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Fri May 29, 2015 at 01:27 PM PDT

Black Kos, Week In Review

by Black Kos

Reposted from Black Kos community by JoanMar

Commentary: African American Scientists and Inventors
by Black Kos Editor, Sephius1

Henry Ransom Cecil McBay (1914–1995) was an African - American chemist and a teacher.

McBay was born "Henry Ransom McBay" (named from his maternal grandfather, Henry Ransom) in 1914 in Mexia, Texas. His father, William Cecil McBay, was a barber who eventually became an embalmer and funeral director; his mother, Roberta Ransom (McBay), was a seamstress.

McBay was able to receive a good education because of his proficiency in math. He was able to gain admission to Wiley College in Marshall, Texas, and paid for his education by working in the college’s dining-hall and post office. Inspired by his math and chemistry professors, McBay studied organic chemistry and earned his B.S. degree in 1934. His Wiley professors helped him acquire a scholarship to Atlanta to work on his next degree.

With only $1.65 in his pocket, McBay immediately took a job in the Atlanta University dining hall so he could eat. After only a few days on campus, his faculty advisor, Professor K. A. Huggins, arranged for him to work in the chemistry laboratory.

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Reposted from shaunking by a2nite
Crime scene photo of car after shot up by Officer Michael Brelo
Many unjust verdicts across the years have exposed just how protected police misconduct is under the law.

Four LAPD Police Officers were acquitted of their assault on Rodney King - in spite of overwhelming video evidence that they used excessive force.

Four NYPD officers were acquitted after firing 41 shots at Amadou Diallo on the doorstep of his home. He was an unarmed model citizen.

Three NYPD detectives were acquitted on all charges after firing 50 shots into the car of Sean Bell on his wedding day. Everyone in his car was unarmed and leaving a bachelor party.

Even President George W. Bush said the decision not to indict NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo in the choking death of Eric Garner was "hard to understand."

In a study commissioned by the Washington Post, it was determined that less than one percent of police officers who kill people on the job ever serve a day in jail—even when overwhelming evidence proves they acted unlawfully.

Perhaps no police shooting in the history of America, though, was more egregious and excessive than that of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams by the Cleveland Police Department in 2012. Both of them were completely unarmed and parked when Officer Michael Brelo jumped on the hood of the car and fired 34 shots into the windshield, reloaded his gun, then fired 15 more. An 88 additional shots were fired by his fellow officers surrounding the vehicle.

For years, police have claimed that Timothy and Malissa shot at them from the car, but after no guns were recovered, no bullet or bullet hole from the guns ever found, and their hands were completely free of any gun residue, it was concluded that that this mystery gunshot was likely just their car, a 1979 Chevy Malibu, backfiring. Some even dispute that this took place.

On Saturday, Officer Michael Brelo was found not guilty of voluntary manslaughter in this shooting massacre. Taking nearly one hour to explain his decision, the judge stated that the prosecutors were simply unable to disprove Brelo's claim that he "feared for his life" and that the state was unable to prove that the 49 bullets which came from Brelo's gun were the ones that actually caused their death.

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Reposted from SpiritSisters by JoanMar
Graphic image of multicultural women by artist Michelle Robonson
Graphic by Michelle Robinson.  Used by permission of the artist.
Activist women have walked many different paths, and have come from many different places and life experiences to get to where we are today. We are bound together in a shared spirit that transcends race, ethnicity and class. We are sisters.  

Hear our voices.


SpiritSisters: Writing In Women's Voices is a group of women from all walks of life who have come together to tell our stories and discuss women's issues and rights. We come from every ethnic group, from multiple sexual orientations and gender identities, from a broad spectrum of ability status, from a wide array of socioeconomic classes, and from a diversity of traditions and cultures – spiritual, religious, and secular.  

Dominant culture narratives do not represent our lives; they elide, alter, and erase.  We are sisters in spirit, and we are taking back our narratives. We are joining together in a circle of mutual trust and support to share our stories, our histories, our identities, our very selves, as individual women and as members of all of the diverse communities and intersections where we live — and doing so in our own voices.

We discuss the harms women experience when the dominant culture does not accurately consider, believe or hear women's voices.

