Monday, 31 May 2021
The History of Memorial Day: 7 Patriotic Facts Every American Should Know
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The holiday is about much more than a three-day weekend.

By Emily VanSchmus Updated March 29, 2021

It's easy to associate Memorial Day weekend with weekend barbecues and lake trips, but the holiday is about far more. Memorial Day, which has been a national holiday since 1868, is dedicated to the men and women who have died while serving in a branch of the United States military.

And since social distancing measures may prohibit your traditional Memorial Day activities like remembrance parades or placing flags at gravesites, this year is the perfect time to learn about the origins of the holiday from home. Take some time to learn about the history of Memorial Day and reflect on the sacrifices made by military members

When Is Memorial Day?

Memorial Day 2021 is Monday, May 31. From 1868 to 1970, Memorial Day was celebrated on May 30 (regardless of what day of the week it fell on), but since 1971, the holiday has been celebrated on the last Monday of May. 

Memorial Day vs. Veteran's Day

Memorial Day is commonly mixed up with other military holidays observed in the United States. So, what's the difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day? Memorial Day observes those who have died while serving in the United States Armed Forces, while Veterans Day, celebrated annually on November 11, honors those who have served or are serving. Armed Forces Day (celebrated on the third Saturday in May) celebrates those who are currently serving in a branch of the military. 

How to Celebrate Memorial Day

While Memorial Day barbecues, lake days, and camping trips are common activities for the three-day weekend, make sure you're celebrating the holiday respectfully. Before you fire up the grill, volunteer to place miniature American flags ($8 for 25 flags, Amazon) at military gravesites or in local parks. If you have a flag pole, be sure to fly your flag at half-mast on the holiday as well.

Here are seven more facts you may not know about the history of Memorial Day.

1. Memorial Day Was Unofficially Started by Women

Before the Civil War ended, women's groups got together to decorate the graves of the soldiers who had passed away. On April 12, 1886, the Columbus Ladies Memorial Association in Columbus, Georgia, announced they would dedicate one day a year to decorating graves as a way to remember fallen soldiers. This was one of many events put on by local Ladies Memorial Associations that eventually led to the federal holiday.

2It Was Originally Called Decoration Day

The holiday wasn’t called Memorial Day until 1971: Before that, it was known as Decoration Day. The very first Decoration Day was celebrated on May 30, 1868, as the future president James A. Garfield gave a remembrance speech to thousands of onlookers at Arlington National Cemetery. Over the years, the day began to be referred to as Memorial Day, and for consistency’s sake, it was nationally re-named in 1971.

3It Wasn’t a Federal Holiday Until 1971

In 1968, Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act which proclaimed that Memorial Day would be celebrated on the last Monday each May and gave all federal employees the day off of work. But it wasn’t named an official federal holiday until 1971, more than 100 years after the end of the Civil War.

4Newly Freed Slaves Held One of the First Memorial Day Celebrations

One of the very first Memorial Day celebrations on record was held by newly freed slaves in Charleston, South Carolina. On May 1, 1865, freed slaves gathered with members of the U.S. Colored Troops to bury and honor fallen Union soldiers. A crowd of 10,000 people formed a parade around an old race track, where they sang hymns and decorated graves. 

5Memorial Day includes a National Moment of Remembrance

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the National Moment of Remembrance Act, which was signed by President Bill Clinton in 2000. The act asks all Americans to observe a national moment of remembrance at 3:00 p.m. local time on the afternoon of Memorial Day.

6Flags Are to be Flown at Half-Mast Until Noon

You might think that the American flag should be flown at half-mast all day, but the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs states that the flag should be flown at half-staff “from sunrise until noon only, then raised briskly to the top of the staff until sunset, in honor of the nation’s battle heroes.” This goes for all flags on government buildings, grounds, and naval vessels, as well as flags flown by private citizens.

7Poppies Are a Symbol of Memorial Day

Poppies have long been used to remember fallen soldiers after the bright red flowers began to bloom on World War I battlefields following the end of the war. Originally a symbol used to honor British soldiers who died in World War I, the flower also became associated with Memorial Day in 1915 when Moina Michael, a Georgia teacher and wartime volunteer, penned the poem "We Shall Keep the Faith" as part of a campaign to make poppies a national symbol of remembrance.

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION AND ADDITIONAL ARTICLES

https://www.bhg.com/holidays/july-4th/traditions/history-of-memorial-day/

 

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Posted on 05/31/2021 10:06 AM by Bobbie Patray
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Wednesday, 26 May 2021
‘I Plan To Ignore It’: Tennessee Teachers Criticize Critical Race Theory Ban At Public Schools, Say It Will Harm Students
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MARLO SAFICULTURE REPORTER

May 11, 20215:19 PM ET


Teachers at Tennessee public schools criticized the state’s ban on Critical Race Theory (CRT) instruction, saying it will hurt their ability to teach students about racism, Chalkbeat reported Monday.
The Tennessee General Assembly banned CRT instruction in early May, preventing schools from teaching students that an individual is inherently a racist or an oppressor because of their race, or that the U.S. is an inherently racist country, the Tennessean reported. Schools that do teach CRT could have funds withheld by the state.
Some teachers plan to continue teaching elements of CRT anyways, while others view the ban as harmful for students who need to be taught about subjects like racism based on the CRT framework because it helps develop critical thinking skills, Chalkbeat reported. 
CRT holds that America is fundamentally racist, yet teaches students to view every social interaction and person in terms of race. Its adherents pursue “antiracism” through the end of merit, objective truth and the adoption of race-based policies.
Liz Jarvis, an English as a second language teacher at Cornerstone Prep in Memphis, said she plans to flout the law, which she said favors white children.
“To be frank, the bill will not make it harder for my personal classroom because I plan to ignore it,” Jarvis said, according to Chalkbeat. 
“Who’s going to enforce it? This is a bill that viciously favors white children and ignores the needs of children of color. All the reported reasons I read that were given by the lawmakers were to protect the feelings of white children, with no thought or concern to what is best for society as a whole or for children of color,” she added.
Michael Pleasants, a substitute teacher at another Memphis public middle school, said that the bill’s wording doesn’t appear to prevent him from “teaching that redlining is racist, or many cops treat black people worse than white people.”
Travis Vaughn, a math teacher at LEAD Southeast High School in Nashville, said that most of his students face racism. 
“Good teachers should be teaching the truth, which is that every system in the U.S. is built on racism and white supremacy,” Vaughn said, according to Chalkbeat.

