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December 9, 2013 / compassioninpolitics

Installment 4 of Answering the Wilderson Afro-pessimism Critique

-Fundamentally excludes Black Bodies

A. Empirically false, blacks vote. blacks use free speech. blacks are voted into office. blacks run non-profits. All these are empirical and can’t be denied–there are voting records and statistics period. That is the wedge of hope–that is the empirical proof to the arc of justice and history.

B. There are exclusions on the margins, but those can be solved through other means. End the exclusions. Vote aff.

Community segregation. There is zero evidence that the alternative solves this. I’m not sure how to quantify that–thats like saying you don’t eat Sushi….you’re racist…..or you don’t watch Indian movies…you’re racist. Admittedly, its a little different–but some of those issues are deeper or more complex than race. The idea that every neighborhood should be the exact number of people in the population….only reverses the problem.
What neighborhoods would meet your standard.
Lets look at Buckhead Atlanta: is that good or bad?
As an aside…..apparently Hawaiians are racist against Buckhead…..(perhaps)… least by your seeming definition.

Civil Society:
-Fundamentally excludes Black Bodies
-is built on the backs of slaves
-Perpetuates a culture of racism and violence

How does a society without a civil society even function–its the glue & its the gateway to understanding and empathy. That means your infinitely more likely to
But…thats at the margins.
And its better to have the chance at civil society–than no civil society at all.

Schools are racist…..lets ban schools….that sounds great. Thats the logic you are using.

The problem is that you are talking about issues on the margin. Thats like saying….I don’t like my coffee….its not sweet enough…I’m going to throw it out…..instead of adding sugar, honey, or your sweetener de jure.
And institutional change can solve all those problems–and if your argument is it can’t–throwing off the system isn’t going to change those mindsets.

Metaphor and empirical evidence of hope and change: Barack obama, Cory Booker (former mayor in New Jersey), and Nelson Mandela. Those all prove the institution can work.

My argument unfortunately doesn’t have stats–its just flat out true (wink, wink, nod, nod). Also much of its based on historical evidence of change.

All your arguments fundamentally make the same argument (admittedly the ones with data and/or citation might be marginally better).

We aren’t france or europe….which has imploded based on its differences at times & fear/hate of immigrants. Also, immigrants vote with their feet.



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  1. compassioninpolitics / Dec 9 2013 6:49 pm

    1. This is meaningless puffery & buzzwords without a explanation or warrant
    2. Your alt doesn’t solve–nothing about the alt. requires an ontological shift or an ontological shift on the part of the minority or majority or with regard to race.
    3. If things are getting better and ontology not shifting…that suggests the alt can’t solve either.

    A few names =/= empirical evidence. I mean, yeah, they’re in office, but show us the statistics on the percentage of black people who hold office to those that live in the country.

    Empirical examples. Its like for the states counter plan, I can read Hawaii has done the plan or Mass has done the plan.

    In this case, the burden of proof for the K team is to prove the system is 100% screwed. If I prove that there are counter-examples and counter-movements that proves that statement false. I just have to point to fissures in the system. And like a hole in a dam….its enough to prove the system isn’t airtight…..that there is hope.

    Its like if you said there was no system to cure alcoholism and I pointed to a half dozen that were working, re-asserting those original premises isn’t going to get you very far–in fact its functionally a concession in all likelihood.
    Further, those prove your analysis of the situation is based on over-generalization, essentialism, and generally ungrounded argument.

    Also, I’m leveraging those wins as both an empirical win in the SQ–as well as using them as an alternative of my own to solve racism & injustice over the long run. I would suggest those can solve better than a method without a track record, in fact a negative track record. For instance, the LA Riots just made the situation economically worse for African americans. Violent alternatives are empirically counter-productive for African Americans.

    Thats why I don’t need stats on how many there are–I just need actual examples which prove the viability and credibility of alternatives. That gives me an actual statistical basis–you have ZERO statistical or historical basis for your alternatives–if an uprising is possible, if it can be coordinated, if it can be effective, how you can communicate in that alternative world when the civil society is the actual platform for communication (and debate).

    You say:

    Also, do you honestly believe that Obama and Mandela are proof that the system can work? Really? Obama, the only president in recent times to be questioned about his birth place, and he just happens to be black. And the media has at times just happened to say marginalizing things or viewed his candidacy through a racial lens. Riiiiight.

    And Mandela, the man who was THROWN IN JAIL for over 20 years trying to improve the system you seem to support. Oh yes, that’s quite an efficient means to create change. No, it’s okay black people, our societal institutions can work equally for you, promise! You just have to spend 20 years of your life imprisoned because of it. On top of centuries of slavery and societal oppression.

    You raise interesting points….but they aren’t quite relevant here. I never said the system or the world is perfect–thats not my obligation. Just that there was opportunity and hope for change–and that significant forward progress has been made. You don’t burn down the building half-way through the building process simply because you don’t have livable condos half way through the process. You shouldn’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.

    Obama and Mandela both caused fundamental cultural shifts–and even global shifts which your ignore in your refutation–that massively outweighs the downside.

    And more examples:
    Another example is Colin Powell. Another is Condi Rice. Another is the African aids project created by USAID during the early to mid 2000s which was pushed by Bono.
    The author himself, given his academic prowess & publication–suggests. The mere ability to publish suggest he’s taking part in the civil society.

