Bret Weinstein v. Evergreen State College

 

Background — In May of this year, liberal professor Bret Weinstein, a molecular biologist, was surrounded and threatened by a motley group of belligerent and foul-mouthed Evergreen State College social justice student activists because he had published an email stating his refusal to leave campus and stop teaching on a day that was set aside for black students only. Weinstein, quite rightly, pointed out the problems with this new form of racial segregation. Google’s Human Resources department, which holds racially- and gender-based segregated workshops may want to learn from what took place at Evergreen.

In late July, Weinstein filed a $3.8 million lawsuit against the institution. From Reason.com:

Now Bret Weinstein, the professor at the center of this episode, is filing a $3.8 million tort claim against the school on behalf his wife and himself, saying in part that The Evergreen State College (TESC) “consistently has failed to set and enforce necessary boundaries in the workplace on campus, selectively has chosen not to enforce its student Code of Conduct, and sent the unmistakable message that the school will tolerate (and even endorse) egregious violations (and even crimes) purportedly to advance racial social goals, diminishing the collegiate experience for all, and fostering a racially hostile and retaliatory work environment for faculty and staff.”

If that sounds overblown or exaggerated, it’s worth remembering that the local police chief told Weinstein to leave campus because it was not safe for him to remain there. The video evidence of the student mob speaks for itself.

For those who may not have been following this story, here is a video of the protest that erupted outside his classroom at the college. (Warning: the video contains strong language.)

And here is Tucker Carlson’s interview of Professor Weinstein after the story went viral:

It should be noted that just appearing on Carlson’s show to voice concern about the bullying tactics of the social justice activists is enough to make one even more of an enemy to them as this article Marxist screed from the Evergreen student newspaper The CooperPoint clearly indicates (some choice excerpts):

Weinstein’s ability to center the narrative of student protest around himself is indicative of his power, and is another example of the historically proven tendency of white men in positions of power to victimize themselves. In recent days he has added the support of infamous atheist Sam Harris, Sean Lennon, Bill O’Reilly’s protege Tucker Carlson, and Ashley Rae (@communism_kills on twitter) to his numbers.

If Weinstein is truly the anti-racist he claims to be, we ask him to take this opportunity to learn from the student body which pays his salary. What he is doing now is antithetical to his purported goal. Weaponizing the publicity he has gained from Trump supporters, FOX News fans and self-ordained “rationalists” against protesters is only making students of color more unsafe. The horde of powerful media figures and their followers that Weinstein has directed at us distracts from the changes we are calling for from our education environment.

In light of these facts, we have come to the conclusion that Weinstein is using the student action of the past two weeks for his own gain. He intends to use the protests to make a point about what he feels is wrong with campus culture and the left. We ask that he find a way to make this point that does not put young black, brown and other marginalized people at risk.

It’s About Power – Not Justice

In the mayhem that surrounded the protest on the Evergreen campus, it was reported that there were assaults on other students and even kidnappings and some of the social justice activists began patrolling the campus with baseball bats (see photo above) — perhaps on the logic that if a student doesn’t adhere to the post-modernist social justice narrative and speaks openly against it they may deserve to have their skulls bashed in. So, much for safe spaces.

Two days ago, it was reported that Evergreen is facing a drop in enrollment of 5% mostly from out-of-state students who tend to pay more than in-state residents, as well as a budget shortfall of $2.1 million. If Weinstein wins his suit they may be more in the hole. If legislators in the state of Washington, in nearby Olympia, the state capital vote to further defund the college then Evergreen may end up incurring even greater losses akin to what the University of Missouri has experienced in the aftermath of its protests when a communications professor asked for “muscle” to take care of a student journalist who was photographing the event.

How Many Evergreens Are There?

If Weinstein is successful in his suit against the university, the question remains whether this will embolden other professors and students to seek financial remediation in similar cases or cases where professors have been fired for not towing the post-modernist, Neo-Marxist orthodoxy of an institution’s administration, faculty or rabid uncontrolled social justice warrior student factions. As the University of Missouri is finding out, promoting a campus life that breeds social justice fascists masquerading as anti-fascists who are prone to threatening faculty or students is a costly proposition and, I think, ultimately a self-destructive one. Of course, maybe the closure of several colleges and universities across America that are breeding grounds for violent activists is just what’s needed to course correct these institutions and bring them back to curricula based on promoting the values and ethics that built western civilization in the first place rather than the vile and blood-soaked ideology of radical Marxism — and the sooner it happens the better.

