide for nuance. You are for us or against us. You can’t make numerical or nuanced distinctions. Or at least you choose not to–despite that leading to better results for everybody.

    It was Built to. Yes you can succeed but only by succumbing to it. The caste system was built to say- you’re untouchable, you’re good. Christianity was founded on evil v. good dichotomy.

    1. Who are these supposed conspirators?
    2. If anything we are more Lockean than we are Platoic, yet we could have gone in that direction (dictators via Platos republic). If you don’t like representative democracy….try everything else including what Somalia had.
    3. They tried to build a system which would solve problems & reach truth & be successful as a model. It did all 3.
    4. I’m super confused how you and I are guilty for the sins of our great, great, great, great grandfathers. Plus, that wasn’t mine–because they were still in Ireland & Wales. Or they were farming–not governing.
    5. Whats the alternative system for weighing competing claims?
    6. How did you get to be so good at thinking & debate? Oh yeah…..western education. Could you get that in Ethiopia or China. In the later, you would get even more controls. Or…”no I could use the internet”–first this is naive. Second, the internet exists because of western culture. Period. Western culture is the pre-condition for mass creativity, innovation, and progress.

    Thats a ton of impact turn for your framework.

    Also, I can accept rationality as a good thing–and also accept manifest destiny when it leads to colonialism & war as a bad thing.

    No you’re attacking my weakest argument. The fact is that it causes massive exclusion, racism, sexism, abelism, homophobia, misogyny, and violence.
    1. Theres no reason I can’t PIK all the bad stuff out.
    2. The west saved us from Hitler or other domination (Russia, China, etc…). That would be worse than any supposed domination via rationality. I fail to understand how a syllogism = oppression.
    3. The west founded most of the ethics we use. Virtue ethics, utlitarianism, rights and deontology. And probably a number of other systems.
    4. It was the hypocrisy of the West thats the problem–its failure to live up to its principles–not living them.
    5. No nation has the record of having this much diversity on such a wide scale. We’re certainly in the top 10% (I’m not a historian–but this is a semi-grounded in history).

    You haven’t live on your own yet. Thats ok to be naive. If you don’t want to succeed at business….try poverty….. But success at business is also a way to solve social problems (aka scarcity or gaps). And empirically blacks have done pretty decent at business. Its a bit of tokenism, but Oprah and Will Smith have done well for themselves.

  3. compassioninpolitics / Apr 5 2013 8:19 pm

    So should we turn westerners (like yourself) into slaves now? Should we reverse the hierarchy? Thats the real question.

    Theres a problem: Debate has some racist structures
    Theres a solution: 100% hierarchy reversal

    There are tons of alternatives. Those alternatives are silenced by their model. They haven’t discussed them.

    The west is bad…it has hierarchies. And then it goes and MAKES MORE HIERARCHIES. How racist is that? Or ethnocentric is that?

    How about lets tie one of my arms behind my back or cover one of my eyes… even out this injustice you speak of. That makes total sense. To me, why not let me use my skills…..and if anything….we can have moderate handicap on the final score. That way the challenge during the debate isn’t lowered. The bar isn’t lowered. Expectations of minorities in terms of making arguments about government isn’t lowered (a self-fulling prophesy by the way). Turn them into rhetorical victims who impose passive aggressive solutions (my road or the highway) rather than deal-making and negotiation and alternatives–which is how problem-solving in the real world works.

    Its almost as if the performative option implicitly chose acto-mania. It is the worst example of the problem-solution problem
    I can think of. “We have a problem….therefore we should reverse the hierarchy.” I don’t have a problem with helping or altering the rules–but turning the world on its head doesn’t really serve a purpose.

  4. compassioninpolitics / Apr 5 2013 8:22 pm

    Reparations Bad or Counterplan (aka reparations good):

    Also aff action bad….or the counterplan based on poverty (?)
    The poverty CP probably doesn’t change the results of the debate in my guess.

