2018-2019 Social Justice Debates

Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
2018-19 Social Justice Debates Selected Scholar

For the 2018-19 selected scholar, the Walter E. Massey Leadership Center at Morehouse College has supported Henry Louis Gates, Jr., the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and Director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University, and his scholarship on hate speech including his book chapter, ""War of Words: Critical Race Theory and the First Amendment".

Topic

University speech regulations intended to protect racial minorities do more to harm than good for the racial minorities the regulations are intended to protect. 

Topic Statement

Why would you entrust authority with enlarged powers of regulating the speech of unpopular minorities unless you were confident that unpopular minorities would be racists, not blacks?

Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., War of Words: Critical Race Theory and the First Amendment, 1996 

For the 2018-19 Social Justice Debates Selected Scholar, the Walter E. Massey Leadership Center at Morehouse College has supported Henry Louis Gates, Jr., the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and Director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University, and his scholarship on hate speech including his book chapter, ""War of Words: Critical Race Theory and the First Amendment."

In War of Words, Professor Gates suggests speech regulations intended to protect minorities are destined to be used against them. In doing so, Professor Gates quotes critical race theorist Charles Lawrence for the proposition that “by framing the debate as we have—as one in which the liberty of free speech is in conflict with the elimination of racism—we have advanced the cause of racial oppression and placed the bigot on the moral high ground, fanning the rising flames of racism.”

During the 2019 U.S. National Championship at Morehouse College, teams assigned to the affirmative side of the topic will defend the proposition that university speech regulations intended to protect people of color are, on balance, detrimental to the people of color they are intended to protect. Negative teams will have the burden of rebutting this contention.

*At the 2018 Western Championship at the University of Southern California teams will debate a different topic inspired by the 50th anniversary of the 1968 Los Angeles Walk Outs.

U.S. National Championship

Morehouse College

January 18-20, 2019

Tournament Information & Judge Handbook

Western Championship

The University of Southern California

September 29-30, 2018

Congratulations to the Western Champions from Claremont Colleges!

Eastern Championship

The George Washington University

 November 17-18, 2018

Congratulations to the Eastern Champions from Morehouse College!

East Coast Early Bird

University of Rhode Island

October 7-8, 2018

Congratulations to the Early Bird Champions from the Rhode Island Urban Debate League!