For my additional commentary on the state of colleges and universities see my Ricochet posts:

The Academy Is Revolting. What Can Be Done About It?

and

Are Traditional Universities Facing Extinction?

More Context

Finally, here are two more videos that provide more context on what’s at play on campuses and in the wider culture. The first is a wide-ranging and lengthy video (almost 3 hours) that touches on free speech, post modernism, fascism, Marxism and the nature of truth from the Joe Rogan Experience talk show that aired with Jordan Peterson and Bret Weinstein. Even though I personally don’t agree with either Peterson or Weinstein with the general notion that fascism is a construct of the right and am more convinced that it’s the other evil twin of communism, or some of the conclusions about market forces and the power of the market to act as a corrective force, I think it’s safe to say that Prof. Weinstein, on the whole, is a fair-minded and thoughtful intellectual who is open to dialogue and the idea of being proven wrong.

In the following much shorter video, Jordan Peterson discusses the corruption of the humanities in the academy. Enjoy.

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There are 39 comments.

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  1. RushBabe49 Thatcher

    The Evergreen State College was started in the first place as an Environmentalist institution, with emphasis on Ecology and such things. It was started by a bunch of Leftists (in a Leftist state). It has always had a touchy-feely leaning, and has a free-form sort of curriculum heavily influenced by students who get to design their own (leftist) curricula and degrees. I don’t remember anything remotely scientific or research-oriented coming out of Evergreen. It is in a secluded area, out of the view of most of the rest of the (leftist) state of Washington. Everyone there lives in a bubble, and it’s fun to watch the results of that bubble violently popping. I just regret that even one of my hard-earned dollars goes to support the leftist thugs of Evergreen.

    • #1
    • September 2, 2017, at 1:43 PM PDT
    • 11 likes
  2. T-Fiks Member

    I attended a two-week teachers’ seminar there one summer around 10 – 15 years ago. The leader for my particular small discussion group, which met daily, was the well-known feminist Stephanie Coontz.

    Even then, the general theme of the presentations, but particularly the discussions, was the oppression, patriarchy, and toxic-individualism in American culture. Some of us rebelled, some more vociferously than others. At that time, the prevalent method for addressing non-compliance was to essentially quit responding with anything but polite dismissal to statements that veered from the narrative; so I was somewhat more subtle with my challenges.

    There were some bright people and I found some actual substance within the presentations. I never went back, though.

    • #2
    • September 2, 2017, at 3:27 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  3. Percival Thatcher

    You send them to school, you buy them books, and all they do is chew on the covers.

    • #3
    • September 2, 2017, at 4:00 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  4. Profile Photo Member

    That has been a nuthouse for as long as I have heard about it. The young woman who was trying to block Israeli bulldozers from filling tunnels and was killed some years ago was a Evergreen State student. She was a leftist radical Palestinian supporter.

    • #4
    • September 2, 2017, at 4:09 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  5. Randy Webster Member

    Isn’t Washington a shall issue state? How do these people have the balls to go around swinging bats?

    • #5
    • September 2, 2017, at 4:19 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  6. Retail Lawyer Member

    That first photo reminds me of the first episode of Portlandia. They are scowling and hateful, but the warrior class, they are not.

    • #6
    • September 2, 2017, at 4:23 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  7. Percival Thatcher

    Mike-K (View Comment):
    That has been a nuthouse for as long as I have heard about it. The young woman who was trying to block Israeli bulldozers from filling tunnels and was killed some years ago was a Evergreen State student. She was a leftist radical Palestinian supporter.

    Rachael Corrie! For a few years some friends of mine held the Annual Rachael Corrie Pancake Breakfast in her honor.

    I have some pretty sketchy friends.