  5. compassioninpolitics / Apr 5 2013 9:32 pm

    Also, there aren’t as many hate-driven arguments post-round because the focus isn’t on social location. Remember: the Bill Shanahan event occurred post a round on racism. Labeling someone a racist, based on 2 minutes of their lives or even 60 minutes of their lives in a debate round is an incredibly large charge. Whats paradoxical to me is this:
    1. destroys any hope of home for other people in the activity (ie the more european or white or priviledged–you don’t belong, your stories are less worthy). As if there is something wrong with the Hobbit and Harry Potter…….or To Kill a Mockingbird or the Red Badge of Courage. (i apologize if there are sub-textual narratives I haven’t considered which these would link to).
    2. only results in re-versing hierarchies. (I covered that before). It creates a race to the bottom. thats just as ethnocentric.
    3. its pretty essentialist critique of rationality & everything europe (aka stereotyping). Again. African Americans and minorities have both used rights as a mechanism for change. There are minorities on the front in the pages of Time & Forbes & our most reputable publications. So history suggests these stereotypes which form the basis of the argument are not only static and procrustean, but also perpetuate stereotypes themselves.
    4. European science has empirically saved the lives of millions of Africans & minorities. And science has been used to disprove myths
    which under-wrote priviledge in the first place.
    5. Eurocentric education got them where they are. Empirically its worked for them.
    6. All of this is pretty outrageous given the pressence of alternative frameworks or mechanisms both in the debate and outside the debate……and even far beyond the horizon of debate.
    7. Blaming debaters……when the problem is much deeper seems misguided as well. Competitive debate is a poor leverage point. Publishers and professors who churn out books which effect millions are a far better target. And scarcity of time and resources proves you should focus on the highest leverage points. In fact, focusing on the wrong points displaces our focus.
    8. And the alternatives to Eurocentric decision-making & power are worse. Your ideas about the non-western create a romantic image grounded on myth.
    9. I can PIK out of all the bad parts of the Enlightenment and the West. First, we’re in a post-enlightenment era. Its the failure of the West to live up to its promises is whats wrong with the West. We don’t need less of the West per se–we need more of it. The historians who suggest the root cause is the West are dead wrong–its bad human decisions–people who allowed power to go to their heads. Power isn’t unique to any culture.

  6. compassioninpolitics / Apr 6 2013 3:00 am

    First, you jumped the gun a bit. Although, I could have been a bit clearer. My argument was that debate was pretty much a safe place. Which you then said it was. Ironic. I uniquely said it was made worse by personal attacks.

    Black folks don’t need to be catered to feel comfortable. I imagine very few think of the race implications of being coached by a Coach K or a Rick Patino or a Pat Summit (retired UT women’s coach). Or think that race experience hindered their
    career in any way. Nor probably do any of the UDL coaches.

    Also, learning to live in different cultures is beneficial–on both sides. In a globalized society–which will only get more so–these cross-cultural experiences are important. (sans aspersions to covert and secretive racism).

    Also, apparently black folks want to be around black folks….but thats not racist. But white folks decide to go to a more “white” institution and its racist????? Thats not a double standard at all.

    Debate is a great leverage point because it’s a community that attracts smart people and encourages them to be smarter. Debate provides a lot of people with the intellectual tools to really make an impact on the world. And that’s because debaters have a really intelligent perspective on argument, one in which you have to clash with arguments head-on rather than ignore them, and be open to changing your mind on any perspective.

    1. Thats not what you get in blame game of race conversations.
    2. I’m sorry–no one owes you anything. Inequality is a fact of life. The thing that will keep you down most in American society is your own lack of courage and fear, which this K perpetuates in 3 ways

    1. Disables real clash. Cross-worldview debates in the presence of the ballot aren’t effective–it only yields guilt, ego, and anger-fests.
    2. Being accused of being racist is just as foreign to you as. Its like being called a rapist or domestic abuser. I’ve never been accused of either–but I can imagine the charge. The problem is there is a difference between being actively racist and passively racist. Or saying stuff which could have racist overtones.
    3. It may not be a witch hunt, but it feels close and has lots of parallels. There wasn’t a way out for non-witches except to drown….the person accussed of racism is just trying to get back to even. And there isn’t generally material evidence either way.
    4. We all live in a society which has vestigages of race and power. I don’t see how its politically productive to decry our mutual history. Yes, its our mutual history.

