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Binghamton Speech & Debate

Proposition: Jacob Lugo (Winston Churchill High School) vs. Opposition: Safiya Osisami (Unaffiliated)

Judge: Joe Leeson-Schatz (Binghamton University)

Resolution: This house believes that prisons should be abolished

  • Jacob Lugo
    Jacob Lugo

    Safiya Osisami
    Safiya Osisami
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    Speech Details

    Click on the other tabs to watch watch that speech.

    Posted at April 13, 2015 08:37:57PM EST by Jacob Lugo



    Prisons AC
    Plan: The United States federal government should abolish all prisons.
    Part 1 is the harms
    Prisons make dehumanization inevitable - the very label of prisoners only forces individuals into the mindset where thats all they can be in society
    Pritikin 08 Associate Professor of Law, Whittier Law School 2008 (Martin 2008 Wis. L. Rev. 1049; PRISON INCREASING CRIME? Lexis)AW
    According to the school of thought known as "labeling theory," n56 when someone is punished for committing a criminal offense, he is effectively being labeled by the community as bad or deviant, and, in short, "the person becomes the thing he is described as being." n57 Professor John Braithwaite has summarized the processes by which labeling can lead to further criminality: Once a person is stigmatized with a deviant label, a self-fulfilling prophecy unfolds as others respond to the offender as deviant. She experiences marginality, she is attracted to subcultures which provide social support for deviance, she internalizes a deviant identity, she experiences a sense of injustice at the way she is victimized by agents of social control, her loss of respectability may push her further into an underworld by causing difficulty in earning a living legitimately. Deviance then becomes a way of life that is [*1061] difficult to change and is rationalized as a defensible lifestyle within the deviant subculture. n58Thus, the attempt to control deviant behavior actually incites greater deviancy.