    • #7
    • September 2, 2017, at 4:37 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  8. Brian Watt Member
    Brian Watt Post author

    Percival (View Comment):

    Mike-K (View Comment):
    That has been a nuthouse for as long as I have heard about it. The young woman who was trying to block Israeli bulldozers from filling tunnels and was killed some years ago was a Evergreen State student. She was a leftist radical Palestinian supporter.

    Rachael Corrie! For a few years some friends of mine held the Annual Rachael Corrie Pancake Breakfast in her honor.

    I have some pretty sketchy friends.

    Did they serve bacon?

    • #8
    • September 2, 2017, at 4:39 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  9. Percival Thatcher

    Brian Watt (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Mike-K (View Comment):
    That has been a nuthouse for as long as I have heard about it. The young woman who was trying to block Israeli bulldozers from filling tunnels and was killed some years ago was a Evergreen State student. She was a leftist radical Palestinian supporter.

    Rachael Corrie! For a few years some friends of mine held the Annual Rachael Corrie Pancake Breakfast in her honor.

    I have some pretty sketchy friends.

    Did they serve bacon?

    They held it at an IHOP, if memory serves. It was an event unsanctioned by the management of the establishment.

    • #9
    • September 2, 2017, at 4:47 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  10. Brian Watt Member
    Brian Watt Post author

    Percival (View Comment):

    Brian Watt (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Mike-K (View Comment):
    That has been a nuthouse for as long as I have heard about it. The young woman who was trying to block Israeli bulldozers from filling tunnels and was killed some years ago was a Evergreen State student. She was a leftist radical Palestinian supporter.

    Rachael Corrie! For a few years some friends of mine held the Annual Rachael Corrie Pancake Breakfast in her honor.

    I have some pretty sketchy friends.

    Did they serve bacon?

    They held it at an IHOP, if memory serves. It was an event unsanctioned by the management of the establishment.

    Whoa! Talk about buying into the oppressive American capitalist hegemony. Where were their principles? Maybe they thought it was Internationale House of Pancakes.

    • #10
    • September 2, 2017, at 4:58 PM PDT
    • 10 likes
  11. ST Inactive
    ST

    If Weinstein is truly the anti-racist he claims to be, we ask him to take this opportunity to learn from the student body which pays his salary.

    Stopped reading here because my head exploded. You would think that “the student body” would be smart enough to realize that they aren’t paying for squat. Either the parents or a bank is paying the profs salary. If it is a bank then ~10% of the student body won’t bother to pay back their loans. If their parents are paying, it is not as if that money belongs to their children.

    I’ll try to explain by giving an example of “rich kids” confusion.

    A wealthy man was driving his kids to high school and the kids were complaining because the other students were picking on them because they were rich. The dad told his kids there was an easy solution to their problem, “Next time that happens tell them that they are completely wrong. Say we are not rich, as a matter of fact we have zero net value. Sure our dad makes good money but he has no intention of giving any of it to us any time soon.”

    • #11
    • September 2, 2017, at 5:01 PM PDT
    • 12 likes
  12. Susan in Seattle Member

    Here’s an article that I think is nicely complementary to your post.

    • #12
    • September 2, 2017, at 5:01 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  13. Brian Watt Member
    Brian Watt Post author

    Susan in Seattle (View Comment):
    Here’s an article that I think is nicely complementary to your post.

    A great comprehensive article. Thanks for the link.

    • #13
    • September 2, 2017, at 6:07 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  14. Brian Watt Member
    Brian Watt Post author

    Okay, I’ll say it. I think it’s obvious that universities – especially in the humanities – have become the breeding grounds of young, ignorant ideologically-possessed, radical post-modernist Marxist terrorists who want nothing more than the complete destruction of western civilization that they’ve been brainwashed to believe is an oppressive, racist white-dominated patriarchal construct.

    Unless universities experience a curtailing of federal and state monies for condoning violence and smothering free speech, the situation will only get worse and more violent. None of the mayhem we’ve been witnessing has anything to do with fairness or equality or ending oppression or somehow fighting fascism. The groups like Antifa and their affiliates are as fascistic as the Nazis who rampaged on Kristallnacht and they spew many of the same anti-Semitic sentiments in their allegiance to radical Islamist organizations on campuses – and in that, they even share the same hatred of Jews that white supremacists have. What we’re witnessing being played out around the country is about naked unrestrained, totalitarian power.

