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Re: Glass Joe
Jason Hernandez has a rather eloquent and well stated reply and defense of
"champion boxer" Ryan's arguments. For the most part I agree, but one
thing I still don't think is addressed is the biggest concern I have: the
"it's too soon" factor. Like I've said earlier, 13 months ago we ALL were
either debating security assistance to ME, or foreign policies towards
mexico and china. I, for one, am a little concerned that, even though SE
Asia is a great foreign policy topic -- new and refeshing -- the foreign
policy genre itself is something we might want to hold off till the year
I'll take up just a few of Jason's thoughts:
I agree with other posts that
there is more of an "emotion" to civil rights issues and that foreign
policy seems detached.
I'm not too sure that it's all that wise to completely abandon a topic
based upon emotional impact or direct effect upon the individuals
discussing it. To me at least, I think that sometimes argumentation is
best as a hands on practice of working with issues that might deeply
effect those engaged in it. We really are not working in a "sterile
clinical laboratory," as it were. To advocate detachment seems to beg
the question of why we need to take some objective-god-stance of
detachment from our deisres and identity. Our (diverse) subjectivity
makes us fell more attached to certain poistions or others, which should
probably be included in the process of argument (sincerity?? or at least
fake it...). It seems that we are (as an emperical observation) not very
good at including this in our argumentation. Perhaps that should change
I think, however, that we should not chose topics
based on how much social utility we derive from them. I think that
there is a need to discover new areas, debate what is interesting and
current, and consider the literature on the topic. From my swivel chair
the civil rights advocates have done little to address these concerns.
Perhaps I just disagree here because I am viewing the debate at a
different angle; from my perspective, it seems that while civil rights
provides social utility (even as praxis that we couldn't get by
volunteering for the ACLU), there are plenty of other benefits to
actually debating the civil rights topic.
Responses to "discover new areas":
Right you are, and SE Asia is new. But so is civil rights. No, really!
if you think about it civil rights issues have only been delt with by the
periphery in the past few years. One thing to consider is that "civil
rights" is a broad topic area in a similar manner that "foreign policy"
is a broad topic area. To say, on my part, that SE Asia isn't new, is to
unfairly lump it with the rest of foreign policy. Likewise, to say that
any of the various sub-areas within civil rights (legal, affirmative
action, etc) isn't new because we've talked about environmental justice
and Fetal Protection policies in the workplace. We've certainly talked
about both foreign policy and civil rights on the periphery of every
topic, even as some of the more prolific affirmative cases. Nonetheless,
the tie-breaker for me seems to some dow to 2 factors:
1) We just (I mean 13 months ago) debated a foreign policy topic. Even a
"new" area inside foreign policy will have the generic bases covered.
We've discussed the U.N., arms trade, food aid, trade, and other issues
at length inside topics that demand that every school research these
issues. The fact of the matter is that civil rights issues have not been
accorded the same.
2)Civil rights issues have, as a whole, been discussed less than foreign
policy issues. While it's unfair for me to say that we've not discussed
civil rights, or that SE Asia is "just like other foreign policy topics,"
it is fair to say that there's never been a whole topic _WITHIN_ (as
ooposed to "about") civil rights.
Jason says: "Interesting and current"
I think both topics are, quite frankly. Both have lots of educational
value (regardless of the social utility or "put it into action" factor).
And as far as "interesting" goes, it's a far more subjective critieria --
I believe that civil rights is interesting. For me the fact that it
highlights an ongoing social problem, as opposed to a "political sign of
the times" makes it interesting. I also find it interesting because it
also signals a revival of good, in depth case debate (some disagree here -
just wait for my 1NC come fall =) ). I also find it interesting for
what some have called the "emotional factor," which I perceive as
positive. Feel free to come to your own conclusion.
Responses to: "Literature Considerations"
Really, I think this is mute. The fact that Ryan's boasting about the NW
civil rights research this year seems to hint at the fact that there is
plenty of literature, and diverse starting points. I also think that if
we choose a subset of civil rights (such as Newnam's advocacy of an
affirmative action topic), we will reasonably limit the topic. I also
think that SE Asia has the same advantages, so the point seems mute. I
do think the case debate will be better on civil rights, but some may
disagree. I'll elaborate if anybody has any comments on this.
Essentially, the only major objection I have to SE Asia is that debating
foreign policy doesn't seem to be the timely thing to do, even if within
that context, SE Asia is new. I think that despite the many benefits of
either SE Asia or civil rights, I choose to break the tie in my mind in
favor of civil rights.
Archive created by Jonathan Stanton (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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