It’s my Anniversary


Today marks the end of anniversary week for Skeptical Brotha and two years is a long time to blog consistently. I don’t know how others have done it and I don’t know how I have, but it was and is worth it. I would like to thank all of you for 750,000 site views and for sticking with me through thick and thin. Your words of encouragement mean a great deal to me and the dialogs we’ve shared are deeply treasured.

In the last few weeks I have considered shutting down this blog, but y’all helped me come to my senses and realize that the most significant presidential election in American history ain’t no time to throw in the towel.

Burnout is a bear, but I have gone through the worst of it and was sufficiently inspired by a word from the Lord today to continue.

Rather than go into a long-winded dissection of this brotha’s life and work, it should be sufficient to show ya rather than tell ya.




114 thoughts on “It’s my Anniversary

  1. Andrea

    I’d love to hear what you have learned. So many times you held back and hence, you have been lately. When will you bring it?

    And congratulations!

    I’m just waiting for the straight-no chaser.

    I know its in there.

  2. Happy Anniversary!!!

    Just keep on telling it as you see it.

    Agree or disagree, I love reading you.

    I’ll be offline for a couple of days, but can’t wait to read something new from you when I get back.

    Your faithful reader,

    rikyrah 🙂

  3. Frankie Lucas

    You are one of the FEW credible black bloggers on the internet. I’m usually against armchair activist, however, your content seems to be a good hybrid. We need you brother.

  4. Cliff

    Doooo You know what today is. It’s Skeptical’s Anniversary.

    SB You came through fire.

    Did’nt know you had that much backbone.

    “In the last few weeks I have considered shutting down this blog,”


    “but y’all helped me come to my senses and realize that the most significant presidential election in American history ain’t no time to throw in the towel.”

    AWWWWW, OKAY, that was close. Praise God. 🙂

  5. Jean Hitchcock

    Congratulations! NOTHING AT ALL ON SHADY SHEILA DIXON, CORRUPT, GRAMMATICALLY CHALLENGED, MAYOR OF BALTIMORE, HUH? You do know that she is pending indictment, no not for selling the people of the city out for 22 years, but for actually sleeping with and taking money and gifts from a top developer for whom she sponsored lbills and voted on proposals to give him sweethearrt deals and tax breaks at public expense(facts she failed to disclose on her ethics reports). Some of us tried to tell you Dixon is an unworthy, sell-out, low life, devil, but you did not want to believe it and defended her consistently. You were wrong. The way you loathe Harold Ford….he’s is perfect compared to Dixon who has played house slave to the white power structure for her entire time in office, and is a lying, thief to boot.

  6. youngblackman

    congratulations on the anniv. Keep blogging, you know you love it!

    I am not a fan of the preacher. He came to our constitution day when I was in law school, knew no law, and had the nerve to call me Justice Thomas when I told him his constitutional interpretation would not make it out of the 4th circuit.

    By the way, I’m on the lecture circuit now and presenting in Birmingham, AL in October. I hope they are ready for me!

  7. Rick

    Obama is starting to WEIRD ME T.F. Out with his latest shifts to suppport wiretapping and to endorse the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the District of Columbia’s gun-control law.

    Word is bond, if I saw him, I’d have a firm word or two with Obama right now about the ‘rightward’ direction that I see him heading. I don’t like it. I don’t like it at all.


  8. Rick

    forgot to mention he is now looking to “refine” his position to withdraw combat troops when he takes office.

    did someone kidnap the real Obama?

    Can someone let me know if I am overreacting??

  9. Rick,

    You are not overreacting. I don’t like it either.

    He has adopted the strategy of running to the right of McSame, just like JFK did in 1960 against Nixon. Change you can believe in. Hmmmm…

  10. Actually, this was inevitable, since he figures he has the Black vote and he got the liberal vote and now all he needs to do is cater to the Independent and wingnut voter.

  11. Rick

    Good analysis. I believe he had this election without the wingnuts. and now he risks alienating his core base of support. he’s on dangerous ground my friend.

    Happy Anniversay, SB.

    I wish everyone a happy holiday weekend.

  12. Jess

    And here obama throws Wright (AND AYERS) under the bus for the 2nd time!!!!!!!!!

    “In the early years of the civil rights movement and opposition to the Vietnam War, defenders of the status quo often accused anybody who questioned the wisdom of government policies of being unpatriotic. Meanwhile, some of those in the so-called counter-culture of the Sixties reacted not merely by criticizing particular government policies, but by attacking the symbols, and in extreme cases, the very idea, of America itself – by burning flags; by blaming America for all that was wrong with the world; and perhaps most tragically, by failing to honor those veterans coming home from Vietnam, something that remains a national shame to this day..”

    oh yes, that’s right. Wright was never at a loss to let 8,000 people at a time know what he thought of of America, same for Ayers who didn’t burn the flag, but blew up gov’t buildings and stomped on the flag. Now, whatever our own viewpoints are on whether this is or is not ok, Obama made it very clear what he thinks of people who do such things, and that’s how he talks about his FRIENDS! Thank goodness he didn’t praise reagan in that speech.

  13. Congratulations on two years! I enjoy your writing very much. I often disagree with things you write (and often enough agree). However, you express your thoughts and opinions with a great wit and style. I consider you a resource and often cite your posts on my blog. Please keep up the good work, and here’s to many more years of your fine writing and commentary. Kudos!

  14. LEXUSOAKLAND…that article is wrong. Bill Clinton is exhibit A as to why it’s wrong. He caved in to the right wingers on EVERYTHING. And it only underpins my uneasiness at what Obama the candidate is doing. He is dancing to the tune being called by Fox news. He’s being totally reactive. Nothing good ever comes from letting the enemy determine your entire strategy. Even if he wins, he will be effectively neutured from governing and making the changes that so desparately need to be made.

    This is a shame, because the majority of the voters are finally catching on to the fact that the neocon world view has destroyed the economy and ergo, the same right wing schtick that was so successful post-9/11 has worn out its welcome. Are people happy with the war in Iraq? And with our goverment threatening Iran and Chavez? Are they happy with 5 dollar a gallon gas? With having their internet and phone companies spying on them for the government?

    He doesn’t need to kowtow to the right wing noise machine. People are ready for someone to stand up to them, and back it up with action.

  15. Rick

    “He doesn’t need to kowtow to the right wing noise machine. People are ready for someone to stand up to them, and back it up with action.”


