Author Topic: Diversity in Debate Revisited  (Read 31113 times)

rwevans

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Diversity in Debate Revisited
« on: April 07, 2011, 11:05:38 AM »
Now that the season is over I thought I would post something related to diversity in debate.  I attended this year’s CEDA nationals and I must say that there was a huge difference in the makeup of the of the community at that tournament.  There were definitely way more diverse faces in 2011 than there were in 2000 when I attended my first CEDA. 

I think that is pretty awesome.  That being said, the community definitely seems segregated, mostly by style of debate, but that segregation by style of debate has resulted in racial segregation as well.  Debaters of color who have chosen non-traditional styles of debate are largely ghettoized in a corner and largely marginalized by the community.  Even if it’s not personal, it’s problematic.  Thus, despite all of the advances in diversity in debate, I still don’t think it’s a good place for minorities.

Diversity ought to be a primary concern for the community.  Even the SCOTUS recognizes the compelling state interest in promoting diversity in academia.  This is even more important for debate, which is the foundation of democracy and marketplace of ideas.  Some awesome scholars and scholarship is produced in debate, but it would be greatly improved if it were the product of vigorous debate with diverse populations where there is equal footing.  A debate community that is not diverse is hardly having a debate.

Diversity, then, must be a means and not an end.  Diversity is the means by which the community produces well rounded and well tested scholars and scholarship.  This means that just having people of color in the community without facilitating their meaningful participation is a failure.  I think that is where we are in the community now.  So called ”stylistic minorities” are tolerated and not embraced, except for when they become less and less of a stylistic minority.

I think style of debate, including the role of the resolution, needs to be discussed more here and less in debates.  It seems that how we should debate has been left to debaters to decide in framework debates.  But, no one realizes that those are real debates that mean something outside of who wins or loses.  Just because traditional debaters can convince traditional judges that there are benefits to traditional debate  does not mean that the thing has been decided.

I am of the opinion that almost all of debate should be rethought.  You cannot incorporate diverse people into a once non-diverse activity and expect it to stay the same!  Everything about current debate was made by elite white men for elite white men.  If there were a debate  community comprised mainly of racial minorities do you think we would have the same debate community?  Nope, it would be vastly different.  While, some of you would say it would be “ghetto,” I say it would be different.  I do not think that current debate is inevitable, it's a product of it's people.  We made it, we can change it.

So much of debate is so entrenched that very little is up for debate.  This is a lesson you learn as a debater.  There is tons of precedent within the community that dectates how debates are decided.  This is how as a 2N or 2A you know whether and what you are wining:  because you know how the debate community decides these things.  Which means that all of “traditional debate” is an artifact of it’s non-diverse days.

Further, I will posit that it is indeed how debates are decided that produces such racial polarization.  I have always been of the opinion that debate is racist because the people itself are racist.  It’s not speed, not the USFG, not the flow.  It’s the people, more specifically the judges who have removed themselves from responsibility in how they decide debates.  As a debater, it’s was always the judges that made me feel the least comfortable.  The other team can say what they will and I will be there to call them out, but how the judge decides the debate in an allegedly “objective” way is where the problems begin for me.  I would win racism outweighs nuclear war in every debate that’s judged by Tiffany Dillard Knox and I would lose that debate 10 out of 10 times if (insert generic judge x here) were judging.  Who’s right in that?  The debate community would have you believe it’s because TDK is a bad judge.  I would have you believe that Generic Judge X is just voting as a white male would and telling me that I lost the argument. 

What is odd is that judges are largely left out of the discussion in most debates.  It’s as if the judge is just interpreting what happened as opposed to an active participant in the debate.  Focusing on arguments as opposed to people is at the core of this.  Judges aren’t decided whether Heg is good or bad, but instead are voting for the team they found most persuasive.  What is persuasive is largely dictated by who you are.  In other words, who is deciding these debates and how?  Judges must be brought in the debate.  Hence,  I have a modest proposal for deciding the debates that may improve diversity.

