It’s easy to shut down debate --- even a formal debate competition --- on a college or even high school campus: just accuse one side of racism and that’s the end. What happened during this event will chill your bones every bit as much as it chilled the debate. Add this to the ever-growing list of things leftism has ruined.
Good for debater Michael Moreno, a high school senior from Utah, for pressing the issue after being accused by the debate judge of racism for quoting (gasp) Dr. Jordan Peterson and (double gasp) Ben Shapiro and, at the root of it all, for being white and male himself, which seems to be the worst crime against humanity one can commit. (That went for his partner, too, who apparently is also a white male though he has not been identified by name.) The concept of intersectionality, taken as far as it has been, has so “poisoned the well” that anyone –- at least any white male –- arguing AGAINST identity politics and FOR all people to be judged equally regardless of race is actually considered to be racist. The idea of what “racism” is been completely twisted around, but the people who’ve been taught to think that way don’t seem capable of understanding this, as their minds reject any challenge.
Please read the full details and watch the cellphone video at the link below, which takes you to The Daily Wire, for which Ben Shapiro is editor-in-chief. But first, I’ll summarize here: The other debate team did not follow the proscribed debate structure; instead of formally arguing the “pro” side (“for” a plan to reduce restrictions on immigration), they got creative and read a “slam” poem and quoted from professors critical of the American Dream and cultural assimilation. Moreno’s team was left with no specific points to refute, so they challenged this during the cross-examination section. And how did the other team respond? They said Moreno’s team couldn’t talk about fairness because they were white.
Now, if you thought that’s the point at which someone stood up and cried “racism!”, I’m sorry to disappoint you.
That accusation came in response to Moreno, after he refuted their assertion by speed-reading through some quotes on identity politics from Shapiro and Dr. Peterson, who make the case that race shouldn’t matter. (Sample quote from Shapiro: “My identity has nothing to do with what is right or wrong.”) That’s when the fireworks started. The other team continued to protest this challenge, asserting that, “as white males,” Moreno's team had no standing to talk about it. One member of the opposing team –- I think a Latina, for those who keep track of these things –- repeatedly referred to being “triggered.”
Question: Under these conditions, how is a white male supposed to debate? Especially when the topic is related to immigration, which is related to race. He has no standing to talk about anything concerning race. Why bother competing at all?
After about ten minutes of this bickering, the debate judge sided with the other team, telling Moreno’s team that for saying racial identity shouldn’t matter, THEY were being racist. Moreno criticized the judge for letting his politics inform his decision. The argument was extremely heated by then; there’s a loud door slam that I think was the judge leaving the room, but video was temporarily lost at that point.
I’ve used the expression “through the looking glass” numerous times, but this time, we are so far through it we can’t even find the glass from the other side.
I wish Moreno had referenced Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and said they simply hoped to be judged by the content of their character instead of the color of their skin. What a racist thing to say! Or, at least it would have been if it had come from a white man being scrutinized in 2019.
After the judge ruled that his team had lost the first round, Moreno went to talk with the tournament directors, both of whom work for Arizona State University. They did allow that the two had a “legitimate gripe” but that their strategy had been a poor choice to persuade this particular judge. In other words, in the final analysis, it wasn’t the judge’s fault for siding with racists (which is what they are) against a couple of white kids, but the fault of the white kids, for trying in vain to make their case in a way that any rational individual should not dismiss out of hand, especially in a DEBATE ROOM.
If colleges and universities are allowed to continue immersing young people in leftist non-reason, our nation is finished in a couple of generations. (And here we see even high school students using identity politics and talking about being “triggered.”) We can’t sustain a republic with two classes of people: the woefully uneducated and the thoroughly indoctrinated. Donors who care about this have got to start pulling strings in a big way. Only with the threat of funding drying up will the leftists who run the schools make any change. (We also can refuse to send our kids there.) Campus reform needs to be a very big deal –- a demand –- and we can start with a closer look at competitions like this one, which are being destroyed by political correctness. It’s events such as this that arguably involve our brightest students, the next generation of leadership in this country.
Someone in the room during the debate picked up the audio and some sporadic video of the dispute on a cell phone; this is also at the link. To listen, I suggest that you fast-forward to about 4:45, as the first part recorded is the speed-reading, which will be mostly unintelligible. The argument starts right around there, and you’ll hear some unbelievable remarks being tossed around. (“We’re not going to give you cookies now, just because you’re white.”) If you listen through to the end, you’ll hear that argument followed by by the conversation with the tournament directors. This should give you a good idea of what smart, rational, independent-minded kids face when they go off to college.