The Democratic Party and the Smug White Liberal

 
Nikki Johnson-Huston
Nikki Johnson-Huston

Nikki Johnson-Huston, a Philadelphia attorney and lifelong Democrat, published a fascinating article in The Huffington Post earlier this week. Titled “The Culture of the Smug White Liberal,” she asks what exactly liberalism has accomplished for the black community, especially considering the nearly monolithic voting bloc they represent. Though she appreciates progressives who actually put in the hard work to improve society, she has no love for “the cocktail party liberals, the elites, who wear the cloak of liberalism to protect themselves from criticism and so they can keep a clear conscience.”

My problem with Liberalism is that it’s more concerned with policing people’s language and thoughts without requiring them to do anything to fix the problem. White liberal college students speak of “safe spaces”, “trigger words”, “micro aggressions” and “white privilege” while not having to do anything or, more importantly, give up anything. They can’t even have a conversation with someone who sees the world differently without resorting to calling someone a racist, homophobic, misogynistic, bigot and trying to have them banned from campus, or ruin them and their reputation. They say they feel black peoples’ pain because they took a trip to Africa to help the disadvantaged, but are unwilling to go to a black neighborhood in the City in which they live. These same college students will espouse the joys of diversity, but will in the same breath assume you are only on campus because of affirmative action or that all black people grew up in poverty. My personal favorite is declaring with surprise how articulate a black classmate is despite the fact that we are attending the same institution of higher learning as they are.

The White Liberal culture encourages talking about diversity and shaming others for their alleged racism, but many times they themselves work in environments that are mostly white. When questioned they’ll defensively state that they promote strictly on merit. Black people aren’t suggesting that we want someone unqualified to get the position, but I find it telling that they assume that we are not qualified. These same Liberals are quick to be against school choice, while their kids go to private or well-regarded public schools. Leaving poor black children behind in underperforming schools and providing less opportunity to improve their lives is inconsequential to keeping true to their white liberal politics. Many people are quick to espouse the political values of liberalism without having to live with the often harsh reality of those policies.

Race, gender, religion and sexual orientation are such difficult discussions to have, and many of us don’t get it right, but my problem with some white liberals aren’t that they sometimes get it wrong, it’s their profound lack of self-awareness coupled with the smugness and self-righteousness that they use to lecture to others.

As conservatives have said for years, Johnson-Huston notes that the cities with the poorest residents, highest crime, and worst police relations have been run by Democrats for decades. She ends her piece with a devastating conclusion.

The truth is that Liberalism is about making elites feel better about themselves and their lives without requiring the underlying action of significantly improving the lives of African-Americans. Hillary Clinton rightly says that it’s not about what you say about problem, but you should be judged by what you are doing to solve the problem. In this election, let’s take her at her word and take a deeper look at what Liberalism is really doing for us.

Read the whole thing.

There are 54 comments.

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  1. GrannyDude Member

    Yay!!!!!! It’s happening….

    I wonder how much credit The Donald deserves for pushing this forward?

    • #1
    • September 2, 2016, at 7:00 PM PDT
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  2. MACHO GRANDE' (aka - Chri… Coolidge

    That’s a pretty good summary of what many people, including Sowell, have been saying for a long, long time.

    • #2
    • September 2, 2016, at 7:00 PM PDT
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  3. Hustler46060 Member

    This is a conversation starter President Obama. Sorry you’ll miss it.

    • #3
    • September 2, 2016, at 7:08 PM PDT
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  4. Freesmith Inactive

    The Trump Revolution among American blacks will be spearheaded by W.E.B. DuBois’ “Talented 10%.” Ms Johnson-Huston is clearly one of them.

    (This turning began every so faintly in 2012. The highest percentage of blacks voting for Romney were ages 18-to-29.)

    Keep attacking corrupt, useless inner-city Democratic policies, Mr. Trump. I cite Admiral Nelson, “Never mind the maneuvers – Just go straight at them!”

    • #4
    • September 2, 2016, at 7:19 PM PDT
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  5. Ray Kujawa Coolidge

    Yes , we also hate the smugness of white liberals who tell us on the right how to live without having to experience the effects of their own policies. Essentially, they have a big protection racket going. Watching from the sidelines, we have to wonder when it will be that black liberals are going to start asking, “What have you done for me lately?”

    • #5
    • September 2, 2016, at 7:23 PM PDT
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  6. DubyaC Member

    I’ve often wondered why Republican candidates for president never make an issue of this in campaigns – how every jurisdiction in America run by Democrats, not just for an election cycle or two but for decades, is in such terrible shape. Even California, once the American ideal, has lost population by the millions since the Democrats have taken over the state.