We will also celebrate and share the strengths of our sisters in struggle, and the stories of women who are making a difference.

 SpiritSisters will be posting Thursday 4:30 pm (Pacific)/7:30 pm (Eastern) each week, and additional postings when members have time available. We are sending email notices (BCC to ensure privacy of email addresses) when diaries are posted. If you would like to join our email list, please kosmail rb137.

If you are interested in hearing our voices and reading our stories, we ask that you click "Follow."



Andrea Spande, Denise Oliver Velez, Diogenes2008, JoanMar, kishik, mixedbag, moviemeister76, nomandates, Onomastic, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, peregrine kate, poco, ramara, rb137, shanikka, TexMex, TrueBlueMajority, Vita Brevis, and Yasuragi.

Daily Kos has always been host to the voices of wide range of women. Many Daily Kos editors and staff members are female. Daily Kos hosts a current series "This Week in the War on Women," which provides a weekly summary of news on women's issues and information on current political actions." Women on Daily Kos are individual diarists, commenters, administrators of community groups, rescue rangers, fund raisers for those in need, and readers.

We feel that we need a space here for you to hear our individual voices, telling our herstories of both joy and pain. We realize that not all women are feminists, and not all women are progressive, but we know the path to making that change is open through education and sharing from the heart. We are also aware that the culture we live in has erected barriers between and among women, and those men who support our struggles.

We SpiritSisters as a group, are resolved to celebrate difference, break through barriers, and to promote and build solidarity with love and respect.

Please join us in this effort.

Reposted from weinenkel by elenacarlena
Now, in the middle of the afternoon, people will be able to see you when the sun shines on you
The NY Post ran a story a couple of days ago about how the New York City Housing Authority has ordered its workers to wear bright orange vests in order to protect them from being shot by the NYPD.
The edict came down from city Housing Authority brass after an officer fatally shot an unarmed man in the stairwell of a Brooklyn complex and other cops accidentally pulled a gun on a maintenance crew, sources said.

“[The elevator workers] were basically told the reason was because of recent incidents where cops had pulled a gun on a caretaker and a supervisor on the roof of a housing project,” a source said.

But that is not all. This silent new rule also came with some verbal training.
One Housing boss told his workers that the move was for their own good because cops are “trigger happy,’’ the sources said.

The workers also were told to wear their official IDs around their necks.

“They said that in case a cop stops you, we don’t want you reaching around in back pocket That could be another reason for a cop to shoot you,” a source said.

When your friend with relatives in the police department gets bent out of shape by your harsh criticisms of our law enforcement, mention this to them. Explain to them that, at the very least, the perception of even city workers is that law enforcement is not nearly as safe an organization as it should be.
Reposted from elenacarlena by 2thanks
Les Beastiables ("Les Bez"):  Beasties say the darnedest things!

Today's Beastiable is Jeb Bushbaby.  He's a bit dangerous because he seems to have prematurely announced he is running for President, a bit ridiculous because he seems to have prematurely announced he is running for President.  He has made multiple beastly statements, so has more than earned his turn as one of Les Beastiables.  
Jeb Bushbaby on his nonsense that stand your ground somehow makes us safer (it has demonstrably not).
NOTE:  This series features a new Les Beastiables cartoon every Wednesday about 1:30-1:45 PM Eastern.  We indulge in a little Franglish because the French are tres classy.  But I digresse.

For serious source information, please join me below the orange squirming of beasties on the hot seat.  Then you'll be able to "cleanse your palate" with a cute photo before you leave.

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Reposted from Black Kos community by JoanMar
Black Kos logo
Thoughts about Black Kos, (with a poll)

Commentary by Black Kos Editor Denise Oliver-Velez

After reading and responding to many of the detailed and thoughtful comments, in "How did you begin to unlearn racism?" on Sunday—some from people I've never seen comments from before, and others who I know are regular members or readers of Black Kos—it got me to thinking. We have an excellent resource right here at Daily Kos, for unlearning racism—a Black Kos community in which a majority of readers and members are white (even though assumptions are often made that they are black—just 'cause they are here) who have a real interest in interacting at Daily Kos with black folks and other people of color, and staying on top of news, and views from the black diaspora.