    Also, killing the civil society kills debate. Thats bad–because switch side is awesome and increases empathy, but also because other forms of debate provide other good education too.

    I don’t ignore the societal oppression of a group of people

    Please don’t mischaracterize what I’m doing–I’m not ignoring it. Just pointing out that you are ignoring the brightspots–and I would suggest either ignoring the bright spots or overlooking them results in paralysis, because we can’t see the light–we literally can amplify or improve the good–because we’re asserting it doesn’t exist.

    For instance, if you want to get better grades or get better at sports–its important to pay attention to your strengths and learn from others strengths. If you have a methodology which ignores those–via afro-pessimism–you’re never going to get past first base–much less get there in the first place.

    Is it not extremely obvious that systems of covert oppression present themselves in a way that make them seem like the only option? Like it’s completely natural?

    I’m not sure how thats relevant here. I’m not saying this is the only system thats possible or available–I never made that argument–I’m open to other systems that are more socially just as long as you don’t burn the system down. (this isn’t a realism is inevitable debate). And I’ve already explained how the K makes this move with its determinism, over generalizations, and just papering over empirical success and hope.

  2. compassioninpolitics / Dec 10 2013 7:51 pm

    No race or ethnicity entirely escapes violence or gratuitous violence–whites included. Every country where there is gratuitous violence against the minority or majority has already tested your alternative (thats pretty much every country). It empirically fails. Period. History is on our side in terms of the alternative debate.

    Otherwise, I don’t really know what your alternative does–its kinda vague–its kinda shifty. It doesn’t seem to have a mechanism to solve, a warrant for why it works, or a metric system or methodology to determine if it actually works ever. Its flat out failing on a whole bunch of levels before it ever gets off the ground.

    Reflective question (it kinda links to both sides): When has violence against 2nd parties ever resulted in in less violence toward 3rd parties?

    I think you are taking a different frame for what constitutes “inescabability.” It wasn’t he literally had no choice–but rather the kairos of the moment was such that it was his time–doing what he did lead inextricably to a series of reform.

    This guy works at Stanford and writes for big name newspapers–I’m pretty sure he understands the history on the issue. But, rhetorically its possible another word would have worked better.

    And I don’t think that that inescabability or non-escabability with respect to one of those examples quite.

  3. compassioninpolitics / Dec 10 2013 9:50 pm

    Not true. Anti-blackness is much worse. Refer to above analysis on oscillating between the poles of genocide and enslavement.

    This is in response to a historical alternative solvency argument–that empirically proved you have NO solvency based on the wealth of history.

    This argument is handled on the rest of the solvency debate (aka cross apply the multiple levels of solvency turn).

    Alt destroys civil society. Alt expands the realm of gratuitous violence to the non-black.

    By definition you cause more harm than you could ever solve. This argument is like give slavery & the barrel of a gun to the other 70% of the population. You can only solve for harms for 30%.
    Not to mention–
    a) thats guaranteed harm versus probabalistic or no solvency (see above)
    b] in the short-run which coopts and turns back the alternative. Racial violence isn’t a magical potion for rational harmony–its the exact opposite.


    2nd and/or 3rd party violence:
    You continue to make the mistake of marking black on civil society violence as pathological and civil society on black violence as banal. This only links to you. The analysis is above. Judge would think I’m winning

    Thats meaningless–or a claim without a warrant–or it needs to cross apply something more specific above. Your alt intentionally fiats violence on third parties versus the definition of unconscious or unintentional racism–not to mention the risk comparisons.

    Nat turner alt.

    First, my empirical examples are decent solvency.
    Second, the historical debate was decided at the top of the debate–where you failed to answer it. This is the squo in many societies–gratuitous violence is inevitable in the SQ everywhere–its just a question of how much–but the historical record proves this never ever ever works. I’m winning the historical alternative debate flat out.

    You failed to answer the warrant of the argument–the Zimmerman trial doesn’t prove that racism is getting worse. It proves that the media has to massively repeat one killing–as an attempt to demonstrate racism. Zimmerman just proves its at the margin.

    While I respect your determination and enjoy the exchanges at times–I don’t quite see your “meta” strategy on winning the debate. Like you said–you got zip taco on the alternative.

    Any turd can get a job at a university and a job writing for a paper. I see no reason why that means hes familiar with ideas of natal alienation or ontological death. And he probably was educated in the same way all of you were by the common core fucking standards that teach the civil rights movement like it was an “inescapable” event that redeemed the US from its history of racist violence.

    The brain washing refrain is getting a little old. (All your base belong to us).

    You haven’t made any args about natal alienation.

    Your brain washing arguments are bad–first, they aren’t true–otherwise the alt and your author wouldn’t be a possibility. Plus, the determinism and responsibility debates. Burning schools to the ground metaphorically or actually doesn’t solve. Debate is a parasite on the education system–although not in a bad way.

    Dude–your author works for the state. His literature and advocacy is a DA to killing the state. Killing the state kills intellectual revolutionaries–they die on the vine without funding. Not to mention he’s a walking performative contradiction. He’s like the Tea Partier who works for the government and forgets that Ted Cruz is talking about cutting his job when he talks about cutting goverment spending. He’s a government employee–tax dollars pay his salary.

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