    This should be a major part of the Republicans’ election campaign. The Democrats’ ability to win elections is seriously impaired if blacks stop voting monolithically for them.

    • #6
    • September 2, 2016, at 8:13 PM PDT
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  7. TKC1101 Inactive

    So, “What Have You Got To Lose” just might be political nitro glycerin. I’ll take it. To be stored in a dark, cool space….

    Sounds like Motown would be the place….

    • #7
    • September 2, 2016, at 8:52 PM PDT
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  8. TKC1101 Inactive

    Kate Braestrup:Yay!!!!!! It’s happening….

    I wonder how much credit The Donald deserves for pushing this forward?

    A lot of it. First white guy who does not apologize for being white. Refreshing. Straight talk, no auto-pander.

    • #8
    • September 2, 2016, at 8:58 PM PDT
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  9. Percival Thatcher

    Ms. Johnson-Huston is on the cusp. She’s a few questions from the brink, but once she asks those questions — once she seeks those answers …

    An exercise for Ms. Johnson-Huston. Make a list of all the things the government does well. Not what you want them to do well, not what they claim to do well, not what their clown-show flacks in the news media give them credit for doing well. Stick to the stuff that you have seen the government do well.

    Now apply those capabilities to the issues that “the black community” face. How do you get from A to B?

    Or do it in the opposite direction. Start with the concerns. Track them back to the capabilities. How do they connect up?

    There really isn’t any magic wand to wave here. Government won’t solve your problems because government doesn’t solve problems. Usually all they do is to change the parameters on the problems. If they don’t manage to create more problems than there were to begin with, that is about all the victory you can hope for.

    • #9
    • September 2, 2016, at 9:14 PM PDT
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  10. Quake Voter Inactive

    Maybe I am unduly skeptical, but is it really a gamechanger when a single black attorney on the eastern seaboard begins to have inklings and suspicions about matters which Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams wrote masterworks forty years ago?

    And then there’s the racial angle. Is there a liberal more smug than Barack Obama? Okay, there’s Paul Krugman.

    Is there a more down-to-earth politician than Tim Scott?

    And what did he win in 2014: 9 percent of the black vote.

    Sorry but the black vote is the most tragically bought and paid for tranche of votes in American history.

    • #10
    • September 2, 2016, at 10:10 PM PDT
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  11. WI Con Member

    TKC1101:

    Kate Braestrup:Yay!!!!!! It’s happening….

    I wonder how much credit The Donald deserves for pushing this forward?

    A lot of it. First white guy who does not apologize for being white. Refreshing. Straight talk, no auto-pander.

    This is why it is so important to not back down when the “Race Card” is played. This could be an area where Trump’s attitude and ability not to be intimidated on certain things could prove significant.

    When the Democrats foist the racism charge & Republicans are intimidated by those charges:

    • they don’t have to answer about graduation rates or schools that fail to prepare kids for a productive life
    • they don’t have to answer for the chaos of the inner cities where Republicans have had no influence
    • they don’t have to answer about for the business environment that has forced those businesses to move to suburbs, the sun-belt and out of the U.S.
    • they don’t have to answer for the decimation of the family and the stability & prosperity they bring to communities and children.
    • they don’t have to answer for diminished real estate values in what should be prime real estate and how that could positively affect the net worth of our African American citizens.

    They have so much to answer for but are not forcefully called on it.

    • #11
    • September 2, 2016, at 10:22 PM PDT
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  12. J. D. Fitzpatrick Member

    Quake Voter: Maybe I am unduly skeptical, but is it really a gamechanger when a single black attorney on the eastern seaboard begins to have inklings and suspicions about matters which Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams wrote masterworks forty years ago?

    Yeah, but only Nixon could go to China.

    • #12
    • September 2, 2016, at 11:22 PM PDT
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  13. Al Sparks Thatcher

    I read a lot of the article. She criticizes smug white liberals, but in the end she’s obviously sticking with the Democrats.

    Which means she’s just whining. Like her fellow blacks, she’s not actually holding them accountable.

    In the end, she doesn’t want the thugs in black neighborhoods stopped (e.g. she’s against “stop and frisk”).

    And she herself is probably upper middle class, and won’t experience the fear many low income blacks have in their own neighborhoods because law enforcement has been hobbled.

    Reading her article doesn’t make me feel optimistic.

    • #13
    • September 3, 2016, at 1:15 AM PDT
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  14. LC Member
    LC

    Al Sparks:I read a lot of the article. She criticizes smug white liberals, but in the end she’s obviously sticking with the Democrats.