This comment from Black Kos community member joedemocrat touched me, and I thank him for making it.

Hi Denise and everyone (9+ / 0-)

I'll answer your question honestly as I can....

When I came to Daily Kos, I could recognize overt racism, but not the subtle kind. I had never heard the term white privilege or other terms. Also, I did not know how it was embedded or about issues like police brutality, and mass incarceration, etc..

I grew up in a small town in the midwest that was all white. I had high school teachers who were bothered by the idea of interracial marriage. I knew people who were furious there was an organization called NAACP thinking it a reverse form of racism.

People may say they aren't racist. But they support racist policies and racist politicians and political parties.

My mother didn't have those beliefs, so it wasn't taught at home. She was born in the early 1930's in Germany. She knew both poverty and war. She was a strong Democrat -
as strong as they come.

There were WWII Veterans who didn't like us. I was made fun of in school.

Also, unfortunately I had a verbally abusive father.

This has made me want to stick up for the underdog and the oppressed. That probably gave me an open mind to learn.

I feel I am slower to pick up on non-overt racism than you or others who participate in Black Kos are. I try to follow. If you or other Black Kos regulars are bothered by something and I don't understand, instead of thinking you overreacted I try to listen and learn.

We are all who we are politically due to our life experiences. Those experiences will be different. We can all relate best to ourselves and those like us. But sometimes you have to stop and ask yourself "What was it like to walk in these people's shoes?"  And one reason this country is in so much trouble is very few people can do that. Oppression seems normalized in many ways. Anytime a group gets any kind of privileged status, they become disconnected from those who don't.

I think it is important to build bridges too because we are always stronger together than as individuals. And there are so many problems we need to work together.

In that effort to build bridges, and to look at where we've been and where we are today, we'd like to hear from you regulars but also those who "lurk" and read but may not comment.  

It's been several years since I posted "A question for Kossaks (with poll)," which was followed by Black Kos, Tuesday's Chile: roll call and lurker come-out edition, which garnered 615 comments and 127 recommends. I decided it is time to do it again.

We have two new editors, Joan Mar and ChitownKev, (yay!) and new readers too.

First a little history:
For those of you who are not Daily Kos "old timers," Black Kos, was founded by dopper0189, on Tue Jan 02, 2007, as an open thread, which evolved into Black Kos: weekly round up, and then became Black Kos: Week in review.  On Fri Mar 21, 2008 dopper published "My last Black Kos week in review diary," and Black Kos as a UID was born.

As you can see from reading this diary, Black Kos is "going community" on you! Starting next week Black Kos will be a group effort, Robinswing, Sephius1, Terrypinder, and myself will collaborate on writing "Black Kos week in review" diaries. The new home starting next week will be at Black Kos. Thank you Markos and Meteor Blades for giving us permission to do so (and understanding this isn't a "sockpuppet" but a community effort). So in the future please hotlist "Black Kos". Thank you everyone who read and helped make this diary possible, I will still be around as dopper0189, but the week in review will now be done by the group ID Black Kos. Once again thank you everyone!
Black Kos currently has 765 followers, and the Black Kos community, was founded in 2011.

Black Kos has gone through some amazing highs over time, and our most recommended  diary was ***Update: Statement of Opposition to Racist Labels Used by Kossacks to Criticize President Obama, with 2524 comments, 983 recommends, posted on April 16, 2013, followed immediately by Continued: Statement of Opposition to Racist Labels Used by Kossacks to Criticize President Obama, because the first diary became almost impossible to open.

We've been through meta, and pie wars, ups and downs, and each year end dopper0189  (David-who we affectionately call "Chief") publishes a Black Kos Year in Review.

We've covered the earthquake in Haiti, news out of Africa, and the ongoing protests and reactions to the killings of black folks here at home, as well as electoral politics, history, science, medicine, the environment, music, art, poetry, film and television.

Now we would like to hear from you—our readers.  

Please take the poll at the bottom of the diary, and we hope some of you will de-lurk to say hello.  We'd like to hear from regular members too, about when and why you joined.

