Jabringing? Hope So, Because I’m Not: “White Privilege” in Debate

“College Wins US Debate Championship By Repeating the N-Word Over and Over, Speaking Incomprehensibly”

This particular bit of progressive nonsense was brought to my attention by WeaselZipppers, a right blog that can be counted on to put forth the most egregious outrages of Progressives, Leftists, Democrats, Islam, and the Obama administration
I enjoy agenda sites, but check things out. Here, Zippers links to a site called Pundit  Press, which has further links to an Atlantic story with this headline and sub header:

Hacking Traditional College Debate’s White-Privilege Problem

“Minority participants aren’t just debating resolutions—they’re challenging the terms of the debate itself.”

Speaking truth to power or something.

Debate-Team

The Tyson winners

“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.”

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It appears that the Atlantic writer has no experience in debate, or training in rhetoric. “Premise” Is defined as “a previous statement or proposition from which another is inferred or follows as a conclusion.”

No conclusions or inferences were made. The Towson students simply changed the subject. The proceedings then went in an unusual direction:

“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!””

“Fuck the time!”

I rather like that. Good song title or t-shirt meme.

The Atlantic is somewhat reticent in describing the flavor of the debaters’ language and thrust of their rhetoric. Pundit Press is more forthcoming and offers some transcription. The transcription is accurate as far as it would be possible to transcribe this kind of speech, if such it is.   (A short video link here, and the entire session, here)

“Uh, man’s sole “jabringing” object disfigure religion trauma and nubs, uh, the, inside the trauma of representation that turns into the black child devouring and identifying with the stories and into the white culture brought up, uh, de de de de de, dink, and add subjectively like a white man, the black man!”

I’m stumped by “jabringing” as the only search result leads back to this article.

A “ jabring” is apparently a breed of cat and maybe a word in Swedish.

And this:

“When the n*****, uh, sees these pains and suffering that he can only, uh, envision himself that he, uh, does not see another n***** that he, uh, can feel sympathy for or embrace, but rather, uh, that, a-bluh, that that otherness gets obliterated.”

I thought I could follow this, but came up short.  ”Otherness” is bad,we’re often told, so the speaker should be happy that it is obliterated, but the tone indicates otherwise. Perhaps an undigested bit of Edward Said in an otherwise unidentifiable spew. The passage is not coherent enough to be termed a rant.

As one would expect, comments express outrage at falling, or non-existent standards, ghetto trash talk and the Third Worldization of America,

As for me, I’m not so hard on these kids.

I get what they are doing. I was a high school debater, eventually captain of the team.

And I was crap.

We had intramural debates, and those we called “Oxford Style” full on snark, sarcasm, vilification of opponents, a lot of humorous nastiness, with the audience awarding victory. I did quite well at those. It was basically verbal bullying, elevated above the playground variety by elegant terms of phrase, but just as vicious.

Interscholastic debating, under the aegis of the association to which we belonged, went on throughout the year on a single topic. A thick briefing book was issued and participants were enjoined to learn the basics, and go on to their own research.

debate

Me getting my ass handed to me at a regional debate, University of New Hampshire, 1965

I never did because I was bone idle, and my crew was a similar bunch of no accounts, whom I made no effort to whip into shape. So, while we often got high marks for delivery, we were marked down for everything else.

Now, we had well developed vocabularies and rhetorical technique, and even some degree of oracular artistry, but our basic skill was the same as that deployed by these Towson kids:

Bullshit

The difference was, of course, that we were not rewarded for it. Not only did we bring home no trophies, but the headmaster made sure I was left out of the yearbook picture.

Some comments express concern for the debaters, in that these synthetic accolades set them up for failure in later life. I’m not so sure in their particular cases. The articles give no information on their fields of study, but even if their degrees are insubstantial, their notoriety should help, and I expect places will be found for hem in government, NGOs, or even progressively oriented corporations.

