Cap Against Race Affs—UMich 2013



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binary kritik

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The discourse of the affirmative focuses solely on the black white paradigm – this causes otherization of all other oppressed races

Alcoff 3 – Professor of Philosophy @ Hunter College, Ph.D philosophy @ Brown, M.A. and B.A. both in philosophy @ Georgia State U (Linda Martin, “Latino/As, Asian Americans, and the Black-White Binary”, 2003, JSTOR, RSpec)

The discourse of social justice in regard to issues involving race has been dominated in the U.S. by what many theorists name the "black/white paradigm," which operates to govern racial classifications and racial politics in the U.S., most clearly in the formulation of civil rights law but also in more informal arenas of discussion. Juan Perea defines this paradigm as the conception that race in America consists, either exclusively or primarily, of only two constituent racial groups, the Black and White ... In addition, the paradigm dictates that all other racial identities and groups in the United States are best understood through the Black/White binary paradigm.5 He argues that this paradigm operates even in recent anti-racist theory such as that produced by Andrew Hacker, Cornel West, and Toni Morrison, though it is even clearer in works by liberals such as Nathan Glazer. Openly espousing this view, Mary Francis Berry, former chair of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, has stated that the U.S. is comprised of "three nations, one Black, one White, and one in which people strive to be something other than Black to avoid the sting of White Supremacy."6 To understand race in this way is to assume that racial discrimination operates exclusively through anti-black racism. Others can be affected by racism, on this view, but the dominance of the black/white paradigm works to interpret all other effects as "collateral damage" ultimately caused by the same phenomena, in both economic and psychological terms, in which the given other, whether Latino/a, Asian American, or something else, is placed in the category of "black" or "close to black." In other words, there is basically one form of racism, and one continuum of racial identity, along which all groups will be placed. The black/white paradigm can be understood either descriptively or prescriptively (or both): as making a descriptive claim about the fundamental nature of racializations and racisms in the U.S., or as prescribing how race shall operate and thus enforcing the applicability of the black/white paradigm.
The alternative is to reject the 1AC to create a binary of all races – this is key to solving racism at the political level and solving inevitable white domination

Alcoff 3 – Professor of Philosophy @ Hunter College, Ph.D philosophy @ Brown, M.A. and B.A. both in philosophy @ Georgia State U (Linda Martin, “Latino/As, Asian Americans, and the Black-White Binary”, 2003, JSTOR, RSpec)

Thus, thinking of race in terms only of black and white produces a sense of inevitability to white domination which is not empirically supportable. I believe this issue of imagery is very significant. Whites must come to realize that maintaining white dominance for much longer is simply not a viability, short of fascism, or significantly expanding the fascist treatments that many communities already experience. By maintaining the black/white binary we only persist in falsely representing the realities of race in the U.S.; by opening up the binary to rainbow images and the like we can more accurately and thus helpfully present the growing and future conditions within which political action and contestations will occur. This is in everyone's interests. For this reason, the increasingly high profile of Asian Americans, Native Americans, and Latino/as is all to the good. It may also someday lead away from the imagery of oppositionality, or mutually exclusive interests, which the very terms black and white have long conveyed, and move toward an imagery of pluralism (which has some of its own problems, I realize, but which can more readily recognize the diverse ways in which alliances and differences can occur).



xt: alternative


Incorporating all groups into our conception of racism is the only way to solve

Alcoff 3 – Professor of Philosophy @ Hunter College, Ph.D philosophy @ Brown, M.A. and B.A. both in philosophy @ Georgia State U (Linda Martin, “Latino/As, Asian Americans, and the Black-White Binary”, 2003, JSTOR, RSpec)

My basic thesis, then, is simply that we need an expanded analysis of racism and an attentiveness to the specificities of various forms it can take in regard to different groups, rather than continuing to accept the idea that it operates in basically one way, with one axis, that is differentially distributed among various groups. Whether my own analysis of some of these specificities is right in all respects, it may still be the case that this basic thesis is correct.


You must reject the inadequacy of the 1AC to fully address racial realities – the affirmative’s approach excludes other races

Alcoff 3 – Professor of Philosophy @ Hunter College, Ph.D philosophy @ Brown, M.A. and B.A. both in philosophy @ Georgia State U (Linda Martin, “Latino/As, Asian Americans, and the Black-White Binary”, 2003, JSTOR, RSpec)

Several Latino/a and Asian American theorists, such as Elaine Kim, Gary Okihiro, Elizabeth Martinez, Juan Perea, Frank Wu, Dana Takagi, and community activists such as Bong Hwan Kim have argued that the black/white paradigm is not adequate, certainly not sufficient, to explain racial realities in the U.S. They have thus contested its claim to descriptive adequacy, and argued that the hegemony of the black/white paradigm in racial thinking has had many deleterious effects for Latino/as and Asian Americans.8 In this paper, I will summarize and discuss what I consider the strongest of these arguments and then develop two further arguments. It is important to stress that the black/white paradigm does have some descriptive reach, as I shall discuss, even though it is inadequate when taken as the whole story of racism. Asian Americans and Latino/as are often categorized and treated in ways that reflect the fact that they have been positioned as either "near black" or "near white," but this is not nearly adequate to understanding their ideological representation or political treatment in the U.S. One might also argue that, although the black/white paradigm is not descriptively adequate to the complexity and plurality of racialized identities, it yet operates with prescriptive force to organize these complexities into its bipolar schema. Critics, however, have contested both the claim of descriptive adequacy as well as prescriptive efficacy. That is, the paradigm does not operate with effective hegemony as a prescriptive force. I believe these arguments will show that continuing to theorize race in the U.S. as operating exclusively through the black/white paradigm is actually disadvantageous for all people of color in the U.S., and in many respects for whites as well (or at least for white union households and the white poor).

