Author Topic: Clay hotel  (Read 28344 times)

andreareed

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Clay hotel
« on: August 28, 2012, 01:21:36 PM »
It has been brought to our attention that some have voiced concerns about the Kentucky tournament's use of the Crowne Plaza's "Campbell House".  After the final round of the Clay last year, we did some research on the property, and to be clear, the Campbell House was built as a hotel in 1951 by Ralph Campbell. It was not a plantation at any point. There were other Campbell families in history and other Campbell Houses in other states, at least one was indeed a plantation (a house in Tennessee), and others were just houses.  We could not find any documentation that connected Ralph Campbell with other Campbell families.

We encourage anyone with questions to email myself or Dave directly and we'd be happy to address them.

Boomer

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Re: Clay hotel
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2012, 09:54:02 AM »
The Hotel makes african american/black debaters feel uncomfortable.  There are others who review the hotel that are not related to debate, whom say the same thing, it reminds them too much of a plantation house and slavery.  What the Campbell House represents seems inappropriate for an event that is attempting to provide a level playing field for all when they debate.  The final round did not happen last year, and people explained how this hotel made them feel.  Sure they were wrong that it used to be a slave plantation house and was not built until 1951, but isn't it worse if it was built in memory of a plantation?  That seems to be a celebration to me.

People seem to draw their own conclusions, rather than seeing the bigger picture.  We will not attend until another venue is offered for the tournament.  I cannot and will not force my debaters to stay or debate in such a place.  If we are the only "crazy" ones that feel this way, we are good with that.

Finding another hotel should have been the alternative, not surface level research that does not even get to the historical representations that are attempted to be relived with this hotel, including name and style.  I heard that the CEDA Summer Meetings were supposed to be moved, and they were not moved either, thus I did not attend.   It's time to change some things, and say bye to those traditions that have been historically marginalizing.  Let's not wait for others to change them.  It seems most other schools are attending, so I am sure Oklahoma will not be missed at the Clay.

Respectfully...

Jackie
OU Debate

Tom_Jefferson

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Re: Clay hotel
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2012, 10:41:17 AM »
This is about the dumbest thing ever coming from someone who's mascot is the glorification of oppressing minorities. Given Jackie's logic, OU should not win a debate until the university repents for its sins.

-Boomer

Boomer

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Re: Clay hotel
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2012, 10:44:22 AM »
Tom Jefferson: Who are you?

Please make an argument if you would like to contribute.

jgonzo

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Re: Clay hotel
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2012, 10:50:40 AM »
What, exactly, makes people feel uncomfortable, other than the false attribution of the hotel as a former slave plantation? That is an extremely severe accusation, particularly since you seem to at least imply a call for a boycott of the tournament. Please elaborate.

Boomer

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Re: Clay hotel
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2012, 10:50:55 AM »
Dear Tom Jefferson,

No, let me say a little more. Are you attempting to cover up racism?  Do you like celebrating slavery?
When there is a choice, do you glorify slavery, or pretend that it bothers you while you like it?
Are you a contributor to the system oppression that goes on as a product of historical slavery?  What is your role and why did you feel you had to get involved?

Since you wanted in the conversation.  Otherwise, I won't treat this like edebate used to be.  Any silence on my part is because of a lack of legitimacy on your part.

Massey


Boomer

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Re: Clay hotel
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2012, 10:57:43 AM »
Here is a review...non-debate person btw...

https://foursquare.com/v/crowne-plaza/4bd50e4a637ba59342f7f570


Or this one that says what it represents....

http://www.ehow.com/info_7800059_hotels-private-jacuzzis-kentucky.html

I cant help it if it makes people uncomfortable.  My guys got little to no sleep because of what it reminded them of.  One of my debaters last name is Campbell and his ancestors were from Kentucky and were last named Campbell.  I can't explain, but I dont have to.  It is how they felt, and they didnt make it up.

