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I have to do this quick, so Rhaesa get a "nolo contendere" on the
previous discussion, and I have one more comment to make:
The concern: Skewed ground.
2AC: "My God, he had the temerity to answer our case! It's David Duke in
a rubber suit!"
1NC: "Contention two, at the top. First, racism is good, I'm white and I
laugh all the way to the bank. Second, they're different, we all
know they're different, and power comes out of the barrel of a gun."
The more likely problem:
2AR: *HALF* <1A: "The case! The case!"> "The case, group it. None of the
takeouts are absolute and none of the turns are unique. They can't
deny that the status quo is racist and their turns aren't turns,
because the gap is spiralling out of control. The plan is at least
an acknowledgment and a repudiation of racism. If you vote for the
disads, you're voting that it's OK to tolerate racism to avoid
an attenuated risk of big consequences, which is repugnant."
*BEEP* *BEEP* *BEEP*
And we think the affirmative win skew is big NOW. >>shudder<<
A proposed solution: Invert the topic, make the affirmative defend
rollbacks of civil rights protection. A couple of worried comments.
How, exactly do we ensure this? Professor Southworth <I think, or maybe
it was Paul> had an excellent point: we originally intended the privacy
topic to be just such a rollback topic. We ended up with such highly
debatable cases as Overrule Bowers.
Moreover, it either <a> amounts to the same thing or <b> wouldn't promote
the dialogue we seek.
a. It amounts to the same thing. Affirmatives would argue that government
action stifles self-help, perpetuates a cycle of dependency, etc. etc.
and thus would access the same rebuttal claims: it's bad now, the plan
discards a prop of the racist superstructure, the takeouts ain't absolute,
the turns ain't turns, and the disads are abominations.
b. It wouldn't promote the dialogue we seek. Maybe hypothetically we
could write a hybrid value/policy topic of some sort that would really
force affirmatives to claim that more effort aimed at equalizing the
situation/opportunities of minorities/women/et al. was unwarranted.
Then negatives would *actually* get the ground that racism still exists,
is bad, needs to be solved, etc. Of course, we would all spend half the
time frantically trying to prove, with impassioned 2ARs, that it doesn't
exist. And a huge portion of the debate world, having been brought up
on the notion that you get big negative wins by coopting their case
harm and turning the solvency, might be tempted to join in that chorus
and advocate a better way to solve. The 2AR is still the 2AR, after all.
PREEMPT, or, "Yes, I read you -- did you read me?" I know that negatives
will have available all sorts of counterplans, big structural solvency
arguments, etc. to try to coopt the case harm. My two problem with this
are <1> issue homogenization -- see earlier post; I worry that almost
all debates will follow one of a few tracks, and I think that's troubling
<2> the plan "is a step in the right direction" <above> which is why
the solvency turns alone will be an uphill fight, and if all affirmatives
have to do is figure out which counterplans apply to the case and then
pile on the efforts to find disads, solvency arguments against the
counterplans, etc., then the work they have to put in to keep their
affirmative viable actually goes down -- more pro-affirmative skew.
I'm still not saying a civil rights topic is a bad idea. What is a bad
idea is to overlook some of the very real concerns surrounding it.
If it's crafted carefully, it can do a world of good. If not, it can do
a world of hurt.
University of Georgia
Archive created by Jonathan Stanton (email@example.com)
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