Resolved:  The judge/ballot should be the focus of the debate and not the plan.

Under the current traditional model of debate, the negative must prove that the plan/aff is a bad idea.  Some may call this parametric debate.  But ultimately, the question is whether the aff is a good idea.

I think there should be equal access to the ballot and recognition that there is always forced choice between the affirmative and negative and that ultimately the judge votes for teams and not arguments.  Therefore, the question becomes what is the most productive way to cast my ballot.   What are the advantages to voting aff vs the advantages of voting negative, which means both teams have to do DO something that is net beneficial.

Reasons to prefer:

1.   Better limit on the debate.  It would allow smaller teams to focus on a negative strategy that is most persuasive as opposed to chasing down the Aff.  In today’s  debate community where teams apparently may or may not have to be topical the research burden on the negative is ridiculous.  I don’t hear much of a discussion of this any longer, but negative research burden used to be important.  I mean, you know have to carry so much evidence it has to be on a computer.  Judges also demand cards for everything so it’s out of hand.  Debaters are like student athletes and let’s not forget the student part.  I think this is particularly important for students of color who may not be as prepared for college as their counterparts.

2.   Better clash.  In the squo, the Aff is encouraged to say as little as possible so as not to generate links for the negative.  This allows that “we could do that” syndrome.  Or, “we aren’t anything so we can be everything, including your K.”  Indeed, I have seen 2 minute affs with 6 mins of preempts.  Ridic!  Permutations on the K have become out of control and they stem from the idea that the job of the negative is to prove the aff a bad idea.  Maybe that shouldn’t be the role of the negative.  Especially, if the Aff doesn’t have to be topical.

3.   Increases the value of performance.  I can read a poem and then make arguments about the value of voting for that poem and the aff can’t just snatch it and add it the 1AC.   I attended the Michigan debate camp several times and Roger Solt would always give the K lecture in which he would say the Kritik is a verb and not a noun, which means you have to DO IT in order for it to be done.  Judge focus means that only one performance can be voted for AND every debate is a performance.

4.   Bodies matter.  Who says what and when MUST BE UP FOR DEBATE.  Voting for teams, people and performances as opposed to ideas, independently of how they were presented opens the debate up.  For example, in last year’s pro debate tournament me and Deven Cooper had the privilege of debating Mike Hester & Jon Sharp.  We read our quare aff and they argued community backlash.  But, as far as I am concerned they performed the community backlash in the debate.  Two white men, one from Kentucky and the other from Georgia arguing to 2 (non black or gay judges) that there will be violence if those judges vote for the black queers is problematic?  What does it mean when the judge casts his ballot for that argument?  There is no account for the role of the judge and the autonomy that judge has in choosing what to affirm.  If we just evaluate that debate in terms of whether our plan/performance can produce the advantage identified (change debate) the negative may very well win.  Just because they win the argument doesn’t mean they win the ballot because the material harms to voting for them outweigh the benefits. 

5.   Teams should ONLY be accountable for what they do and MUST be accountable for what they do.  For example, fullerton reads their K of whiteness against Towson.  Because Fullerton spoke first and positioned themselves against whiteness now the negative has to either defend whiteness or find another way of talking about it.  But, what does the Aff’s K of whiteness have to do with the negative, especially if they themselves are not white.  Why should the negative have to defend the behavior of others?  Further, what does the Aff’s indictment of USFG policy have to do with me?  Perhaps each team should discuss the benefit of what they do.