Gabriel Ares, a social studies teacher at a Memphis public school said that the bill strengthens the idea that history and social studies “should consist of arbitrary facts” without context, and that “facts alone do not hone [childrens’] critical thinking skills.”
Tennessee is one of multiple states to have pushed bans on CRT in 2021. Oklahoma lawmakers passed a bill in May prohibiting public schools and universities from teaching that “one race or sex is inherently superior to another” or that someone is “inherently racist, sexist or oppressive” because of their race or sex.
Oklahoma City School Board members also rebuked their state’s bill, with one member saying it was intended to “protect white fragility
The Oklahoma law was signed roughly two weeks after Idaho became the first state to prevent teachers or CRT facilitators from forcing students or other school staff to adopt the ideas in CRT.
Numerous public schools across the country have implemented CRT in their curricula. Buffalo Public Schools reportedly required kindergarten students to participate in a lesson on “racist police and state-sanctioned violence” which involved showing images of black children who have died. 
At R.I. Meyerholz Elementary School, part of the Cupertino Union School District in San Jose, Calif., third-grade students were reportedly told to deconstruct their racial and sexual identities in order to understand “power and privilege.”

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION AND ADDITIONAL ARTICLES

https://dailycaller.com/2021/05/11/tennessee-teachers-criticize-critical-race-theory-ban/?fbclid=IwAR0XAC-s77Mj1GUH3Y5sD7qR3FQ9Lr02xic71-_57hHt-j_p-UbnHxRfXiY

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Posted on 05/26/2021 3:59 PM by Bobbie Patray
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Tuesday, 25 May 2021
Commentary: Let’s Talk About the Children
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May 21, 2021 Admin

by Don Barnett

 According to U.S. government data, 717 “unaccompanied children” had been resettled in 2021 in Tennessee by the end of March. At the rate they are arriving, that number today is well over 1,000. Among states, Tennessee is the 8th most popular destination for placement of the minors.

Ask anyone what they hated most about Trump’s 4 years and it will most likely be something about “children in cages” or Trump’s “family separation policy.” Never mind that those families were offered the chance to return home and instead voluntarily accepted separation from their children who then – for those who claim to be under 18 – would fall into the official category of “unaccompanied children” (UC’s) and get the chance to stay. Never mind that many of the photos of “children in cages” were taken during the Obama administration or that Congress waited for 7 weeks to consider a request from the Trump White House to fund expanded space for the expanding waves of families and teen-aged border crossers caused by congressional policies. Yep, those pictures of children behind chain linked fences really did the trick. “Propaganda is disguised as news” as Stalin’s PR flack Willi Munzenberg liked to say.

The highest single year of UC entrants was during the Trump administration – 69,550 in 2019. Only the Covid border shutdown in 2020 prevented Trump from being the all-time most generous president when it comes to admitting unaccompanied children. That distinction will most likely go to the Biden administration. In March alone 18,890 UC’s crossed the border, the largest monthly number in history.

In post-911 legislation aimed at tightening security for Americans Congress liberalized many aspects of immigration policy. Under the Homeland Security Act of 2002, Congress transferred the care and custody of UC’s to the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) within DHHS from the former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) in order to move away from the adult detention model. In other words, when it comes to certain illegal border crossers under the age of 18, the Department of Homeland Security is no longer responsible for enforcing immigration law. Instead, these minors are to “be promptly placed in the least restrictive setting that is in the best interest of the child.”

When UC’s were treated like illegal border crossers, about 5,000 were apprehended annually. Predictably, under the post-911 model, the number for this advantaged category has rocketed skyward and annual admissions in the future will easily top 100,000 unless the Biden administration stops ignoring the problem.

In 2020 the children spent an average of 102 days in ORR care where they get “Routine medical and dental care, family planning services, including pregnancy tests and comprehensive information about and access to medical reproductive health services and emergency contraception, immunizations.” ORR oversees the “Administration of prescribed medications and special diets and appropriate mental health interventions.”

ORR requires that its contractors “maintain a written plan and periodic schedule for exposure to and participation in appropriate cultural events” calculated to ensure the “preservation of ethnic and religious heritage” of the UC’s. And you thought they were trying to leave their country of origin.

Though the UC’s do not have a permanent immigration status and “must eventually appear in immigration court – often 2 years down the road, most are here permanently one way or the other,” according to retired immigration judge Andrew Arthur.

ORR is responsible for finding permanent homes for the children and in recent years about half of the children have been placed with a presumed parent. According to a senior Border Patrol official, DNA testing is very rarely done to verify relationship. No forensic medical testing is done to verify age and border agents report many cases of older individuals getting in by claiming to be minors. Known gang tattoos are not a bar to entry.

Historically, about 15% go into the U.S. foster care system and the rest are placed with a presumed relative (again, as a rule, no DNA testing to confirm relationship).
This is quickly becoming a burden for states and, quite frankly, all of society.

