Thursday, April 17, 2014

Diversity Thursday

Rejoice dear hearts, more good news from the front. Seriously.

Remember, the more and more the proponents of division, sectarianism and race/ethnic strife start to feel irrelevant, the more and more they act like the dogs in the Antarctic kennel.

I know at times they seem like they are winning, but that is only because they have managed to mau-mau good people in to silence. In time more and more will rise up against their intellectual dadaism and take the slings and arrows of being called nasty names - but until then, we will just have to watch them make a parody of themselves.

As is the case more often than not, they will show there true selves where they are the most patronized - academia. I don't think I really need to add more in this case - just read it all;
Does Traditional College Debate Reinforce White Privilege?

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. president’s 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 Lee’s rebuttal, the clock ran out but he refused to yield the floor. “Fuck the time!” he yelled. His partner Campbell, who won the top speaker award at the National Debate Tournament two weeks later, had been unfairly targeted by the police at the debate venue just days before, and cited this personal trauma as evidence for his case against the government’s treatment of poor African-Americans.
If they had real issues to speak against - real identifiable bigotry to bring in to the light so we could all work together to stamp it out - they would bring it up. Thing is, in their frustration, they don't and so they can't.

Instead they throw a temper tantrum - tearing down the most mundane of institutions simple for the reason that they can. Why, well ... of course;
Joe Leeson Schatz, Director of Speech and Debate at Binghamton University, is encouraged by the changes in debate style and community. “Finally, there’s a recognition in the academic space that the way argument has taken place in the past privileges certain types of people over others,” he said. “Arguments don’t necessarily have to be backed up by professors or written papers. They can come from lived experience.”
The supporters of division are irrational and teetering - they are ripe to be shown for what they are, all it takes is for good people to stand up to them. Sadly, we are not quite there yet.
To counter this trend, Hardy and his allies want to create a “policy only” space in which traditional standards for debate will be enforced. However, this is nearly impossible to do within the two major debate associations, CEDA and the National Debate Tournament (NDT), as they are governed by participants and have few conduct enforcement mechanisms. For instance, while CEDA and NDT’s institutional anti-harassment policy would normally prohibit the term “nigga” as it was used at the recent Indiana University tournament finals, none of the judges penalized the competitors that used it. In fact, those debaters took home prizes.

14 schools expressed interest in sending debaters to Hardy’s proposed alternative tournament, scheduled to occur last month. But after word got out that a group of mostly white teams from elite universities were trying to form their own league, Hardy and his supporters were widely attacked on Facebook and other online forums. Ultimately the competition didn’t happen, purportedly because of logistical issues with the hotel venue. Nonetheless, Hardy wrote in an email that a “toxic climate” has precluded even “strong supporters of ‘policy debate’ from “publicly attach[ing] their name to anything that might get them called racist or worse.”
Hardy disagrees. “Having minimal rules is not something that reflects a middle-class white bias,” he said. “I think it is wildly reductionist to say that black people can’t understand debate unless there is rap in it—it sells short their potential.” He said he is committed to increasing economic and racial diversity in debate and has set up a nonprofit organization to fundraise for minority scholarships.
Academia in many ways is wormy with this racialist mindset. It affects all colors and ethnicity, it seems. Sigh.

And so we wait ... eventually people like the above will be more challenged by fair-minded people - as will the low hanging fruit like the below.

At first glance it is easy to be depressed that we may be under the retrograde forces of division, but we really aren't. We are actually on the edge of a less sectarian nation as those who think like it is 1973 will slowly fade away - flailing away with their cancerous theories along the way.

Hat tip M.

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