One of the things we learned in the last poll was that many people don't comment because they feel they "don't want to intrude" in a "black space," not realizing that this is an integrated space with more white than black members.

If you would like an invitation to join, let us know in comments.  You can also check the heart next to Black Kos up top to follow us.

I just want to add yet another thank-you to our Chief—for having sustained this series for so long, to previous editors, and most of all to our readers and members.

See you on the porch.


How have you been involved with Black Kos?

8%12 votes
26%39 votes
8%13 votes
34%50 votes
13%19 votes
2%3 votes
3%5 votes
1%2 votes
2%3 votes

| 146 votes | Vote | Results

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Reposted from shaunking by a2nite
Protestors gather in a downtown intersection as a Cleveland Police officers block them from an RTA bus following the not guilty verdict for Cleveland police officer Michael Brelo on manslaughter charges in Cleveland, Ohio, May 23, 2015. Brelo was found not guilty on Saturday in the shooting deaths of an unarmed black man and a woman after a high-speed car chase in 2012, one in a series of cases that have raised questions over police conduct and race relations in the United States. REUTERS/Aaron Josefczyk      TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY      - RTX1E9B9
On this past Saturday, at least 56 peaceful protestors were arrested in Cleveland, Ohio as they expressed their frustrations over the acquittal of Officer Michael Brelo. In 2012, Brelo stood on the hood of the car of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams and fired 49 shots into their front windshield. They were completely unarmed.

Protestors took to the streets almost immediately and it appears police tried to "teach them a lesson." In interviews with Doug Brown of Cleveland Scene, protestors described the outrageously unsanitary conditions they were forced to endure in a place called the "workhouse".

"We were in the workhouse, it was disgusting," one man explained. "The beds were disgusting, we were getting sick as we were sitting their breathing in that air."

Another backed that up: "Yeah, I was held in the workhouse. It was terrible, I don't think there was anybody in there before us or that it had been cleaned since it was built. The mats we were given had holes ripped through them, the water was disgusting. There was a water fountain, right? The water came out piss-yellow, so no one touched it. We demanded water. So they bring us a cooler of water — piss yellow. Another 30 minutes goes by, another cooler of water — piss yellow. Another 30 minutes, piss yellow. Smelling like fucking eggs. There were spiders everywhere. There was a thing of spoiled milk underneath my bunk — five cartons of spoiled milk from April 20th."

These deplorable conditions are fundamentally outrageous and potentially illegal. Just a few weeks ago, protestors in Baltimore were similarly jailed for days, in outrageous conditions, then released without charges.
Reposted from Daily Kos by JoanMar
United States Army Private First Class William K. Nakamura, Medal of Honor recipient
United States Army Private First Class William K. Nakamura, U.S. Medal of Honor recipient, awarded posthumously.
In "The Memorial Day history forgot: The Martyrs of the Race Course," I wrote last year about the not very well known African-American roots of Memorial Day. In recent years, some media attention has been paid to the long history of Black military service—from the Revolutionary War, including Haitians who fought for us, through the civil war, in films like Glory, and the Tuskegee Airmen in World War II—no matter the racism we faced, and still face in this country.  

We hear less about other soldiers of color—Asian, Native American and Latino who died for us, who also faced, and still face discrimination within our shores.

Pictured above is William Kenzo Nakamura (January 21, 1922-July 4, 1944).

He was a United States Army soldier and a recipient of the United States military's highest decoration—the Medal of Honor—for his actions in World War II.

Nakamura was born in Seattle to Japanese immigrant parents. He is a Nisei, which means that he is a second generation Japanese-American. His family was interned in Minidoka in Idaho during World War II. Nakamura volunteered to be part of the all-Nisei 442nd Regimental Combat Team. This army unit was mostly made up of Japanese Americans from Hawaii and the mainland.

