Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas., presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy and others are speaking out for students after a former high school debater exposed left wing coaches for openly identifying as Marxists and telling high schoolers that they cannot use the term “illegal immigrants.”
James Fishback, the founder of Incubate Debate, told Fox News Digital in an interview that the largest debate group in the country — the National Speech & Debate Association (NSDA) — has been overtaken by a woke ideology.
“Left-wing professors, institutions can’t accept our arguments, can’t reject them on the facts — so they’re rejecting the presence of them entirely,” Fishback said.
While the effects on free speech are “chilling,” Fishback added, it’s actually the students who suffer most from being forced to make ideologically biased arguments in debate.
“You’re actually punishing kids and you’re saying, ‘Look, not only are you not going to win the debate, but you’re not going to get the scholarships or the college acceptances that come with winning.’”
Fishback shared his essay about high school debate on Twitter, saying that the practice changed his life but has been “hijacked by left-wing politics.”
“It’s no longer a competition of ideas, but an echo chamber that silences and punishes students,” Fishback added.
He shared public profiles of debate judges for the NSDA, some of whom openly tell students that they will not accept certain arguments that they deem inappropriate. The NSDA did not respond to a request for comment from Fox News Digital.
In 2019, national debate champion Lila Lavender’s profile described herself as “a Marxist-Leninist-Maoist” who “cannot check the revolutionary proletarian science at the door when” when judging students.
Lavender listed arguments that she will never accept from students: “fascism good, capitalism good, imperialist war good, neoliberalism good, defenses of US or otherwise bourgeois nationalism, Zionism or normalizing Israel, colonialism good, US white fascist policing good, etc.”
Another debate judge, Shubham Gupta, is even more direct with students. “If you are discussing immigrants in a round and describe the person as ‘illegal,’ I will immediately stop the round, give you the loss with low speaks”, which means low speaker points, “give you a stern lecture, and then talk to your coach.”
Fishback shared another profile from “X Braithwaite, who has judged 169 debate rounds with 340 students” and gives a “disclosure policy” in her personal profile: “1. N—-s don’t have to disclose to you. 2. Disclose to n—-s.”
Fishback’s essay has quickly gone viral online, picking up responses and shares from Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, Babylon Bee founder Seth Dillon, Ted Cruz and Congressman Jim Banks, among others.
Cruz responded to Fishback’s article, writing that it was shocking. “Wow. Truly disturbing.”
Ramaswamy said that young Americans feel lost in a country where they cannot express certain views.
“High school debates are now adopting the same rules as left-wing media: if you say ‘capitalism can reduce poverty,’ ‘Israel has a right to defend itself,’ or ‘illegal immigrants,’ you will lose. No questions asked. This is why young Americans are so lost.”
Dillon also attacked the NSDA for upholding leftist views. “Imagine having a worldview so weak you have to prevent high schoolers from challenging it.”
Republican Congressman Jim Banks said that the news about debate was “disappointing.”
Banks stated, “High school debate forged many experiences & lessons that led me to where I am now. Disappointing so many high schoolers today are being denied the same healthy and rich opportunity I had.”