This concept comes from critical legal scholar Mari Matsuda‘s method of ―looking to the bottom.‖ Matsuda (1987) argues that, ―those who have experienced discrimination speak with a special voice to which we should listen (p. 324)‖ The presentation of argument in alternative debates can encompass the performance of rap music, poetry, metaphors and other art forms during a round (Polson, 2012). Freeley and Steinberg quote Jones‘ presentation of the following rap as a part of her affirmative case in favor of U.S. withdrawal from NATO: Roma people feel just like me, tired of being deprived of their liberty. Relegated to ghettos, held as slaves, poor health care leading to early graves. Prison scars, from prison bars, walking round the prison yard. No running water, no heat, no jobs, and everything you‘ve seemed to love, you‘ve lost. While the rich get richer, who‘s paying the cost? George Soros, Bill Clinton, to Dick Cheney, the so-called bearers of democracy. NATO represents the military wing, of the all-powerful capitalist regime. While you think gangsters listen to rap and sag, They really wear suits and carry leather bags. Politicians with the power to pick, define, and choose who will win and who will lose. Not hearing the Roma or Palestine, I guess it depends how genocide is defined (p.233)5 . 4 Alternative framework used by the University of Louisville and explanation of that framework as cited by Shanara Reid-Brinkley (2008), taken from a video of a debate speech given by Elizabeth Jones. Emory University Vs. University of Louisville, Double-Octa-Finals Ceda Nationals: Second Negative Rebuttal (Louisville, KY: 2004). 5 Spoken word piece written by Elizabeth Jones as part of her 1AC. 21 While this form of presentation is representative of a cultural art form, it is not limited to just art for art‘s sake. According to Polson, the use of musical and narrative forms in performance debate exemplifies a type of meta-information. An example of this can be seen in the excerpt above. Jones uses spoken word, not only as a performative piece, but also to describe the similarities of the relationship of some Blacks with American institutions to the relationship of the Roma people with NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization). These similarities are not connections that are easily recognized by outsiders of either subordinate group. Secondly, Jones plays on the word ―gangsters.‖ Instead of what people typically thinks of as a gangster, she applies it to politicians. The visual that she creates with her description of gangsters ―wearing suits and carrying leather bags‖ as opposed to ―listen(ing) to rap and sag(ging),‖ is part of the metainformation that Polson has articulated. Polson goes on to say, ―the form provides instruction to the listener about how to perceive and interpret the debate (p. 16).‖ The relationship that is created within Jones‘ spoken word piece, informs the judge that there are more ways to discuss justifying the United States Federal Government‘s ―full withdrawal from NATO‖ than by any singular understanding of the topic, as framed by the authors of the topic paper.
- Spring '14