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September 4, 2013 / compassioninpolitics

Answering Wilderson’s Afro-pessimism Critique in Policy Debate

As a quick summary:
1) Hyper-Pessimism bad
2) Afro-pessimism =’s Essentialism/Stereotyping/Hyperbole (its an overgeneralization which perpetuates racism & stereotypes)
3) Afro pessimism overdetermines reality–leaves no room for choice or change or progress.
4) History proves its wrong. The alternative turns back the clock on reform (aka the Civil Rights movement).
5) Radical identity politics bad. (Isolationism doesn’t work. Accomodationist & integrationist policies work.)
6) Their critique of civil society coopts or dooms their alternative solvency. Try or die for us. (borrowed from Claire’s lecture)

Understanding this will help you understand pretty much any identity politics argument. Or at least to be able to map or anticipate a certain part of that debate. (Note: most identity politics arguments aren’t quite this seemingly deterministic or pessimistic in nature)

You can check out these notes from Claire McKiney on answering Afro-pessimism here. There is also a 2 page thread on which helps provide answers to the argument here. Moveover, I wrote a number of answers to the Home version of this argument following the finals of the NDT.


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