Race: White Terror & Racist Violence

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White supremacy first took shape in the West and was exported around the globe. But in the New World racial thinking found especially fertile soil, as it offered justification for slavery. If Blacks were less than human, the thinking went, they could be owned. If nonwhites were more primitive than whites, and if they were more prone to violence, then they must be violently controlled. This board surveys global white supremacist violence from the mid-19th century to the present.

The Sociological Cinema
Race: The Black Wall Street Bombing (1921)
Race: The Civil War Draft Riots (1863)
Race: The Memphis Massacre (1866)
Race: The New Orleans Massacre (1866)
Race: The Opelousas Massacre (1868)
Race: The Danville Massacre (1883)
Race: The Carollton Courthouse Massacre (1886)
Race: Massacre at Wounded Knee (1890)
Race: The Wilmington Massacre (1898)
Race: The Springfield Massacre (1908)
Race: East St. Louis Massacre (1917)
Race: Elaine Massacre (1919)
Race: The Rosewood Massacre (1923)
Race: The Watsonville Massacre (1930)
Race: The Detroit Riot (1943)
Race: The 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing (1963)
Race: The Orangeburg Massacre (1968)
Race: The MOVE Headquarters Bombing (1985)
Race: "Unite the Right" Charlottesville Rally (2017)
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Race: The Black Wall Street Bombing (1921)

"This is a historical account of the destruction of North Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1921 by White racist mobs, jealous by the prosperity of that Black community known as Black Wall Street."  — at North Tulsa.

"This is a historical account of the destruction of North Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1921 by White racist mobs, jealous by the prosperity of that Black community known as Black Wall Street." — at North Tulsa.

After the attacks on 9/11, many claimed it was the 1st instance of a terrorist assault from the air on American civilians. Such assertions are only true if one discounts the experiences of Blacks living in Tulsa in 1921. After a rumor spread that a young Black man raped a white woman, a mob of white men formed a lynching gang. The Black community stepped forward to defend the man & an armed confrontation ensued. Later 6 biplanes were dispatched, which dropped incendiary bombs on Black…

After the attacks on 9/11, many claimed it was the 1st instance of a terrorist assault from the air on American civilians. Such assertions are only true if one discounts the experiences of Blacks living in Tulsa in 1921. After a rumor spread that a young Black man raped a white woman, a mob of white men formed a lynching gang. The Black community stepped forward to defend the man & an armed confrontation ensued. Later 6 biplanes were dispatched, which dropped incendiary bombs on Black…

The worst race riot in U.S. history happened in Tulsa in 1921 when angry white mobs destroyed America's wealthiest black community and killed 300.  On May 30 of that year, a rumor emerged in Tulsa, Oklahoma that a young Black man named Dick Rowland had insulted, or even raped, a white woman near his workplace. Soon thereafter a white mob attempted to lynch Rowland and the hostilities eventually led to the violence and destruction of the black community.

The worst race riot in U.S. history happened in Tulsa in 1921 when angry white mobs destroyed America's wealthiest black community and killed 300. On May 30 of that year, a rumor emerged in Tulsa, Oklahoma that a young Black man named Dick Rowland had insulted, or even raped, a white woman near his workplace. Soon thereafter a white mob attempted to lynch Rowland and the hostilities eventually led to the violence and destruction of the black community.

So intent was the white mob on destroying Greenwood that they stopped firefighters from getting to the blazes. Firefighters testifying in an insurance case said they were threatened and even shot at when they arrived on the scene of the earliest fires. Later, they received orders from Fire Chief R.C. Alder not to respond to alarms from the black district because of the danger. That order remained in effect until the fires were out of control, 1921. Photo: McFarlin Library, The Univ. of Tulsa

The white mob physically stopped firefighters from getting to the blazes in Greenwood, 1921