    Yes, I’m sorry for racism. Yes, I’m sorry for slavery. Yes, I’m sorry for the other bad stuff that people in power did governing my previous relatives. I’m sorry if my relatives got involved in something in a way which hurt minorities of any kind.

    But in 2013, its time to look forward and not backward. Those philosophies which do look primarily backward tend to be pessimistic and lock-in their views of reality……rather than seeing the Blue Ocean opportunities for unity and social change. Lets send $250 to $1000 to Africa…..instead of trading accusations of racism. Thats material change in the lives of 250 to 1000 people. Thats real freedom to what was slavery before.

    I don’t know how learning of the great White conspiracy against all people of color will help your partner at CSIS.
    Confronting your priviledge can take lots of forms. They don’t have to be with a ballot. The way its performed in debate feels a lot more like 40 floggings or the iron maiden, rather than a discussion about uncovering the real stories of priviledge or (un)priviledge among majority or minority communities. You can bring awareness and concsiousness raising without the punishment of a ballot. That was the 60s and it actually caused social change–10 years of this argument in debate….and not much change beyond people winning debate rounds because of victim narratives.

  7. compassioninpolitics / Apr 6 2013 3:01 am

    The requirement to take other classes I don’t have a problem with. What I would take issue with:
    1. Being forced midstream not to. Thats not what you bought. Thats not the promise the university made to you. (aka social contract around being affirmative & negative and actually defending an institution for half your debates). This model deprives minority and the majority of that opportunity.
    2. By not talking about the Europeans except in an oppressive context….you miss the nuance. Thats a false story of history.

    What about the anti-racists who think that parts of the Enlightenment still offer the promise of a better day and a better way….and a more unified future forward. Remember, its the enlightenment values and western values and rational grounded values which best create accountability for the problems of enlightenment. More free speech is the anti-dote to most of the problems of free speech.

    Is reason incapable of creating a case for social change? Are Western values incapable of helping minorities?

    Everyone puts on a good image. That doesn’t prove anything–this goes both ways. Plus your reference to the I the KKK kind of proves my point. While its instructive….it really puts my racism on a whole ‘nother level. Instead of being unintentially racism….suddenly my racism can be equated to basically what society deems the highest level of it. And I don’t see how you can label me racism….while you’ve been using the English language and making pretty rational arguments. Hey pot….its me kettle.

    We’re ALL deeply embedded and implicated in the systems of Eurocentrism…..some of them helped to get us to our current trajectory……some have been abused by people in power. But that doesn’t make the ideologies themselves bad or corrupt. For instance, those same values could have potentially held Cheney or Bush responsible for violations of international law or . And if your answer is “well the elites always win or the system is rigged.”–not only is that a self-fulfilling prophesy, but it begs a number of questions of what you are even arguing for. To single individuals out seems a bit short sighted.

    Plus…this type of hyper-apprehension about positions of power…..denies reformers a place to stand. Their perpetually trying to be more authentic to their community…..but unable to get the legal protections which creates real accountability and justice for those who are racist or use their power for ill. Whats so wrong about using the masters tools……to build a more just society……to fix the problems. Or to borrow another metaphor–for turning swords into plowshares. You see this in culture and music all the time–new artists–borrowing on the classics–but with a new eye.

    I didn’t see the West Geogia debate….but I think the idea of creating a new reality…..rather than getting stuck in a rut of talking about the past (or in Rorty’s words the lefts inventing new words for the institution & the “man”). You don’t need to read any more identity theory or performance to know how to change the material lives of people. In fact, that may be the wrong place to act (isolated). Because I’m at a loss to see how the movement or performative debates have move the needle. Sure, there is the high or afterglow of–that debate was so different–it changed me. But thats not material change in the life of black-folks and you know that. Where is the change? Where is the change? Might I suggest that like Eurocentrism….the model is flawed….its accusatory tone and forcing change with the barrel of a ballot doesn’t really cause fundamental change. Debate itself hasn’t changed except to maybe get a couple more wins for black folks. If it had caused change…..MJP wouldn’t be necessary…..and getting new strategies to defend it wouldn’t be necessary.