    All three branches of government have a responsibility to eradicate this evil…even as they deal with their own post-modernist Marxist ideologues and Antifa-sympathizers or enablers in Congress, the judiciary and in state legislatures and city councils.

    Trump cannot be the focal point of authority to crack down on this upsurge of violence. It must be a concerted effort with Congress, the judiciary, the states, local governments, boards of regents, university benefactors, alumni donors and parents. It’s time to wake up.

    I do realize that nothing may happen until college football and other sports are completely disrupted with riots and violence. When that happens, something might actually get done.

    • #14
    • September 2, 2017, at 6:57 PM PDT
    • 14 likes
  15. ctlaw Coolidge

    Randy Webster (View Comment):
    Isn’t Washington a shall issue state? How do these people have the balls to go around swinging bats?

    No campus carry.

    • #15
    • September 3, 2017, at 12:06 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  16. Brian Watt Member
    Brian Watt Post author

    From Mark Steyn Online: “The Coming Terror” (September 1):

    …Professor Bray is a lecturer in history at GRID, the Gender Research Institute at Dartmouth, which is the usual social engineering flimflam masquerading as a field of scholarship, but it’s Ivy League so it’ll cost you an arm and a leg (metaphorically, I mean; not literally, like, say, attending a Charles Murray speech at Middlebury). Dartmouth College is in the town of Hanover (median family income $129,000), in the state of New Hampshire (93.9 per cent white, 1.1 per cent black). So, when it comes to “marginalizing” communities, Professor Bray knows whereof he speaks. It’s so much more rewarding, don’t you find, to defend marginalized communities from a safe distance: They look a lot more marginalized when they’re on the far horizon, somewhere south of the Massachusetts line.

    Does Professor Bray want antifa rampaging down his pretty little Main Street and hurling bricks through Hanover’s upscale boutiques and bistros and its delightful designer gelato emporium? One would think not. But maybe he does.

    The heady, seductive glamour of violence is one of the oldest siren songs on earth – which is why so many of antifa’s revolting masses are, in fact, upper-middle-class white students enjoying a leisurely, pampering, undemanding varsity, and for whom taking a truncheon to an Ann Coulter fan is far more satisfying than dozing through Transgender and Colonialism Studies at GRID. From pseudo-scholarship to pseudo-grievances to pseudo-heroism is an easy progress – easier than, say, volunteering to help out in Texas.

    More or less exactly 224 years ago, Bertrand Barère, a moneyed journalist, lawyer and intellectual and member of France’s Committee of Public Safety, told his fellow revolutionaries:

    Plaçons la terreur à l’ordre du jour!

    Let us make terror the order of the day! It will be, if this fever keeps up. I go back to those radio reports I first heard about “peace activists”, and my consequent surprise at then seeing the pictures thereof. But all the best lies are brazen: Peace through violence; the jihad is all the fault of Virginia schizophrenics; a white man with a phone perpetuates rape culture; all these reporters being beaten up by antifa are really worried about Trump’s rhetoric…

    And when every last word in the English language has been stripped entirely of rational meaning, all that will remain is violence, and terror.

    • #16
    • September 3, 2017, at 12:11 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  17. CarolJoy, Above Top Secret Coolidge

    This was the line in the sand for me. When I first got turned on to this video, I realized it was time to wake the hell up and not support the endless propaganda that “nice white people” need to constantly bow down to the lofty ideals of the PC world. I won’t detail my reactions as I know most here “got it” long before I did.

    • #17
    • September 3, 2017, at 12:16 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  18. AmishDude Member

    One of the first things that can be done is to eliminate the Liberal Arts model and General Education requirements. They have metastasized to the point where a student pursuing a Bachelor of *Science* in mathematics (I can speak to this because it is my field) is required to take a quarter of her coursework in the humanities and social sciences.

    No other country does this. When you major in mathematics, you take math and a foreign language. You can take some coursework in physics or computer science, but you aren’t required to take three English classes. This is why American students are so woefully unprepared and why 50% of American Ph.D.s in mathematics are awarded to noncitizens.