    Is Obama moving to atttact the right wing republicans (who are unsure about John McCain) because there just may be enough Hillary Clinton wingnuts (who are unsure about HIM) to make November more interesting than it ought to be?

    Seen in that light, I can almost understand Obama’s desire to make some new friends as a hedge. I don’t like it, mind you. thoughts? TripleBee?

  16. Rick,
    I don’t think he thinks he can get their vote. What he’s trying to do is make them less motivated to vote against him and less motivated to send in money to the RNC. He is trying to blunt the right wing attacks against him. It’s all politics as usual, nothing new under the sun. And I don’t like it for that very reason.

  17. TripLBee


    Obama is a very clever politician, however, he would be ill advised to ignore his base. His base, more so than any other presidential candidate in the modern era, consists of first time and infrequent voters. If he takes this base for granted, they simply won’t vote.

  18. Rick


    I agree with what you are saying 100%.

    Obama is on some bullshit right now. Plain and simple. He’s listening to his advisors and totally ignoring how his black @$ss made it to that democratic nomination ish.

    If I sound angry, it’s because I am. People of less means that me sent in their rolled up $5 dollar billies and hard earned $tens not for him to roll back gun control in black neighborhoods or for him to flip flop on iraq, or to spend the last 30 days talking about patriotism. I mean wtf? I didn’t exactly expect him to be a hell raiser about issues of concern to blacks, but I didn’t exactly expect him to diss progressive issues in order to appeal to the right wingnuts either.

    I’m going to go ahead and say I’m disappointed right about now. Very disappointed.


  19. Rick,

    I am also disappointed. I’m not in the very disappointed category quite yet. I’m going to be optimistic and assume that he’s making some rookie mistakes as he’s getting his feet wet for the general election. I hope I’m right. I just can’t stand to be disillusioned by the only presidential candidate I’ve ever had high hopes for. I hope this brother doesn’t let us down. Good God, we deserve a break!

  20. Piper Davenport

    You shouldn’t quit blogging and here’s why: Fascism is headed toward America and the Internet is the last place where activists can peacefully fight for their causes. The NSA and the right are determined to push this country back to the stone ages with their warrantless surveillance. Most people are too scared and just trying to make it from day to day but the collapse of the middle class could happen if we are not careful. Your voice is the greatest wonder of freedom.

    Good luck!

  21. zeitgeist9000


    Additional Jesse Jackson statements as transcribed by Conan O’Brien’s crack team of media forensic experts and not divulged elsewhere in the media:

    I’m gonna take some cuttin’ tools to his family jewels.

    I want him to say ouch when I deflate his pouch.

    It’s twice as zesty when I remove the teste.

    I have no preference for his vas deferens.

  22. Rick


    Question for ya.

    Would you have made this attempt at “humor” if the person in question was a woman, say Hillary Clinton, and the topic for discussion surrounded female genital mutilation?

    just wondering…

  23. zeitgeist9000


    Come on, dude!

    It’s funny: “I have no preference for his vas deferens.”

    Maybe you need to see the clip. And they do a knock-off Jesse Jackson voice that’s to die for.

    I’m voting for Barack. In fact, I’m gonna vote early. I’d vote right now if I could.

    But of course I’m not phonebanking or contributing $ unless Hill is on the ticket.

    I leave you some rhymes:

    I won’t donate dollars without the anti-Gennifer Flowers.

    I’m not getting on the phone if Barack don’t pay Hillary’s loan.

    Obama ain’t frettin’ because Hillary don’t need vettin’.

    Obama should be pickin’ Clinton to avoid an Electoral College whippin’.



  24. newman


  25. Rick


    You sure you don’t work in the Hillary Clinton campaign, darling?

    Or should I say former, derailed, failed, poor excuse for-a campaign? I haven’t seen such crying from a losing camp since I ran and beat my rival for 8th grade class president decades ago. And that’s an insult to pre-teens and teens to make that comparison!

    That was almost the best non-answer to a question I’ve seen since Clinton’s performance in the debates. (I wish they had more persistant moderators).

    Would you have thought it was funny if the same discussion involved female genital mutilation in any way?


  26. Rick

    Strange Fruit : A Poem by Billie Holiday (Excerpt)

    Southern trees bear strange fruit,
    Blood on the leaves and blood at the root,
    Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze,
    Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.


    The poem, which was made into a song, next paints the picture of black man’s bulging eyes and twisted mouths.

    Billie Holiday — aware, but with dignity — leaves out how the KKK not only left us hanging from trees, but cut black men’s penis’ off, and stuffed them in their mouths to leave the body hanging in effigy. It’s a scene so horrific that ancient Roman legions would have been impressed.

    So no. I didn’t– and still don’t — find the humor. And it should be clear this has nothing to do with politics, the primaries, Hillary Clinton or Obama.

    Right now, I don’t know what I find the MOST troubling:

    The fact that Jesse Jackson would make a remark about cutting Obama’s balls off given Rev. Jackson’s role in the civil rights movement; or

    Zeigeist’s double standard. Double and triple standards more generally;

    or the fact that in 2008, black men have become mentally castrated that many of us are afraid to speak out against social injustice for fear of something bad happening to us if we do.

  27. zeitgeist9000

    In the context of “Strange Fruit,” nothing’s funny.

    Hmm…. female genital mutilation. Honestly, Rick, there’s no historical precedent or cultural referent for that in the U.S., so I wouldn’t know where to start with answering that question. No, I wouldn’t think it were funny if there were a joke about cutting up Hillary Clinton’s labia. So I guess you got me there.

    Considering all the cultural references in film and television to men getting hit, kicked, punched and otherwise hurt in the nether region, I think the joke is funny. It appears I obliquely touched upon the historical implications of Jackson’s comment vis-a-vis the legacy of lynchings and other race-based assassinations. I wanted to the highlight the genius of the joke with respect to the rhyming and the mimicking of Jackson’s voice, etc.

    Oh, wait, it sounds like I’m apologizing. I’m not.

    It’s incredibly ironic that someone like Jesse Jackson of all people would want to cut off a fellow black man’s genitalia. As Jackson’s comment was ironic, so is the Conan O’Brien joke.

  28. Rick

    “Considering all the cultural references in film and television to men getting hit, kicked, punched and otherwise hurt in the nether region, I think the joke is funny.”

    Oh I get it now, Z. Thanks for breaking it down. As long as other people other doing it, it’s been going on for ages — and it’s on tv! — then, hey, that makes it ok.