  8. compassioninpolitics / Apr 6 2013 3:16 am

    The point of empathy is to understand someone from their perspective. To see where they are coming from.
    re: criticisms of tone, style, etc. I don’t think people have an obligation to be nice to racists.[/quote]

    1. I said emory isn’t as good as other camps. I’m sure a number of other people in the community
    would agree with me, because not everyone goes to Emory.
    2. I am apparently pro using reason rather than emotion and personal narratives to resolve disputes.
    I would think that you agree with me on some level–because of the nature of our discussion and
    likely some of the discussions in your high school and college classess–as well as exchanges with professors.
    3. There is also.
    a) I think the idea of reversing hierarchies is a bad idea. I see alternatives beyond that.
    b] I think accomodatist models and radical nationalist ones are bad. They just replicate what they try to solve. BTW, the modus operondi of the rhetoric of the previous group you mentioned is this model. (ie you replicate the model you try to avoid). I’m just trying to save you from becoming the enemy you hate. I’m not sure how that makes me a bad person.

    I’ve volunteered 2 years with the UDL in Washington DC….never taking a dime for judging debates for the full season of high school…..and middle school debates (excluding tournament conflicts with my coaching responsibilities–ie my job). Thats a pretty large commitment. I think that hardly qualifies me as a racist.

    Having a black debate partner doesn’t make me a non-racist. That is correct, but a racist couldn’t have made a 1.5 year relationship work in the context of debate. There would have been too many blow-ups.

    I’m not perfect, but my imperfections don’t give others the right to put me on the couch (psychoanalyst style)….or the stand in judgement (Perry Mason) for crimes they themselves are guilty of…..on two levels (the alternative debate….and the personal life debate–we are all Americans….we all use Eurocentric institutions, ideas, and world views). Plus, reason, as opposed to bias is kind of the basis of the Innocence project, and the principles it stands for in our court system. Without that reason and accountability…..hate, myth, bias, and inequality would reign in those and other cases across the country.

  9. Nathan Ketsdever / Apr 6 2013 5:37 pm

    The criticism of group think/group identity think (mob think, racism, etc..)

  10. Nathan Ketsdever / Apr 8 2013 1:42 am

    People have different strengths & disadvantages.

    Their conception of identity is heavily tilted toward one which is:
    1. determinist/over determined
    2. universal/unitary
    3. essentialist/streoetypical & racist

    The act of voting to overturn racial models with new models of racial hierarchy–is an act of power-over which merely replicates the slave ship & prisons they try to. The lack of material existence of those things–doesn’t mean that metaphorical chains that puts us in.

    Lets think about debates in that model. We wouldn’t even have to show up. It would be like Minority Report on steroids, because
    we would know that X, Y, and Z races had. Alternatively, what they are overturning doesn’t have that pre-determined nature. The NDT and CEDA and elims at any tournament are as unpredictable as the NCAAs. (its not a perfect fit, but perhaps).

    Why didn’t Northwestern tell their story, despite the fact they were minorities? Because they knew they were going to be out-victim-hooded.

    Why is this true, because group identity as a general rule isn’t a good way to think about resolving disputes…or its a secondary one. First, it creates a zero-sum mentality. Its the Manchian (sp?) view of the world–that racist. Its the same root cause of the arguments in Threat Con/Securitization/CIRT……as well as the Borders K…… well as pretty much every war in history.

    Its like saying militarism is bad…..and just flipping the sides of who has the weapons in order to solve the problems of militarism and war. That makes entirely no sense. ZERO. ZILCH.

    Especially when there are TONs of alternatives that they could pursue. I’ve given tons before and won’t go through the list.

    I’m not endorsing racial priviledge….just the idea that it can be coercively or punitively overturned with the ballot.
    Yeah…Witchita can put that on their resume now….but that doesn’t change their material circumstances significantly.

    And what was their opportunity cost in terms of switch-side. In Derridas words what are the Other-Others. What
    are the other minority stories that weren’t told.