Governor Lee signed on to a May 11 letter to the President with 19 other governors about the crisis at the border, referring specifically to UC’s and stating that the federal government has “circumvented our states altogether by asking private organizations and nonprofits to house unaccompanied migrant children…. Allowing the federal government to place a potentially unlimited number of unaccompanied migrant children into our states’ facilities for an unspecified length of time with almost zero transparency is unacceptable and unsustainable. We have neither the resources nor the obligation to solve the federal government’s problem and foot the bill for the consequences of this Administration’s misguided actions.”

If it continues, the influx will be two to three times greater than the average annual intake of refugees in Tennessee. The refugee program is another humanitarian federal immigration program which has “circumvented our states altogether” and which is run by profit making private organizations and nonprofits. Governor Lee did not support a lawsuit to recover the state costs to “foot the bill” of the federal refugee program. As part of his advocacy for immigration reform he may wish to consider a lawsuit to recover costs in the case of the UC’s.

– – –

Don Barnett is a retired IT professional and freelance writer living in Williamson County. 

FOR MORE INFORMATION AND ADDITIONAL ARTICLES

https://tennesseestar.com/2021/05/21/commentary-lets-talk-about-the-children/

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Posted on 05/25/2021 12:34 PM by Bobbie Patray
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Monday, 24 May 2021
American Airlines Investigating Texas Pilot Who Criticized Critical Race Theory In His Local School
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By  Tim Pearce • May 18, 2021   DailyWire.com

 

American Airlines is investigating one of its pilots after he spoke out about critical race theory (CRT) being taught in his local school.

The airline chose to investigate Guy Midkiff, 62, after several social media accounts urged the company to audit Midkiff’s social media history. Midkiff is a resident of Southlake, Texas, who has flown for American for over three decades.

“We are troubled by the allegations made and have launched an investigation into the matter,” an American Airlines representative told the Dallas Morning News last week.

The debate over CRT has raged in Southlake for months, culminating earlier this month is a slew of landslide victories for Republican opponents to CRT to elected positions on the school board and into city offices. The margins of victory were massive, roughly 70% to 30% in each race.

CRT curriculum in Southlake’s Carroll Independent School District was the central issue throughout the election and generated huge interest in the community. The voter turnout for the elections was three times higher than that of years past.

Midkiff was a vocal critic of the school’s proposed CRT-inspired course, called the Cultural Competence Action Plan. Advocates of the proposal accused Midkiff of using his social media accounts, as well as the platform of a podcast he hosts, to harass people. Midkiff has hit back at his accusers, claiming that they are using “bully tactics” to silence him.

Two groups who pushed for CRT to be implemented in the Carroll school district took their complaints about Midkiff to American Airlines over Twitter. The airline acknowledged to complaints and promised to review Midkiff’s social media history.

FOR MORE INFORMATION AND ADDITIONAL ARTICLES

https://www.dailywire.com/news/american-airlines-investigating-texas-pilot-who-criticized-critical-race-theory-in-his-local-school?itm_source=parsely-api&utm_source=cnemail&utm_medium=email

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Posted on 05/24/2021 3:52 PM by Bobbie Patray
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Friday, 21 May 2021
$10M headed to groups helping permanent residents become U.S. citizens
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by: Salvador Rivera

Posted: May 21, 2021 / 03:58 AM CDT Updated: May 21, 2021 / 03:58 AM CDT

SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is providing up to $10 million in grants for citizenship preparation programs in communities across the country.   

The grants are open to organizations that prepare lawful permanent residents for U.S. citizenship and promote civic integration through increased knowledge of English, U.S. history and civics.

USCIS is getting the money from Congress through appropriations.

“It is critical that we provide immigrants pursuing citizenship and the organizations who help support their efforts with the tools to be successful,” said Homeland Security Sec. Alejandro Mayorkas. “The Citizenship and Integration Grant Program helps those preparing to become U.S. citizens to successfully integrate into American society. This administration recognizes that naturalization is an important milestone in the civic integration of immigrants, and we will continue to provide support for individuals hoping to establish new citizenship in our country.”

Immigration groups launch $50 million effort for citizenship 

According to USCIS, it seeks to expand availability of high-quality citizenship and integration services throughout the country under the Citizenship and Integration Grant Program:

  • Citizenship Instruction and Naturalization Application Services: This opportunity will fund public or nonprofit organizations that offer both citizenship instruction and naturalization application services to lawful permanent residents. USCIS expects to award 33 organizations up to $250,000 each for two years through this opportunity. Applications are due by July 16, 2021.
  • Refugee and Asylee Integration Services Program: This grant opportunity will provide extended integration services with a focus on individualized programming to former refugees and asylum seekers to attain the skills and knowledge required for successful citizenship. It will also provide other services that foster a sense of belonging and attachment to the United States. The program has expanded eligibility to include lawful permanent residents who were admitted or entered the United States as Cuban or Haitian entrants or individuals admitted on a Special Immigrant Visa. USCIS expects to award six public or nonprofit organizations with experience in serving refugees up to $300,000 each for a period of two years through this opportunity. Applicants must design an integration support program that provides a suite of services to program beneficiaries to promote long-term civic integration and citizenship. Applications are due by July 16, 2021.

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Posted on 05/21/2021 7:28 AM by Bobbie Patray
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Thursday, 20 May 2021
Ousted Space Force officer says he's been 'misportrayed', received 'thousands' of notes from troops
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Lohmeier contends he was speaking out against extremist ideologies, based on a reported February memo from Secretary Austin.

 

A lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Space Force who was relieved of his command told Fox News Digital on Monday he is being "misportrayed" online in regards to the comments about Marxism he made on a podcast earlier this month – and that he has received a private outpouring of support from fellow servicemembers.