turns the aff


The black white binary reinforces racial oppression and the current power structure – turns the aff

Alcoff 3 – Professor of Philosophy @ Hunter College, Ph.D philosophy @ Brown, M.A. and B.A. both in philosophy @ Georgia State U (Linda Martin, “Latino/As, Asian Americans, and the Black-White Binary”, 2003, JSTOR, RSpec)

3) By eliminating specificities within the large "black" or nonwhite group, the black/white binary has undercut the possibility of developing appropriate and effective legal and political solutions for the variable forms that racial oppression can take. A broad movement for civil rights does not require that we ignore the specific circumstances of different racial or ethnic identities, nor does it mandate that only the similarities can figure into the formulation of protective legislation. I will discuss an example of this problem, one that concerns the application of affirmative action in higher education, at the end of this essay. 4) Another major disadvantage of eliminating specificities within the large "black" or nonwhite group is that one cannot then either understand or address the real conflicts and differences within this amalgam of peoples. The black/white paradigm proposes to understand all conflicts between communities of color through anti-black racism, when the reality is often more complex. 5) For all these reasons, the black/white paradigm seriously undermines the possibility of achieving coalitions. Without being a conspiracy theorist, it is obvious that keeping us in conflict with each other and not in coalition is in the interests of the current power structure. 6) The black/white binary and the constant invocation of all race discourses and conflicts as between blacks and whites has produced an imaginary of race in this country in which a very large white majority confronts a relatively small black minority, which has the effect of reinforcing the sense of inevitability to white domination.


Forcing individual ethnicities into the black or white group reinforces the black white paradigm – turns the case

Alcoff 3 – Professor of Philosophy @ Hunter College, Ph.D philosophy @ Brown, M.A. and B.A. both in philosophy @ Georgia State U (Linda Martin, “Latino/As, Asian Americans, and the Black-White Binary”, 2003, JSTOR, RSpec)

Contrary to what one might imagine, it has not always or even generally been to the advantage of Asian Americans and Latino/as to be classified as white.12 An illustration of this is found in another important legal case decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1954, just two weeks before they issued the decision in Brown vs. Board of Education. The case of Hernandez vs. Texas involved a Mexican American man convicted of murder by an all white jury and sentenced to life imprisonment.13 His lawyer appealed the conviction by arguing that the absence of Mexicans on the jury was discriminatory, making reference to the famous Scottsboro case in which the U.S. Supreme Court overturned (after many years) the conviction of nine African American men on the grounds of an absence of African Americans from the jury. But in the Hernandez case, the Supreme Court of the State of Texas ruled that Mexicans were white people of Spanish descent, and therefore that there was no discrimination in the all-white make-up of the jury. Forty years later, Hernandez's lawyer, James DeAnda, recounted how he made his argument appealing this ruling: Right there in the Jackson County Courthouse, where no Hispanic had served on any kind of a jury in living memory because Mexicans were white and so it was okay to bring them before all-white juries, they had two men's rooms. One had a nice sign mat just said MEN on it. The other had a sign on it that said COLORED MEN and below that was a hand scrawled sign that said HOMBRES AQUI [men here]. In that jury pool, Mexicans may have been white, but when it came to nature’s functions, they were not.14 In fact, in Texas not only were Mexicans subject to Jim Crow in public facilities from restaurants to bathrooms, they were also excluded from business and community groups, and children of Mexican descent were required to attend a segregated school for the first four grades, whether they spoke fluent English or not. Thus, when they were classified as nonwhite, Latino/as were overtly denied certain civil rights; when they were classified as white, the de facto denial of their civil rights could not be appealed. Although the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Supreme Court of the State of Texas decision in the Hernandez case, its final decision indicated a perplexity regarding Mexican American identity. The U.S. Supreme Court did not want to classify Mexicans as black, nor did they want to alter the legal classification of Mexicans as white; since these were the only racial terms they thought were available, they ended up explaining the discrimination Mexicans faced as based on "other differ ences," left undefined. Thus, oddly, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld that there was racial discrimination against Mexicans, but denied that Mexicans constituted a race.15 One clear lesson to be learned from this legal history is that race is a construction that is variable enough to be stretched opportunistically as the need arises to maintain and expand discrimination. The fact that Latino/as and Asians had to be put into either one of two categories - black and white - has not been of benefit to them. Nonetheless, one might take these legal cases to indicate that discrimination against African Americans was the paradigm case which U.S. courts stretched when they could to justify discrimination against other nonwhites, and thus to provide support for the black/white paradigm of race.
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