    You say:
    “Many students come from backgrounds where there are other, more pressing things in their immediate lives than doing well on the SAT, and for some, mom and dad aren’t so supportive or encouraging about school success because for some, mom and dad aren’t there. I do believe that underprivileged students hold incredibly valuable perspectives, insight, and opinions on the world, and yes, I am more willing to listen to them before I am willing to listen to someone who says “work harder for the SAT’s and then maybe I’ll respect what you have to say.”

    Ok….so what are some alternatives to that happening?
    Ok….what are some ways that don’t involve inversing the racial hierarchy by fiat or dictate using power-over and coercion as the means to do so?
    There are tons of orgs & methods…..that don’t involve the problem you outline.

    This is also incidently a terrible model to teach UDL kids with too:
    First, because they get deprived.
    Second, because it forces them to use their victimhood to win ballots.
    Third, because they think their judges are racist for not voting for them–instead of them just making better arguments.
    This victimhood model works in almost no other forum….it only creates problems….doesn’t help us “get down the road” or create anything more than a “tent” home–rather than a substantive one–or homes plural–in the form of communities. Real material changes–not just wins & losses on ballots. Thats not material change… a very real sense.
    Plus all the reasons I spoke to above.

    Plus, Wilderson has some incredibly skeptical positions. He thinks African americans & presumably all minorities should abandon the civic space. Really ironic considering the government pays his checks. He’s a professor at UC Davis.

    You say:
    “Why is it that whenever minorities talk about oppression white folks feel threatened? Why do they feel as if they are in danger? Here’s a secret: black people are not plotting to enslave white people, but if speaking out against oppression makes you uncomfortable, good. It is time that we stopped being comfortable. It is time that we start with the man in the mirror.”

    There are lots of alternative ways of this occurring than saying “i’m a minority. i’m a victim. I need salvation in the form of a ballot. I can’t do logical, rational, and critical thought because thats a Western construct thats racist.” Thats a bit of a caricature, but thats inevitable when trying to summarize a 9 minute argument in 15 seconds. And certainly don’t know which line of reasoning I missed.

  11. Nathan Ketsdever / Apr 8 2013 9:00 pm

    Here is a defense of the cultural assumptions:

    I think there are some great things objectively defined in Western culture (I’ve outlined some before). There are some not so good thing. We should obviously get rid of the bad.

    Policy argument in debate isn’t one of them. Empathy is one result. Its the precondition for most social change–ie the way to access solutions to race, priviledge, and -isms.

    First, grouping types of arguments isn’t like grouping people. Generalizing arguments isnt’ generalizing people. Trying to conflate these two things betrays your own agenda here.

    Second, lets get some context and perspective. I was attempting to do my best given my direct experience and what I read. Given you don’t know my experience, its a little difficult to have an effective conversation. Its not racist for me to group things. They share similar assumptions (often) and methods. They may be mischaracterizations or misunderstandings of various types. But I don’t think thats racist–thats making a decision based on incomplete knowledge–ALL our decisions are based on incomplete knowledge. (Well, the accussasions you made about me in terms of race aren’t based on my social location or an understanding of my story. You don’t have a ton of context for making those arguments.) Calling me racist for incomplete knowledge is……pretty naive in itself.

    Third, people have to make assumptions about the world around them. Categories are fundamental to logic. Read Aristotle. Think Boolean logic. I try my best to make assumptions based on evidence. Sometimes the level of that evidence isn’t perfect. Self-reflectivity after the fact.

    Fourth, your own participation in White culture, Western culture, and capitalism deserves interrogation. If you want to put me on the couch…..its time to “Look at the Man in the Mirror” You probably had the option to eat or buy other products….but I bet you have your own engagement with western culture (iPhone/Cells, Laptop, Starbucks, Clothing brands, Entertainment choices, etc…).

    Firth, these generalizations go both ways. The affs in this category tend to make generalizations about institutions, values, norms, and cultures in the West. That they get to make generalizations…..and I don’t……is the pinnacle of hypocrisy.

    Sixth, most of the criticisms of White/Western culture are from 200+ years ago. The Civil Rights era was an inflection point in history in the same way that 9/11 was an inflection point in history. Their argument probably doesn’t fully take that shift into account.
    (For instance, if they use Wilderson, he seems to be an extreme-radical–and his arguments if not racist, border on racism).