6.   Normativity.  Current debate takes place as if we are describing a world that we ourselves are not a part of.  This is the most problematic of it all.  We are all a part of the field of pain a death and our current style of debate prevents us from recognizing that.  For instance, I judged a debate in elims of CEDA nationals in which East LA was negative against Whitman and they argued that black people were slaves and went on and on about the plight of the black body.  I didn’t find it persuasive and I found it quite disturbing to listen to.  Why would I enjoy being called a slave by two non-black bodies and told how I must decide the debate.  I just told them that I wasn’t voting for it.  I then had a long discussion with their coach about the truthiness of the argument, which I found to be irrelevant.  To me it mattered more how the debaters presented the argument (Liberty slayed me with the argument earlier) and that he and they failed to realize that I was the only black body in the room and that their words had an actual effect on me.  In other words, their debate argument was playing out in real life.  I am the black body and I agree that it’s pretty tough, but hearing East LA call me a slave didn’t make me any happier that day.  Neither did Whitman’s casual “global warming outweighs slavery” argument, but I digress.  We are talking about people people!  We need to debate the consequences of voting one way or another and we need to openly discuss and debate who finds what persuasive.

I just wish debate could be more fun for certain of us.  This requires that we humanize debate.  I think this is a start.

Other notes:
1.   This is kind of like plan-plan, but it’s performance-performace.
2.   This doesn’t alter the debate between two traditional debate teams, but slightly levels the playing field btwn traditional and non-traditional debates.  The squo heavily favors traditional teams.
3.   There are undoubtedly advantages to plan focus debate, but it doesn’t do anything to humanize debate.
4.   I argue that Judges are racist not because they hate people of color, but because they are largely indifferent to the racially disparate impacts of current debate practices.  Further, we have to stop talking about “whiteness” and start talking about white people (humanize the debate).  Judges are complicit and must realize that casting their ballot one way or another has material consequences, so they must be reminded when they are white.  There must be individual responsibility as opposed to institutional responsibility arguing that debate is racist means that no one in particular is responsible when everyone in particular is responsible.
5.   Judge focus solves the USFG every year problem.

I hope this was clear and is productive.  I didn’t do much editing or revising because the email itself is way longer than I care to sit and type.  I care deeply about debate and even more so about diversity in debate and I hope this discussion happens in some meaningful way without timers and blocks and cards.  I love debate, but hate listening to debaters debate and judges judge.  It makes my heart bleed.

Paul Elliott Johnson

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Re: Diversity in Debate Revisited
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2011, 11:36:34 PM »
Rashad,

what do think of abolishing MPJ as one way of allaying some of your concerns? It seems like to some extent debate segregation is accelerated by the ability to create various pockets of "expert" judges, and this produces a set of judges so unfamiliar with a certain style of debate that they are more hostile/unreceptive to the arguments produced?

PJ

Hester

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Re: Diversity in Debate Revisited
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2011, 11:41:47 AM »
i like this idea as a way to develop 'judge adaptation' skills debaters don't need as much when MPJ gives them who they want all the time. i've thought a return to the days when certain prelims did not use prefs (tournament invites use to indicate "prefs will go into effect Rd ____" ) would be a way to access the benefits of both MPJ and random (with constraints always in effect, of course). segregation retards development of debaters making arguments as much as it limits the ability of judges to become familiar with those args. of course, your idea assumes judges keep an open mind, and don't simply refuse to vote for certain arguments.

in general, i think we should encourage variation and experimentation at tournaments.


Rashad,

what do think of abolishing MPJ as one way of allaying some of your concerns? It seems like to some extent debate segregation is accelerated by the ability to create various pockets of "expert" judges, and this produces a set of judges so unfamiliar with a certain style of debate that they are more hostile/unreceptive to the arguments produced?

PJ

Ryan Galloway

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Re: Diversity in Debate Revisited
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2011, 12:01:21 PM »
Panetta and I have floated the idea of different major tournaments having different brands of MPJ, similar to the way tennis and golf have different "surfaces" that the players adapt to.

As a hypothetical, one could use ordinals at GSU.  Then, Kentucky could use categories.  Then, USC could use random with 25% strikes.  Then, Fullerton could use 1-6 categories.  Other tournaments could intersperse their ideas in between.

If you want to be the best, you need to win on grass, clay, and a hard court.  If you want to be the best, you've got to be able to win on the different playing fields throughout the year.  Can you convince somebody who you don't often see to vote for you?  It seems to be an analogue to the different surfaces.