    Which means she’s just whining. Like her fellow blacks, she’s not actually holding them accountable.

    In the end, she doesn’t want the thugs in black neighborhoods stopped (e.g. she’s against “stop and frisk”).

    And she herself is probably upper middle class, and won’t experience the fear many low income blacks have in their own neighborhoods because law enforcement has been hobbled.

    Reading her article doesn’t make me feel optimistic.

    Like a lot of blacks, she understands the problems, but comes to the wrong conclusion every single time.

    • #14
    • September 3, 2016, at 1:49 AM PDT
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  15. Quake Voter Inactive

    J. D. Fitzpatrick:

    Quake Voter: Maybe I am unduly skeptical, but is it really a gamechanger when a single black attorney on the eastern seaboard begins to have inklings and suspicions about matters which Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams wrote masterworks forty years ago?

    Yeah, but only Nixon could go to China.

    But then Nixon could go to China only because the Chinese had begun to fundamentally reconsider their political attachments. (And the phrase has lost much if not most of its meaning. Who went to Cuba?)

    See any evidence of fundamental reconsideration in contemporary black politics, academia and culture?

    I do mean any. On welfare, race quotas, racial set asides, racism as all-purpose excuse, crime, illegitimacy, hip hop barbarism, school test scores, Head Start ad nauseam.

    Count me as condescending and an internal imperialist, but the conservatarian policies which could start to rescue black communities will have to be put in place and enforced over the caterwauling of nearly the entire black political class, except for some in the law enforcement community.

    • #15
    • September 3, 2016, at 4:04 AM PDT
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  16. GrannyDude Member

    Lidens Cheng:

    Al Sparks:I read a lot of the article. She criticizes smug white liberals, but in the end she’s obviously sticking with the Democrats.

    Which means she’s just whining. Like her fellow blacks, she’s not actually holding them accountable.

    In the end, she doesn’t want the thugs in black neighborhoods stopped (e.g. she’s against “stop and frisk”).

    And she herself is probably upper middle class, and won’t experience the fear many low income blacks have in their own neighborhoods because law enforcement has been hobbled.

    Reading her article doesn’t make me feel optimistic.

    Like a lot of blacks, she understands the problems, but comes to the wrong conclusion every single time.

    Sure. Black people, or even any given black person, having a one-fell-swoop come-to-Jesus moment and turning full conservative is a lot to ask, especially since black conservatives are dismissed and demonized. Whatever she actually thinks (for now), I want her to stick with the Democrats, and maintain her liberal bona fides as long as she can stomach it. Black conservatives are dismissed and demonized; it’s the black liberals who have standing to criticize the progressive/Democratic agenda. Indeed, I was encouraged to see that Quannel X, the leader of the New Black Panther Party is taking up the critique, in satisfyingly hair-raising terms (e.g. ““We, as black people, have to reexamine the relationship. We’re being pimped like prostitutes and they’re the big pimps pimping us politically, promising us everything and we get nothing in return. We gotta step back now as black people and we gotta look at all the parties and vote our best interests,”

    Trump deserves a lot of credit. In spite of themselves, the #BLM might deserve some of it too, if only because they have so loudly and relentlessly insisted that black life in America is still unpleasant. When the wandering attention of the public is thereby drawn to the black underclass (hard to overlook a city in flames) they notice that gosh, there is something wrong isn’t there? And the opportunity is created for someone to say “yes, there is and this is what it is…” Because he—thank God—is shameless and doesn’t mind being called names, Trump took the opportunity. Didn’t someone once say “never let a crisis go to waste?”

    Keep going, Donald.

    Freesmith: Keep attacking corrupt, useless inner-city Democratic policies, Mr. Trump. I cite Admiral Nelson, “Never mind the maneuvers – Just go straight at them!”

    • #16
    • September 3, 2016, at 4:52 AM PDT
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  17. Guruforhire Member

    Its only a matter of time until working class blacks and working class whites realize that their interests are generally aligned. If BLM ever came to understand what small town justice was actually like and the stories of ridiculous police behaviors in working class white communities I expect there could be a shift.

    BLM endorsed portman I heard somewhere.

    A huge and simple change that would dramatically improve the lot of societies most vulnerable -white and black- is a wholesale repeal of every single deadbeat dad law in america.

    We *literally* throw men in jail for the crime of being poor. This disproportionately affects blacks, but spreads social chaos and poverty for both men and their estranged families. They are an unalloyed evil. Men have been thrown into pits -by the government- that they can never get out, and we have done this for generations at this point.