    Prisons are inherently transphobic causing harms toward gender nonconforming persxns
    Bent Bars Project. Strategies of Segregation. Lockdown: Prison, Repression, and Gender Noncomformity. N.p.: n.p., n.d. 4-7. Print. Accessed on April 7, 2015.
    Classification takes place at birth. We are either male, female or (only relatively recently) intersex.1 Other possibilities are not permitted. This early categorization is intended to define and control, throughout our lives, basic freedoms such as which toilets we should use, where we are supposed to change, what clothes are appropriate for us to wear...etc etc. Our sex (along with, security classification etc) will also define which prison, or which section of a prison, we are sent to. Prison systems are institutions designed, built or adapted to accommodate only the two-sex binary of male and female and in many prisons not even this much is true. In Spain, for example, women make up 8% of the prison population and are concentrated in special units in prisons that have been built for men, which means that they dont have access to public spaces like libraries and gyms. What is certain though is that prisons have neither been designed nor built to incorporate transgendered prisoners. There are a couple of cases in the USA where prisons have been specifically designated to hold either transgender or lesbian or gay prisoners. In New York, for example, a unit was created in the 1970s to hold gay and transgender prisoners. It was recently closed (in 2005) as part of a larger inmate reorganisation to improve security. This kind of special provision though is most definitely an exception. Transgender prisoners defy the institutionalised segregation of the prison system. The multiplicity of combinations of gender/sex/surgery/hormones/identification that people embody resist simplistic and dogmatic solutions. Consequently, given that no capacity (or desire) to comprehend these differences exists, transgender people are subject to what amounts to focussed repression. It is a common prison policy to resolve this problem (of which prison they should be sent to) by holding transgender prisoners in isolation, consequently removing their access to libraries, recreation time and sports facilities. Referred to in this context - as protective custody, solitary confinement removes the dilemma of where people should go by doing precisely that: removing them, making them disappear. In addition to using isolation as a solution that conveniently removes the problem, solitary confinement is also justified as a means to keep transgender prisoners safe from threats that might arise from the other prisoners. So, rape or isolation? Equally abhorrent possibilities. It may be true that rapes are more likely to occur if the person is not isolated, but this is no choice. It is a blatant reconfiguration of what is otherwise used as a punishment and a psychological and physical weapon of torture and it exposes the prison systems absolute hypocrisy and inherent transphobia. Safety is not, anyway, assured by segregation. This position suggests that if men and women were not segregated then rapes and sexual assaults would increase. Sexual assaults and rapes occur with a shocking frequency in mens prisons already. The same is true of womens prisons. This argument is a strategy that fuels the belief that prisoners must be fearful of and protected from each other and as a result is divisive and encourages a head-down attitude. Segregation does not create a safer environment. Not for men, women, or anyone else. Prison is never going to be safe or protective. It is an institution specifically designed to repress, punish and control people. And, as a strategy, segregation detracts attention from those who we should be directing our resistance towards - the prison officials who are responsible for locking people up, who enforce repressive and abusive practices and those who, very often, are themselves the perpetrators of beatings and sexual assaults.
    Part 2 is the framing
    To vote for the 1AC is not only to affirm the desirability of a policy that abolishes prisons, but that my process of advocacy is a good one. Queer pedagogies and the incorporation of discussions about queer and trans experiences enriches legal education any other approach actively closets experience.
    Brooks & Parkes 4. Kim Brooks (Asst. Prof. Law @ Queens Univ.) and Debra Parkes (Asst. Prof. Law @ Univ. Manitoba). QUEERING LEGAL EDUCATION: A PROJECT OF THEORETICAL DISCOVERY (xo1)
    1. Centering Queer Experience in All of Its Diversity My Tax class begins on time, as usual. A glance at the course outline reveals that the topic is the effect of relationships on in- come tax liability. The professor reviews arguments for and against couples aling joint returns and explores when income might be attributed to a particular individual on the basis of the parties relationship. I am taking notes but am not personally vested in any of this material. Although it is not articulated, I understand that couples means heterosexual couples. None of these rules will ever apply to me. The professor seeks to pro- vide an illustration. She says, So, imagine that I am married . . . . There is a long pause. She starts laughing. A few of us around the room start laughing. The sound is so liberating. We either know, or suspect, that she is a lesbian. She says, Well, that example is not going to work. Imagine instead that X is married . . . . A queer legal pedagogy that does not take queers seriously nor place queer lives at least temporarily as the focus of attention would be, well, not queer. Centering queer experience means moving it in from the shadowy margins of what is either not discussed or is only the subject of criminal cases.149 There is something about having a presence that reminds us that we are real.150 In the story above, it was recognition that made the moment so liberating, particularly in contrast to what had just seconds before felt like erasure. To feel fully human requires students and professors to feel like they are connected to othersto their lives and experiencesand to feel that their human potential can be fulalled. One of the goals of legal education should be an opportunity to see yourself in those experiences, reoected in the cases you read, the discussions in class, the professors who teach you, and the students around you.151 As Adrienne Rich describes: When those who have power to name and to socially construct reality choose not to see you or hear you, whether you are dark- skinned, old, disabled, female, or speak with a different accent or dialect than theirs, when someone with the authority of a teacher, say, describes the world and you are not in it, there is a moment of psychic disequilibrium, as if you looked into a mirror and saw nothing. Yet you know you exist and others like you, that this is a game with mirrors. It takes some strength of souland not just individual strength, but collective under- standingto resist this void, the nonbeing, into which you are thrust, and to stand up, demanding to be seen and heard.152 As academics, our visibility and invisibility can be powerful for both ourselves and our students. Our ability as professors in the classroom to express ourselves as fully as possible provides a voice that might other- wise be absent and potentially grants students some freedom to be them- selves in the classroom. Queer experience must be centered because we cannot accept the invisibility of our lives. Narrative will, therefore, nec- essarily play a part in our understanding of queer pedagogy.153 Our stories reveal that legal education is impoverished when it is based only upon the experiences of dominant groups and that it will be improved by the infusion of queer experiences.154