Lt. Col. Matthew Lohmeier, formerly the commander of the 11th Space Warning Squadron at Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora Colo., was ousted from his position last week; a development first reported by Military.com.

 

Lohmeier told Fox News he still retains his rank but has been reassigned within the Space Force. The controversy came following Lohmeier's appearance on the "Information Operation" podcast, wherein he promoted his new book, "Irresistible Revolution: Marxism's Goal of Conquest & the Unmaking of the American Military."

Lohmeier said there is an ongoing investigation into whether his remarks or actions have been politically partisan – a claim he fervently denies.

SPACE FORCE OFFICER LOST LEADERSHIP POST AFTER DENOUNCING CRITICAL RACE THEORY, MARXISM

"I don’t believe I was being partisan. It is not politically partisan to expose or attack critical race theory or Marxism," Lohmeier told Fox News Monday.

"The reason I say that is because Critical Race Theory and Marxism are antithetical to American values. Critical race theory fuels narratives that attack America's founding documents."

In that regard, Lohmeier said he is and was not attacking any political party or official.

"I'm being misportrayed online – I don't criticize any leader, or any person in the DoD (Department of Defense) or any elected officials – but I try to tee up ideas that I think are toxic," he said.

In February, Lohmeier said, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin III issued guidance to every service member which asked them to "stand up for each other" and that every soldier "has a responsibility to say something when they see impermissible behavior."

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"We owe it to the Oath we each took, and to the American people, to stand up against extremist ideologies," Austin said in the memo, according to Lohmeier.

"That’s what I'm trying to do," he told Fox News of his concerns regarding critical race theory and Marxism. "And I'm not trying to be politically partisan."

On Fox News' "Hannity" later Monday, Lohmeier told host Sean Hannity that institutionally, the Pentagon has had a zero-tolerance policy against any type of discrimination; whether it be race, sex, politics or religion.

While in command at Buckley, Lohmeier followed that tenet as a commanding officer. 

He said, however, that in his time in leadership, communications sent out to every service member at the base in preparation for what Austin called 'extremism down-days', which – in the colonel's words – alleged that "the country was evil, that it was founded in 1619 rather than 1776, and that White [people] are inherently evil". 

"So, I spoke up against those things in [writing] my book," he told Hannity.

Pentagon officials provided Fox News with publicly available training videos that did not mention claims of a 1619 founding or White people being "inherently evil." Lohmeier did not specify which communications included that language. Military officials also said he never received permission from them to publish a book.

Lohmeier's tribulations also reportedly resonated among the rank-and-file, as the colonel explained he has received to date "thousands" of notes from his fellow military members who said they feel they've "lost their voice."

Lohmeier also spoke at length about his book, which he divided into three parts.

The initial chapters defend what he calls "the greatness of the American ideal."

That is something "every American and every service member should appreciate," he told Fox News.

"Part two is a discussion about the origins of Marxist ideology – and I trace through a lineage of ideas through the last century to the present day, and show that Marxism has taken on many forms – and has many masks or faces," he said. "So I discuss those various movements or various groups who espouse Marxist-rooted narratives for what they are."

The final part of the book contrasts what is laid out in the first two sections, and makes the case why critical race theory is at odds with the collective American ideal. Lohmeier also writes about how "Marxist-rooted" claims about America are actually impacting the U.S. military culture.

"Most people – including senior leaders – who are pushing these ideas are pushing them without any understanding of Marxism," he warned.

FOR MORE INFORMATION AND ADDITIONAL ARTICLES

https://www.foxnews.com/media/ousted-space-force-officer-says-hes-being-misportrayed-received-thousands-of-notes-from-troops?fbclid=IwAR0Ibg58gtnHfCYk9xarHtiRFg6OxgxE-GrcUvGNlzxHK4d-5cCnnbgw74w

 

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Posted on 05/20/2021 6:30 AM by Bobbie Patray
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Wednesday, 19 May 2021
American Airlines Investigating Texas Pilot Who Criticized Critical Race Theory In His Local School
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By  Tim Pearce •    DailyWire.com

American Airlines is investigating one of its pilots after he spoke out about critical race theory (CRT) being taught in his local school.

The airline chose to investigate Guy Midkiff, 62, after several social media accounts urged the company to audit Midkiff’s social media history. Midkiff is a resident of Southlake, Texas, who has flown for American for over three decades.

“We are troubled by the allegations made and have launched an investigation into the matter,” an American Airlines representative told the Dallas Morning News last week.

The debate over CRT has raged in Southlake for months, culminating earlier this month is a slew of landslide victories for Republican opponents to CRT to elected positions on the school board and into city offices. The margins of victory were massive, roughly 70% to 30% in each race.

CRT curriculum in Southlake’s Carroll Independent School District was the central issue throughout the election and generated huge interest in the community. The voter turnout for the elections was three times higher than that of years past.

Midkiff was a vocal critic of the school’s proposed CRT-inspired course, called the Cultural Competence Action Plan. Advocates of the proposal accused Midkiff of using his social media accounts, as well as the platform of a podcast he hosts, to harass people. Midkiff has hit back at his accusers, claiming that they are using “bully tactics” to silence him.

Two groups who pushed for CRT to be implemented in the Carroll school district took their complaints about Midkiff to American Airlines over Twitter. The airline acknowledged to complaints and promised to review Midkiff’s social media history.

 

 

 

CRT curriculum teaches the racism in the United States is still embedded within many of its institutions and is the source of inequality across the country. The Southlake community largely rejected that picture of the United States on March 2. As The Daily Wire reported:

Republicans blew out Democrats by a roughly 70% to 30% margin to take two spots and control of the Carroll Independent School District board, two city council seats, and the Southlake mayor’s seat. The election results, finalized Sunday, showed a ballooning voter turnout about 3-times larger than past local elections.