    Sort of like calling women b’s and h’s. Other people do it; been going on for ages. And besides, it’s on tv!

    Besides the fact that it stopped being funny when it leads to women more generally being dehumanized.

    It stops being funny when the life/body of a black male is treated as “less than” or desecrated.

    It’s not funny. And besides that, your statements on this matter are hypocritical.

    A woman can’t be called a bitch in my presence — not without me having something to say about. No, I don’t care if it’s around people I know or don’t know. I don’t care if I know the woman or not.

    Right is right. Wrong is wrong.

    Somehow you proliferating a joke about Obama having his nuts cuts off doesn’t sit right with me — not when you supposedly are a mouthpiece for gender equality. Sorry, I’m just going to call it all BS.

  29. Angie

    I’ve tried and tried to understand how anyone could think that the “cutting off of Senator Obama’s balls” could somehow be funny/comical/humorous, especially after reading the last few posts on this thread. But I just can’t see how anyone, man or woman, wouldn’t be outraged by such a remark.
    I don’t give a damn if that horrific remark came from Rev. Jackson, one of the figure heads in the civil rights movement, or if it had come from that racist clown, David Duke. It was not funny at all. And it’s not funny now. It was downright offensive.
    The remark, the wish, the notion was violent, at best. The comment was verbal savagery directed at a black man. And interestingly enough, the comment came from a black man. But that don’t make it no better or easier to take. It was still wrong.
    And the fact is those words came from Jackson’s mouth, but Faux News took Jackson’s words and used them as a weapon to strike Obama.
    And that ain’t nothing new. Every since the beginning of the horrific crimes committed on African people, those that are seeking to dominate, often use someone from the dominated group to assist them in their domination.
    Too bad that Jackson wasn’t sharp enough to avoid being used… He really should’ve known better.

    Y’all have a good one. And Z, don’t be hoodwinked. It’s not a good look.


  30. Give me a break. Jesse didn’t even know he was being recorded. Strange fruit? Lynching? You can’t be serious. Jesse is a buffoon, not a Klansman.

  31. Chesapeake

    Right, Angie. Jesse shouldh’ve known better. I’m stunned that either he or Senator Obama would give Faux the time of day. I don’t get it at all. If they had an ounce of activism (left) they and other liberals, progressives, and even moderates would leave Faux to drown in its imperialism!

  32. I just wanted to draw your attention to a website–
    This site posts dozens of stories regarding Barack Obama daily, from all different news organizations. We currently have over 3,000 stories, and we’re only adding more as they come! It’s a great resource for finding out anything about Obama.

  33. Rick

    like how GM announced today that in its latest ‘restructuring’, it’s phasing out health care coverge for retirees over the age of 65.

    what do they expect those folks to do, Ernesto?

  34. Guess they expect them to die quickly and quietly, just like the proverbial Eskimo elders set adrift on an ice flow.

    Welcome to the New Economy, similar to the old economy, pre-New Deal. Ain’t globalization grand?

  35. Angie

    I’m not saying what GM did was right, but I do think that those individuals over the age of 65 can access Medicare. It comes with a premium. But the coverage is actually good. And if you sign up for a Medicare Advantage Plan, it may really cut down on health related costs.
    My mother, a retiree of Texas Teachers, could not afford the $300 premium that Teacher Retirement Services was offering for Aetna. When the possibility of accessing Medicare for a $93 premium came about, I jumped all over it with a sigh of relief.

    But with that being said, I hate it that so many have to depend on the government, our failing government, to provide health coverage and other services that people tend to depend on, especially when they are aging, ill, or financially strapped.
    It’s sad that people, who have worked hard all of their lives, are faced to have to go to the government rather than being able to access a service, a benefit that they earned while working.


  36. Rick

    I’m thinking GM has a very large amount of retirees over the age of 65, Angie. Say this becomes a trend, not just at GM, but consider if other very large U.S. employers default on their long-standing promise to provide health care coverage to retirees. Seems like that would place unpredented strains on the Medicare System if this is the start of a trend.

    Decades ago, it was once unimaginable that Social Security wouldn’t be around for its citizens. Now, most young workers consider it unthinkable that social security will be there when they (we) retire. What’s next? Medicare and Medicaid? A bit unsettling…

  37. Angie

    Rick, I absolutely see your point.
    Question… Is it far fetched to say that a default on a promise about health care benefits would be breaking the law. For instance, individuals who work for the state of Texas are promised life health care benefits once they have been a state employee for 10 years. If the state backs out of that agreement, is that breaking the law?
    I’m sure it is not. I’m sure that these employers have already created a line in the contract that gives them the authority to pull out/default anytime they please.
    Well, it may not be breaking the “law”, but it is surely unethical.

    Have a good day. I’ll check y’all later.


  38. Rick

    Hi Angie,
    thanks for your perspective. you have a lot of inside knowledge on this subject. i think the implication is that young workers need to really think about this before that time comes.

    in other news — and in a dramatic reversal — the Bush administration announced today it is taken initial steps regarding engagement with Iran. Go figure: using diplomacy to solve a problem.

  39. You all are stating the case for govt-subsidized, universal health care. There was an article a few days ago—i think it was in the New York Times—that described the health care system in France. The system there is just unbelievable. If France can afford it, we can afford it.

  40. Rick

    for all that has been accomplished,
    there is still much more work to be done…Rick

    Study: Americans Expect Business Leaders to Be White

    ( — Despite decades of progress for minorities in corporate settings, Americans still expect business leaders to be white, and they judge white leaders as more effective than their minority counterparts. This is according to research published in the July issue of the Journal of Applied Psychology by professors from Duke University, the University of Toronto and Northwestern University

  41. Rick

    random thought:

    Obama will fly to europe and the middle east during the next week or so for a foreign policy trip

    I hope neither Hillary or Bill are allowed anywhere near his plane.


  42. zeitgeist9000


    He should be begging Hillary to come along.

    Someone with her foreign policy gravitas is much needed alongside of Obambi.

    Love ya,


  43. Rick

    while Obama’s in Iraq, someone might need to protect our next chief from sniper fire…

    and all that gravitas slash ‘xperience Hillary received as 1st lady dodging bullets in Bosnia could came in handy.

    mos def 🙂

  44. Angie

    “While Obama’s in Iraq, someone might need to protect our next chief from sniper fire…

    and all that gravitas slash ‘xperience Hillary received as 1st lady dodging bullets in Bosnia could came in handy.”


