Ethics, racism, colonialism, and culture shock were all discussed by UR Debate Union through the scope of the hit Marvel film “Black Panther” during the union’s public debate for the semester.
The debate, held Saturday, Oct. 20, focused on whether Wakanda, the fictional nation from the film, should share its vibranium — the fictional metal that allows the country to make notable advances in technology.
About 15 attended the debate. Most were returning members and e-board of UR Debate Union, with two judges from the Humanities department, and two debate coaches.
The debaters were divided into two teams, three people in each. Novices argued that Wakanda should not share its vibranium, while the experienced debaters took the opposite position.
The debate opened with seven-minute constructive speeches from both sides, each followed by three minutes of cross-examinations, then a seven-minute rebuttal, and summary given by both sides.
The affirmative team argued that Wakanda has the right to protect such privileges from falling into evil hands, which also grants its responsibility to protect the suppressed and people of color. The negative team questioned whether such isolation could indeed protect those who need help. The debate ended with two judges remarking and praising the debaters’ performances.
“It’s my fifth year in the Debate Union,” said Take Five Scholar Anne Cheng. “I practiced and debated so many times. I really learn a lot from those debates and tournaments.”
UR Debate Union president Niki Linganur, a junior, pointed out that the debate’s relevance to popular culture made it more accessible to the inexperienced.
Although the Debate Union is a varsity team, Linganur is trying to make it as inclusive as possible by sponsoring with other clubs and advertising the club.
Linganur hopes people will enjoy debating through activities like these and feel welcome to join Debate Union.
The next public debate will be held next semester.