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April 17, 2013 / compassioninpolitics

Various thoughts about Answering the Wilderson Race Argument in Debate

There seems to be plenty on the thread, but I was going to suggest:

1. Various authors in Whiteness studies (although they will likely side with Wilderson. I imagine by now there are criticisms of wilderson

2. Criticisms of identity politics ? (although I think a lot of this is in the 2 files)

3. Criticisms of “race” (aka critical race theory). Both internal and external

4. Criticisms of Afrocentrism. Most of these will probably reference Asante. I’m not really sure how philosophically Asante & Wilderson might differ.

5. And I think that criticisms of Nat-X style identity politics are also relevant. But I’m not sure how responsive or what the link is unless you are advocating a middle ground position

Aren’t their criticisms of Wilderson from a diversity or tolerance perspective??

You can read the full thread on Cross x Debate Forums here.

Anyone know what the Black optimism argument is based on? Is it based on the two files referenced above (ADI & one of the camp files). Black optimism being a critique of Black pessimism.

I also wonder if there is some middle ground between these two positions (optimism & pessimism)….because I really think thats where the best defensible ground is–at least from a “practical standpoint”. Who not just run the perm as your alternative??? Right?



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  1. Nathan Ketsdever / Apr 19 2013 7:13 am

    In terms of the performative version, I think this answers it:

    This may be contradictory with some of the afrocentrism bad (if the impact is multi-culturalism). My guess is those cards will say something like tolerance.

    Relativism just means the culture or agents in power get power. It provides no protection to the weakest or real substantive freedom. Sexism, racism is allowed.

  2. Nathan Ketsdever / Apr 19 2013 7:16 am

    Western ethics is the precondition for debate and communication:

    Similar reasoning shows that other values must be more or less universal. Imagine what itwould be like for a society to place no value at all on truth telling. When one person spoke toanother, there would be no presumption at all that he was telling the truth-for he could just aseasily be speaking falsely. Within that society, there would be no reason to pay attention to whatanyone says. (I ask you what time it is, and you say “four o’clock.” But there is no presumptionthat you are speaking truly; you could just as easily have said the first thing that came into yourhead. So I have no reason to pay attention to your answer-in fact, there was no point in my askingyou in the first place!) Communication would then be extremely difficult, if not impossible. Andbecause complex societies cannot exist without regular communication among their members,society would become impossible. It follows that in any complex society there must be apresumption in favor of truthfulness. There may of course be exceptions to this rule: there may besituations in which it is thought to be permissible to lie. Nevertheless, these will be exceptions to arule that is in force in the society

    Not sure what this philosopher concludes yet.

  3. Nathan Ketsdever / Apr 19 2013 7:19 am

    I think this hopefully will open up based on click (master list of articles–I think it may only have the above article from Rachels):

    Should check this out:

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