    Trip: do you have a link for the article that you referenced? I would love to take a look at it.
    I worry a lot about universal health care plans. When I take a look at the shape that the VA hospitals are in and the substandard medical services that many of them are providing to our veterans, it makes me deeply concerned and somewhat reluctant to totally support a government sponsored health system.
    And here in Houston, the county ran hospital district, truly has operations management issues, a lack of basic customer service, and poor contonuity in care.
    Yes, it’s good if you have nothing else. But most people would rather not go to the hospital or the doctor if they have to go to Harris County. I’m one of them.
    While in college, I was on Medicaid and Medicare due to my disability. What I found is that many of the high level docs that would once take these government based health insurances in the past, had stopped, not wanting to have anything to do with these insurances. Therefore, many of the doctors who run clinics in the inner city, who have questionable credentials and experience, are the ones taking Medicaid with no issue. **Of course that’s not all of them.**
    What I dont want to happen is that good doctors/qualified doctors choose to opt out of these health care programs simply because they don’t want to be bothered with the red tape and low pay associated with these plans.
    I saw a new spot yesterday morning about Bush trying to cut docs salaries/pay that accept Medicare. This is why many docs don’t want to have anything to do with government supported health plans, especially the state based Medicaid programs.
    I’m afraid that universal health care will leave the have nots with substandard, poor health care options, much like they are already in today.
    But with that being said, I do realize that people that live in large urban cities are blessed. They can access health care through the county system. However, those that live in towns and cities that don’t have a county based program are really stuck out. What happens to a person that gets diagnosed with cancer that lives in the country/rual communities? It’s truly sad.
    I’ve heard of people who live out in East Texas, having to move to Houston, just to access our county system to receive health care coverage when they are in a medical crisis.
    I certainly see both sides of this complex issue. I’m glad that I’m not the one that has to hash it out. It’s truly complicated.
    My last day at my main plantation job will end tomorrow. I will lose my health care coverage at the end of the month. Thankfully, because of my disability, I can access my Medicare option for 36 months while employed. and if I was to ever become unemployed again, God forbid, I can continue to access Medicare for life. Because of that I feel a sense of relief, peace, that just incase anything happens, I’ll be covered.
    So sad that many people do nt have that option.
    And don’t get it twisted all folks with disabilities don’t get hooked up like I am. I get Medicare coverage because I have worked and paid Medicare taxes. Those individuals that have not paid enough into Medicare taxes, do not get the coverage.
    And check this, if you become ill, declared disabled, you will not get your Medicare for 24 months That’s SSA law. I guess the SSA/federal government hopes that your ass will die in that 24 month wait.
    This system is a trip.

    Sorry that this post went on so long. I feel so strong, yet so conflicted about this.

  45. Angie,

    After I posted I realized that I heard the story on NPR about a week ago. The story described the care that foreigners received in France, in order to provide a stark—almost unbelievable—contrast to our health care system and our treatment of immigrants.

  46. Zeitgeist,

    What foreign policy experience does Sen. Clinton have? She actually has less political experience than Obama. She’s only held one elective office—the US Senate. She’s been there 8 years, Obama has been there for 4. Obama has been in elective office, however, for 14 years.

  47. zeitgeist9000

    Hey TripLBee,

    Thanks for dispelling the whole “Jackson as Klansman” diatribe I was failing to combat!

    As First Lady, Hillary:

    1. Visited 79 countries.
    2. Delivered major speech on women’s rights abuses in Beijing in 1995.
    3. Spoke out against the Taliban in Afghanistan in terms of their treatment of women.
    4. Helped create Vital Voices, an initiative to involve women worldwide in politics.

    As a Senator, Hillary:

    1. Visited Iraq and Afghanistan numerous times.
    2. Was endorsed by a number of high-ranking, former armed forces personnel in the primary, as you may know.

    Hillary also maintained an office in the West Wing her entire time as First Lady and was very instrumental in a number of domestic policy initiatives.

    So, if anyone would make a great VP, why not Hillary?

  48. Michelle

    So, if anyone would make a great VP, why not Hillary?

    One answer — Her actual observable conduct during her primary campaign, which was:

    ~Dishonest/actively deceptive
    ~Demonstrably incompetent to manage her own money and staff
    ~Totally self-interested
    ~And at times downright bizarre (eg increasingly insane denial of actual reality in favor of her own made-up “reality”).

    Not behavior of someone who should be second in command in this country. That is dangerous.

    Plus: Bill Clinton.

    That’s why not. Or at least some of it.

  49. Zeitgeist,

    I liked Sen. Clinton when she was First Lady, primarily because she forcefully stood up to the bigots in Congress who wanted to silence her. But let’s be serious for a moment. As the First Lady she wasn’t negotiating trade agreements or treaties. She was on goodwill tours. That hardly qualifies as foreign policy experience.

    In terms of her as a VP, it would be a poor strategic choice. Her disapproval ratings among swing voters are far too high. Whether that is her fault or not is irrelevant. No presidential candidate is going to select a running mate who will make it harder for him (it’s still accurate to simply say him) to win.

    Also, I believe that Clinton ran a disgraceful campaign. I’ve been a political junkie for about a quarter of a century and I’ve never seen a candidate pull out such dirty tactics against someone in the same party. Her campaign really began to resemble the type of Republican-style attacks I saw in the 80s and 90s. Because of this, millions of Obama supporters would be horrified if he picked her.

    I know you’re going to say that her supporters won’t vote for him if he doesn’t pick her. I don’t think that’s true. Her most stable base consists of older and middle age, liberal leaning white women. These folks cut their teeth on Roe v. Wade and understand that McCain’s Supreme Court appointment(s) (Stevenson is 87) will mean that decision will be overturned. Also, Obama himself never insulted Clinton.

    As far as Reagan Democrats go, many of them will vote for Obama over McCain, simply because they’re coming to realize that the GOP is screwing them economically. Those who are going to vote for McCain over Obama were largely going to vote for McCain over Clinton.

    In sum, she’s about the worst person he could pick. And he’s not going to pick her.

  50. Rick

    Thanks for dispelling the whole “Jackson as Klansman” diatribe I was failing to combat.


    I felt his comment was not appropriate for calling to mind a painful period in this country during which black men were lynched. That’s very different from saying Jackson is a Klansman.