    This is a problem with accrediting agencies. They all think the same way and they are interested in keeping the humanities propped up. The humanities are given an artificial demand and the number of their faculty (and hence, their influence) would be far less if there were fewer of them.

    • #18
    • September 3, 2017, at 12:19 PM PDT
    • 10 likes
  19. Jimmy Carter Member

    If He wanted to make some heads explode, He should reply,”Now I know how the Indigenous People felt after Columbus landed.”

    • #19
    • September 3, 2017, at 12:26 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  20. Richard Fulmer Member

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):
    It has always had a touchy-feely leaning, …

    Ah. That explains the baseball bats.

    • #20
    • September 3, 2017, at 12:29 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  21. CarolJoy, Above Top Secret Coolidge

    Susan in Seattle (View Comment):
    Here’s an article that I think is nicely complementary to your post.

    Great article, focusing on the Evergreen State’s current President. Here is a most telling paragraph: During the same ugly period, an Evergreen State professor was told by the campus police chief that he should stay off campus because his safety there couldn’t be guaranteed. That professor and his faculty-member wife intend to sue the college for $3.85 million. The college now is under attack from both the right and the left—from the right for deprecating speech and activity disagreeable to the left-tilting campus; and from the left for being perceived as too lethargic in ensuring success by minority students.

    ### My comment: just what would be considered by the Left as being some “success” for minority students? So if the police had not shown up and then the mob had bashed in Weinstein’s head with a baseball bat, would that be the action they would consider as success? The mob had already denounced Weinstein for not learning from them, the student mob… A twist in values, to say the least.

    • #21
    • September 3, 2017, at 12:59 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  22. Brian Watt Member
    Brian Watt Post author

    Stephen Hicks, who has examined the origins and effects of Post Modernism in this video breaks down the stages of the movement and what we are witnessing today.

    Effectively, Stage One deals with the Marxist French intellectuals who created the movement after the atrocities, economic failures of Soviet and Maoist communism which became indefensible. Post Modernism at its core seeks to deconstruct rational discourse or the notion that we can know what is true. But this is a sleight of hand and Post Modernism is really a tool to bring back a resurgent and perhaps even more radical and destructive form Marxism (thus NeoMarxist), if that is possible – because the Post Modernist philosophers were all die-hard Marxists. Jordan Peterson refers to Post Modernist philosopher Jacques Derrida as the head trickster of the movement. Peterson also talks about some of the more vile and pernicious ideas that Derrida espoused that made Karl Marx look like a girl scout.

    Stage Two deals with the spread of the Post Modernist movement through the academy from the late 1960s to the present day in both Europe and North America – by professors who sought to dismantle the representation that the progress of western civilization in history and other humanities curricula that was heretofore taught as a net positive for humankind by pushing that current western governments, led by the United States, are primarily imperialistic, genocidal, sexist, racist, oppressive and patriarchal. Evergreen, founded in 1971 is just one example of a college that primarily pushes the Post Modernist/NeoMarxist agenda but virtually every university in the US and Canada have a cadre of professors and like-minded administrators who are pushing this vile ideology.

    -more-

    • #22
    • September 3, 2017, at 1:34 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  23. Brian Watt Member
    Brian Watt Post author

    -continued-

    Under the guise of equality, diversity and compassion NeoMarxist/Post Modernist ideology began to flourish. Another key feature of this movement is of course, the promotion of identity/group politics and the assault on the individual. You get a sense of that in the excerpts from The CooperPoint article that I cited in the OP…that Weinstein is only in it for himself and his own gain. I got a sense of the PM/NM movement myself years ago when I attended college – as I’m sure most of you had – and more recently when my ex-wife was pursuing her PhD in European history and I perused many of the books that were assigned to her, as well as interacting with a few of the professors and other graduate students in the program. The negative attitudes about the Enlightenment, America, capitalism, the Industrial Revolution are rampant (See my Ricochet post from six years ago – yeesh!) – Revising History to Kill Individual Exceptionalism). Socialism was always discussed reverentially.