I understand the original accusation was false, but that was based on the old guy who worked in the Kitchen who told my debaters that black folk weren't even allowed in the hotel for many years, which is where they drew their historical inaccuracy as far as it "was" a former plantation home.  Its just not as important to us to go debate there if they have to feel that way.  We have very few African American debaters in our activity, we need to keep asking ourselves why?

Massey
OU Debate



jgonzo

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Re: Clay hotel
« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2012, 11:19:25 AM »
Unless I am mistaken, you have made four claims:

1. The hotel is "plantation-style" architecture. This is correct. The main elements of this style are also known as Greek revival and neoclassical architecture. It is also featured prominently on the campus of nearly every university we attend for tournaments.

2. Someone on foursquare said it looked like a plantation. I am not sure what claim follows from this.

3. An employee of the hotel indicated that the hotel had been segregated in the past. Insofar as this is true of nearly every institution of nearly any sort in the United States, but most recently in the South, I don't have any reason to suspect that this is untrue. In particular, many institutions of higher education (including both of the universities for which you and I work) were perniciously segregated. Do you believe that we should eschew all of the institutions that at one time or another were segregated, or is there some middle ground between rejection of the entire institution and tacit endorsement of the most evil chapters of their histories?

Best,

Josh.

Boomer

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Re: Clay hotel
« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2012, 11:34:34 AM »
I am not saying what anyone else should do.  I never even said "boycott". You said that, not me.   I wasn't even going to post about it until Andrea posted and I felt like more should be heard.

People can/will do what they want.

I am not looking for a debate on this because it all depends on what you want to think, and how comfortable people want to feel with ourselves.  It makes us uncomfortable.  I did my research this summer and found that there are many "Campbell Houses".  There are 2 schools.  1 School is what you are discussing as far as greek architecture...etc..  The other school is the familial name that is handed down to the new plantation houses the Campbell family had as they grew across Tennessee and Kentucky.  As the family married out we got the Bowen-Campbell House, which was one example.

What is a plantation?  What is a "antebellum Southern plantation home."?  That is what it represents. Even the ad for the hotel said this.  This may not bother white people, but if you were around and listend for the final round last year, it does bother black debaters.

You said this:
The hotel is "plantation-style" architecture. This is correct. The main elements of this style are also known as Greek revival and neoclassical architecture

I dont think that this is a correct comparison.  The "plantation-style" was built to have plantations.


Massey
OU Debate




jgonzo

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Re: Clay hotel
« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2012, 11:46:43 AM »
To tell you the truth, I didn't stay there last year, and I probably won't this year, either. I understand the vibe that you and your debaters feel and if you choose not to stay there, I think that's a decision that is entirely up to you. Just wanted to be sure that you were not claiming that there was a moral stake that obligates others to make the same choice.

Best,

Josh.

AbeCorrigan

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Re: Clay hotel
« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2012, 12:28:44 PM »
I am not looking for a debate on this because it all depends on what you want to think, and how comfortable people want to feel with ourselves.  It makes us uncomfortable.  I did my research this summer and found that there are many "Campbell Houses".  There are 2 schools.  1 School is what you are discussing as far as greek architecture...etc..  The other school is the familial name that is handed down to the new plantation houses the Campbell family had as they grew across Tennessee and Kentucky.  As the family married out we got the Bowen-Campbell House, which was one example.

Your comment about the name "Campbell House" is factually incorrect. The name was applied because the person who funded the original construction in 1951 was named Ralph Campbell (http://www.dailymail.com/ap/ApLife/201107010734). The name has since been changed (rejected?) in favor of it's new name the Crowne Plaza Lexington. Additionally, while your correct that the Bowen-Campbell house refers to a former plantation, that plantation 1.) is in Tennessee, not Kentucky 2.) was built around the 1850s and 3.) As far as I can find has no relationship to Ralph Campbell. Additionally, you should note that not all places with the name "Campbell House" supported slavery. Here's an example of a "Campbell House" in Ohio that was part of the underground railroad and helped slaves get out of Kentucky (http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WM2K7J_John_Campbell_House_Ironton_Ohio).
« Last Edit: August 29, 2012, 12:30:50 PM by AbeCorrigan »

Boomer

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Re: Clay hotel
« Reply #11 on: August 29, 2012, 12:39:11 PM »
I understand there are good "Campbell Houses".  Some were built to represent a place for immigrants to stay and feel safe as they integrate into their new world.  Here is what people refuse to address.