One has to remember that these young people are outstanding in their milieu. Those who are not, but whose education reflects the same kind of standard, will not have much to recommend them. This is one more example of the endless bigotry of low expectations, and the accommodation, and even celebration, of a culture that does not respect learning. Any who aspire to emulate the Towson debaters may have gone to college, but they are in the same trap as are others who eschew schooling to become rappers or athletes.

Not everyone can; most cannot.

The Atlantic quotes academics finding nothing wrong in all this, and who, indeed, celebrate it. These are the real villains of the piece. They have their tenure, but those schooled under their ideas will be lucky to have any kind of job.

In the end, these kids are right. There are white people keeping them down,

Still Straight: Always Was, Even When I Wasn’t

Language changes, and the rate of change has been accelerating ever since the invention of print.

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Home from College: Parental Grooming Rules in Effect

I’m old enough to remember people, even older, saying things like “We had a gay old time,” without any raised eyebrows or eye rolling, , although there may have been someone in the background stifling a giggle even then.

When I joined the YMCA, at about age nine, it still had nude swimming. My Dad warned me to be on the lookout for “queers.” Somehow, I knew what he was talking about although I don’t remember when anyone told me exactly that that meant. Part of the free floating zeitgeist of scary childhood things.

When I lived in San Francisco in the 70s, the straight-gay dichotomy was widely understood, with some of the more militant using the word “breeders” for those who tended to PIV sex. Having sex with women was something I was very much in favor of, and had been from the first time I heard of it, although I didn’t get the connection with reproduction until a bit later.

So, in the late 60s I chose to be not straight, and the hope of bonking women was a major factor in the move.

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No long Hippie hair. Just what was known as a “Jewish ‘Fro.” I’m Irish

How so?

It may be that the term straight for heterosexual was already current in the time, but among hippies, and various adherents of the counter culture, including hangers on like me, it meant what the Beatniks had called “square.” Those of us who were emphatically not straight called ourselves “heads, as in “Feed your head(with mind-altering substances)” in Jefferson Airplane’s “Go Ask Alice.”   This signifier meant a person likely smoked weed, and maybe did some more interesting chemicals as well, but only psychedelics. Opiates and speed were anathema. It also indicated a general political outlook: anti-Vietnam War, interested in peace initiatives of all sorts, and partial to social legislation that wouldn’t cost us any money, largely because we didn’t have any. Marxism, however, was beyond this pale. Guys quoting Karl and his acolytes and telling us that our partying was counterrevolutionary weren’t heads; they were just crashing bores.

The political side for most was rather marginal. “ Sex, Drugs and Rock n’ Roll.” And sex meant hippie chicks. Their glorious tresses, fresh and unmade up faces, halter tops and tight jeans adorned the happenings, protests, and concerts that were nearly unending, a seamless time of, um, stimulation, for young males.

Well, I read “Rolling Stone, fooled around with stuff that the FDA did not approve, saw Cream, Hendrix and Zeppelin, but hippie chicks…didn’t happen for me.

hippie chick

Woodstock. You didn’t have to go to Woodstock to find hippie chicks. h/t: http://iwishicouldblank.blogspot.com/2009/09/i-wish-i-could-have-gone-to-woodstock.html

Back then, straights didn’t enjoy altered consciousness, and quite a few got married before they had sex, or married the girls they had sex with, worked, saved, bought stuff, and had children. Hitchhiking, sometimes you’d be picked up by some poor slob of a straight hoping you had a joint, and who would assure you that he really was a head. And, at times the transaction went the other way.

I wish I could apologize to all those straights I snickered at because, as was inevitable, for me, at any rate, I did cut my hair, work, buy suits, save, marry and have children. And quite liked it.

So, I was straight, both ways, all along.

In view of the current furor of same sex marriage, or marriage equality, one could also say that a lot of gays, too are straight.

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Gay Pride Parade, San Francisco, 1973. Seems modeled on a Homecoming Parade. Pretty Straight, eh?

 

 

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