On July 4, 1944, Nakamura was serving as a private first class in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. On that day, near Castellina, Italy, he single-handedly destroyed an enemy machine gun emplacement and later volunteered to cover his unit's withdrawal. He was then killed while attacking another machine gun nest which was firing on his platoon

Follow me below the fold for more of this memorial history.
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Reposted from Steven D by a2nite

Many, many police officers and their supporters are going ape shit very upset at a group of student artists at Westfield High School in New Jersey for daring to exhibit their artwork.  Why?  Because the art in question is based on the theme "Law Enforcement - Police Brutality."  I guess cops can give a punch (or a taser shot, "rough ride" or a bullet) but they can't stand to see any artistic expression of that behavior, symbolic or otherwise.  And so they are lambasting the high school and the student artists whose only crime, as far as I can tell, was using their own life experience of interactions with police to inform what they create.

Artwork depicting scenes of police brutality displayed in a Westfield High School art show has set off a firestorm of comments from police supporters who have called the images "a gross misrepresentation," "ignorant" and "one-sided."

The artwork depicts images of officers with guns drawn, a target on a silhouette with his hands up, a bloodied body stabbed by a police shield and other scenes on a poster board that reads "Law Enforcement - Police Brutality." The silkscreens were part of an annual project where students depict their takes on controversial topics, according to a student.

A storm of protest on social media erupted after the images first appeared on the school's facebook page, with a large number of people calling for the firing of the Superintendent for the school district, Dr. Margaret Dolan.  Here's a screenshot of some of the tamer responses to the exhibit posted on the school's facebook page:

Of course, Fox News couldn't resist covering this story.  Here's Eric Bolling's fair and balanced take on this matter, where he implicitly blamed the teachers at Westfield High for attacking the police, and demanded the exhibit be "taken down."

Superintendent Dolan, as result of this "controversy" posted a response attempting to defuse the criticism from people who posted such comments and attacked the school district for "teaching kids to disrespect the police."  

I am sorry that information that has been passed along via social media and elsewhere has not told the entire story and has led some to believe that we do not respect law enforcement. We do, and we are teaching our students to do the same.
Ironically, it was the kids at the school who chose the subject - not the Superintendent, not their teachers.  They were told that it was their choice to make and that, as one of the students, Kayla related to
"We submitted several different topics of our choice and finally narrowed them down to three - Law Enforcement- Police Brutality, Modern Technology Advances and Gender Equality," said student Kayla McMillan. "The students were allowed to choose either side of the arguments and were told they would not be in trouble for their own opinions."
Welcome to the real world, Kayla, where people will not respect your right to freedom of expression if it upsets their delicate sensibilities.  Obviously, the student artists who created these images didn't do so in a vacuum, nor did their teachers brainwash them to "hate the police."  The reality in America today is that police violence against all citizens, but particularly minority populations, is commonplace, despite falling crime rates.  We've all seen overzealous and violent law enforcement responses to peaceful protest movements such as Occupy Wall Street, and far too many shootings, and other instances of police violence against African Americans and Latinos, many of them unarmed and often while they were already in custody (e.g., Freddy Gray).  

The cops and their supporters can loudly proclaim all they want that these "incidents" are infrequent and represent only a few bad apples.  However, as more stories come out of officially sanctioned abuse and outright torture, such as what occurred in Chicago's infamous Homan Square station, and as more and more people capture video of these brutal outrages (e.g., Tamir Rice, Walter Scott, Eric Garner) where innocent people are murdered by cops, the harder it is to defend the police, especially since so many of them remain silent in the face of their fellow officers' open criminality.

Frankly, in this case, the kids got it right.

Reposted from Digging up those Facts ... for over 8 years. by a2nite

Americans used to have rights. Primarily the Right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

Also we supposedly have the the right to be "secure from unreasonable searches and seizures of property by the government" -- "without warrant or probable cause."

It seems in some sections of America however, rogue police officers and the one-sided courts, have effectively made these American Rights -- null and void -- with respect to any common sense understanding of these rights.

It's kind of hard to "pursue happiness" -- when you've just been shot 137 times!

When can police use lethal force against a fleeing suspect? -- April 8, 2015


Can police officers shoot at fleeing individuals?

Only in very narrow circumstances. A seminal 1985 Supreme Court case, Tennessee vs. Garner, held that the police may not shoot at a fleeing person unless the officer reasonably believes that the individual poses a significant physical danger to the officer or others in the community. That means officers are expected to take other, less-deadly action during a foot or car pursuit unless the person being chased is seen as an immediate safety risk.

