Wednesday, 30 January 2019

High-school Debaters Accused of Racism for Quoting Conservatives

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Public schools continue to make great efforts to churn out generations of mindless liberals and punish those who have the courage to think for themselves, let alone dare to lean right. The latest example of this can be seen in Layton, Utah, where two high-school seniors lost a debate round because they quoted the highly educated conservative pundit Ben Shapiro and clinical psychologist Dr. Jordan B. Peterson.

The two Layton High School students — Michael Moreno and his unnamed partner — were engaged in a debate on immigration entitled “Resolved: The United States Federal Government should substantially reduce restrictions on legal immigration.” 

The affirmative team, asked to debate in favor of reducing restrictions on legal immigration, was instructed to propose a plan against which the opposing team was then required to argue. Thus, Moreno and his partner would have to criticize the proposal and argue in favor of greater restrictions.

The affirmative team predictably touted the typical left-wing talking points in favor of unrestricted immigration, relying on slam poetry to speak to the topic and criticizing terminology such as “legal” and “illegal” as dehumanizing. Moreno and his partner observed that the team did not fulfill their task of proposing a plan, and noted that this made it difficult for them to argue against their talking points.

But instead of admitting fault or fulfilling their assignment to propose an immigration plan, the affirmative team then claimed that Moreno and his partner could not speak on the subject of immigration and fairness because they were “white males.”

Moreno sensed that the debate was taking a troubling direction and began to record a video, which he later posted on YouTube.

In response to the affirmative team’s claims that Moreno and his partner had no standing to speak on immigration because they were white males, Moreno quoted at length from Shapiro and Peterson on the trouble with identity politics.

For example, quoting from Shapiro’s appearance at the University of Connecticut on January 24, 2018, Moreno stated, “Evil things are still evil even if I’m a white well-off religious man and good things are still good even if I’m a white well-off religious man…. My identity has nothing to do with what is right or wrong.”

Moreno also quoted Peterson, saying, “It goes along with this idea of class guilt; because your group membership is the most important thing, if your group at some point in the past did something reprehensible — which of course every group has done — then you’re de facto responsible for that.”

The affirmative team continued to claim that Moreno and his partner were being racist because they would not concede that, as white males, they had no right to speak on the subject of fairness in immigration. The affirmative team even used the phrase “trigger warning,” because they were apparently being “triggered” by Moreno. But instead of the judge intervening to remind the affirmative team that they had yet to propose a plan that would allow the opposing team to fulfill its objective, the judge ended the round, claiming that Moreno’s “evidence” was racist as Shapiro and Peterson are “racists” and “white supremacists” and accusing Moreno of allowing the debate on immigration to devolve into one on identity politics.

Moreno and his partner were declared losers of that round.

Moreno accused the judge of being unfair and biased, stating: “I don’t think you’re being an appropriate judge at this point.... You’re ending a round because of your own political opinions.”

The judge accused Moreno’s team of “psychological violence.”

Moreno later spoke with the tournament directors, who admitted that Moreno had a “legitimate gripe” over his team’s treatment, but added that debate rounds are discretionary and depend entirely on the particular judge, whether or not that judge is partial.

One of the directors told Moreno in his video, “I think you are totally right that [the judge] overstepped a little bit by stopping the debate and deciding, but I also think it’s incredibly obvious that regardless of how many ways you try to couch this argument in front of that judge, the bar for the other team to respond to it was going to be so low that the argumentative content that you chose, the strategy that you chose, for that judge and for his stated philosophy, was a poor choice on your part.”

That conversation was also captured in the video.

An objective observer would likely review the video and determine that Moreno’s team was the clear winner, as Moreno was articulate and well prepared and held his own while being attacked from all sides of the room. But what does that matter in the PC age?

Image: screenshot from YouTube video posted by Moreno

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