Skip to comments.Does Traditional College Debate Reinforce White Privilege?
Posted on 04/18/2014 3:33:09 AM PDT by Altura Ct.
It used to be that if you went to a college-level debate tournament, the students youd see would be bookish future lawyers from elite universities, most of them white. In matching navy blazers, theyd recite academic arguments for and against various government policies. It was tame, predictable, and, frankly, boring.
These days, an increasingly diverse group of participants has transformed debate competitions, mounting challenges to traditional form and content by incorporating personal experience, performance, and radical politics. These alternative-style debaters have achieved success, too, taking top honors at national collegiate tournaments over the past few years.
But this transformation has also sparked a difficult, often painful controversy for a community that prides itself on handling volatile topics.
On March 24, 2014 at the Cross Examination Debate Association (CEDA) Championships at Indiana University, two Towson University students, Ameena Ruffin and Korey Johnson, became the first African-American women to win a national college debate tournament, for which the resolution asked whether the U.S. presidents war powers should be restricted. Rather than address the resolution straight on, Ruffin and Johnson, along with other teams of African-Americans, attacked its premise. The more pressing issue, they argued, is how the U.S. government is at war with poor black communities.
In the final round, Ruffin and Johnson squared off against Rashid Campbell and George Lee from the University of Oklahoma, two highly accomplished African-American debaters with distinctive dreadlocks and dashikis. Over four hours, the two teams engaged in a heated discussion of concepts like nigga authenticity and performed hip-hop and spoken-word poetry in the traditional timed format. At one point during Lees rebuttal, the clock ran out but he refused to yield the floor. Fuck the time! he yelled...
(Excerpt) Read more at theatlantic.com ...
Fo’ shizzle my debatin’ nizzles!
So rational thought and argumentation goes out the window in order to pander to these “winners?”
No. Just no.
As a former high school debater, I found the article interesting at several levels. On the surface, I’m astounded that the judges have awarded teams with confrontational approaches to the debate that ignore the stated question. In addition, a prime directive within the debate context was that debate was a combination of persuasive evidence and argumentation skills which included framing the discussion using logic and rhetoric. Nowhere within that was personal experience or anecdote considered to be an element that would lead to success in the debate.
I’m 56 years old. When do I get my white privilege?
They’re just peeved that “You Rasis” isn’t considered a valid argument.
That's the "beauty" of claiming white privilege. If you're white you were born with an advantage, no matter what environment you lived within. And if your not white you were disenfranchised no matter what. This theme is racist at it core.
Well if you axed me.
Why hasn’t anyone pointed out to these people that there’s a difference between a formal debate and a gathering of community organizers?
This is a confused piece of writing. The two Towson students didn't "attack the premise." They free-associated off the words "war powers" and simply changed the subject. I imagine their opponents spent the time trying to bring the debate back to the topic at hand, while the Towsonettes rambled on about any number of extraneous issues. Why the judges would tolerate and reward this is beyond me.
No....it shows what happens with hard work and good ethics.
Well, it does encourage black people to “think white.”
But if there is such a thing as “thinking white” rather than “thinking human” it is non whites who are to blame for dropping the ball. The old idealist song “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” has been transmogrified into “I’m Gonna Be As Heavy As I Can Because I Deserve It, Now Heave, Brother!”
It’s a seductive road.
There is no white privilege, only accomplishment.
“...the resolution asked whether the U.S. presidents war powers should be restricted. Rather than address the resolution straight on, Ruffin and Johnson, along with other teams of African-Americans, attacked its premise. The more pressing issue, they argued, is how the U.S. government is at war with poor black communities.”
Since they didnt actually address the issue, the debate was NOT won on the argument but on affirmative action and political correctness. Another academic institution destroyed by the elimination of standards.
Certainly it does. These new debaters are experiencing the end point of the usefulness of their debating “skills,” while white students go on to use traditional skills in the courtroom and the boardroom, neither venue of which tolerates such self-indulgent nonsense.
The privilege is a derivative of being white, i.e. the inability to rely on verbal violence and chaos for a momentary win.
“Fuck the time!”
I believe I detect an ancestral flash of future President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho.
Kinda makes you go all weepy, don’t it!
Except, sadly, where it does... case in point the modern "gay" craze. It's trouble in rainbow garb.
About 50 years ago a moment of curiosity led me to attend the tryouts for my high school debate team. When the teacher told us we would be assigned to either the “Pro” or the “Con” side of the argument I asked, “What if we don’t believe in that position?”
The teacher replied, “That does not matter. We are here to teach debating skill. Whether or not you believe the premise to be true is irrelevant.” So I got up and walked out.
If these “community activists/rappers” want to demonstrate that they are the best collegiate debaters in the land, assign them to argue FOR the topic, “States Rights, as enumerated in the US Constitution, required that the South Secede from the Union”. (have a good electrician standing by - a lot of folks will be “blowing fuses”!)