I do not expect to see this idea adopted, as tournaments that have experimented too much with judge preference systems have seen support driven down.  At the same time, I am sympathetic to the argument made by Hester and Johnson that we are creating enclaves of deliberation where people just don't talk to each other.  My anecdotal experience is that this is limiting the ability for healthy dialogue and respect between folks with slightly different approaches to the activity.

Those that charge the net should occasionally be forced to play on a surface that rewards baseline play and spin control.  Those that bomb the ball 350 off the tee should be forced to occasionally play on a cramped shorter course that rewards an iron up the middle.

The best should be able to do it all.  Want to win the Copeland?  Be forced to slow down and adapt from time to time.  Be forced to find a way to beat the run and gun style in front of a judge that mildly prefers it. 

Mostly a thought experiment, but a fun one to think about.

RG

rwevans

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Re: Diversity in Debate Revisited
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2011, 12:31:33 PM »
No it doesn’t, the community uses MPJ as a redline to keep the community segregated, but you can remove MPJ and the community would still be hostile to alternative styles of debate.  The hostility is not because of ignorance.  It’s intentional.  The community must change.

Separately, I agree that MPJ is problematic for several reasons.  First, Judges are auditioning for teams when it should be the other way around.  Judges are concerned that how they vote will negatively impact who they judge.  This encourages polarization.  All you have to do is read judging philosophies and you will see judges making it clear where they stand and who they want to judge.  Pretty much locks people in and excuses poor decision making (not to be confused with poor decisions).  Everyone is catering to their base and it’s more polarizing than ever. 

Second, stylistic minorities will always be disadvantaged in a system where the majority can usually handicap the debate in their favor with the help of an almost always favorable judging pool (part of which they concretize through the MPJ see above).  This is one the ways is which lack of diversity limits the potential of debate. 

Third, MPJ does create the idea that judges must be experts, but sadly, more than anything judges are expected to be experts at debate, which is only one of the many ways that debates are distorted.  The only thing that matters is this world is the debate argument and many of these debate arguments have already been decided and its just a matter of how they align themselves up on the flow this time.  People do not matter in this world, especially when they do not have a card to speak for themselves because debate judges judge debate evidence and debate judges know the best debate evidence because they cut the best debate evidence. 

MPJ does nothing to promote diversity and inclusion.

joe

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Re: Diversity in Debate Revisited
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2011, 06:21:28 PM »
Three Unrelated Ideas:

1. Put me down for less performance in debate...99% of the time they are super vacuous.  

2. It's pretty depressing to orient the debate towards what can be done with the ballot, because the answer will always be 'not much".  I prefer the escapism of fiat/imagining stuff outside of our agency to the fetishization of my own experience.

3. People should feel free to run MPJ-free tournaments...and watch their numbers crash.




« Last Edit: April 11, 2011, 06:29:41 PM by joe »

rwevans

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Re: Diversity in Debate Revisited
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2011, 07:21:03 PM »
Joe,

This was posted as a discussion of diversity in debate.  Care to discuss your 3 "unrelated ideas" in the context of diversity in debate?

I'll discuss them anyways:

1. Put me down for less performance in debate...99% of the time they are super vacuous.  

First, all debates are performances.  I use the term not in the dance/rap/drama sense, but in the sense that what is relevant in a speech is not just the content, but the presentation.  Therefore, we can and should evaluate the value of the full act, including who is speaking, what they are speaking (the relationship between the two) and so on.  

Second, perhaps part of the reason these debates are "super vacuous" is because it's been hard for them to fully develop because the majority of those debates are spent with one team fighting to simply be heard and teachers, such as yourself, aren't helping the students develop these arguments.

Third, current debate is vacuous.  It's predictable, sterile and lacks diversity.  The resolutions change and the arguments stay the same.  Next year's copeland winner will have a heg/competitivenesss advantage on the aff- I bet you a dollar.  The 2NR will go for politics or framework in the final round of (insert tournament)- I bet you two dollars.