So intent was the white mob on destroying Greenwood that they stopped firefighters from getting to the blazes. Firefighters testifying in an insurance case said they were threatened and even shot at when they arrived on the scene of the earliest fires. Later, they received orders from Fire Chief R.C. Alder not to respond to alarms from the black district because of the danger. That order remained in effect until the fires were out of control, 1921. Photo: McFarlin Library, The Univ. of Tulsa

"Little Africa on Fire, Tulsa Race Riot, June 1, 1921"  On May 30, 1921, a rumor emerged in Tulsa, Oklahoma that a young Black man named Dick Rowland had insulted, or even raped, a white woman near his workplace.  Soon thereafter a mob of white men formed a gang with the intent of lynching Rowland, but in this instance, the Black community in Tulsa stepped forward to defend Rowland and prevent the lynching...

"Little Africa on Fire, Tulsa Race Riot, June 1, 1921" On May 30, 1921, a rumor emerged in Tulsa, Oklahoma that a young Black man named Dick Rowland had insulted, or even raped, a white woman near his workplace. Soon thereafter a mob of white men formed a gang with the intent of lynching Rowland, but in this instance, the Black community in Tulsa stepped forward to defend Rowland and prevent the lynching...

Black Wall Street in Tulsa went up in flames June 1, 1921, in the KKK-led Tulsa Race Riot. During the 16 hours of the assault, over 800 people were admitted to local hospitals with injuries, an estimated 10,000 were left homeless, and 35 city blocks composed of 1,256 residences were destroyed by fire caused by bombing. — in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Black Wall Street in Tulsa went up in flames June 1, 1921, in the KKK-led Tulsa Race Riot. During the 16 hours of the assault, over 800 people were admitted to local hospitals with injuries, an estimated 10,000 were left homeless, and 35 city blocks composed of 1,256 residences were destroyed by fire caused by bombing. — in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

In this image a Black man from Tulsa, Oklahoma raises his hands in surrender. In the aftermath of the Tulsa race riot, Black Tulsans soon found themselves subject to arrest by Tulsa officials and "Special deputies." Photo credit: Bob Hower

In this image a Black man from Tulsa, Oklahoma raises his hands in surrender. In the aftermath of the Tulsa race riot, Black Tulsans soon found themselves subject to arrest by Tulsa officials and "Special deputies." Photo credit: Bob Hower

Firefighters testifying in an insurance case several years later said they were threatened and even shot at when they arrived on the scene of the earliest fires. Later, they received orders from Fire Chief R.C. Alder not to respond to alarms from the black district because of the danger. That order remained in effect until the fires were out of control, 1921.  Photo credit: Department of Special Collections, McFarlin Library, The University of Tulsa

The white mob stopped firefighters from getting to the blazes in Greenwood

Firefighters testifying in an insurance case several years later said they were threatened and even shot at when they arrived on the scene of the earliest fires. Later, they received orders from Fire Chief R.C. Alder not to respond to alarms from the black district because of the danger. That order remained in effect until the fires were out of control, 1921. Photo credit: Department of Special Collections, McFarlin Library, The University of Tulsa

A white mob numbering in the thousands burned Tulsa's thriving African American community to ground on June 1, 1921. Three hundred people were killed, the vast majority of them black. About 10,000 were left homeless. In this image, Greenwood's famous Dreamland Theater lies in ruins.

A white mob numbering in the thousands burned Tulsa's thriving African American community to ground on June 1, 1921. Three hundred people were killed, the vast majority of them black. About 10,000 were left homeless. In this image, Greenwood's famous Dreamland Theater lies in ruins.

Black Wall Street in Tulsa went up in flames June 1, 1921, in the KKK-led Tulsa Race Riot. Does anyone have any additional context for this image?

Black Wall Street in Tulsa went up in flames June 1, 1921, in the KKK-led Tulsa Race Riot. Does anyone have any additional context for this image?

Photo credit: SMU Central University Libraries

"All that was left of his home after Tulsa Race Riot," June 1, 1921

Photo credit: SMU Central University Libraries

Photo credit: Tulsa Historical Society

An armed white man poses for the camera during the massacre in Greenwood, 1921.

