Darcell Brown ParadigmLast changed 2/7 2:11P EDT
Put me on the chain
I’m currently the head coach for University High School Academy (Southfield, MI) which competes in the Detroit Urban Debate League. Previously, I debated in the Detroit UDL for Plymouth Preparatory High School (which no longer exists). I currently debate in college at Wayne State University.
-- Top Level --
- Both sides need to have clash. Don't just read your blocks and not engage. It will likely not work in your favor it's up to my (or any judges) discretion.
- I feel like I'm a little more tech over truth in debates. I can definitely be swayed by a team big on ethos/pathos and performance or even a team who just makes straight up logical arguments and tears apart the foundational claims of the opposing team. But I will predominantly defer to my flow before anything is too heavily weighed. I can be persuaded to vote on presumption if I think the aff doesn't do anything.
-- Aff Stuff --
- On the policy end of the spectrum, I don't have too many comments for the aff besides the generic ones. I'm alright with you reading util args in a debate, but you better be fire at tech against K teams because I can be easily persuaded by vtl/deontology args.
- On the Kritikal side, I'm down for whatever and will vote on rejections of the topic if there's an impacted reason as to why engagement in the context of the resolution is bad. I'm most familiar/interested in arguments relative to anti-blackness, settler colonialism, cap and K's of securitization. Other K's I'm generally familiar with but is pretty much the inverse of the former so you'll have to make sure you're doing a good job on the link and alt portion of the debate. However, just because I recognize your scholarship doesn't mean I set a low bar for your analysis either. I'll add more on this below.
-- Neg Stuff --
- CP -
- I'm down for a CP debate with a good net benefit. Don't read a ton of CP's with no solvency advocates and think they're CP's. It's not. You will lose if the aff goes for condo. How many CP's/alts the neg gets is up for debate but I default to three. I do think the neg gets some fiat for CP ground but to a certain extent. You should read evidence that all actors involved will actually do the plan or at minimum at least some evidence that warrants that they are interested in the CP. If explained well enough, there is potential for me to vote for a CP that has an internal net benefit but it's slim. I'd prefer to have a clear net benefit that the aff can't solve to seal the deal instead of some small nuance of the CP that supposed to make it marginally better than the aff.
- DA -
- No issues with voting on a DA. Good in a PTX DA debate or any other sort. Make sure that the internal link story is clear through the entire round.
- K -
Make sure there is an actual link to the aff and not just the "You use the state and that's bad" generic link. Don't forget you have an alt. I tend to give debaters higher speaks if they can't actually do good solvency comparisons between the aff and the alt. As mentioned above, I'm down with any K but I'm more familiar with the themes indicated. Don't just blurt buzzwords either and think that'll suffice. Make sure you're making arguments in context of the aff and not just claims about the squo. Remember that reading a Kritikal argument (and any argument really) is a performance.
- T -
I'll vote on traditional T if you prove it's no way to engage the aff but if the neg has a solid neg list and prove you have no ground loss then I kind of default aff. In a policy round, I'll definitely pull the trigger on T for sure. Not the biggest fan of T debates and is the lane I probably have the least experience going for.
- Theory -
I will vote on theory but I rarely get into deep theory debates that people actually go for in the 2AR/2NR. This shouldn't discourage you from reading theory against a team if they are doing something abusive/bad for debate or the round. I'm not gonna vote on theory if you're just reading it because you have nothing to say. Reading K's bad theory isn't a substantive response; you'll lose. But you can win a debate on condo bad depending on the neg's responses and what they do in the round (I think neg get's condo; but how many is up for debate even though I default to like three). I've voted on performative theory arguments and I'm fine with teams going for them but don't think that should be your prime option unless something really problematic happened.
- Framework -
I've over the past few years been at a crossroads with Framework. On the technical level, I'll definitely vote on it if you win your arguments and the opposing team isn't responding to it. However, as previously mentioned I'm more inclined to vote for Kritikal arguments if there is good offense on how Framework excludes particular bodies, identities or arguments and you're not contesting the aff. In my opinion, SSD is a joke in practice. I'm literally proof of it. Again I'm not saying you can't win this argument, I'm just default juxtaposed to voting on it on face because I understand the implications it has against certain teams/arguments. Procedural fairness is an uphill battle for me but if you can win the TVA debate then I'm more likely to buy it. Structural fairness is easier for me to understand and vote on but again, you have to win your impacts.
--- Speaker Points ---
- Some judges start from 30 and decrease based on mistakes made during the debate. I do not. With me you start low and work your way up based on things you do in round. Here are a few do's and dont's for attempting to get a 30 in front of me (I've never given one):
-Properly extending evidence needed to win particular arguments you're going for. STOP GIVING TAGLINE EXTENSIONS AND EXPECTING ME TO DO THE WORK FOR YOU!
- If you ask to be directed to my paradigm and afterwards do something in direct contrast to it, you will get lower speaks. What's the point of asking if you won't adhere to the preferences?
-Eye contact is important to me. I'm the judge, not your competitors.
-Properly split the block.
-Utilize cross-x threads in future speeches. Some of the best offense isn't in the cards. Your opponents will likely give it to you by something they say when you ask the right questions.
-Make the debate simple. I feel like a lot of times, debaters attempt too hard to confuse the opposing team that they never think about how to properly articulate their claims to the judge. You're more likely to persuade me using simple logic than over explaining what the thesis of some dense K you're reading is.
-Make my flow as clean as possible. I know this isn't going to happen but I always hope it will..
-Don't give me a roadmap you don't follow.
-I’m a sucker for jokes but this is a risk. If it’s not funny it can get awkward and I don’t want to laugh at anybody.. but I will.
-Appropriate use of pronouns and names in your speeches.
Ethical Challenges in the Round —
If proven, I will vote against a team for clipping. I luckily have never been put in this position before but if a team calls another out, I will review any necessary material in order to make a decision. The challenging team must also be aware I take false claims seriously too. Don't say someone is clipping because you didn't hear or you mistook a marking on their evidence. You'll lose that way. Negative interactions matter to me as well. By this I mean if you call another debater out of their name, acknowledge them as something they have not mentioned is alright with them or purposefully done something to cause trauma, aggression or fear in a debater in the debate, you WILL lose the round. I have a very low threshold for ignorance when it comes to individual‘s subject positions and trigger warnings. So responses such as “I didn’t know..“ or “I didn’t mean to..” or even “Me and my friends..” will never be permitted in front of me if you are checked about it because it’s no way students of this age can introduce Kritikal literature and scholarly articles into a debate, but not know how certain words/actions and the way you acknowledge someone can be harmful to their subject position. I'm not an adjudicator of beef though so if somebody did something to you, either take it up with them before the round or after but don't use it as an argument to win a debate. If it really effects you, you don't need a ballot to prove that.
MY LAST REQUEST!!!
Only thing I ask, is that you check your preconceived biases at the door, and treat everyone in the round with equal respect ( <-- THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT IN ROUNDS WITH ME IN THE BACK OF THE ROOM)
Anything specific I didn't include, don’t hesitate to ask before the round.