Debaters don't even make eye contact anymore.  They stand and read blocks from a computer.  Instead of talking to judges, they talk outloud and expect judges to grab their arguments and put it on paper.  Debaters are so lazy they can't take the time to say alternative, opting for "alt" instead.  It's not interesting, it's not challenging and it's not the end all be all.

2. It's pretty depressing to orient the debate towards what can be done with the ballot, because the answer will always be 'not much".  I prefer the escapism of fiat/imagining stuff outside of our agency to the fetishization of my own experience.

First, the ballot has an impact, especially when it is casts for or against certain arguments.  This is true whether you choose to recognize it or not.  Your ignorance to that fact is exactly the problem.  Debates are about people and some of those people are involved in these debates.  How you vote matters and you should be more careful with your ballot.

Second, I am glad that you enjoy the escapism of fiat.  What a luxury for you.  But does that have to be the only way to debate?  Why do you think your way is the best way?  Why do you think your way has to be the only way?

Third, you are fetishizing your own experience whether you admit it or not.  When you make decisions in debate it's largely based on your own experiences YET YOU GIVE THE ILLUSION THAT IT'S COMMON KNOWLEDGE.  No, your post is a fetishization of your own experience and so to are your debate decisions.

Fourth, knowledge from lived experience is relevant.  Your dismissal of it only highlights some of the sexism and racism underlying the commitment to debate as we know it.

Last, fiat accomplishes nothing.  It's intellectual masturbation, but the porn stays the same.  Eventually, people stop cumming.

3. People should feel free to run MPJ-free tournaments...and watch their numbers crash.

Well everyone should do it and watch it not.  These tactics have been tried before:  
http://abcnews.go.com/Archives/video/jan-14-1963-gov-wallace-segregation-12539652

Maybe the USFG should send in the troops.


 
« Last Edit: April 11, 2011, 07:27:25 PM by rwevans »

joe

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Re: Diversity in Debate Revisited
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2011, 08:14:34 PM »
Joe,

This was posted as a discussion of diversity in debate.  Care to discuss your 3 "unrelated ideas" in the context of diversity in debate?

I'll discuss them anyways:

1. Put me down for less performance in debate...99% of the time they are super vacuous.  

First, all debates are performances.  I use the term not in the dance/rap/drama sense, but in the sense that what is relevant in a speech is not just the content, but the presentation.  Therefore, we can and should evaluate the value of the full act, including who is speaking, what they are speaking (the relationship between the two) and so on.  

Second, perhaps part of the reason these debates are "super vacuous" is because it's been hard for them to fully develop because the majority of those debates are spent with one team fighting to simply be heard and teachers, such as yourself, aren't helping the students develop these arguments.

Third, current debate is vacuous.  It's predictable, sterile and lacks diversity.  The resolutions change and the arguments stay the same.  Next year's copeland winner will have a heg/competitivenesss advantage on the aff- I bet you a dollar.  The 2NR will go for politics or framework in the final round of (insert tournament)- I bet you two dollars.

Debaters don't even make eye contact anymore.  They stand and read blocks from a computer.  Instead of talking to judges, they talk outloud and expect judges to grab their arguments and put it on paper.  Debaters are so lazy they can't take the time to say alternative, opting for "alt" instead.  It's not interesting, it's not challenging and it's not the end all be all.

2. It's pretty depressing to orient the debate towards what can be done with the ballot, because the answer will always be 'not much".  I prefer the escapism of fiat/imagining stuff outside of our agency to the fetishization of my own experience.

First, the ballot has an impact, especially when it is casts for or against certain arguments.  This is true whether you choose to recognize it or not.  Your ignorance to that fact is exactly the problem.  Debates are about people and some of those people are involved in these debates.  How you vote matters and you should be more careful with your ballot.

Second, I am glad that you enjoy the escapism of fiat.  What a luxury for you.  But does that have to be the only way to debate?  Why do you think your way is the best way?  Why do you think your way has to be the only way?