1. Does it make black debaters feel uncomfortable? Nobody says no.  I only know what my students tell me, and what the random person on the foursquare comment siad.

2. It's 1951 in Kentucky and someone builds a house to model southern antibellum plantation home.  Blacks were not allowed in the place.
Do you think this was or was not a glorification of the old slavery plantation home?  we concluded yes.  You can conclude with what makes you feel comfortable. It makes my students uncomfortable.  What do you say to that?

Do we cover up with infinite historical inaccuracies we can uncover on both sides, or do we just call it what it was built to represent?

These are the two questions to be answered.

Peace,

Massey

jmarty

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Re: Clay hotel
« Reply #12 on: August 29, 2012, 01:22:05 PM »
Hello all,

I would like to echo Massey’s response. As a the former Director of Debate at Towson, I booked room at the Campbell House for the UK Debates. Although I was not able to attend the tournament, when my debaters came back ALL of them had something to say about the feel of the hotel. The plantation style of the hotel made all of them uncomfortable—go figure with slavery all. And many of them said they did not get any sleep because they felt uncomfortable.  I bought this argument about the choice of hotel to the CEDA exec board at NCA. Andrea promised that they would not be using that hotel for the topic meeting in June. However, one of the only reasons why she stated they were not going to go to the previous tournament hotel was because it was 10 to 20 dollars more expensive than the Campbell House per night.  But I guess cost over reasonable accommodations to a group of individuals seeking a different hotel made the decision that the Campbell House would be the tournament hotel.

Sigh…
Jillian

spurlock

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Re: Clay hotel
« Reply #13 on: August 29, 2012, 01:30:04 PM »
I, for one, stand with the debaters, coaches and judges who feel uncomfortable staying at, debating at, and/or attending ceremonies there.  This is already a very public discussion - rather than back channeling and privately talking about it, why not just do it here?  

I have yet to see an argument FOR keeping the hotel.  What I do see is a lot of folks feeling swept under the rug.  This has seemed like a no-brainer for awhile now.  

jgonzo

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Re: Clay hotel
« Reply #14 on: August 29, 2012, 02:06:42 PM »
Jackie -

I'm sorry, but I think that you are making a specious argument. I asked, plainly, what standard we ought to have for repudiating a particular institution. I offered two examples:

1. A hotel, built in the 1950s, in a common architectural style. Like nearly every other hotel of the era, it was segregated.

2. Two schools, one founded in 1890, the other in 1927. Like nearly every other school below the Mason-Dixon line of their era, they were segregated.

Why should we reject one, but not the other?

You say: "Do we cover up with infinite historical inaccuracies we can uncover on both sides, or do we just call it what it was built to represent?" My answer is that what is good for the goose is good for the gander. In absence of a consistent stance regarding institutions that were formerly segregated, I fail to understand how any part of the claim deserves assent from the audience.

This is, of course, a rhetorical question - we are as likely to find places to stay that are free of the contamination of racism (to say nothing of the working conditions of their employees) as we are to produce a long-form birth certificate for the Campbell House/Crowne Plaza.

As for the claim that this is a public debate that started in the final round of Kentucky last year, unless I am wholly mistaken, it is a public debate that started on a false premise, one that has been quite thoroughly rebutted. If this hotel was, in fact, a former slave plantation, I too would feel extremely uncomfortable staying there. If someone were to raise a complaint about a contemporary practice at the hotel that should encourage me to stay elsewhere, I would be all ears. But architecture? Really?