The landslide for conservative Republicans came nine months after progressives on the school board introduced a plan to instate critical race theory in the local school curriculum and force educators to take diversity training and other so-called anti-racism courses.

The election “was a referendum on those who put personal politics and divisive philosophies ahead of Carroll ISD students and families, and their common American heritage and Texas values,” Southlake attorney Hannah Smith, who beat local business consultant Ed Hernandez for a spot on the school board, told NBC News in a statement.

“The voters have come together in record-breaking numbers to restore unity,” Smith said. “By a landslide vote, they don’t want racially divisive critical race theory taught to their children or forced on their teachers. Voters agreed with my positive vision of our community and its future.”

The Daily Wire is one of America’s fastest-growing conservative media companies and counter-cultural outlets for news, opinion, and entertainment. Get inside access to The Daily Wire by becoming a member.

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION AND ADDITIONAL ARTICLES

https://www.dailywire.com/news/american-airlines-investigating-texas-pilot-who-criticized-critical-race-theory-in-his-local-school?itm_source=parsely-api&utm_source=cnemail&utm_medium=email

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Posted on 05/19/2021 6:36 AM by Bobbie Patray
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Tuesday, 18 May 2021
Legal scholars question Tennessee’s new bill restricting how educators teach about racial injustice
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By Cathryn Stout  May 16, 2021, 2:15pm CDT

 

Legal scholars are questioning whether a recently passed bill that seeks to restrict Tennessee educators’ teachings about race and racism will pass legal muster given past precedent, including one case that dates back 50 years.

The GOP-backed measure, which passed in the Tennessee House and Senate among partisan lines, would penalize school districts if teachers tie past and present events to white privilege, institutional racism, and unconscious bias.

University of Memphis law professor Steve Mulroy said that many attorneys have looked with dismay at the language of the bill, which Republican Gov. Bill Lee is expected to sign into law.

“Looking at the language literally, it would still allow a teacher, theoretically, some latitude if they were to be creative and still address topics of systemic racism without violating the literal language of the statue,” he said.

“The problem is teachers aren’t lawyers. Teachers don’t have time to parse the language of the statute and take the risk that their interpretation is the same as that of an administrator or the General Assembly or the commissioner of education, so the inevitable effect would be to have a chilling effect on teachers,” he added.

Nashville legal scholar David Hudson echoed Mulroy’s concerns.

“This is a poorly written bill that promotes a specific agenda, threatens academic freedom, and suffers from serious overbreadth and vagueness problems,” said Hudson, a law professor at Belmont University who specializes in first amendment issues.

The ACLU, as well as the Tennessee Educators of Color Alliance, are calling on the governor to veto the legislation; however, Lee has not vetoed a bill during his tenure as governor.

ACLU Tennessee policy director Brandon Tucker said, “SB 623 is a dangerous bill that seeks to silence important conversations about race and gender equity in our classrooms. Let’s be clear, systemic racial injustice exists in Tennessee.”

One organization that has not taken a position on this particular bill but has been vocal about how race is addressed in schools is Chicago-based Liberty Justice Center, a public interest firm where State Senator Brian Kelsey of Germantown serves as a senior attorney. Kelsey supported the Senate version of the bill.

In an email, fellow Liberty senior attorney Daniel Suhr said the group is “focused on protecting the rights of students, staff, and parents which are implicated by the teaching of critical race theory.”

Critical race theory emerged as a field in higher education in the 1970s. Through the use of data and storytelling, it counters systemic oppression by amplifying how racism and bias affect individuals and society.

Suhr recently represented Cordova High School principal Barton Thorne after Shelby County Schools placed him on administrative leave for comments he made to students regarding the January 6 storming of the Capitol in Washington.

In an online statement, the organization said that Thorne was “censored” and that SCS “violated Principal Thorne’s First Amendment right to free speech.”

Shortly after he filed the lawsuit, Thorne was reinstated by SCS.

When asked in a follow-up email about protecting the first amendment rights of educators who teach critical race theory, Suhr did not reply.

This is not the first time Tennessee legislators have passed bills that some have felt hamper freedom of speech and academic freedom in the classroom. Tennessee was famously the setting for the Scopes Trial in 1925.

The trial was triggered by the Butler Act, a Tennessee law banning the teaching of evolution. A lower court found Dayton, Tennessee, teacher John Thomas Scopes guilty of violating the law, but the state Supreme Court overturned the ruling on a technicality.

Today, the Scopes trial and the legislation that sparked it is a part of Tennessee history that’s taught to schoolchildren worldwide, in part, due to the popularity of “Inherit the Wind,” a play dramatizing the event.

Lesser known is the case and plight of the Highlander Research and Education Center. In 1967, legislators passed a resolution that sought to investigate Highlander and suppress anti-racism discussions and organizing at the nonprofit education center then based in Knoxville.

“They were opposed to Highlander because there was race-mixing there. They were teaching labor unions how to go after better wages, teaching Blacks and others how to protest for civil rights, and there were people who were opposed to that,” said Robert Booker, a Knoxville author who served in the Tennessee House at the time.

“Mayor Leonard Rogers and others wanted to get rid of it in the city of Knoxville, so they tried to use the legislature as their whipping boy to do it,” he added.

With the help of the ACLU, Highlander filed a lawsuit against the legislature claiming, in part, that the bill violated the school’s First Amendment rights, which include freedom of speech.

Finding in favor of Highlander, Judge William Miller said that the resolution brought the “threat of irreparable injury” and was “void on its face for vagueness and overbreadth.”

Booker, who during the Highlander debate delivered a speech chiding legislators for their “petty prejudices and political chicanery,” said that he sees parallels between the situations in 1967 and today.