    • #17
    • September 3, 2016, at 5:04 AM PDT
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  18. GrannyDude Member

    Guruforhire: If BLM ever came to understand what small town justice was actually like and the stories of ridiculous police behaviors in working class white communities I expect there could be a shift.

    I agree with you, but my guess is that BLM will strenuously resist the notion that the plight of poor blacks and poor whites could ever be described as a single Plight…because then it isn’t about White Racism anymore. White racism is too valuable a weapon; if you would take it from the progressives, you will have to pry it from their cold, dead hands.

    Though no one—ever—deserves anything but good policing, it is certainly more likely that bad policing (like bad teaching, bad doctoring, bad lawyering) will be visited upon the poor and powerless of any race.

    • #18
    • September 3, 2016, at 5:30 AM PDT
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  19. Guruforhire Member

    If you target the -black- activists I think you will have better luck than trying to address the movement in general. I think the white people are more married to white racism than the black people are.

    Now that the football guy has been forced into a posture of good faith. One could publicly challenge him on what would it take to change his mind. Make him think about that.

    • #19
    • September 3, 2016, at 5:41 AM PDT
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  20. rgbact Member

    Kate Braestrup: I wonder how much credit The Donald deserves for pushing this forward?

    Credit for what? A lone article in HuffPo in early September? That won’t change the dozens of polls that show a totally different story. Its true that some more educated or socially conservative blacks were bound to come back to the GOP after Obama. Still, I wouldn’t count on getting more than 10%. Polls sure don’t show it. Heck, even Bernie Sanders couldn’t get anywhere.

    I do like these article about smug liberals though. Nice to see even Democrats are getting tired of the “transgender bathrooms are more important than ISIS executions” types.

    • #20
    • September 3, 2016, at 5:49 AM PDT
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  21. Umbra Fractus Inactive

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.:

    The truth is that Liberalism is about making elites feel better about themselves and their lives without requiring the underlying action of significantly improving the lives of African-Americans. Hillary Clinton rightly says that it’s not about what you say about problem, but you should be judged by what you are doing to solve the problem. In this election, let’s take her at her word and take a deeper look at what Liberalism is really doing for us.

    Image result for welcome to the party pal

    • #21
    • September 3, 2016, at 5:58 AM PDT
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  22. Tim McNabb Member

    Johnson-Huston says: “…it’s not about what you say about problem, but you should be judged by what you are doing to solve the problem.”

    She gets so much right, and is still wrong. RESULTS matter, not actions. We can ascribe virtue to thought and deed, which is judged by God and Man, but the results should be the final arbiter of the merit of the thoughts and deeds.

    • #22
    • September 3, 2016, at 6:12 AM PDT
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  23. cdor Member

    rgbact:

    Kate Braestrup: I wonder how much credit The Donald deserves for pushing this forward?

    Credit for what? A lone article in HuffPo in early September? That won’t change the dozens of polls that show a totally different story. Its true that some more educated or socially conservative blacks were bound to come back to the GOP after Obama. Still, I wouldn’t count on getting more than 10%. Polls sure don’t show it. Heck, even Bernie Sanders couldn’t get anywhere.

    I do like these article about smug liberals though. Nice to see even Democrats are getting tired of the “transgender bathrooms are more important than ISIS executions” types.

    You are correct. Trump is that proverbial butterfly flapping its wings somewhere in South America at this point. But he is saying it “like it is”. Next he will be going to an African-American Evangelical Church. Let’s see how he does in that environment…in the lion’s den, much like meeting with the President of Mexico. Trump has guts, it’s hard to deny that. I think he also has the skill set in personal or smaller groups to be very charming and persuasive.

    In the meantime, Clinton’s sheets are threadbare from all the time she has been hiding in them.

    • #23
    • September 3, 2016, at 6:19 AM PDT
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  24. Doctor Robert Member

    Another black conservative in hiding, about to be trashed by the smug white liberal nomenklatura. God bless you Nikki, you’re on our side and don’t even realize it.

    Take the next step. We’re conservatives, We respect you for what you are.

    • #24
    • September 3, 2016, at 6:46 AM PDT
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  25. Goldgeller Member

    It is an interesting article in that she is starting to see some of the conceptual and operational fissures in a lot of the arguments the modern professional(ly) left has been making, but I have issues with her criticisms. Working backwards through what she is is saying—She seems to think the lefts arguments would be okay if they were just more consistent. This is false. She’s engaged in some strange judo match where she is trying to flip the argument.