    What I did say is your ‘humor’ ironic/hypocritical given your past comments here defending gender equality. That notion has not been dispelled.

    I’m just going to do this forum a favor and skip over your posts when I read them. Like Ernesto said, we are being distracted by news events that simply don’t matter. And for me, that includes Hillary Clinton.

  51. I am new to blogging, but we are starting to see some success. However; your blog was one of the blogs that we admired so much that we often drew inspiration from you. Don’t give up brother our people need to have someone who is on the wall watching over the affairs of Black America. Good looking out!

  52. Angie

    Yeah Skep, where art thou?
    Have you changed your mind and decided to depart from us after all? **smile**
    Let us know what’s up. Are you doing okay?

    And Rick, we could never get tired of you talking. Well, maybe one of us is probably tired of you. **wink**
    But I’m certainly not tired of reading your words.

    Skep, take it easy. and let your folks know what’s up. It’s no fun coming to your crib if you won’t come out of your room and play with us. **smiling**

    Peace and love,

  53. zeitgeist9000


    I’m in tears!

    You’ll have to make it up to me. Invite me over for some milk and cookies.

    I prefer Samoas. Do you know any Girl Scouts?

    You’re my favorite. I think you’re conflating my zealousness for Clinton’s candidacy with my commitment to gender/racial equality. I thought Clinton was the better candidate and potential president. I view gender/racial equality through a moral lens, not a political one. The fact that Obama and Clinton are non-traditional presidential candidates is noteworthy, yes, but their experience and tenor matter more. Clinton spoke to the security and pocketbook issues concerning most Americans in a way that Obama is only beginning to. So, yes, I think Obama is a burgeoning national political force; coupled with Clinton he would be unbeatable.

    Let’s be friends. We may not talk the same, but essentially we’re committed to equality and justice for all people. But you’re not reading this right now, according to your own admission, so in reality I should be playing the dozens and other such manner of hijinks, just for the fun of it! But I won’t. In the end, you’ve actually decided to read this, and because I can’t see your face if I were to, say, revert to the scrotal humor of previous posts, I refrain from further irony for now.

    Here’s my final post-primary analysis: voters who voted for Obama saw their own inherent goodness reflected in the candidate; voters who voted for Clinton saw their own resilience. After eight years of disastrous leadership from a confessed born-again Christian and former alcoholic, perhaps it’s about time goodness won out over resilience.

    But none of you are reading this, so I revel in my own inner monologues…

    Peace, brothas, sistas and assorted honoraries.

  54. Zeitgeist,

    Frankly I failed to see much “goodness” in Clinton’s campaign. I was not predisposed to disliking her before the campaign began. In fact, I admired her for the many courageous stands she took while First Lady. But I was shocked by the dishonesty and vitriol with which she campaigned.

    And it’s difficult for me to understand how someone with a commitment to gender and racial equality could overlook the starkly racist tenor of Clinton’s campaign. I was simply in disbelief at some of the things that came out of her and her husband’s mouth. As the campaign wound down and Clinton bade farewell by portending the possibility of Obama’s assassination, I came to out and out dislike her.

  55. zeitgeist9000


    Please re-read my comments until you realize that I’m giving Obama ultimate credit.

    As far as Clinton’s comments, any little cinder can ignite a tinderbox primary of emotions.

    Because of the war, the economy, George Bush conservatism, etc. that was the most emotional Democratic primary in nearly 50 years.

    So I respect everyone’s opinion, but I respectfully and proudly disagree about the content of Hillary’s character…

  56. Rick

    Angie,thanks for the love honey!

    And, Z~

    we are cool. And as long as Obama’s overseas itinerary has been kept from Hillary’s prying eyes…we are very cool **smile** thanks for your note.

    You are right. Many of us have different views, but this is a great place where we can discuss them. (Now all we need is for our valiant host to return)

  57. I miss you SB.

    Obama goes overseas, and McCain leaks it, and now, they ‘leak’ his hotel in Israel. I tell you, this #*$& is unreal to the nth degree. Hard not to be paranoid…now what I mean?

    Miss you and your commentary.

    I thought you’d at least make fun of the new airplane.

    Or the New Yorker.

    Or Senator McAncient on his 39483473847th gaffe that just gets excused away.

    Or Phil Gramm telling us to take a valium, cause this recession’s ‘in our heads’.

    I miss your voice.

  58. Z,

    I understand that you’re giving Obama credit. I’m not looking that the Obama-Clinton rivalry as a zero sum game. I’m simply saying that you and I interpreted Clinton’s campaign and her qualifications quite differently.

  59. Rick


    those are all great topics. I would only add that in SB’s absence, it’s clear many of us regulars still peek their heads in to see what’s going on in the guest room. you know what’s coming next…

    May I suggest this to all? There is no reason we can’t have great conversations up in here with all these brillant minds visiting the forum, until SB comes back. (this is true not for SB’s site, but in any situation where the leader leaves for a bit…the flock should continue the mission.)

    my 2 penny pieces..

  60. I agree with Rick. Also, this is the calm before the presidential election storm. Things will start heating up at the conventions and then take off after Labor Day. Let SB get his rest so he’s ready for the political playoff season that is fast approaching.

  61. Angie

    What did you guys think of the Black in America special on CNN?

    To tell you the truth, I didn’t watch it tonight. Last night kind of wore me out. I’m not one for rehashing our problems. I’m a solutions oriented chick. So, I’ve had it with the retelling, the reanalysis, and recapping of our issues.

    I’m trying to figure out what was the point. Can someone help me with this. What did they expect to achieve with the program?

    I hear that tonight was actually better than last night. Any comments or observations?

  62. Angie,

    I’m guessing that the series is not really intended for a black audience. I did watch it last night. It went over a variety of issues that are common points of dialogue in the black community. It may have been edifying to non-black viewers. But, like most TV, it didn’t stay focused on a single topic for very long. It jumped around too much for my taste. I did like the segment with Prof. Dyson and his brother. I didn’t realize that Prof. Dyson had come up hard.

  63. Rick

    “I’m a solutions oriented chick.”

    the Bible says there arose a time when a new Pharoh rose to power, and he knew not who Joseph was. The significance is that the children of Israel had once lived well when Joseph rose to prominance in the empire, but all those gains were lost when memories of Joseph faded.