“We fought many of these battles in the ‘60s,” he said, “It’s deja vu all over again.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION AND ADDITIONAL ARTICLES

https://tn.chalkbeat.org/2021/5/16/22437076/legal-scholars-question-tennessees-new-bill-restricting-critical-race-theory

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Posted on 05/18/2021 7:03 AM by Bobbie Patray
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Friday, 14 May 2021
Lee Joins With 19 Republican Governors In Letter To Biden Urging Him To Get A Handle On Border Crisis
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Published May 12, 2021 The Center Square [By Derek Draplin] 

A group of 20 Republican governors sent a letter Tuesday to President Joe Biden urging him to secure the southern border and stem the influx of migrants illegally entering the country.

The governors who signed onto the letter allege that the administration’s policy changes and rhetoric have led to the ongoing crisis that they said is “too big to ignore and is now spilling over the border states into all of our states.”

The letter was signed by Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, Idaho Gov. Brad Little, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson, Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte, Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts, New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, Utah Gov. Spencer Cox, and Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon.

The governors note in the letter that Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) reported 172,000 encounters at the border in March, and almost 19,000 unaccompanied minors.

The letter also alleges that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services “circumvented” states by asking private, nonprofit organizations to house unaccompanied minors.

“Allowing the federal government to place a potentially unlimited number of unaccompanied migrant children into our states’ facilities for an unspecified length of time with almost zero transparency is unacceptable and unsustainable,” the governors said. “We have neither the resources nor the obligation to solve the federal government’s problem and foot the bill for the consequences of this Administration’s misguided actions.” 

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office recently estimated that the state spends $850 million a year on illegal immigration. Texas is among states suing the federal government of its handling of the border.

“This Administration has enticed a rush of migrants to our border and incentivized an influx of illegal crossings by using irresponsible rhetoric and reversing a slew of policies – from halting border wall construction to eliminating asylum agreements to refusing to enforce immigration laws,” the letter said. “Even officials of our neighbor, Mexico, reportedly conveyed concerns that the shift in U.S. policy is stoking illegal immigration and creating business for organized crime.”

“Federal, state, and local authorities are overwhelmed, and the situation on the ground is heartbreaking,” the letter continued, adding that “beyond the humanitarian crisis, the lack of border security is a criminal one, threatening the safety of American citizens.”

In April, Ducey declared a state of emergency in Arizona and deployed 250 National Guard troops to the border.

“Arizona has deployed all available resources, including the National Guard, but we need federal cooperation to secure the border,” Ducey said in a statement Tuesday.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds said in a statement that the administration’s rhetoric “and the rollback of critical agreements with our allies have led to the inhumane treatment of tens of thousands of children and undermined a fragile immigration system.”

Of the nation’s 50 governors, 27 are Republicans and 23 are Democrats.

 

FOR MORN INFORMATION AND ADDITIONAL ARTICLES

https://tennesseeconservativenews.com/lee-joins-with-19-republican-governors-in-letter-to-biden-urging-him-to-get-a-handle-on-border-crisis/?inf_contact_key=21a714f96c6235794daf2d0970db43f7680f8914173f9191b1c0223e68310bb1

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Posted on 05/14/2021 6:36 AM by Bobbie Patray
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Wednesday, 12 May 2021
Why Christian Parents Must Consider a Mass Exodus From Government Schools for Their Children
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4:00PM EDT 5/11/2021 ALEX NEWMAN

There has never been a better time for parents—and especially Christian parents—to get their children out of government schools. That is the message pastors and families all over America need to hear right now. From the indoctrination and sexualization of children to the unprecedented dumbing down and now the outrageous "coronavirus" measures, the time has come.

When we first embarked on this mission, the idea of encouraging all parents to get out was seen as "fringe," if not ridiculous. But today, the tables have turned. Talk-radio titan Rush Limbaugh, evangelical leader Franklin Graham, former President Donald Trump and even internationally known ministry leader and talk show host James Dobson have now all sounded the alarm on this subject.

With coronavirus keeping children home from public schools around the world, our growing coalition of Christian ministry leaders, lawyers, educators and journalists are working to make sure that once the crisis is over, millions never go back. Instead, what America and the church need is a massive—and permanent—exodus into the safe sanctuary of homeschooling and high-quality private schools.

On the one hand, I can't encourage parents strongly enough to try out true homeschooling—not government school at home — during the coronavirus shutdown. Just stop relying on the government, period! At the same time, parents should closely examine the material public schools are using. Most would be appalled.

On another front, it is time for pastors across America to advance this mission too. They will be key. For one, they should preach on what the Bible says about education. It will not take long for Bible-believing pastors to recognize that God never intended His people to hand their children over to anti-Christian government schools for "education." Rather, parents are told to disciple and educate their children.

Pastors have a key role to play in making the exodus happen. Toward that goal, they should talk to their elders and churches about how they can help families. It will look different at each church. Some may want to start a Christian school. Others may just want to facilitate a homeschool co-op. Smaller churches may simply want to set up a virtual Christian academy. No matter what, we are here to help.

There are many compelling reasons for parents and pastors to protect the children from government schools right now, even if they have not been doing it before. Consider, for example, the state laws proliferating across America mandating LGBT indoctrination of all children. Radical "sex education" with roots in absolute evil, meanwhile, begins in kindergarten. And that is just the start.

On the religious front, it is a grim picture. In California, a newly approved "ethnic studies" curriculum would see children chant and pray to the Aztec gods of human sacrifice and cannibalism. Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and more are all welcome, but not the God of the Bible. As Jesus explained twice in the Gospels, whoever is not with Him is against Him. Simple question: Is your local government school with Christ?