Third, you are fetishizing your own experience whether you admit it or not.  When you make decisions in debate it's largely based on your own experiences YET YOU GIVE THE ILLUSION THAT IT'S COMMON KNOWLEDGE.  No, your post is a fetishization of your own experience and so to are your debate decisions.

Fourth, knowledge from lived experience is relevant.  Your dismissal of it only highlights some of the sexism and racism underlying the commitment to debate as we know it.

Last, fiat accomplishes nothing.  It's intellectual masturbation, but the porn stays the same.  Eventually, people stop cumming.

3. People should feel free to run MPJ-free tournaments...and watch their numbers crash.

Well everyone should do it and watch it not.  These tactics have been tried before:  
http://abcnews.go.com/Archives/video/jan-14-1963-gov-wallace-segregation-12539652

Maybe the USFG should send in the troops.


 

I'm not into the line by line...I guess you'll win on your powertagged Governor Wallace turns. 

I'm not really interested in alternatives to debate that involve more poetry and bad attempts to turn the ballot into something "meaningful". I've seen plenty of these debates and don't really want anything to do with them.  sq>plan-plan>>>>>performance-performance.  Why does every attempt to include those who are at the margins of debate have to start with artsy nonsense and performance theory? I was with you through a lot of that first post, then you got to tinkering with the ballot and the stuff about dueling performances and I had to chime in and disagree.

Maybe these opinions make me a total asshole, a racist, and a bad educator.  I still will sleep okay tonight.



rwevans

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Re: Diversity in Debate Revisited
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2011, 08:25:36 PM »
And why should an admitted racist be allowed to represent a university and judge students at debate tournaments?

 

joe

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Re: Diversity in Debate Revisited
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2011, 08:41:37 PM »
And why should an admitted racist be allowed to represent a university and judge students at debate tournaments?

 


Below the belt.  I'd never insinuate that you shouldn't be allowed to represent a university and pursue your livelihood over a disagreement about debate.  Especially when what you are saying is such a gross misrepresentation of what I said.

Anyways, I'm out of this conversation.  You and I are both indebted to Hester and I don't want him to have to see his people fighting like this.

rwevans

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Re: Diversity in Debate Revisited
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2011, 08:56:31 PM »
That is my point.  This is not merely a disagreement over debate.  You also once completely went off on a black female judge in this community based in part on how you decided a debate and talked to her debaters.  With venom.  Don't you think that the attitudes you just displayed on this message board were reflected in that performance of yours at last year's CEDA?  You don't think that the attitude you just expressed on this message board gets reflected in the way you decide debates?  You don't think that debaters are harmed by your comments?  You don't think I was harmed by your previous comment?  It reminded me of how hostile the community is.  That there isn't a place for minorities in the activity.  That maybe I should stop engaging the community about this at all and just move on with my life.  That you are speaking for a currently very loud silent majority?  Words have an effect inside and outside of the debate argument.

Why should you be allowed to judge debates?

« Last Edit: April 11, 2011, 08:59:29 PM by rwevans »

koslow

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Re: Diversity in Debate Revisited
« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2011, 09:37:07 PM »
Mr. Evans, you shouldn't listen to rumors.

Koehle's certainly an asshole, but perhaps a more productive jumping-off point: http://youtu.be/b0Ti-gkJiXc
So how to hold people in the community accountable? I agree with just about every one of your initial points, but what does that mean for teams and judges? You say performance v. performance, but I doubt I was in a debate last year where neither side read a framework. Should the judges prefer performance/performance to an explicit framework argument by either team?

If someone engages in racist practices, they should get called out on and held accountable for it, but that's the current system. I don't see a better way to address it without adopting a paternalistic stance towards the debaters.

ChristopherThomas

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Re: Diversity in Debate Revisited
« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2011, 09:43:17 PM »
And why should an admitted racist be allowed to represent a university and judge students at debate tournaments?