    Sometimes I wonder if contempary black adults are doing enough now to prepare a better landscape for those to come after us. Should the destiny of future generations lay with just 1 person? That’s too much to ask of any ONE person: Fast forward to 2008, presidents can only serve a maximum of 2 terms…Then what?

    The solution, as I see it Angie, involves a new “generation” of leadership — one that is not afraid to speak out, and take action, for what they believe in and for what’s right. It’s already here. It’s all of us.

    It just needs to step from the shadows. The fate of those who come after us lies in the balance.

  64. Angie

    @ Trip: Yes, it did jump around too much for my taste as well. I’m not a big television watcher. Actually, I don’t really get into television that much at all. But when I do watch it, I need some focus.

    Yeah, I didn’t know MED’s background. It explains a lot for me as it pertains to him and the way he sees things.
    I’m not a big MED fan. Sometimes he says things that are note worthy, but most of the times, he gets on my nerves. I didn’t watch the segment on him and his brother, but I did hear about it. It’s really a trip how some of us can be brought up in the same household, by the same parents, but still take a drastically different path. That same thing has happened with me and my sisters. thank God that none of my sisters have gone that route though.

  65. Angie

    Rick, I hear you. But please expound more. I think that you’re on to something here.
    What should be the plan? What is the action that needs to be taken?

  66. Angie,

    I’m not very familiar with MED (since I almost never watch TV). But on the rare occasions when I have seen him speak, I’m usually impressed. For example, I heartily cheered his admonition of Bill Cosby, when Cosby was blaming poor black people for all of their ills.

    Also, the CNN piece touched upon a crucial factor in MED’s progress v. his brother’s failure. MED is light-skinned with curly hair, while his brother is much darker and has more classically African features. The narrator seemed surprised and somewhat dismissive of this explanation. It’s too bad, because that would have been a much more interesting area of inquiry. I assumed that skin color had something to do with their vastly different outcomes the moment MED’s brother appeared on the screen. To black folks, color politics are obvious. To the non-black audience, including the narrator (Soledad O’Brien) there is a blind spot on this issue.

  67. Angie

    Yes, I heard that they slightly tapped on the impact of colorism in the African American community. And I also heard that they skimmed over it, not giving it the attention that it really deserved.
    My first thought when I read your comment was that the narrator, Soledad O’Brien, should certainly understand the politics and impact of skin color in the African American community, being that she has **Afro**-Cuban heritage. But then I considered how Soledad, from what I understand, identifies more with her Irish background, and thinks of herself more as a Latina than a “black woman.” This has probably played a huge role in what circles she runs in. I’m sure that being married to a white man doesn’t leave much room to spend time with “us”.
    But this woman has had to recognize how people, black folks, have favored her/preferred her because of her light bright damn near white skin color when she does go in our circles. After doing a little research, I found out that she is a member of NABJ and has received awards and honors from the NAACP. So, even though she might not totally think of herself as a black woman, this supposed “woman of color” has been around us to know the so called benefit, the bias that is placed on light skin blacks.

    I even notice it in my family. I happen to be the light skin sister of my parent’s children. I have always noticed how people approach me differently, expect different out of me than they do my sisters. I have certainly at times benefited, and I’ve been hurt by the stereotyping that has come with being a light skin black woman.

    It hurts me when I see people, like my mother and my sisters, second guessing themselves, mainly their beauty, just because of their skin color. And I hate it when I feel like my dark skin family members resent me because of my lighter color.

    The whole cycle is a mess. One that I wish that I could divorce myself from… Thank God that I recognize the ism, and I do everything I can to not play into it.

    I hear my mother, especially now that it is summer, telling my five-year-old nephew not to play outside too much in the sun, just so that he won’t get dark. And when she says the word “dark”, such emphasis, a negative emphasis is placed on the word. I worry that my fair skin nieces and nephew will grow up thinking that light is good and dark is bad. I said that I would do everything I can to let them know that they are no damn better than nobody else.

  68. Angie,

    I hear you x 1000. I’m also the lightest member of my family. As a kid I knew that I had a different, and higher expectation then my older brothers. Those prophecies have been fulfilled—to my benefit and their detriment. The whole thing is a monumental tragedy. The skin thing is truly awful.

    I was wondering about Soledad O’Brian’s ethnicity. I wasn’t sure if she was white or Latina or both. As a person of Cuban ethnicity she’s probably had her fair share of indoctrination in this skin color hierarchy. My wife’s family is from the Caribbean, and skin color politics there tend to be on a whole different, more intense level than they are here.

  69. Angie

    I’ve been wondering how much colorism is an issue for Latinos from Cuba, Panama, Belize, Puerto Rico and so on. Can anyone shed some light on this?
    In many of those cultures, there are Latinos that are very fair with straight hair, and then there are others that are dark with curly/kinky hair.
    I didn’t realize this until I went to NYC the first time. While visiting friends in the Bronx and Spanish Harlem, I was constantly being spoken to in Spanish by Latinos that were my color and/or darker. My homegirl explained to me how many of the folks you would think would be what we consider black down here in the dirty south are really of Latin descent.

  70. Rick

    “Rick, I hear you. But please expound more. I think that you’re on to something here.
    What should be the plan? What is the action that needs to be taken?”

    re: A Call to Action

    Angie, thanks for the follow-up question.
    I think each person, if they truly wanted, could find 1) at least one social issue that they are concerned/passionate about and 2) find even some small way to use their gift/talents/time to help out.

    Social issues could include for example: increasing financial literacy, or addressing negative images against women in hip hop, or violence in the community more generally. Others topics could include, spreading information about health issues of concern to people of color (heart disease, cancer, diabetes); talking to our youth about the need to stay in school/mentoring…etc. etc. there is an infinite number of topics for someone to get involved in.

    Second, one need not invent the wheel or create a new organization or movement to help the cause. that’s because there are a large number of non-profit organizations that exist that are desparately looking for folks to get involved. Committments could range from weekly mentoring visits with a high school students; to 1-time speaking engagements at school career days; to someone with IT skills helping an organization with their website to help spread their message.

    The point is to say these are more networked type activities in which people use their talents to solve a problem on a more local level based on shared interests with like-minded people. the benefit of a network, as opposed to heirarchial chain of command, is that things don’t stop dead cold when 1 cog is withdrawn. things keep going.

    But what we need to solve problems, I feel, are more individuals to get involved. Many do not want to get involved. “Not my problem” seems to be the attitude for many.