Academically, the government itself admits that government schools are failing children—with devastating results. Many high school graduates lack even basic literacy and math skills. Over two-thirds of children in government schools are not even considered "proficient" in any subject, the federal government revealed in its latest National Assessment of Educational Progress results.

The shutdown brought about by coronavirus has created millions of new temporary homeschool families around the world. Now is the time to strike. If you think children deserve better than the godless pseudo-education offered by government schools, help spread the word.

 

Alex Newman is an award-winning international journalist and the executive director of Public School Exit.

FOR MORE INFORMATION AND ADDITIONAL ARTICLES 

https://www.charismanews.com/politics/opinion/85396-why-christian-parents-must-consider-a-mass-exodus-from-government-schools-for-their-children

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Posted on 05/12/2021 6:48 AM by Bobbie Patray
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Tuesday, 11 May 2021
Tennessee General Assembly Demands Answers from State Agency Over its Diversity and Equity Program
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May 11, 2021 Chris Butler

Tennessee State Rep. John Ragan (R-Oak Ridge) has formally asked Tennessee Department of Human Resources (DOHR) Commissioner Juan Williams to explain the diversity and equity council program he wants state agencies to enforce.

In his letter, Ragan requested that Williams justify his actions — in a timely manner — and explain how much it will cost taxpayers.

Ragan chairs the Tennessee General Assembly’s Government Operations Committee. Committee members meet during the summer to ensure that state government officials do not waste taxpayer money and perform their duties in the most efficient and effective and least costly manner possible.

Ragan told The Tennessee Star Monday that Williams and members of his staff formally acknowledged receiving his letter — but they have yet to formally respond.

“My concerns [about the diversity and equity council] fall into two categories. First, I want to know whether this is an internal policy, only going to affect people inside their department or if it was going to affect people outside their department. My concern there is because I chair the Government Operations Committee. Our TCA Code 4-5-102 lays out guidelines for what’s policy and what has to be rules. So I am trying to get that issue resolved,” Ragan said.

“The second thing of concern to me is I did not see anything related to costs. What is this going to cost us in terms of expenditures of doing training or having meetings or whatever it is they are going to do? That, of course, is related to an issue that goes both ways on both of these things. What state or federal guidelines was this effort in response to?”

DOHR staff did not return a request for comment Monday, and neither did staff for Gov. Bill Lee, who appointed Williams.

Without informing anybody, at least not in a straightforward manner, DOHR officials this year snuck in their diversity and equity council program.

Lee, according to the DOHR’s 2020 Annual Report, told Williams in June of last year “to build a framework for strengthening efforts around the employee experience in our workplace.” But Williams took Lee’s original mandate and apparently distorted it into something else entirely — indoctrinating the DOHR and all other state agencies into woke politics and left-wing Diversity and Equity propaganda.

The annual report said DOHR staff, also in June of last year, “established a statewide framework to sustain Diversity & Equity [D&E].”

“Recent events have highlighted a need to foster an environment in which conversations about race, diversity, and equity are productive and thoughtful parts of the employee experience,” according to the 2020 DOHR Annual Report.

DOHR staff said they wanted to make working for the State of Tennessee “an edifying and equitable experience for all employees who have chosen the calling of public service.”

“As we navigate D&E together, the statewide framework is designed to engage all stakeholders in sustaining diversity and equity now and in the future,” according to the report.

Last October, DOHR officials, according to their annual report, released a Starting the Conversation Guide “to facilitate healthy discussions on diversity and equity.”

The Star obtained another DOHR document that calls for “Diversity and Equity Champions” to connect directly with an Enterprise Diversity and Equity Council and also connect with teams who focus on Leadership Development and Diversity and Equity Strategy. The stated vision: “To ensure working for the State of Tennessee continues to be a fair and equitable experience for every single employee by creating an environment in which employees thrive.”

Each state agency, the DOHR document went on to say, should establish an action plan that, among other things, requires that State of Tennessee employees discuss race and diversity and develop strategies to address inequities. Another part of the plan requires state employees to educate themselves about work-related D&E through conferences, newsletters, and team-building activities.

Sources who are familiar with the situation informed The Star that Lee is now aware of these rogue staff efforts to distort his June 2020 charge to DHR  by inserting “diversity and equity” into his order. Those sources said Lee will directly address the issue with DHR leadership this week.

– – –

Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to chrisbutlerjournalist@gmail.com. 

FOR MORE INFORMATION AND ADDITIONAL ARTICLE

https://tennesseestar.com/2021/05/11/tennessee-general-assembly-demands-answers-from-state-agency-over-its-diversity-and-equity-program/

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Posted on 05/11/2021 5:11 AM by Bobbie Patray
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Thursday, 6 May 2021
Tennessee General Assembly Passes Bill Banning Critical Race Theory Tenets in K-12 Schools
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May 6, 2021 Corinne Murdock

The Tennessee General Assembly passed a bill effectively banning critical race theory (CRT) from K-12 education. The legislature had to create a conference committee on Wednesday to resolve the legislature’s conflict on amending language effectively banning CRT in schools. That conference committee not only approved the ban – they added onto the ban. In addition to the original language of the bill outlining and banning 14 tenets of CRT, The Tennessee Star was informed by State Senator Jack Johnson (R-Franklin) that the conference committee report added on three tenets. In effect, these tenets further defined the prohibited conclusions typically advanced by CRT.

“(12) The rule of law does not exist, but instead is a series of power relationships and struggles among racial or other groups; (13) All Americans are not created equal and are not endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, including life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; or (14) Governments should deny to any person with the government’s jurisdiction the equal protection of the law[,]” read the added provisions.

Johnson expressed to The Star that he was pleased that Tennessee had effectively banned CRT from K-12 education.