    Stage Three – Lessens the focus on equality and diversity and instead aims to shut down conservative thought and ideas that challenge the Post Modernist/Neo Marxist orthodoxy. This is happening at the hands of campus radicals who have been indoctrinated by these professors for the past forty plus years and who have been taught to be radical activists and violent if necessary. This is playing out, for the most part, in and around college campuses for the time being, when statues and monuments aren’t being destroyed. But the images of the Occupy movement are still fresh in the mind of radicals and how cities can be brought to a screeching halt.

    I would just add one last stage. Stage Four: The wave of terror.

    • #23
    • September 3, 2017, at 1:35 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  24. Henry Castaigne Member

    AmishDude (View Comment):
    No other country does this. When you major in mathematics, you take math and a foreign language. You can take some coursework in physics or computer science, but you aren’t required to take three English classes. This is why American students are so woefully unprepared and why 50% of American Ph.D.s in mathematics are awarded to noncitizens.

    There is a serious cost to keeping potential scientists and mathematicians in courses they hate instead of doing useful work and paying taxes.

    • #24
    • September 3, 2017, at 1:53 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  25. Richard Fulmer Member

    Leftists in general, and postmodernists in particular, believe (or claim to believe) that there are no absolute truths (which would, itself, be an absolute truth were it true) and that all customs and cultures are matters of taste rather than of either virtue or utility. At first glance, these ideas seem to be based on a sense of humility: My ideas are no better than yours, live and let live, why can’t we all just get along, coexist, kumbaya.

    Fine. But why, then, are they so willing to impose their notions of right and wrong by violence?

    Apparently, postmodern thought is not at all based on the belief that “my ideas are no better than yours” but on the belief that “your ideas suck and I’ll hit you with a baseball bat if you persist in them.”

    • #25
    • September 3, 2017, at 1:57 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  26. Henry Castaigne Member

    • #26
    • September 3, 2017, at 2:11 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  27. Petty Boozswha Member

    If Weinstein is truly the anti-racist he claims to be, we ask him to take this opportunity to learn from the student body which pays his salary…

    Glad to see the young radicals embrace the conservative idea that the customer is always right in a capitalist environment, but how many young ladies and gentlemen of color can be found in Washington State that pay the full tuition at a state university?

     

    • #27
    • September 3, 2017, at 2:12 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  28. Jimmy Carter Member

    Brian Watt (View Comment):
    I would just add one last stage. Stage Four: The wave of terror.

    Yet there is one experience which most sincere exCommunists share, whether or not they go only part way to the end of the question it poses. The daughter of a former German diplomat in Moscow was trying to explain to me why her father, who, as an enlightened modern man, had been extremely proCommunist, had become an implacable anti-Communist. It was hard for her because, as an enlightened modern girl, she shared the Communist vision without being a Communist. But she loved her father and the irrationality of his defection embarrassed her. ‘He was immensely pro-Soviet,’ she said,’ and then — you will laugh at me — but you must not laugh at my father — and then — one night — in Moscow — he heard screams. That’s all. Simply one night he heard screams.’

    A child of Reason and the 20th century, she knew that there is a logic of the mind. She did not know that the soul has a logic that may be more compelling than the mind’s. She did not know at all that she had swept away the logic of the mind, the logic of history, the logic of politics, the myth of the 20th century, with five annihilating words: one night he heard screams.”

    Whittaker Chambers

    Witness

    • #28
    • September 3, 2017, at 2:34 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  29. doulalady Member

    Isn’t Hicks describing Saul Alinsky and his rules for radicals?

    • #29
    • September 3, 2017, at 3:51 PM PDT
    • Like
  30. Eugene Kriegsmann Member

    I didn’t expect to, but I watched the entire Rogan video. It was the best I have seen on his show. It was absolutely fascinating. The perspectives of these two gentlemen were remarkably acute. They cut through so much of the BS that gets thrown around on the media, and, frankly, in many discussions I have read on Ricochet. To say that I thoroughly enjoy it is to understate the case. Thank @BrianWatt for this most extraordinary post. I will be thinking about what was said and processing it for some days to come.

    • #30
    • September 3, 2017, at 3:58 PM PDT
    • 1 like
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