This ballot is from last March; the topic was a withdrawal of American troops from Okinawa. The affirmative team in this debate was arguing that the American military has a legacy of sexual assault in colonial territories, and that a withdrawal is the only way for us to address that legacy. This judge disagreed.
If you can’t make out the handwriting, here is the transcript of the highlighted sections:
10,000 rapes from WWII irrelevant, drop it…
This isn’t LD…
Arguing that if there were any sexual assaults we should withdraw to prevent them was, to be blunt, stupid. No one supports sexual assault, but to ask for literally zero crime is ridiculous…
Pro adopted an absurd absolutist position that if any sexual assault occurs we should abandon the base to prevent it. They also conflated the base not being popular locally with abuse of rights, which is inherently ridiculous.
Let’s quickly talk about “This isn’t LD”. The implication here seems to be that only in Lincoln-Douglas debate can students talk about ethical claims, or that Public Forum debaters can only talk about numbers. We object to this sort of debate ghettoization; let the kids debate! Ethics, values, policies, facts, they are all a part of all forms of debate (or at least they should be).
Now let’s talk about…oh god…this judge’s attitudes about sexual assault…
Ten thousand rapes during the American invasion of the Pacific certainly seems relevant to us, especially when discussing American occupation of a Pacific island.
The rest of these comments suggest that it is absurd to demand an end to sexual assault, which implies that there is some acceptable or “normal” number of sexual assaults, which is exactly what rape culture would tell you.
Also, and this should go without saying, don’t call students stupid. Don’t call their choices stupid. It’s not stupid to demand an end to sexual assault, and even if it were, as an educator it’s your job to help the student develop, not to demean them.
Double also, that last line…it’s ridiculous to think that the base’s unpopularity with the local population is linked to sexual assault?
There are two things happening at the same time. First, the judge is endorsing/furthering rape culture by resisting the demand to eliminate sexual assaults; second, the judge is belittling students. They reinforce each other, and they are both awful. At a moment when a Presidential candidate has defended bragging about sexual assault as ‘locker room talk’, it is especially important for educators to take these issues seriously and encourage, not discourage, students to challenge these oppressive structures.
Give constructive feedback to students. And also don’t be a patronizing patriarchal stooge.