Round 1 Topic

1. The Christmas Engagement (sort of):  A twenty eight year old young woman has been a live-in girlfriend for two years. This is much to her parents’ disapproval as she comes from a well-to-do traditional family. After much whining and pressure from her, the boyfriend finally takes her to pick out the ring she wants. He makes a deposit and puts it in lay-away with a promise to pay for and officially propose to her this holiday season. She automatically assumed it would be Christmas considering her younger sister got engaged last Christmas in front of the forty something family members and friends at her parents’ house. Not to mention how proud her parents were that their baby girl got proposed to while living at home. So she purposely added another layer of pressure to her boyfriend by telling the family she’s getting engaged this year.

On Christmas-eve, she secretly goes to the jeweler and finds out that the ring is not purchased and there is still a hefty balance. Mad as hell and feeling pressure to save face, she purchases the ring. On Christmas morning she angrily shoves the ring right in his face and tells him how hurt she is and that he owes her the money she paid. Now he’s mad as hell and tells her she has overstepped her role as his woman. Even still, she begs him to save face in front of her family and friends and propose at Christmas dinner. He’s angry and completely turned off by her at this point. But he really does love her and intends to marry her.


Debate: If this is the woman he plans to marry, he should make her happy and save face. Don’t embarrass her.

vs

Hell no. He is a man and shouldn’t be pressured into an engagement to satisfy this woman or her family.

Round 2 Topic

2. The Race to the Christmas Bonus:  A 32 year old minority female landed a new job with a fortune 500 company about a year ago. For her, this is the dream job and she is now making more money than she ever imagined. The initial drawback for her was that she was the only minority in this small department of ten women. But she’s a trooper. She learned how to find and appreciate the positives about being the only one and has embraced the fair culture of this company. These women have been nothing but professional, caring and inclusive. She even teases that her department is a ‘ten woman wrecking crew’ as it relates to securing accounts for the company. Unfortunately she has had to dismiss some of her family and friends who have perpetuated racial disparities by reminding her that she is Black. She feels that they are negative, uninformed about this particular situation and trying to bring her down.

Well it’s Christmas time and bonuses have been distributed. She is overjoyed with this bonus, especially since she didn’t know it was coming. However, two days ago, she got to work later than usual due to a scheduled appointment. Walking past the conference room, she suddenly felt a choking feeling in her throat as she overheard her manager say to another manager, “of course she got the smallest bonus. She’s a top performer and all, but her life isn’t as big as ours. I wasn’t going to give her all of that”. That was all she heard and she knew it was about her. Even without hearing the other manager’s response, she knew this was accepted. Now she’s angry, hurt and feeling the weight of being the only Black person in this office.


Debate: She should speak up or speak out. Don’t let this go.

vs

As stated earlier, she’s a trooper. Find the positives and let it go.

Round 3 Topic - For The Money

3. My Best Friend – The Sacrificial Lamb:

– Preface –

A married woman has a best friend whose husband is cheating. However, through talks with her own husband, she has thoughtfully decided not to tell as he has emphatically told her to stay out of it. This is her friend’s second marriage and she definitely does not want to see her go through another divorce as the first one damn near destroyed her. Besides she and her husband have problems of their own…of course not of the cheating kind.


– Fast forward to Christmas Day–

There is one small box under the tree for you. Knowing your husband, it’s a piece of jewelry that took some financial finagling. He’s a realtor that makes good money, but it’s not consistent. Fortunately you’re an engineer with a stable income. You open the box and it’s a single key. You turn to him with a puzzled look and he’s smiling big like he just bought you a shiny new car. You ask about the key and he tells you to get dressed. You’re intrigued, yet skeptical. After all this is the same man that bought you a Rolex watch last year with two-thirds of your own money. And then you opened a new account in your name only and transferred most of the funds from the joint account. The key goes to a downtown condominium. The place is quaint and nicely updated with a modern design and high end finishes. But it’s not yours. You learn that it belongs to your best friend’s cheating husband. Your husband wants the two of you to buy the place, explaining how the cheater is willing to let it go well below market value…anything to get rid of it. You tell your husband you will consider it. Thinking that this deal sounds too good to be true and taking his iffy roller coaster earnings into consideration, you research the condo and find out that both your husband and the cheater are on the title. Your husband isn’t buying this place, he’s already an owner. He’s trying to buy the cheater out. Shock, rage and divorce run through your mind like the full 26.2 miles of the Detroit Free Press marathon. You need your best friend right now. But to tell her your truth is to tell her the whole truth, even about her cheating ass husband. Pandora’s box has just been opened and you believe now that you owe her the truth.


Debate: Deal with your own husband and his lies. Don’t bring your best friend to the slaughter house.

vs

It is what it is. Tell her and let the chips fall where they may.