  71. Angie

    Rick, I love your enthusiasm! I agree that each one of us can find a social issue that we feel passionate about, and then use our gifts and talents to link up with other individuals who share our passion to combat the problem.
    That message needs to be heard far and wide.
    I think that more often than we would like to admit, members of the black middle class, for different reasons, some valid and not valid, are not investing their gifts, talents, and time into combating many of the social problems that are impairing the growth and health of the larger black community.
    In my class this week, I introduced the idea of individualism verses collectivism. In an individualistic society, we are taught to place value and concern for ourselves and our immediate family. In a collective society, we understand the value and importance of interdependence, as well as the necessity to care for others that may extend outside of our neatly constructed social circle.
    Of course individualism is a western phenomenon that has unfortunately been indoctrinated into the African American experience. That concept may work for certain groups. But it is proving to not be a value oriented system that is profitable for us as black folks.
    I also like the fact that you suggested that we don’t try to create new programs and new organizations to do what many organizations are already trying to do. Many of these organizations would be more effective if they had the man power and the talents and gifts that lie within individuals (us) to better strategize and to execute their plans to change whatever it is that they are trying to change.
    I, for one, must do more. Unfortunately, those of us who work in the social service and education fields often feel like we put in our “time” and made a good enough investment. But there is always more to do.
    I often complain, telling folks I don’t have enough time and/or energy. But the truth is, after I get through doing things for my mother whose health is very poor, working my two jobs, and helping out with my nieces and nephew, I still have time to donate my insight, talents, and energy to assist with an effort that is going to help the community at large.
    In short, your call for service helped me see that I need to step up my game.

  72. I think that one of the most effective ways to effect collective change, is to set an individual example. To Rick’s point, if more black Americans provided examples of healthy eating, financial responsibility, a passion for learning, fidelity for uplifting arts, etc., that would set the wheels in motion for collective social change.

  73. Angie

    Yes Trip: I do feel that the way I live my life can and does have an influence on others. I know that people are watching. I know that my presence, my life, my disposition, my concept of self, my choices are all being observed by those that I know are watching and by those that I don’t think even notice me.
    And you are right, our lives/our outcomes can be the best example to others how choices can impact the overall productivity, health, and success of our lives.
    I have recently made a decision that the best way to turn around all of this sickness in my family, hypertension, diabetes, stroke, heart disease, that is often called “generational curses” is to change my behavior. I realize that behavior, my choices, the way I live my life will set the example for my sisters’ children. That’s how you break a cycle, a curse.
    If they see me exercising, maintaining a good body weight, eating healthy, then they will hopefully understand the value of good health and also understand the consequences of not embracing healthy habits for living.
    Also, if my sisters’ kids see us balancing our checkbooks (not having hot checks), living below our means, owning our homes, they will not continue the cycle, the standard that was set by the generation that came before them.
    Change lies in us. And I’m not saying that because of Obama. That’s what I believe. Like Rick said, when the 8 years have passed, we won’t have whomever we elected president. But what we will have is “us”.
    Either we can stumble into change that we didn’t plan for/don’t want. Or we can purposefully create the change that we want/that will benefit us.

    A. Braden

  74. Good to see the home fires are still burning here.

    “…if more black Americans provided examples of healthy eating, financial responsibility, a passion for learning, fidelity for uplifting arts, etc., that would set the wheels in motion for collective social change.”

    The passion for learning item is key to me. I was in the Army and there were so many opportunities like free CLEP classes/testing to take advantage of, yet hardly anyone did. The majority of enlistees were happy doing the bare minimum for “three hots and a cot”. Again the question is…how do you reach people and motivate them to do better? If you try and lead by example, there doesn’t seem to be too many people willing to follow. I’m just speaking from my personal experience…

  75. Ernesto,

    I think that most of our schooling is abstract and boring. Kids (and adults for that matter) will participate in activities that they find engaging. For some reason educators seem resistant to making learning fun. If kids will sit behind video consoles for hours a day, why not promote academic learning in a similar way? Instead of teaching algebra with X and Y, why not teach it in $ and cents? Instead of dismissing hip-hop as base, why not ask students to deconstruct and create lyrics as a way to teach analysis and writing? My guess is that those folks who skipped the CLEP classes would have participated in something they considered fun. I taught for six years, and the basic lesson I learned is that everyone wants and needs to learn. It’s the teachers’ job to figure out how to present the opportunities for learning. Just my thoughts…What do you think?

  76. Angie,

    Well, it sounds to me as if you’re doing more than your share of uplifting our community. You are an inspiration to your family, your neighborhoods and the folks in this blog.

  77. TrpLBee:
    There’s a couple problems. There’s what I call “the three quarter rule” based on what a wise old professor once told me: that no matter where you go, roughly three quarters of the people there don’t really give a damn, for whatever reason. I’ve been running into that wall forever and still don’t have an answer for it.

    The bigger problem (and somewhat related to the first) is that the economic system of this country does not require too many well-educated people since the dumbed-down herd is easier to manage and sell things to. So there’s no big push to educate people beyond the very basics. I’d love to see innovative, effective learning strategies, especially for young people. So where are they? Where are the video games that force kids to actually use their brains? There’s definitely a lot of parents looking for them.

  78. Angie

    “You are an inspiration to your family, your neighborhoods and the folks in this blog.” Trip

    Thank you so much. Although I realize that my life/my story/my experiences are an inspiration to others that come in contact with me, I also realize that I could actively do more to uplift our people. And I accept the challenge to do just that.

    Earlier this month, I started a new job. I am teaching undergraduate courses in Communications at a local college here in Houston.
    When the chair of the department hired me, I was excited that I was getting a chance to ditch my state job to go to an employment opportunity that I had longed for since my undergrad days in the 90’s. After getting home, I called a few friends and shared the news about being able to resign my job that made me so unhappy, as well as the opportunity that I had to teach at the college.
    After settling down and coming down from my “I got the job!” high, I realized what a significant opportunity this was for me. I felt honored and humbled that I, an African American woman with a substantial disability, such as complete blindness, was getting the chance to teach in a college setting.
    I thought about my grandmother who worked as a maid, cleaning white folks houses. I thought about my grandfather who was sold to some white folks to be an illegal slave by his own father when he was a child. I thought about my paternal grandparents, and how they worked as sharecroppers in rural Louisiana. I thought about my own father who did not complete high school. I thought about how I was literally one generation away from the cottonfields of Louisiana and the ghettos of inner-city Houston.
    I thought about my nieces and nephew, and how important it is for them to see someone in their family achieving professional success. I thought about my neighbors, and how important it is for them to see that a black woman with a disability can work and can have a “good” job. I thought about how important it is for my younger cousins to see how good choices, endurance, and faith in God could help them achieve their goals. I thought about how other individuals with disabilities could look at me and know that “there is life after disability.”
    The burden of doing this job and doing it well was more apparent to me after I finished pondering the depth and significance of my opportunity to teach in a college setting. I realized then that I had to achieve, not just for myself, but for others as well.
    I believe that I was born to live a life that can be an example to others. That’s why I work so hard to represent the life, love, and courage that I believe comes from God. I believe that those gifts are in all of us. And the way God can show us that they are there is through the examples of others.