Why should you be allowed to judge debates?



you have made a very important and necessary conversation about our community into a debate of ad homs and that is sad. This conversation comes up often. Seemingly, it never goes anywhere because it turns into the same us/them argument. Ask yourself now, what have you done to create a safe and open space for people to voice their opinions about the matter? Because as a once debater, now judge/coach, I do not feel welcome to post here without some retaliation or being told I shouldn't judge debates. I guess Green and Hicks were right, switch-side may cause more tolerance.

It is an open forum concerning an activity that prizes a diversity of argumentation. I believe you said...
"Diversity, then, must be a means and not an end.  Diversity is the means by which the community produces well rounded and well tested scholars and scholarship."

You also said...
"Diversity ought to be a primary concern for the community.  Even the SCOTUS recognizes the compelling state interest in promoting diversity in academia.  This is even more important for debate, which is the foundation of democracy and marketplace of ideas.  Some awesome scholars and scholarship is produced in debate, but it would be greatly improved if it were the product of vigorous debate with diverse populations where there is equal footing.  A debate community that is not diverse is hardly having a debate."


I certainly hope this statement is not only concerning diversity in terms for people of color in the community, but diversity than spans genders, races, ages, classes, as well as argument diversity. Why do you get to deem someone's argument...no wait, they themselves....not worthy to post in a open forum? Slightly ridiculous, I think. Don't you think your comments harm debaters also? Don't you think your attitudes express how you judge debates? While you may not feel your words/actions are hostile and exclusionary the fact that you get to publicly denounce someone's ability to judge a debate is unprofessional, unnecessary and just mean...seriously, just mean.  Good example of hostile; When other people get to determine the views, beliefs, opinions of others and therefore dictate to an entire community how to treat that person.

 I wasn't in said debate, but I certainly can believe there is context that is largely left out from this discussion.

Your arguments and intentions seem noble. But you have been completely disrespectful, and that is just the truth. I don't even know most of you, but this is pathetic if this is what we believe to be a "discussion [that] happens in some meaningful way without timers and blocks and cards."

rwevans

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Re: Diversity in Debate Revisited
« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2011, 10:01:05 PM »
No no.  I will not allow this to happen.  Do not try to turn this into an attack on me.  I began this thread with an invitation to discuss diversity in debate and offered one possible new way of thinking about the debate.  That received mainly silence.  No one offered there own concerns or comments or ideas for how to make the community more inclusive.

Joe, then decides to bypass the discussion of diversity in debate with "3 unrelated comments," attacks alternative styles of debate as vacuous, meaningless and and fetishisism.  AND then, he concludes with this gem:  "Maybe these opinions make me a total asshole, a racist, and a bad educator.  I still will sleep okay tonight."  Silence on that from this message board.  I call him out on that indefensible comment in the face of a very serious conversation and legitimately question whether someone who has that attitude towards debate and debaters should be allowed to judge.  I did debate and I know what type of impacts these types of comments, which happen in debates more often than you would believe, have on debaters.  I am not much of a cryer, but I shed tears at almost every debate tournament because I wondered why I dedicated 8 years to a community that is this hostile to minorities. Talk to some  minority debaters and get a better understanding of how hurtful comments like that are.  

Now, here you guys are attacking me?  Now you want to attack my original post?  This is what you choose to defend:  
"Maybe these opinions make me a total asshole, a racist, and a bad educator.  I still will sleep okay tonight."  How am I the one who was being disrespectful here?  

This is not okay.  

I will ask again.  What ideas do you have more making debate more diverse and less segregated?
« Last Edit: April 11, 2011, 10:12:35 PM by rwevans »

PaulK

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Re: Diversity in Debate Revisited
« Reply #14 on: April 11, 2011, 10:55:06 PM »
Accusing a community of being hostile to minorities =/= an attempt at engaging in an open and productive discussion. If really you believe that rhetoric and the style that we choose to approach a subject is as important as your posts proclaim, then you should take a moment to examine your own words, not just those of others.