    From my perspective–the way these debates (race performance debates that I’ve seen) go down is tantamount to affirmative action or reparations. Notice, I said it was affirmative action of results. Its pretty much the same logic. “I’m more of a victim–vote for me over the other team.” This may be only one of two prongs in their vote strategy. But then, the neg. can PIK that out–theoretically. This is the same reason that a Northwestern, a minority team would probably never have won the ballot had they told their stories. The aff would likely have said their type of oppression is worse because its tied to a legacy of slavey or the nature of racism they’ve experienced. Or that their intersectional race oppression is uniquely key. The argument is vote for me because of my (race) identity. Vote for my evidence because of my (race) identity.

    And this becomes most an issue because they have alternatives. Perhaps hundreds that they haven’t even attempted….before they attempt to bring their version of Race Purity to debate.

    Second, this is a valid criticism but it doesn’t make me racist:
    Assuming white culture doesn’t exist because there are a lot of ethnic cultures in the US is probably the biggest racist move of all time, because you are literally saying that none of the oppression associated with whiteness happens

    I’m not sure where I said this….but I seem to recall this argument. Making an incomplete or substandard argument–isn’t racist. If thats true….you might want to look in the mirror.

    Eighth, any glorification of non-Western cultures which doesn’t acknowledge its responsibility for various evils… likewise subject to problems (genocide, etc…) of those individual cultures, etc…

    Ninth, Group assessments of blame are generally bad–thats the root cause of genocide and war in the first place.

    Two arguments are pretty much irrelevant:
    1. Hip-Hop. I’m just going to jettison this discussion. Dead Prez sold out on his second album. He had P. Diddy produce him as I recall. I remember reading it in the liner notes. Its also not half as good as the first.

    2. The D & G argument was in the context of arguing with Brian on the thread. So, no I don’t think those teams read D & G. You were the one that made this assumption…..which perhaps brings us full circle.

    1. To assert that centering race in our discussions is “affirmative action” is definitely racist. Voting for a race team isn’t just some reparation, it is acknowledging (for example) that black thought and experience is something that ought to be affirmed, and that normative engagement in the resolution sweeps that thought under the rug.

    2. “Project Teams” are not just asking for votes because the resolution oppresses them. Stop overgeneralizing every team. Oklahoma CL affirms “black gold” (instead of viewing blackness as something dirty, unworthy, etc. affirm it as beautiful.) You will probably never hear a high level race team say they should win just because they are oppressed, you just need to open up your ears.

    3. None of these teams have ever made the argument that logic is racist, or that reading left to right is racist. Once again Nathan overgeneralizes an argument, and would probably be the reason Emporia, West Georgia, Oklahoma, or Towson would wipe the floor with him in a debate.

    4. Assuming white culture doesn’t exist because there are a lot of ethnic cultures in the US is probably the biggest racist move of all time, because you are literally saying that none of the oppression associated with whiteness happens. He thinks that predictability is more important than personal instances of oppression, which proves that the only investment he has in debate is to win. That is a fucked up motivation.

    5. Who doesn’t use real hip-hop? Assuming non-trad teams get up and play Lil Wayne is also racist. West Georgia plays Jazz and reads poetry, Oklahoma spits their own stuff, as does Emporia. “If their a black team, they must play mainstream rap in debate rounds.” Also, none of these teams read DnG………….. Did you just try to think of a K author you don’t understand and pin it to their style?

    He just overgeneralizes teams to try to fit into his trivialized model of what non-traditional debate looks like. It’s not true, and it’s offensive.

  12. compassioninpolitics / Apr 13 2013 1:42 am

    The idea of roommates or a collective activity…..and opting out.

    Roommates that split rent. Implied consent. Implied promise. Expectations.
    Break the convenant.

    Ruins it for everyone.

  13. Nathan Ketsdever / Apr 18 2013 6:30 am

    Perspective on Responsibility-Individual versus collective

    Like solving homelessness by kicking middle class people out and putting homeless people in.

  14. Nathan Ketsdever / Apr 18 2013 6:30 am

    Distinctions about how home is always a dynamic experience.

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