    Only a belief in a world where prisons dont exist can we open up the space to create the solutions necessary to have a better future and community
    Sudbury 08 (Julia, leading activist scholar in the prison abolitionist movement, co-founder of Critical Resistance, a national abolitionist organization, currently a professor of ethnic studies at Mills College in California, University of Toronto Rethinking Global Justice: Black Women Resist the Transnational Prison-Industrial Complex)
    [A] political vision that seeks to eliminate the need for prisons, policing, and surveillance by creating sustainable alternatives to punishment and imprisonment . An abolitionist vision means that we must build models today that can represent how we want to live in the future. It means developing practical strategies for taking small steps that move us toward making our dreams real and that lead the average person to believe that things really could be different. It means living this vision in our daily lives.42 In this sense, prison abolitionists are tasked with a dual burden: first, transforming people's consciousness so that they can believe that a world without prisons is possible, and second, taking practical steps to oppose the prison-industrial complex. Making abolition more than a utopian vision requires practical steps toward this long-term goal. CR describes four steps that activists can get involved in: shrinking the system, creating alternatives, shifting public opinion and public policy, and building leadership among those directly impacted by the prison-industrial complex.43 Since its inception in the San Francisco Bay Area, Critical Resistance has become a national organization with chapters in Baltimore, Chicago, Gainesville, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, Tampa/St. Petersburg, and Washington, D.C. As such, CR has played a critical role in re-invigorating abolitionist politics in the U.S. This work is rooted in the radical praxis of Black women and transgender activists.In addition to dismantling the prison-industrial complex, abolition means generating alternative strategies for dealing with interpersonal harms that threaten the safety of individuals from oppressed groups. Organizations like Justice Now, Critical Resistance, Creative Interventions, Incite! Women of Color Against Violence, the Audre Lorde Project's Safe Outside the System Collective, and PMP invite community members to envision what accountability, justice, and safety would look like in a world without prisons. For example, PMP's workshop A World Without encourages participants to find solutions to community problems and build community safety without prisons or police. Similarly, Justice Now facilitates community conversations about collective strategies to tackle violence against women and create accountability that do not rely on criminalization and punishment. In this way, these organizations challenge us to start building communities that are a reflection of the world we want to live in, providing real safety based on justice, and a focus on healing and transformation rather than punishment and imprisonment.
    We are never outside of the political effects of our advocacies infusing legal scholarship with queer pedagogies can challenge hetero-norms inside and out of debate and academia.
    Stewart 7. Trae Stewart (Ph.D. International & Intercultural Education @ Univ. Southern; Asst. Prof., College of Education @ Univ. Central Florida). "Vying for an Unsustainable/Inappropriate(d)/organic queer space in higher education, Journal of Curriculum and Pedagogy 4.2 (2007). Taylor and Francis.
    Such queer additions to higher education, identified by simply enumerating or listing them, are commendable, especially given the relatively short period of time in which they have been accomplished. It appears through these examples that gaining entrance into a professionally recognized space that would allow for the continued growth of the field was key. After all, the shadowy margins of society and the dark recesses of the closet had become cramped and, therefore, restricted grofwth. Furthermore, queer scholars and practitioners recognized the inherent oppression that accompanied such ghettoization and saw legitimacy via. visibility within an accepted educational space. Theoretically, exploration, dialogue, contestation, connections, empowerment, and ultimately acceptance would manifest. But first, we had to be in the space. In other "Words, queer phenomena's quantifiable increase and thus movement toward legitimacy in higher education came through its quasi-institutionalization. So, where are we developmentally? According to Daly (1990), "Development is qualitave [italics added] improvement or the unfolding of potentiality (p. In addition, how has our growth, which according to Daly transpires in part through assimilation, affected our development? Halperin (2 003) has suspicions over the speed at which queer studies, and queer theory in particular, has been absorbed into institutions of knowledge. This wariness is born out of concern for a potentially hidden agenda behind academia's quick embrace of an antiassimilationist field, which in just the last two decades has openly criticized heteronormativity and all of its manifestations within higher education. A critical, contextualized examination of the growth at the large metro- politan research university where I work, for example, shows that courses explicitly devoted to queer studies are present. but remain underrepresented. There might be 10 courses across the university that are taught with relative frequency. However, to find these courses. one needs a map to navigate the multilayered spaces of catalog texts, registration offices, and departmental permissions forms. Courses are disconnected from one another. finding homes in different departments and colleges, including education, social work, English. religion, philosophy, and sociology. If a student endures the journey and manages to locate a course. his or her opportunities are further limited as the courses are often restricted to disciplinary majors or are upper-level seminars available only to honors students. No course that exclusively covers queer topics is offered as an elective in university's general education diversity requirement. Such disentanglements complicate the organization of a unified queer studies program. thereby limiting its potentiality (i.e., qualitative-based development). Questionable motives behind seemingly equitable practices lie outside of the classroom as well. In 2005, alter two decades of debate, sexual orientation was finally added to my university's nondiscrimination clause. However. this change in policy was realized behind closed doors. Although some might argue that this was a protective move by a sensitive, social justice- minded administrator. an equal number of voices offer a more covert. understanding of the secrecy of these actions. Whether the move was based in sincerity. or political savvy, the understood message was that actions were taken to decrease "unnecessarv" attention to the issue. In these examples, occupied spaces within academia have signified the existence of queer studies and have proven necessary for its growth and development. Paradoxically, the same spaces have been simultaneously used to limit, conceal, erase, and deny (Brown. 