Photo credit: Tulsa Historical Society

During the 16 hour massacre on the Black residents of Black Wall Street, over 800 people were admitted to local hospitals with injuries, an estimated 10,000 were left homeless, and 35 city blocks composed of 1,256 residences were destroyed by fire caused by bombing  — in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  Photo credit: Greenwood Cultural Center

During the 16 hour massacre on the Black residents of Black Wall Street, over 800 people were admitted to local hospitals with injuries, an estimated 10,000 were left homeless, and 35 city blocks composed of 1,256 residences were destroyed by fire caused by bombing — in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Photo credit: Greenwood Cultural Center

Race: The Civil War Draft Riots (1863)

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Race: The Memphis Massacre (1866)

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Race: The New Orleans Massacre (1866)

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Race: The Opelousas Massacre (1868)

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Race: The Danville Massacre (1883)

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Race: The Carollton Courthouse Massacre (1886)

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Race: Massacre at Wounded Knee (1890)

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Race: The Wilmington Massacre (1898)

In this picture a mob poses outside a black-owned, burned newspaper building on the first day of the Wilmington insurrection of 1898. Lasting several days, the Insurrection was initiated by a white supremacist mob of about 2k, who illegally overthrew the elected local government, making it the only coup d’état in American history...

The Sociological Cinema

todayinhistory: “ November 10th 1898: Wilmington Insurrection On this day in 1898 the Wilmington Insurrection began in Wilmington, North Carolina. The insurrection, which lasted several days, saw a...

Race: The Springfield Massacre (1908)

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Race: East St. Louis Massacre (1917)

A mob blocks a street car during the East St. Louis Riot of July 1917. As WWI interfered w/ immigration from E. Europe, factories began hiring black workers. As competition for jobs increased so did racial tensions. On July 1, a group of whites drove thru a black neighborhood, firing a gun. Later, another car drove thru the neighborhood. Blacks fired& killed 2 police officers. The next day, whites burned some 300 houses in a black neighborhood & killed blacks - Photo: U of Mass-Amherst…

The St. Louis area has a long history of shameful racial violence

Some of the worst racial violence of the 20th century took place a few miles from Ferguson.

East St. Louis "Race Riots," 1917  Police and others look for bodies after the riot in East St. Louis. Local investigations were inept, making accurate an death count improbable. The bodies of some black victims were buried in a common grave. Others were thrown into Cahokia Creek, which ran between downtown and the riverfront railyards.  Photo credit: Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Bowen Archives

East St. Louis "Race Riots," 1917 Police and others look for bodies after the riot in East St. Louis. Local investigations were inept, making accurate an death count improbable. The bodies of some black victims were buried in a common grave. Others were thrown into Cahokia Creek, which ran between downtown and the riverfront railyards. Photo credit: Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Bowen Archives

Race: Elaine Massacre (1919)

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Race: The Rosewood Massacre (1923)

The ruins of the two-story shanty near Rosewood, Florida, in 1923 where black residents barricaded themselves and fought off a band of whites.   Photo credit: Bettmann / CORBIS

The ruins of the two-story shanty near Rosewood, Florida, in 1923 where black residents barricaded themselves and fought off a band of whites. Photo credit: Bettmann / CORBIS

On January 1, 1923 a white mob wiped out the predominantly black town of Rosewood in central Florida due to false allegations made by a white woman. The incident would become known as the Rosewood massacre. Those residents who the mob spared eventually abandoned the town. The initial report of the Rosewood incident presented less than a month after the massacre claimed there was insufficient evidence for prosecution. Thus no one was charged with any of the Rosewood murders.