    “…what I am suggesting is that we require white liberals to do more than pat us on the head and tell us they know better. Free programs aren’t enough, nor are they actually free for African-Americans.”

    (She then goes on to suggest criminal fines are used to “run… a system.”)

    This is absurd. The programs aren’t free but they aren’t paid for on the backs of blacks in any significant amount. The establishment of the modern welfare state was a massive undertaking. It wasn’t “a pat on the head.” Its easy to avoid fines don’t commit the crimes.

    Here’s the issue– she doesn’t want to admit that big government and big welfare has been a flat– but earnest– failure. So she has to find some way of wiggling out of this problem. She does so by accusing the left of insincerity. She’s encouraging bigger government and more carve outs, and as such, she is wrong.

    • #25
    • September 3, 2016, at 7:05 AM PDT
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  26. GrannyDude Member

    rgbact: A lone article in HuffPo in early September?

    And the remarks of the New Black Panther party, remember?

    You might be right—I might be seizing on this with too much hope that some good might yet be extracted from the #BLM mess, some blessing pulled out of the destruction.

    Still, Trump’s message—that by automatically and virtually unanimously voting for the Democrats, they are giving away power—appears to be resonating. That’s a good thing. I hope it continues and grows.

    • #26
    • September 3, 2016, at 7:06 AM PDT
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  27. Crow's Nest Inactive

    Guruforhire:Its only a matter of time until working class blacks and working class whites realize that their interests are generally aligned. If BLM ever came to understand what small town justice was actually like and the stories of ridiculous police behaviors in working class white communities I expect there could be a shift.

    She makes that same point in another article, here, that is also worth reading.

    I’m a bit wary of political alignments based on class, or at least one that is rigid in pitting the poor against the rich. But if more blacks can be brought to see that there is a difference between a ruling class that is becoming lawless and the rest of the country, the better.

    • #27
    • September 3, 2016, at 7:10 AM PDT
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  28. Fred Houstan Member

    Kate Braestrup:

    I wonder how much credit The Donald deserves for pushing this forward?

    If any. Correlation does not imply causation. One could argue this is happening despite the Donald. I’m not going to make that argument, however, as I simply don’t care enough to.

    I love it when actors are willing to punch at their communal constructs, such as Paglia, Hitchens, Hentoff, and others. While I don’t always agree with them, I can expect a fresh take from them.

    • #28
    • September 3, 2016, at 7:41 AM PDT
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  29. GrannyDude Member

    Goldgeller: It is an interesting article in that she is starting to see some of the conceptual and operational fissures in a lot of the arguments the modern professional(ly) left has been making,

    This is how I came to change my mind about progressivism, relatively recently. For me, it started with a “hey, wait a minute” moment around the issues of Ferguson.

    Goldgeller: Here’s the issue– she doesn’t want to admit that big government and big welfare has been a flat– but earnest– failure. So she has to find some way of wiggling out of this problem. She does so by accusing the left of insincerity. She’s encouraging bigger government and more carve outs, and as such, she is wrong.

    Give her time. There are Ricochetti who can tell you about some of our early arguments re: gun control. (Just so you know, I got my [CoC] kicked.) It doesn’t happen all at once. Any crack in the facade should be welcomed and (Go Donald!) exploited.

    FWIW, I’m not saying that this, by itself, means that Trump can or should be president. Still very much on the fence about that and at the moment plan to leave the top of the ticket blank. But he has a platform, a pulpit, media attention between now and November; Oh Lord, may he continue to use it, if only in this one area, in Your service, for your people are suffering…

    • #29
    • September 3, 2016, at 7:51 AM PDT
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  30. Eugene Kriegsmann Member

    To assume that Ms. Johnson-Huston’s condemnation of white liberals automatically says that she is more comfortable with conservatives is more than a touch optimistic. What she is doing, to a large extent, is to add to the narrative of BLM, that, in fact, no white people are worth listening to, Trump least of all. What she is saying is that white racism towards people of color is pervasive, that blacks shouldn’t trust any whites. That doesn’t improve Republican’s chances one iota. What it does is essentially put blacks in the same position that many of us NeverTrumpers are in of not voting for anyone.

    Speaking about the pointless actions and inactions of Liberal administrations on all levels to resolve the issues of poverty, poor education, crime, and all of the other plagues of the black community may agree with what we conservatives have been saying, but I don’t see that she in anyway accepts the corollary to that that conservative Republicans would do a better job. The enemy of my enemy is not necessarily my friend.

    • #30
    • September 3, 2016, at 8:09 AM PDT
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