2000), reinforcing the notion that spaces are never neutral, but are concurrently the materializations and sources of power. They are physical representations of cultural. political, ethical, and aesthetic beliefs and serve significant roles in social and institutional processes (Soja, 1996). Renowned critical geographer David Harvey (1990) explains that the link between space and representation is reflexive; activities that occur in a space define that space, whereas the space itself permits, limits, and controls the activities that manifest therein. Educational institutions, which are symbiotically related to the society in which they are situated, selectively appropriate space to those subjects that will maintain the identity of the institution and norms of the community. If we extend this metaphor to the classroom, fireproof doors, cement Walls, and glass windows do not create a hermetically sealed pedagogical environment. The institutional mission, academic discipline, curricular design, pedagogical techniques, community culture, and student worldviews control and limit what activities take place, which in turn affect the information shared and knowledge constructed (Skelton, 1997). The suffocation of identity through voluntary acceptance of institutionalized, homogeneous space has been well noted (Martindale 1997; McNaron, 1997; Tierney & Dilley, 1998) and. in my opinion. unfortunately applies to the growth and development of queer curricula and innovative pedagogies in higher education. As the number of courses, openly nonheterosexual colleagues, critical curricula. and innovative pedagogies increase, their meaning and potentiality decrease. Transaction costs paid for access to an allowed institutional space, in the form of identity surrender, threaten to recloset queer studies, and leave us donning concealing masks and performing under hegemonic direction for survival. In what becomes a simulated space (Baudrillard, 1984). a once antiassimilationist field risks becoming a meaningless simulacra of its former self. With this said, queer phenomena in higher education appears to face a "queer dilemma" (Gamson, 2003) the struggle for its very existence could ultimately be the cause of its sell-destruction. Queer studies has Found in its attempts thus far to construct and maintain identity within academia that categories are "exclusionary" (Seidman. 1993) "stumbling blocks" (Butler, 1991) controlled in part by the appropriation of space and the presumption that identity is defined by w iere we are (Hetherington, 1998). Perhaps. the continued development of the Queer in higher education will not rest on a willingness to be sustained under institutional, disciplinary, or pedagogical expectations, but rather on an ongoing refusal of placement in spaces wherein subjectivity, agency, and reinvention are lost. To rebuff such expectations would render the field an "inappropriate(d) other" (Minh-Ha, 1991) and restore queer studies to its epistemological foundations The success of this model relies on queer scholars and educators, who have found comfort in their ivory towers, to renew their radical potential (Halperin, 2003) by repositioning their pedagogies and curricula. Queer scholars and educators might seek to create/utilize organic, and to avoid the aforementioned paradox, heterotopic curricular and pedagogical spaces (Foucault, 1984). Organic spaces and pedagogies intrinsically resist institutional control by complicating expectations of tixity. Specifically, organic pedagogies allow for creativity and inventiveness, flatten power hierarchies between teachers and students, embrace more reflective methods, and blur the lines between personal/political, simulated/real, and center/margin. Narrative teaching, online learning, action-research, place based education, and social justiceand activist-oriented pedagogies all offer potential in this regard. Interrelated, organic spaces extend beyond classroom walls and institutional borders in efforts to contextualize learning and to demonstrate how place is reflexively linked to meaning making and associated outcomes. However such Spaces, their Very nature, Cannot be defined easily in advance and are prone to variance. To identify existing, and opportunities For additional, spaces with fluid barriers, Paulston and Leibman (1994) suggest that "social maps may help to present and decode immediate and practical answers to the perceived locations and relationships of Persons, Objects, and perceptions in the Social milieu" (P. 215) Regardless, crossing ontological borders will require queer scholars and educators to work with queer public intellectuals uncontrolled by the institutionalized academic spaces of higher education. Community activists. independent scholars, and queer individuals whose biographies have simultaneously shaped. and been shaped by. the historical milieus of their communities, lie outside of academia often because organization and cultural expectations undermine the role that they may play, and thus the impact that their work may make. Educators in collaboration with their students and community partners might seek knowledge development in organic spaces like private homes, community parks, libraries. and online chat: rooms. In summary, queer approaches and considerations must continue to grow, yet. resist: sustainability within a still limiting system by remaining flexible and inclusive of all educational possibilities. In the spirit of this argument, I have tenaciously resisted providing a concrete example of what shape this queer, and admittedly radical, approach to higher education would take. After all, to offer such guidance would essentialize, label, and bind this model to one particular reality, thus proving antithetical to the points presented. Furthermore, acknowledging my placement within higher education as a scholar and gay man complicates the reading of my perspectives. For this reason alone, I cannot presume to be able to name the goal for which a multidisciplinary field of inquiry should be aiming , nor can I abandon the processes that will move us one step closer to the "queer ideals of education" (Kuniashiro, 2005). which seek to deliberatively disrupt hegemony. unsettle complacency, and push toward social justice (Halperin, 2003). I acknowledge that these educational pursuits will seem abnormal, deviant, and suspicious. In other words, our curricula and pedagogies will be Queer and, in my opinion, exactly what they are supposed to be.


    This match has been completed. Show the Decision.

    Submitted at April 15, 2015 09:41:06AM EST by Joe Leeson-Schatz

    The decision is for the Proposition: Jacob Lugo

    Reason for Decision:

    The opposition did not upload their opening video by the deadline, resulting in a forfeit.

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