Rosewood Massacre (1923) •

On January 1, 1923, a massacre was carried out in the small, predominantly black town of Rosewood in central Florida. The massacre was instigated by the rumor that a white woman, Fanny Taylor, had been sexually assaulted by a black man in her home in … Read MoreRosewood Massacre (1923)

Racial violence erupted in the small and quiet Rosewood community January 1-7, 1923. Rosewood, a predominantly colored [sic] community, was home to the Bradley, Carrier, Carter, Goins, and Hall families, among others. Residents supported a school taught by Mahulda "Gussie" Brown Carrier, three churches, and a Masonic lodge. Many of them owned their homes, some were business owners, and others worked in nearby Sumner and at the Cummer Lumber Mill. This quiet life came to an end on Jan 1…

Racial violence erupted in the small and quiet Rosewood community January 1-7, 1923. Rosewood, a predominantly colored [sic] community, was home to the Bradley, Carrier, Carter, Goins, and Hall families, among others. Residents supported a school taught by Mahulda "Gussie" Brown Carrier, three churches, and a Masonic lodge. Many of them owned their homes, some were business owners, and others worked in nearby Sumner and at the Cummer Lumber Mill. This quiet life came to an end on Jan 1…

Race: The Watsonville Massacre (1930)

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Race: The Detroit Riot (1943)

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Race: The 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing (1963)

On September 15th, 1963, members of a KKK group planted a box of dynamite with a time delay under the steps of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham Alabama. The blast killed four young African American women--Addie Mae (14), Denise McNair (11), Cynthia Wesley (14), and Carole Robertson (14). Following the attack, riots broke out in many black neighborhoods in Birmingham. An investigation later concluded that as many as 15 sticks of dynamite were used to make the bomb.

The Sociological Cinema

On September 15th, 1963, members of a KKK group planted a box of dynamite with a time delay under the steps of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham Alabama. The blast killed four young African...

The bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in 1963 killed four young girls preparing to worship. In this image, mourners are shown attending funeral services for Carol Robertson, one of four girls killed.  Photo credit: AP

The bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in 1963 killed four young girls preparing to worship. In this image, mourners are shown attending funeral services for Carol Robertson, one of four girls killed. Photo credit: AP

Race: The Orangeburg Massacre (1968)

the Orangeburg massacre--Delano Herman Middleton (51-68), Samuel Ephesians Hammond, Jr. (50-68) & Henry Ezekial Smith (49-68)|Despite the Civil Rights Act, the only bowling alley in Orangeburg, SC still barred blacks. On 2/5/68, abt 40 students marched to the bowling alley in protest. The alley closed for the evening but tensions remained & 2 days later culminated in a standoff btwn protestors & police. Nearly all students were struck by police bullets. Smith, Hammond&Middleton died

the Orangeburg massacre--Delano Herman Middleton (51-68), Samuel Ephesians Hammond, Jr. (50-68) & Henry Ezekial Smith (49-68)|Despite the Civil Rights Act, the only bowling alley in Orangeburg, SC still barred blacks. On 2/5/68, abt 40 students marched to the bowling alley in protest. The alley closed for the evening but tensions remained & 2 days later culminated in a standoff btwn protestors & police. Nearly all students were struck by police bullets. Smith, Hammond&Middleton died

Race: The MOVE Headquarters Bombing (1985)

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Race: "Unite the Right" Charlottesville Rally (2017)

After decades denouncing Hitler and Nazi Germany as pure evil, America ignores its symbols on our own soil.  Artist: Alex Graudins

You Can Be a Patriot Without Loving America, 2020

Believing in the ideals the nation was founded on doesn’t mean you have to be proud of who we are or who we’ve been.

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After decades denouncing Hitler and Nazi Germany as pure evil, America ignores its symbols on our own soil.  Artist: Alex Graudins

You Can Be a Patriot Without Loving America, 2020

Believing in the ideals the nation was founded on doesn’t mean you have to be proud of who we are or who we’ve been.

"This is a historical account of the destruction of North Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1921 by White racist mobs, jealous by the prosperity of that Black community known as Black Wall Street."  — at North Tulsa.

"This is a historical account of the destruction of North Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1921 by White racist mobs, jealous by the prosperity of that Black community known as Black Wall Street." — at North Tulsa.

