College Debate Tournament Was Open to All Debaters, as Long as They Weren’t White

In Massachusetts, segregation exists in intellectual competition. Last month, Boston College and Northeastern University hosted the APDA's “inaugural BIPOC tournament.” But there was a catch. The schools hosted the debate for everyone–excluding whites. In particular, according to the promotional email obtained through Campus Reform, it was an issue of identity.

The source is the Chicago Debate Society: “We are accepting requests for participation in…APDA’s BIPOC tournament on the weekend, between October 22 and 23. The tournament takes place each year and is open for anyone who wants to participate. BIPOC debaters (for the purpose of this competition, BIPOC is defined as anyone who is not identifying [with] the [white] race.”

We're living in the midst of revolutionary change. Somehow, suddenly, institutional leaders have decided to consider the 1960s as a futile effort. When previously America was awakening to the realization that racial discrimination was, as stated by Martin Luther King, “morally wrong and sinful,” we're constantly informed that the opposite is the case.

Our brand new definition of virtue is similar to the one of the past 80 years: Your race is your identity and not your personal self, as is true for other types of identities.

A nation meant to become “indivisible” is being divided through looks: “American University Creates Black-Only Version of the Course Required for ‘Anti-Blackness',” “Major University Trains Its Students in Groups of White and Non-White Students.”

Another university offers racial-segregated graduation. “University of Michigan Hosts Two Cafes One for Whites, One for everyone Else,” “Harvard Will Host a Free Music Business Course, Open to All Races but White,” “NYU Student Group Petitions for Black-Only Housing, So That They ‘Can Feel Part of the Family'.”

When it comes to excluding debate participants, this kind of decision is most likely to be viewed as one based on intelligence. Excluding one race could be interpreted by some as impliying that the excluded group is too intelligent–or too dumb to have a reasonable chance of winning. This is a strange message to be crafted by a school.

The email states that the primary purpose of the celebration was to tie all non-whites together. What was the goal? The answer, according to the article, is “diversity”: “The aim this tournament has is [to] encourage the bond between non-white APDA debaters as well as to promote the diversity of the league. Accordingly, the tournament will [be] held in motions format. The topics will be focused on issues related to the issue of race as well as social justice.”

While white people would not be permitted to take part in the tournament, the email clarified the fact that “white debaters may bid to judge at this tournament (though they will be selected with lower priority, depending on the judging needs of the tournament).”

Do you think the debate will take place again in the autumn? There's a higher than small possibility.

The American Parliamentary Debate Association (APDA) –the country's “oldest intercollegiate parliamentary debate league” is setting the standard as far as gender equality is concerned. According to the APDA website: “The Gender and Sexuality Empowerment Initiative was renamed in 2021 in order to bring awareness to the issues females and LGBTQ+ people have to confront in debates, and to empower these individuals and to provide information for all members of the APDA community… Similar to other debate organizations…APDA is still struggling with low participation rates and lower performance in competition for people who aren't cis-male. GSEI has made progress towards understanding and reducing these disparities in results.”

Where is America heading? No matter where, we'll be categorized by our color.

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