“I’m very happy that we have passed a strong bill to prohibit the teaching of critical race theory in Tennessee public schools,” said Johnson.

Members on the committee were State Representatives John Ragan (R-Oak Ridge), Scott Cepicky (R-Culleoka), Mark White (R-Memphis), and Yusuf Hakeem (D-Chattanooga), and State Senators Kerry Roberts (R-Springfield), Brian Kelsey (R-Germantown), Mike Bell (R-Riceville), Brenda Gilmore (D-Nashville), and Johnson. The House adopted the conference committee report, 69 to 20; the Senate adopted it 25 to 7.

In a quick back-and-forth on Tuesday, the House and Senate battled over Ragan’s eleventh-hour amendment banning CRT tenets after it passed in the House that same day. First, the Senate rejected the House’s amended version of the bill. In response, the House refused to back down from its support of the amended bill. Then on Wednesday, the Senate was presented with the House’s refusal to drop support of the CRT ban. Once again, they rejected the amendment.

As The Star reported earlier this week, this bill effectively bans CRT in K-12 education by prohibiting schools from using any curriculum or supplemental materials promoting conclusions of hierarchies or prejudices based on race or sex. It also prohibits any depiction of the United States as “fundamentally or irredeemably racist or sexist” or the advocacy of a revolution.

The complete list of prohibited subject matter is reproduced below:

(1) One race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex;

(2) An individual, by virtue or the individual’s race or sex, is inherently privileged, racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or subconsciously;

(3) An individual should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment because of the individual’s race or sex;

(4) An individual’s moral character is determined by the individual’s race or sex;

(5) An individual, by virtue or the individual’s race or sex, bears responsibility for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race or sex;

(6) An individual should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or another form of psychological distress solely because of the individual’s race or sex;

(7) A meritocracy is inherently racist or sexist, or designed by a particular race or sex to oppress members of another race or sex;

(8) This state or the United States is fundamentally or irredeemably racist or sexist;

(9) Promoting or advocating the violent overthrow of the United States government;

(10) Promoting division between, or resentment of, a race, sex, religion, creed, nonviolent political affiliation, social class, or class of people; or

(11) Ascribing character traits, values, moral or ethical codes, privileges, or beliefs to a race or sex, or to an individual because of the individual’s race or sex.

Once engrossed, this bill will head to the governor for final approval.

– – –

Corinne Murdock is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and the Star News Network. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to corinnejournalist@gmail.com.

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION AND ADDITIONAL ARTICLES

https://tennesseestar.com/2021/05/06/tennessee-general-assembly-passes-bill-banning-critical-race-theory-tenets-in-k-12-schools/?fbclid=IwAR06xuktAm48rdouZyIq4_kfErSrjAUlcUgTX2QYeD51YcGq4R2HSu0KvEU

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Posted on 05/06/2021 6:40 AM by Bobbie Patray
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Tuesday, 4 May 2021
Black Conservative in Chattanooga Warns ‘White Privilege’ Training Creates Eternal Victimhood
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August 14, 2019 Chris Butler

 

An African American Chattanooga man who opposes “white privilege” training in the Hamilton County School System is getting pelted with criticism not only from fellow blacks but from The Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Patrick Hampton, vice president of the Chattanooga-based Hamilton Flourishing, says the theory of “white privilege” cripples blacks, forces them to accept self-defeat, and does nothing to make them realize their fullest potential in life.

Hampton gathered screenshots of this “white privilege” training and sent them to the media. These screenshots infuriated the public.

This theory, Hampton went on to say, divides people and does not produce positive outcomes.

“It is basically saying achievement equals white privilege, and any white person who achieves anything of significance or success or financial wealth only got it because of white privilege,” Hampton told The Tennessee Star Tuesday.

Hampton said he grew up in an inner-city neighborhood. He said he learned to reject the theory of “white privilege.”

“If I achieve something then I wouldn’t want anyone to put that on my skin tone. It is hard work. A lot of the people I know who have a lot of wealth work really hard for it,” Hampton said.

“What it does is it creates what I call ‘an eternal victimhood in the black community,’ where anytime anyone does anything of success you just blame it on privilege and then you’re a victim. I think this is what’s killing young people wanting to be successful in the black community.”

Hampton said a black-owned newspaper in Chattanooga is out to discredit him. Other blacks, meanwhile, call him, among other pejoratives, “an Uncle Tom” and “a sellout.”

Pam Sohn, a Chattanooga Times Free Press opinion editor, referenced Hampton in an editorial this week in which she defended the “white privilege” In-service teacher training.

“The fact that a training session for Hamilton County teachers became the object of controversy locally speaks volumes,” Sohn wrote.

“What it says is that we need to continue a conversation about race — whether local conservatives think so or not.”

As The Star reported, taxpayers paid thousands of dollars for the white privilege training that county teachers recently had to sit through.

School board member Rhonda Thurman, however, said she plans to hold school system employees accountable for the curriculum — even if she is the only board member who does so.

Also, as reported, the curriculum, however school system officials define it, taught teachers that “people of color cannot be racist because they lack the institutional power to adversely affect white lives.”

The curriculum also taught that white privilege exists because of enduring racism and biases.

– – –

Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to chrisbutlerjournalist@gmail.com.

FOR MORE INFORMATION AND ADDITIONAL ARTICLES

https://tennesseestar.com/2019/08/14/black-chattanooga-conservative-warns-white-privilege-training-creates-eternal-victimhood/?fbclid=IwAR3R8EvkVlJRr876KIoIAkFJ2kPo2CXyA1F4b51tHtI_r1KSZ1hk78bq06E

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Posted on 05/04/2021 7:59 AM by Bobbie Patray
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