After the attacks on 9/11, many claimed it was the 1st instance of a terrorist assault from the air on American civilians. Such assertions are only true if one discounts the experiences of Blacks living in Tulsa in 1921. After a rumor spread that a young Black man raped a white woman, a mob of white men formed a lynching gang. The Black community stepped forward to defend the man & an armed confrontation ensued. Later 6 biplanes were dispatched, which dropped incendiary bombs on Black…

After the attacks on 9/11, many claimed it was the 1st instance of a terrorist assault from the air on American civilians. Such assertions are only true if one discounts the experiences of Blacks living in Tulsa in 1921. After a rumor spread that a young Black man raped a white woman, a mob of white men formed a lynching gang. The Black community stepped forward to defend the man & an armed confrontation ensued. Later 6 biplanes were dispatched, which dropped incendiary bombs on Black…

The worst race riot in U.S. history happened in Tulsa in 1921 when angry white mobs destroyed America's wealthiest black community and killed 300.  On May 30 of that year, a rumor emerged in Tulsa, Oklahoma that a young Black man named Dick Rowland had insulted, or even raped, a white woman near his workplace. Soon thereafter a white mob attempted to lynch Rowland and the hostilities eventually led to the violence and destruction of the black community.

The worst race riot in U.S. history happened in Tulsa in 1921 when angry white mobs destroyed America's wealthiest black community and killed 300. On May 30 of that year, a rumor emerged in Tulsa, Oklahoma that a young Black man named Dick Rowland had insulted, or even raped, a white woman near his workplace. Soon thereafter a white mob attempted to lynch Rowland and the hostilities eventually led to the violence and destruction of the black community.

So intent was the white mob on destroying Greenwood that they stopped firefighters from getting to the blazes. Firefighters testifying in an insurance case said they were threatened and even shot at when they arrived on the scene of the earliest fires. Later, they received orders from Fire Chief R.C. Alder not to respond to alarms from the black district because of the danger. That order remained in effect until the fires were out of control, 1921. Photo: McFarlin Library, The Univ. of Tulsa

The white mob physically stopped firefighters from getting to the blazes in Greenwood, 1921

So intent was the white mob on destroying Greenwood that they stopped firefighters from getting to the blazes. Firefighters testifying in an insurance case said they were threatened and even shot at when they arrived on the scene of the earliest fires. Later, they received orders from Fire Chief R.C. Alder not to respond to alarms from the black district because of the danger. That order remained in effect until the fires were out of control, 1921. Photo: McFarlin Library, The Univ. of Tulsa

"Little Africa on Fire, Tulsa Race Riot, June 1, 1921"  On May 30, 1921, a rumor emerged in Tulsa, Oklahoma that a young Black man named Dick Rowland had insulted, or even raped, a white woman near his workplace.  Soon thereafter a mob of white men formed a gang with the intent of lynching Rowland, but in this instance, the Black community in Tulsa stepped forward to defend Rowland and prevent the lynching...

"Little Africa on Fire, Tulsa Race Riot, June 1, 1921" On May 30, 1921, a rumor emerged in Tulsa, Oklahoma that a young Black man named Dick Rowland had insulted, or even raped, a white woman near his workplace. Soon thereafter a mob of white men formed a gang with the intent of lynching Rowland, but in this instance, the Black community in Tulsa stepped forward to defend Rowland and prevent the lynching...

