Skip to content
April 29, 2013 / compassioninpolitics

Still more anti-race based affirmative ramblings and answers

While public sphere equality might be good, demanding politically-correct private attitudes by critiquing our discourse entrenches intolerance
Berkowtiz 8
– Law Professor, George Mason (Peter, On Toleration, The American Interest 3.4)

Then, in the second half of the 20th century, the civil rights movement, beginning with blacks but soon encompassing women, ethnic minorities, and recently gays and lesbians,made good on the American promise of equality under law to members of groups long denied it. However, this happy progress has raised a new and sharpened concern among many progressive thinkers over the extent to which toleration need transcend lifting improper legal liabilities to also include changes of heart. Most such thinkers take it as a matter of course that those once excluded or subordinated by law must not only be recognized as equals in public life, but be warmly embraced by fellow citizens and made welcome in the private sphere, as well. Toleration today must confront two additional challenges, one a perverse outgrowth of the civil rights movement and the cultural revolution of the sixties, the other intertwined with grave national security concerns. Political correctness—the attempt, usually by Left-liberal authorities of various sorts, to suppress critical expression and thinking, the better to inculcate their own moral and political judgments—has spread from the universities where it was incubated to our primary schools, mainstream media and popular culture. Recent revelations about the University of Delaware’s residence hall program, which administered “treatment” to reshape students’ attitudes about race, sex, morals and the environment through mandatory training sessions and the regulation of dorm life, is only the latest outrage to make headlines (“University of Delaware Accused of Indoctrinating Students”, Associated Press, October 31, 2007). The quest for a perfect equality, one that rights historic wrongs and settles old scores, has something of a liberal root. But the policing of hearts and minds in the name of greater sensitivity and inclusiveness is illiberal in intent and effect. Political correctness licenses—and seeks to enforce through stigma, ostracism and, where possible, rules, regulations and law—intolerance for dissenting opinion.

I don’t see why you would read more than this. The middle could be interesting…because it does speak to the issue of undermining critical thought. But since that argument will likely be made elsewhere in the debate….

Also, almost any article critical of political correctness will probably make this argument.

Also, I think this would be interesting to read this specifically on the topicality debate to answer their education claims. After all, the education impact turns is often where the aff gets an easy out…..because the neg. can’t seem to access an -ism or ethics argument beyond fairness.
C’mon. Berkowitz is making an argument that seems to be perhaps vaguely similar to what Aubtin points out:

“We should let kids say racist shit because they’ll be butthurt if we tell them it’s (messed up)”

However, in the context of debate on performance, you are advocating for institutions which have a mixed history RE: race.

Incidentally, they are advocating for a solution which has mixed results RE: Race too.

But back to the point…..if we say that advocating for institutions with a racist legacy is eliminated or stigmatized or down-voted….or all three….that gets rid of ALOT of institutions & possible debate.

1) education
2) justice system
3) health care
4) clean food
5) clean environment

I challenge you to find 1 institution which doesn’t have a legacy that has race & racism tied to it. Surely highways must be racist….since we used transportation to ship the slaves here. Its a failure to understand tools as tools–or to understand the possibilities of the future to re-configure a new path. Geneological concerns like the affirmative are backward looking. In order to have new configurations of power we also need to be forward looking and inventive…..we like the suggestion of D & G sometimes need to ride the strata in creative and inventive and yes….disruptive ways.

There would be no social or institutional ties that bind. And I’m not so sure you would get net less racism or injustice. Without institutions to provide 1) a fair ground 2) procedural protections against other forms of institutional control, you get. In otherwords, the anti-racists inevitably have to use racists institutions to achieve their ends. You’re a racist either way. I think you’re less of a racist if you have institutions….because it allows questions of justice to transcend 1 to 1 conflicts….so you get a 3rd perspective. That objectivity & institutional mechanism to carry it out is uniquely valuable if we want to avoid vigilante justice…..created by hate groups. A historical and empirical problem that government institutions and laws actually significantly curbed. And less people ended up hanging from trees. Last time I checked that outweighed a single debate vote in terms of its racist implications.



Leave a Comment
  1. Nathan Ketsdever / Apr 29 2013 7:46 pm

    * Part of this is responsive. Part of this–is probably a bit off, as their aff isn’t geneological. But, the logical conclusion of their aff is two fold 1) provide advancement for minorities in the absence of reason & meritocracy for doing so, even when doing so deprives others of an opportunity to speak and win 2) overturn and reverse institutional power structures which are racist.

  2. Nathan Ketsdever / Apr 29 2013 9:30 pm

    The point its making is dialog is good. Rational argument is good.

    The jump to punish, stigmatize, and witch-hunting is bad.

    I would say this is uniquely so in the case of the institutions we are talking about. They are pretty saying that everyone in debate & government is racist. We’re all part of the system.

    Not to mention those types of cul de sac logic results in:
    1. lack of alternatives
    2. guilt piled on guilt piled on guilt

  3. compassion in politics / May 1 2013 7:29 pm

    I answer this in #5 and #11 above.

    Its depriving EVERYONE of the tools which have a racist past, but can be used in an anti-racist way now.

    Debate is a tool. Its a sport.

    1) The idea that minorities can’t compete is empirically false.
    2) The idea that debate should be overturned by any means necessary is empirically false. That throws the baby out with the bath water.

    Debate is in the process of becoming….it hasn’t arrived yet. The idea that it says “no blacks allowed” on the door either overtly or covertly… a matter of the conscience of individual judges…..not the community.

    If you can mischaracterize the argument as the above, its certainly fair to say “Semi-meritocracy versus vote for me because I’m a minority or I’m a victim.”

  4. compassioninpolitics / Jun 10 2013 5:05 pm

    Agreed to rules in a game are not slavery. Guidelines are not slavery. Process is for shared purpose and shared communication. Not one-sided communication. The resolutional switch-side debate serves a meaningful purpose.

    Frankly, I think slaves might laugh in your face for equating their plights to the fair-minded procedures in any institution to slavery. Basketball rules aren’t unrelenting whips, chains, and slavery. Period. Hyperbolic rhetoric doesn’t move us closer to justice it moves us closed to spin and
    Fox News. (that turns their argument……because…….)

    Also, its about class. Its a much better filter. Also its more directly connected to the ideas of hierarchy versus justice that you are speaking to.

    I’m curious how you could make an integrated argument on race & class/capitalism.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: