Rep. Bobby Rush upbraided for wearing a hoodie on the House floor

posted at 3:05 pm on March 28, 2012 by Tina Korbe

Remember when Geraldo Rivera said the hoodie was as much responsible for the death of Trayvon Martin as George Zimmerman? Perhaps because of Rivera’s comments, the apparently lethal garment has now become a kind of symbol of solidarity for Martin sympathizers in the case. Illinois Democratic Rep. Bobby Rush took it so far as to wear a hoodie on the House floor today. It wasn’t well-received:

Mr. Rush was promptly cut off as he attempted to address the House floor. Rep. Gregg Harper (R., Miss.), who was presiding over the chamber, ruled that wearing a “hoodie” violated the rule that prohibited wearing a hat on the House floor when it was in session. It wasn’t clear what Mr. Rush was saying since Mr. Harper was urging him to stop talking. He stopped speaking after a member of the House security staff approached.

Democratic lawmakers have been spending much of the week calling attention to the shooting of Mr. Martin, who was wearing a hoodie at the time he was shot. George Zimmerman, a member of a neighborhood watch patrol in Sanford, Fla., allegedly shot him, and the Department of Justice is investigating the incident. But Mr. Zimmerman, who has said he was acting in self defense, has not been charged by state or federal authorities in the shooting.

Mr. Martin’s parents were in Washington Tuesday, speaking at an unofficial hearing of the House Judiciary Committee held by Democrats on the panel.

Trayvon Martin’s hoodie is a very small piece of the overall puzzle. Perhaps in unclear cases like his, though, we cling to the tiniest details in an attempt to make sense of something. We’re unsure about the essential question: Was Martin’s shooting actually an act of self-defense by George Zimmerman? Similarly, we’re unsure about the role — if any — race played in the event of Martin’s death. But we know Trayvon Martin was wearing a hoodie.

It seems ridiculous to fixate on clothes when someone has died, but maybe it’s not so ridiculous. The truth is: Clothes do have connotations. A business suit connotes professionalism. A low-cut blouse or short skirt connotes openness to sexual advances. A sweatsuit connotes either a commitment to fitness or sheer laziness. Sometimes, the messages our clothes send are at odds with the messages our words, actions and facial expressions send. I’d argue that clothes should be the last thing we consider when we size up another person, but it doesn’t serve any point to deny that they do affect other people’s perceptions of us.

Ed really had the final word on this when the issue first came up: “I had this conversation with my nephew when he was a teenager, explaining that clothes are a statement of values that get communicated instantly to the people around him, especially to those who don’t know him. That doesn’t mean that baggy pants or a hoodie makes you complicit in your own death when someone shoots you for no other reason, however, and it’s a blame-the-victim impulse to make that argument.”

Not really sure what Rep. Rush was trying to accomplish.

Update: Apparently, there has also been some controversy as to whether wearing a hoodie really does violate House rules. CNSNews.com’s Craig Bannister found the answer:

I contacted the House Rules Committee and asked about this. Here’s the committee’s reply:

“Please see below – the highlighted portion is what Rep. Rush was in violation of…

From opening day this year:

6. Decorum in Debate

The Chair’s announced policies of January 7, 2003, January 4, 1995, and January 3, 1991, will apply in the 112th Congress. It is essential that the dignity of the proceedings of the House be preserved, not only to assure that the House conducts its business in an orderly fashion but also to permit Members to properly comprehend and participate in the business of the House. To this end, and in order to permit the Chair to understand and to correctly put the question on the numerous requests that are made by Members, the Chair requests that Members and others who have the privileges of the floor desist from audible conversation in the Chamber while the business of the House is being conducted. The Chair would encourage all Members to review rule XVII to gain a better understanding of the proper rules of decorum expected of them, and especially: to avoid “personalities” in debate with respect to references to other Members, the Senate, and the President; to address the Chair while standing and only during, and not beyond, the time recognized, and not to address the television or other imagined audience; to refrain from passing between the Chair and a Member speaking, or directly in front of a Member speaking from the well; to refrain from smoking in the Chamber; to wear appropriate business attire in the Chamber; and to generally display the same degree of respect to the Chair and other Members that every Member is due.”

This clause calls for House members to respect the authority of the chair, and to wear appropriate business attire – which Rush clearly did not.

So, no, wearing a hoodie doesn’t make you a hoodlum.

But, if you do it on the House floor while disrespecting the session’s chair, it does make you an embarrassment.

And from The Blaze’s Benny Johnson comes the answer about what Rep. Rush was trying to accomplish. He wanted to demonstrate outrage at Trayvon’s murder — and emphasize that “the reason he was killed was because he was a black man wearing a hoodie in a white neighborhood.”


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This has nothing to do with white or black except the simple fact that there are a large number of black dealers concentrated in urban areas.

Just by chance of course!

libfreeordie on March 28, 2012 at 5:11 PM

If you have a link to the actual study, then I’d be happy to take a look.

blink on March 28, 2012 at 4:18 PM

http://oas.samhsa.gov/nsduhLatest.htm

libfreeordie on March 28, 2012 at 5:13 PM

Del Dolemonte on March 28, 2012 at 5:02 PM

You are unable to discuss anything on its merits. No one on this site can point to a source with no bias. They present data, you can dispute it, you can question the methodology you can challenge the findings. But just saying “they’re leftist and therefore I don’t have to consider it at all” speaks to shallowness of your intellect. For someone who goes around giving grades you aren’t that critical a thinker.

libfreeordie on March 28, 2012 at 5:09 PM

I’ll let these earlier responses to your “data” suffice.

Was the Huff Post piece a report of a study? I read many anecdotes and many author generated hypotheses, but I didn’t see any data.

If you have a link to the actual study, then I’d be happy to take a look.

blink on March 28, 2012 at 4:18 PM

I went over and looked. Couldn’t find anything about journal publication, peer review, study funding, etc.

a capella on March 28, 2012 at 4:22 PM

F-

Del Dolemonte on March 28, 2012 at 5:18 PM

A low-cut blouse or short skirt connotes openness to sexual advances.

So Tina, when you were wearing that short skirt while interviewing Santorum at CPAC, you were showing your openness to sexual advances?

sobincorporated on March 28, 2012 at 5:24 PM

blink on March 28, 2012 at 5:20 PM

See my post at 5:13 on this page.

libfreeordie on March 28, 2012 at 5:29 PM

I’m sure she would agree that a certain implication was being made, but it seems as if you need to learn the difference between the word “connote” and the term “accurately depicts”.

blink on March 28, 2012 at 5:30 PM

People on here have been perfectly willing to call Trayvon Martin a “thug” because he wore a hoodie, which are worn by just about everyone under the age of 30. Just want to make sure that the pretty blond white girl and the Skittles-toting black teenager are held to the same standard.

sobincorporated on March 28, 2012 at 5:34 PM

In my life thus far, I have had many black friends and found them to be no different than any of my other friends. It’s the scourge leaders such as Mr. Rush, Mrs. Jackson and Mrs. Waters that brings the entire community down. These people want nothing better than to stir the pot, so as to make themselves feel significant.

DDay on March 28, 2012 at 5:36 PM

I’m puzzled by, and I confess a little worn out by, this phenomenon of various special interest groups hijacking various items, and even words out of the language, and applying them to mean something that is relevant only to that specific special interest group.

I didn’t realize that a hooded sweatshirt, AKA ‘hoodie’, was an item of clothing that expressly worked as an identifier to the black community. Everyone I know has at least one in their closet somewhere that they use for casual attire, particularly when the weather is brisk or bitter. Not everyone that I know is black.

I think that members of Congress jumping into this case is wrong. I’m not even sure that Zimmerman can get a fair trial in this country given that members of Congress are making irresponsible, and possibly incendiary, statements regarding the case, including openly speculating on Mr. Zimmerman’s intent or nature, the wildly suggestive, and at times, outright biased, coverage of some members of the media, celebrities commenting publicly and openly interfering in the case, the President’s personalization of this case, the highly prejudicial marketing and merchandising related to the case, the Congress members bringing the family to capital hill for a ‘hearing’,the New Black Panthers Wanted Dead or Alive poster with a $10,000 bounty on Mr Zimmerman and plans to form a militia, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Geraldo Rivera, and Lewis Farrakhan’s attempts to capitalize on this case and the subsequent racism expressed in their various statements, and the resultant media saturation given the case.

I’m interested in justice and the rule of law. Mr. Zimmerman is innocent until he’s proven guilt of wrong doing, if any wrong doing is determined to exist in the case. Of course the untimely death of an American is a tragedy and particularly when its the result of violence. One that occurs all too frequently every day regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or preference, age, creed or religion. I don’t think anyone is arguing that violent untimely death is not a tragedy. However, its always a mistake to try a case in the press. Its essential to let the police and the justice system handle this case according to the law.

Hysterics and individuals trying to capitalize on an all too frequent tragedy is not going to help the course of justice.

thatsafactjack on March 28, 2012 at 5:36 PM

Just by chance of course!

libfreeordie on March 28, 2012 at 5:11 PM

What does that mean? Where they placed there? Are they required to stay there? I’m not sure what you’re getting at. Policing would be exactly the same if the races were reversed or if it was urban Asians selling to rural Hispanics or Martians selling to Venusians.

BKeyser on March 28, 2012 at 5:39 PM

sobincorporated on March 28, 2012 at 5:34 PM

Don’t forget Bill Belichick.

DDay on March 28, 2012 at 5:40 PM

Is that why they called him a thug, or was it because of the reports that he broke Zimmerman’s nose and the eye witness account that he was banging Zimmerman’s head on the pavement?

blink on March 28, 2012 at 5:37 PM

Read the comments on the post about Geraldo and the hoodie. Assumptions were made left and right, that he was likely wearing baggie pants or that he must have been shady. There was the occasional comment about what actually went down between Martin and Zimmerman, but they were rare. And if Zimmerman accosted Martin physically – not out of the question considering he was already stalking him for the heinous crime of being black and walking on the street – then it’s entirely possible that Trayvon Martin was defending himself.

sobincorporated on March 28, 2012 at 5:44 PM

I see that the (false) guilt train is running at full speed – again.

OldEnglish on March 28, 2012 at 5:44 PM

Thug? IDK, hoodies are ubiquitous. I’m wearing one today because the weather turned cool again. Everybody wears hoodies. This hoodie thing isn’t going to last. Geraldo’s an idiot.

Dee2008 on March 28, 2012 at 3:37 PM

They do make sense when the weather calls for one. Wearing one hooded up on a warm evening makes no sense unless you are wearing one to hide your face or to make a statement.

Common sense is needed. There is a good reason that hoodies are not allowed in most school hallways and classrooms.

jazzuscounty on March 28, 2012 at 5:45 PM

You are unable to discuss anything on its merits.[...] blah blah blah

libfreeordie on March 28, 2012 at 5:09 PM

.
PROJECTION! Projection so wide and so high that it looks like a Bat Signal that screams “libfreeordie can’t think! libfreeordie can’t think! libfreeordie can’t think!”
,
You are an absolute idiot!

But just saying “they’re leftist and therefore I don’t have to consider it at all” speaks to shallowness of your intellect.

.
No one says that, does that or thinks that until you go off the deep end with your own psychological weaknesses, fears and paranoia. Then, after many attempts to reason with you the results are negligible. You will not accept any reasoned argument without deflection and eventual ad hominem abuse. Your only objective is to look smart and feed your ego with “the defeat of atavistic troglodyte conservative morons.” Believe me, when you show up here and fail so miserably day after day, you look like the atavistic troglodyte moron.
.
For whatever it’s worth, don’t heed my words! You have to live with your own emulation of Sisyphus, pushing that liberal rock-headed bone-headed sense of intellectual superiority up the highest hill, the steepest slope you can find. I rarely engage you because of all the intellectually mushy baggage you drag around in every thread. If you could see yourself through my eyes, you’d resemble a big, mushy, emotional marshmallow. Yuk!

ExpressoBold on March 28, 2012 at 5:45 PM

If you have a link to the actual study, then I’d be happy to take a look.

blink on March 28, 2012 at 4:18 PM

http://oas.samhsa.gov/nsduhLatest.htm

libfreeordie on March 28, 2012 at 5:13 PM

This is what you should have posted in the first place. Just the study itself, not the “interpretation” of it in the Huffington Post.

BTW, you were being intellectually dishonest, at best, when you responded to me with this:

But just saying “they’re leftist and therefore I don’t have to consider it at all” speaks to shallowness of your intellect.

That’s nothing more than a Saul Alinsky-inspired admission that because you couldn’t credibly refute the Facts I posted about that Think Tank’s Board of Directors, the best you could do was call me Stupid.

Won’t work here, as we’ve seen it all before.

Del Dolemonte on March 28, 2012 at 5:47 PM

sobincorporated on March 28, 2012 at 5:34 PM

Don’t forget Bill Belichick.

DDay on March 28, 2012 at 5:40 PM

Yep, Bill’s the Face of Pure Evil.

Proof? This latest BDS from earlier today:

When Rob Gronkowski and (New York Jet) Darrelle Revis hit the SportsCenter set to lobby for Madden ’13 votes on Wednesday, a rapid-fire word-association session got a little awkward.

Revis was asked the first word that comes to mind when he hears the name Bill Belichick. He paused and responded: “Jerk”

Gronkowski shifted in his seat, seemed suddenly uncomfortable, and said, “Wow, I wasn’t expecting that one,” while Revis sat grinning.

Asked to elaborate, Gronkowski declined and quickly changed the subject.

For the record, when asked what comes to mind when he hears the name Rex Ryan, Gronkowski played it safe: “Entertainer,” he said.

Del Dolemonte on March 28, 2012 at 5:51 PM

Da House of Representin’

docflash on March 28, 2012 at 5:52 PM

For the record, when asked what comes to mind when he hears the name Rex Ryan, Gronkowski played it safe: “Entertainer,” he said.
Del Dolemonte on March 28, 2012 at 5:51 PM

I would have said foot fetish…..

Although I’m a Patriots and Broncos fan, I actually like Rex. I kind of like his cocky attitude and the way he actually says what he thinks.

dentarthurdent on March 28, 2012 at 5:58 PM

I’m printing up a hoodie with the slogan:

TRAYVON? THE HELL
WITH THE TRUTH!

profitsbeard on March 28, 2012 at 5:58 PM

You are unable to discuss anything on its merits.[...] blah blah blah

libfreeordie on March 28, 2012 at 5:09 PM

I notice you have no response at all to my latest posts.
You libtards just can’t handle facts can you?

dentarthurdent on March 28, 2012 at 5:59 PM

Yep, Bill’s the Face of Pure Evil.
Del Dolemonte on March 28, 2012 at 5:51 PM

Yep, He is if your a Dallas Cowboy Fan. And for sure a Jets Fan.

DDay on March 28, 2012 at 6:06 PM

And if Zimmerman accosted Martin physically – not out of the question considering he was already stalking him for the heinous crime of being black and walking on the street – then it’s entirely possible that Trayvon Martin was defending himself.

sobincorporated on March 28, 2012 at 5:44 PM

Oh for cryin’ out loud! This stalking meme has been completely torn to shreds in the other Zimmerman thread. Go read up on the legal definition of stalking in that thread, then come back with something other than false interpetation of a law you obviously know nothing about. Your prattling about the heinous crime of being black is laughable, considering Zimmerman’s history and relationships. Go on now. Go read up on stalking, then come back, Scoot!

a capella on March 28, 2012 at 6:09 PM

People on here have been perfectly willing to call Trayvon Martin a “thug” because he wore a hoodie, which are worn by just about everyone under the age of 30.

sobincorporated on March 28, 2012 at 5:34 PM

I guess you need reminding that when this first received publicity, most people, including myself, believed that Trayvon was just a good kid who was unfairly targeted by a trigger happy guy patrolling his neighborhood as a volunteer.

For the first few days, I thought that he was a good student, a football player and truly just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I am not convicted either of these two here, but it is unfair to say that he was immediately considered a thug, when the opposite is true.

Jvette on March 28, 2012 at 6:11 PM

No, that’s not the research that the Huff Post article was referencing.

It’s become obvious that libfreeordie can’t back up any of the claims that she’s made on here.

blink on March 28, 2012 at 6:08 PM

Yeah, there is supposed to be a research article written by a couple of dudes using data from that government survey, but, I’ll be blessed if I can find it.

a capella on March 28, 2012 at 6:15 PM

Rep. Bobby Rush is a marble-mouthed idiot. You need an interpreter to understand what he’s saying.

And, the people who elect tards like this to office are idiots too.

That’s how we got where we are.

fogw on March 28, 2012 at 6:16 PM

Rep. Bobby Rush is a marble-mouthed idiot. You need an interpreter to understand what he’s saying.

[...]

fogw on March 28, 2012 at 6:16 PM

.
For what it’s worth, the guy is a survivor of cancer, a malignant tumor of the salivary gland. That doesn’t explain anything but the difficulty in speaking; the racial animus representation of his district and his latest stunt are not cancer related, so have at it. At least, realize why he speaks the way he does.

ExpressoBold on March 28, 2012 at 6:26 PM

Just let Spike Lee mete out some justice yo

DHChron on March 28, 2012 at 6:36 PM

I’ll concede I engaged in hyperbole if you address the study which shows that whites use and purchase more drugs than blacks, but blacks are in jail for drug crimes at a much higher rate.

libfreeordie on March 28, 2012 at 4:00 PM

If the stats are correct the answer to yer question is that the whites are SMARTER and don’t get caught near as often

McCain Hater on March 28, 2012 at 6:37 PM

Spike Lee can do no wrong…except for all those movies and stuff

DHChron on March 28, 2012 at 6:38 PM

At least, realize why he speaks the way he does.

ExpressoBold on March 28, 2012 at 6:26 PM

I can sympathize with his dealing with a malignant tumor. Nothing pleasant about that, emotionally or physically. However, salivary tumors do not effect intelligence, something Rep. Rush lacks.

fogw on March 28, 2012 at 6:47 PM

…and also confront the way other people of color also stigmatize black people.

libfreeordie on March 28, 2012 at 3:24 PM

You mean like this? Confrontational enough for you?

RepubChica on March 28, 2012 at 6:50 PM

Although I’m a Patriots and Broncos fan, I actually like Rex. I kind of like his cocky attitude and the way he actually says what he thinks.

dentarthurdent on March 28, 2012 at 5:58 PM

My brother and I were talking and Rex Ryan is the difference betweeen a guy you say “Shut up Man!” and “Shaaaaadaaaap!!!!” He’s that opinionated goof you love to have a beer with.

itsspideyman on March 28, 2012 at 7:07 PM

The data for the 12 and older group tell a different story.

So, this was quite a comprehensive fail for libfreeordie.

blink on March 28, 2012 at 6:47 PM

The old use only the part of the data I need to fit the desired conclusion gambit. Boy that’s pretty original cheating. No one has ever tried that before. I wonder if these guys also do global warming research.

a capella on March 28, 2012 at 8:00 PM

blink,

The rate of black drug use is barely higher than white drug use and white people make up a significantly greater percentage of the population. So the number of white people using and procuring drugs is much much higher than black people who use or procure drugs. Yet black people are prosecuted for drug offenses at rates that far outstrip their usage. Its only a fail if you can’t read or do basic statistical analysis.

libfreeordie on March 28, 2012 at 8:25 PM

FBI Stats vs Democrat Racism Myth

ITguy on March 28, 2012 at 8:51 PM

Would you ever consider looking at procurement and use patterns? Or are you much more comfortable simply claiming racism?

blink on March 28, 2012 at 8:59 PM

The data on usage patterns you’ve already read. That demonstrates the usage. And it also demonstrates procurement since these drugs are illegal they are procured through illegal means.

Now the incarceration statistics quoted in the huffpo piece indicate that 50% of all people incarcerated for a drug offense is black. Lets take all the data together:

1. The percentage of black people who use drugs is slightly higher than the percentage of white people who use drugs, by a few points only though.

2. There are about 5 times as many white people in the U.S. as there are black people.

3. That means that since rates of usage are very close that there are probably a little less than 5 times as many white people who procure and then use illegal drugs.

4. And yet white people are not incarcerated for drug crimes in any way that represents their rates of usage. Quite the contrary. They are severely underrepresented in our prisons for drug offenses.

And we already have a few people who have pinpointed why that’s the case. It is easier for police to focus on big urban areas with large black populations than it is to focus on the white suburban areas where most of the white use and drug dealing occurs. That, in and of itself, should be a red flag. Something is wrong in society if the prosecution of crime is contingent upon where you life.

libfreeordie on March 28, 2012 at 9:33 PM

Something is wrong in society if the prosecution of crime is contingent upon where you life.

What country are you posting from?

slickwillie2001 on March 28, 2012 at 9:52 PM

What country are you posting from?

slickwillie2001 on March 28, 2012 at 9:52 PM

The one where the f and the v key are very close to each other.

libfreeordie on March 28, 2012 at 10:01 PM

Tina, not Ed

Schadenfreude on March 28, 2012 at 3:38 PM

No, Ed. Read what Tina wrote right there in the article:

Ed really had the final word on this when the issue first came up: “I had this conversation with my nephew when he was a teenager, explaining that clothes are a statement of values that get communicated instantly to the people around him, especially to those who don’t know him.

Next time you want to try to correct me, be more prepared.

Dark Star on March 28, 2012 at 11:37 PM

A lot of people seem to forget that George Zimmerman is not white but Hispanic.

But then I guess “one minority member shoots another minority member” doesn’t have the same impact for those trying to make the shooting about race and not a possible act of self-defence.

Jay Mac on March 29, 2012 at 5:59 AM

There are a heck of a lot more black on black crimes just like Juan Williams says. But, the race pimps don’t give a crap about that.

People are weary of young blacks in hoodies because they understand statistics. Even Jessie Jackson said being followed by a black man makes him nervous.

Martin Luther King wanted men to be judged by the content of their character, not the color of their skin. Guess what, most people don’t care about black skin. It’s the character seen all over the TV screen of the black youth gangster rap culture that any reasonable person can see as nothing but trouble. Unfortunately, millions of Americans have written them off as hopeless. Nothing seems to work. Therefore, paying them to stay home and out of everyone elses lives is what has been done for 30 years. Sad.

saiga on March 29, 2012 at 2:57 PM

The race pimps stay away from the issue of black on black crime because it doesn’t pay. There is no one to extort money from. The 800 pound gorilla in the room is the depraved character of the inner city, hip hop gangster rap culture. Bad is good and good is bad. All the free slop in the government trough only makes the problem worse because we promote that character by subsidizing it to the tune of billions.

The day I see one of the usual suspect race pimps, Jessie, Al, Bobby Rush, etc. etc. step up and acknowledge that the black community is broken and the only real fix must come from within that community, I will flip. Instead, they always blame someone else and their only fix is more government money. All the white guilt in the world or all the money in the world will not fix the egregious character deficiency in the gangster rap, hip hop culture. It will only make it worse.

Sole searching and positive values drilled into every black kid by parents and peers is the only answer, and only that community can administer the medicine. On every measure of education, employment, out of wedlock births, crime, drugs, etc. etc. the inner city black community has no peer. When are we going to stop the side show and get real?

Smokers are having trouble blaming everyone else for their smoking habit. Let’s hope the inner city will soon have trouble blaming everyone else for all their problems. It is the content of character that is the issue, and the solution lies within. The time has come.

saiga on March 29, 2012 at 3:17 PM

From The Obama Timeline:

Rush was a co-founder of the Chicago chapter of the Black Panther Party. Rush, who served a six-month prison sentence on a weapons charge, dealt Obama his only election loss in a 30-point trouncing in the 2000 Democrat primary for a Congressional seat. To help finance that failed run for Congress, Obama secured a $20,000 personal loan. The Chicago scuttlebutt was that Obama’s campaign was also funded by what some call the “Hyde Park mafia,” a group of University of Chicago leftists, and that there was a master plan to “push him up the political ladder.” Obama’s tone in the campaign was arrogant and condescending; he made statements such as, “I gave up a career with a high-priced law firm to run for public office!” Rush said of his elitist opponent, “Barack Obama went to Harvard and became an educated fool. Barack is a person who read about the civil-rights protests and thinks he knows all about it.”

Adolph Green, a political scientist at the University of Pennsylvania, called Obama a “vacuous opportunist, a good performer with an ear for how to make white liberals like him.” Obama’s dislike for the Clintons may have originated at this time. Obama had been executive director of Project Vote in 1992, which helped elect the outrageously unqualified Carol Moseley Braun to the U.S. Senate. From Obama’s perspective, he had also helped Clinton get elected president. When Clinton endorsed Bobby Rush for the Congressional seat that Obama wanted in 2000, he likely felt betrayed.

Colony14 on March 29, 2012 at 6:03 PM

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