Black Wall Street in Tulsa went up in flames June 1, 1921, in the KKK-led Tulsa Race Riot. During the 16 hours of the assault, over 800 people were admitted to local hospitals with injuries, an estimated 10,000 were left homeless, and 35 city blocks composed of 1,256 residences were destroyed by fire caused by bombing. — in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Black Wall Street in Tulsa went up in flames June 1, 1921, in the KKK-led Tulsa Race Riot. During the 16 hours of the assault, over 800 people were admitted to local hospitals with injuries, an estimated 10,000 were left homeless, and 35 city blocks composed of 1,256 residences were destroyed by fire caused by bombing. — in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

In this image a Black man from Tulsa, Oklahoma raises his hands in surrender. In the aftermath of the Tulsa race riot, Black Tulsans soon found themselves subject to arrest by Tulsa officials and "Special deputies." Photo credit: Bob Hower

In this image a Black man from Tulsa, Oklahoma raises his hands in surrender. In the aftermath of the Tulsa race riot, Black Tulsans soon found themselves subject to arrest by Tulsa officials and "Special deputies." Photo credit: Bob Hower

Firefighters testifying in an insurance case several years later said they were threatened and even shot at when they arrived on the scene of the earliest fires. Later, they received orders from Fire Chief R.C. Alder not to respond to alarms from the black district because of the danger. That order remained in effect until the fires were out of control, 1921.  Photo credit: Department of Special Collections, McFarlin Library, The University of Tulsa

The white mob stopped firefighters from getting to the blazes in Greenwood

Firefighters testifying in an insurance case several years later said they were threatened and even shot at when they arrived on the scene of the earliest fires. Later, they received orders from Fire Chief R.C. Alder not to respond to alarms from the black district because of the danger. That order remained in effect until the fires were out of control, 1921. Photo credit: Department of Special Collections, McFarlin Library, The University of Tulsa

A white mob numbering in the thousands burned Tulsa's thriving African American community to ground on June 1, 1921. Three hundred people were killed, the vast majority of them black. About 10,000 were left homeless. In this image, Greenwood's famous Dreamland Theater lies in ruins.

A white mob numbering in the thousands burned Tulsa's thriving African American community to ground on June 1, 1921. Three hundred people were killed, the vast majority of them black. About 10,000 were left homeless. In this image, Greenwood's famous Dreamland Theater lies in ruins.

Black Wall Street in Tulsa went up in flames June 1, 1921, in the KKK-led Tulsa Race Riot. Does anyone have any additional context for this image?

Black Wall Street in Tulsa went up in flames June 1, 1921, in the KKK-led Tulsa Race Riot. Does anyone have any additional context for this image?

Photo credit: SMU Central University Libraries

"All that was left of his home after Tulsa Race Riot," June 1, 1921

Photo credit: SMU Central University Libraries

Photo credit: Tulsa Historical Society

An armed white man poses for the camera during the massacre in Greenwood, 1921.

Photo credit: Tulsa Historical Society

Trail of Tears: The forced relocation during 1830s of Eastern Woodlands Indians of the Southeast region of the United States to Indian Territory west of the Mississippi River.  Source: National Park Service / Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc.

Trail of Tears: The forced relocation during 1830s of Eastern Woodlands Indians of the Southeast region of the United States to Indian Territory west of the Mississippi River. Source: National Park Service / Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc.

National Day of Mourning  Since 1970, Native Americans have gathered at noon on Cole's Hill in Plymouth to commemorate a National Day of Mourning on the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday. Many Native Americans do not celebrate the arrival of the Pilgrims and other European settlers. To them, Thanksgiving Day is a reminder of the genocide of millions of their people, the theft of their lands, and the relentless assault on their culture. Participants in National of Mourning honor Native ancestors...

National Day of Mourning Since 1970, Native Americans have gathered at noon on Cole's Hill in Plymouth to commemorate a National Day of Mourning on the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday. Many Native Americans do not celebrate the arrival of the Pilgrims and other European settlers. To them, Thanksgiving Day is a reminder of the genocide of millions of their people, the theft of their lands, and the relentless assault on their culture. Participants in National of Mourning honor Native ancestors...

(4 of 8) 1864: Fort Pillow: General Forrest murders 277 black soldiers after they surrender. He later became KKK Grand Wizard.  ~ @samswey

(4 of 8) 1864: Fort Pillow: General Forrest murders 277 black soldiers after they surrender. He later became KKK Grand Wizard. ~ @samswey

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