In other words, a police officer who fires at a fleeing man who a moment earlier murdered a convenience store clerk may have reasonable grounds to argue that the shooting was justified. But if that same robber never fired his own weapon, the officer would likely have a much harder argument.

You don’t shoot fleeing felons. You apprehend them unless there are exigent circumstances -- emergencies -- that require urgent police action to safeguard the community as a whole,” said Greg Gilbertson, a police practices expert and criminal justice professor at Centralia College in Washington state.

Am I creating more of a danger by chasing this person than if I let this person stay at large?” Drago said. “Especially in a vehicle pursuit, is it worth risking everyone on the road to catch this guy?”

Good questions.  When do Police in "hot pursuit" -- become a bigger problem, than the one they are supposedly chasing?

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Reposted from Daily Kos by JoanMar
Overpass Light Brigade with lights that read
Overpass Light Brigade, "Unlearn Racism"
When the Overpass Light Brigade brought the message of "Unlearn Racism" to Milwaukee, they held up lights on a subject that we are confronted with daily, but are not always sure how to address as individuals. We know that anthropologists and other scientists have made it clear for years that biological "race" exists as only a social construct, but that "racism" is alive and well and none of us are unaffected by the miasma from the racial swamp we breathe in daily.

So many of our efforts are focusing on protesting the more obvious deleterious effects of systemic racism—via protests and legislation—that we don't always have time to have a conversation about what to do about it, person by person. This is what Ricky Sherover-Marcuse called "attitudinal racism."

Because racism is both institutional and attitudinal, effective strategies against it must recognize this dual character. The undoing of institutionalized racism must be accompanied by the unlearning of racists attitudes and beliefs. The unlearning of racists patterns of thought and action must guide the practice of political and social change.

As a black person, I'm always interested in trying to figure out in conversations with my close friends who are not black—what makes them tick? How did they shake off the shackles of ostensible racial superiority and change? What was it in their upbringing, surrounds, faith, ethical teachings, incidents that took place along the road of life that allowed them to scour out racism or at least start the cleansing? Perhaps if more people would talk about how they unlearned racism, it would help direct others onto that path.

Follow me below the fold to begin that conversation.

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Reposted from Daily Kos by elenacarlena
An African American woman working at her desk
Years ago, when my career depended on my being so much better at what I did than were the men I worked with, and my willingness to work twice as hard for 60.2 percent of their salary, I was forced to walk a very fine line between my feminist principles and my need for that truncated paycheck.

I loved the work though; I was thrilled to be paid to analyze the physical and financial aspects of a business and to make a decision. Someone was actually willing to pay me to think. And to deal with abstract concepts, like finance and contracts and tort law. Heady stuff for one who was raised in an era when few women worked outside the home.

Even in my early twenties, I knew that the words we used shaped the way we think. Back before it was called politically correct, when it was merely seen as respect, we stopped referring to adult African American males as boys. But even the most liberal men of that era still referred to women as girls.

One day, up on that tenuous tightrope upon which the first woman in a man's job had to balance, I had a discussion with my boss, a Berkeley graduate working in San Francisco, about the word girl. Politely, with humor and a winning smile, I suggested that referring to an adult in the terms of childhood diminished her standing in his eyes. That it was not possible to see the professional woman when he was thinking of her as a child, as "less than" an adult member of his team. I remember saying that of course, it was his right to use whatever language he felt was appropriate, but that I did wish he would at least think about the word and what it implied, when he was using it.

Today, I am no longer in need of a paycheck issued by a man, so I can say it flat out, "Do not call me 'girl.' " I am not a child, and it doesn't matter how many women use the term to describe each other or themselves. It is inappropriate to label an adult as a child in any professional setting. Or in any discussion of adults in a professional setting.

The reason this needs to be said now, is that we are likely to nominate the first woman as president of the United States within the next year. We have to be prepared for the backlash that is sure to come, just as our black sisters and brothers have had to deal with the backlash created by the election of the first black president of the United States.

There is more below the fold.

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