A pair of high school students recently lost a debate after they quoted clinical psychologist Jordan Peterson and conservative commentator Ben Shapiro, the Daily Wire reported. But that's not the worst of it. Apparently, in 2019, highlighting the fact that your debate opponents are "white males" qualifies as a substantive rebuttal.
Utah high school senior Michael Moreno and his debate partner were engaging in a debate about immigration, where they argued that the U.S. does not need to ease immigration restrictions.
However, instead of taking the opposite position as is customary in debates, the opposing team recited a "slam poem" littered with progressive buzzwords that denounced assimilation and terms like "legal" and "illegal," according to the Daily Wire. Moreno said the opposing team never actually articulated a position on immigration, which didn't allow Moreno and his partner to give a rebuttal, something he believed was unfair.
But according to the opposing team, Moreno and his partner were not allowed to characterize their experience as "unfair" because they are both "white males," a qualm the opposing team voiced during the debate's cross examination period.
That's when, in response, Moreno read quotes from Peterson and Shapiro addressing the perfunctory use of identity politics to develop straw-man rebuttals.
The Daily Wire explains:
[Moreno] specifically cited comments Shapiro made at the University of Connecticut on January 24, 2018, where he said: "Evil things are still evil even if I'm a white well-off religious man and good things are still good even if I'm a white well-off religious man …. My identity has nothing to do with what is right or wrong."
Moreno also quoted Peterson saying, "It goes along with this idea of class guilt; Because your group membership is the most important thing, if your group at some point in the past did something reprehensible — which of course every group has done — then you're de facto responsible for that."
How did the judges handle the situation?
After citing Peterson and Shapiro, the debate judge reportedly ended the back-and-forth, denouncing Moreno and his partner's citations as "racist." The judge also condemned Shapiro and Peterson as "racists."
Eventually, the judge declared Moreno and his partner the debate's losers.
Moreno uploaded a video of the debate to YouTube. The footage doesn't show the debate in its entirety, but from the reading of the Peterson and Shapiro quotes forward, including the back-and-forth with the debate judge and the opposing team.