    But with all that being said, I still can do more. **smile**
    And I will do more.
    (Rick, thanks for the challenge.)


  79. Rick

    Angie, the best vision is insight. And you have it, sis. Like Trip said, you are a blessing to us all.

    “If you try and lead by example, there doesn’t seem to be too many people willing to follow. I’m just speaking from my personal experience…” — Ernesto

    I feel what you are saying, but let me share two quick illustrations of what I meant.

    Before I was a teenager, someone took me to the United Nations for the first time. Never seen or heard of it prior to that. He told me that it was a place where nations went to go to settle disputes. What I really remembered though were the cool flags from all the countries flying in the breeze.

    Two decades later, I went on to study international relations in our nation’s capitol. An small investment of someone’s time paid a dividend much much later. (not always right away).

    Here’s another example you might appreciate being an Army man, Ernesto. My step-dad was in the Army, served in several wars. I didn’t particularly care for his strict discipline as a youth, and often rebelled.

    Fast forward, you will never find a wrinkle on me ever never. And, I bet you know exactly what I mean by that.

    I think as adults, it’s our role to provide direction. It’s not up to us to force them to listen. that’s on them. But before we say they don’t listen, which they often don’t, we should often remember our own stories where the lessons we discounted in our youth came into bloom as we got older.

    Chances are, someone showed us the way.

  80. Angie

    Thank you Rick. You guys are far too kind.

    “…you will never find a wrinkle on me…”

    I think you are implying that your stepfather’s discipline caused you to insist on being physically fit. Is that what you mean? Clarification please… I’m not an army man. **wink** So, I’m a touch confused.

  81. By no wrinkles I think Rick means, everything is “dress, right dress” as they say, i.e., “standing tall and looking good”.

    I hated the Army with a passion but it certainly motivated me to do better in life. In fact, I’m with Charlie Rangel on implementing a mandatory draft. Once you start sending Ivy League-bound youngsters into Iraq, the occupation will end right quick. Also, many young ‘uns (from all backgrounds) badly need to learn about self-sacrifice and discipline. Especially discipline. I’d love to be a drill sergeant in charge of some of the kids that hang out in my neighborhood. 🙂

  82. Happy Anniversary, SB!

    I only recently discovered this blog. I hate discovering great things at the end of their shelf life.

    Blogs are a lot like perfume samples vials. Most of the time they are vials of vile, but occasionally you get one and really like it…I mean REALLY like it. So you go to the store to buy a full bottle, only to be told that it was discontinued and you can’t have it. You leave the store feeling rather deprived and cheated.

    I am glad you have decided not to throw in the towel, because your blog has a great unique fragrance that I REALLY like and I want a full bottle…probably more than one.

    I don’t always agree with you, but I respect you, because you say what you have to say with intelligence, wit, and style.

    The day you give up and walk away, it will be a real tragedy, for the internet would be losing a great voice. The world needs more political bloggers like you, be they black or white, male or female…not less.

    Keep going…don’t stop! Slow down or take a break if you have to, but please, don’t stop.

  83. Actually I know their parents and they aren’t negligent as much as they have just gotten tired of whoopin that ass, and given up.

    On another topic…the Obama veepstakes are heating up. What do y’all think of Tim Kaine and some of the other names being tossed out there?

  84. Angie

    What do you guys think of Ludacris’ most recent track? The following link will take you to a site that posts the lyrics, and it also allows you to listen to the track, which is quite, quite interesting, to say the least.
    Surely, Ludacris could not have thought that this little song would help his man.
    Calling Senator Clinton a bitch? Oh yeah, that’s going to go over real well with Clinton supporters that need to back Obama.
    And that was only one of the inflammatory lyrics on the track…
    Yeah, I’m down for art and expression. But really?
    Please read and listen to the song. Let me know what you think.

    I’m back on it like I just signed my record deal
    yeah the best is here, the Bentley Coup paint is dripping wet, it got sex appeal
    never should have hated
    you never should’ve doubted him
    with a slot in the president’s iPod Obama shattered ’em
    Said I handled his biz and I’m one of his favorite rappers
    Well give Luda a special pardon if I’m ever in the slammer
    Better yet put him in office, make me your vice president
    Hillary hated on you, so that b^$&%* is irrelevant
    Jesse talking slick and apologizing for what?
    if you said it then you meant it how you want it have a gut!
    and all you other politicians trying to hate on my man,
    watch us win a majority vote in every state on my man
    you can’t stop what’s bout to happen, we bout to make history
    the first black president is destined and it’s meant to be
    the threats ain’t fazing us, the nooses or the jokes
    so get off your ass, black people, it’s time to get out and vote!
    paint the White House black and I’m sure that’s got ’em terrified
    McCain don’t belong in ANY chair unless he’s paralyzed
    Yeah I said it cause Bush is mentally handicapped
    Ball up all of his speeches and I throw em like candy wrap
    cause what you talking I hear nothing even relevant
    and you the worst of all 43 presidents
    get out and vote or the end will be near
    the world is ready for change because Obama is here!
    cause Obama is here
    The world is ready for change because Obama is here!

  85. TripLBee

    Ludacris is definitely living up to his name. My guess is that his tracks have been erased from Obama’s iPod.

  86. Pingback: s 4 two
  87. SB, I’ve been MIA on the blogging scene for the better part of the past 6 months, but can’t imagine coming back and NOT finding you here! Congratulations on the anniversary, on sticking with it (trust me, I know how difficult that can be on many fronts :)), and don’t you DARE go anywhere! Yes, breaks are allowed, so take one whenever you feel the need…not that you need my/our permission to do so. 😉

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