Wingspan Portfolio Advisors - A snapshot in Corporate Corruption, Abuse, and Racism



"They've taken off their robes, and now they sit in corner offices in business suits;
however they still think THE SAME"
*
"For they WILL be evil people. For plain human people, both power and money can corrupt. For corporate "people" with no innate sense of fairness and no instilled morality, the corruption is a certainty."






















Be careful about the employment you take. Especially in Texas. A state known for Oil, Cowboys, Start-ups and Crooks.

A bad employer can do more than hurt you emotionally, financially, or cripple any other career prospects. A truly bad employer can make you withdraw from the Job Market entirely. The experience one gains from working with a ruthless and cutthroat employer can leave one permanently scarred.

I speak from experience. More people should speak from experience. I had over several years of work experience when during a period of unemployment after a layoff, I heard about a small company in Carrollton, TX which was hiring for Bank of America as a third party vendor. That small company was Wingspan Portfolio Advisors, located at 4100 Midway, Suite 1110, Carrollton, TX 75007. After interviewing for a position with the company I was hired on the spot.

The first few weeks working at Wingspan felt ok. The work was not too difficult and the management told us constantly we could become permanent with hard work. So we worked hard. All of us. However, in a short time, I began to notice what I felt were very unethical business practices by the company. I was instructed to lie on more than one occasion when speaking to Bank of America customers regarding loan documents. Management was non supportive and were at times outright racist against the African American employees. I, along with others, started to notice many white employees being hired permanent whereas the black employees were not even though their work was of high quality. Management also became openly hostile to black employees as well.

I left the company feeling disillusioned with Corporate America.

The last few days I worked at the company and I saw the warped mentality and lack of ethics of managers who treated the blacks with such contempt and back-handedness; and it became so depressing I didn't know if I could ever work for another company again.

I had a realization that Corporate America is the white man's domain. It is his world. We only play in it. For the first time in my life I understand the importance of African Americans to become entrepreneurs in higher numbers than we are currently. We will never be treated as complete equals working for white people in traditional corporate America. No matter our work ethics, values, education or experience we will always be pushed to second tier. I became resentful of corporate America and to this day liken Corporate America to crooks and crony capitalism.

It took months of health issues from the stress from the job, dealing with the racist comments such as when one of the managers referred to the black employees as "roaches" openly and to one male employee in particular as "nigger". When you experience that you will never get over it. It will mold your perception of white people, especially Southern Rednecks in positions of power, forever.

That is why I wrote this blog. Don't let white people no-matter what titles "THEY" give "THEMSELVES" take your dignity. Stand up for your dignity. At the end of the day they may take your job, but don't let them take your dignity.

Disclaimer: As we live in a litigious society where Freedom of speech is often threatened and the wronged are "intimidated" into silence, let me add that the views contained within this article and Blog (all posts) are based on the  experiences and observations of the writer and others who have chosen to come forward to let their voices be heard. All comments, descriptions, headings referencing the personal character of Blog subjects and any other subjects on this blog, are based on the personal opinions, experiences and observations of the Blog Writer and other Third Parties who contributed. You are not expected to accept my word as "Hard Fact", but to read and make up your OWN MIND. In the Words of Fox News "I Report and You Decide".

This blog is a personal, informal blog where I converse in a casual conversational tone with you, the reader, as I would a friend being informed of my experiences. Again, all statements are based on my "personal Experiences", and please be reminded that as they are personal experiences, they are factual to me, but you, the reader, are meant to be informed of my experiences and left to decide on your own accord.  

Thank you for reading. 

If You Want Career Advancement, Don't Work For Wingspan Portfolio Advisors

Unless you're not a minority.

Only a favored few can advance at Wingspan Portfolio Advisors. I witnessed this when I would see people, overwhelmingly whites, with no education or experience, advance quickly ahead of minorities who had both the education and mortgage experience. No one really would say anything out of fear of losing their jobs. Justin Belter and Melanie Pellegrino had all power in determining who would move ahead to that next promotion.

I can remember applying with many of my highly qualified minority coworkers for position openings that would become available. One day after clearly being very impressed with my qualifications, the HR Director at the time (Wingspan has gone through several) went specifically to Mr. Belter's office to get his "permission" to promote me. I had never seen anything like that. Isn't HR suppose to make those decisions going off of qualifications? Why didn't the HR Director at Wingspan Portfolio Advisors see something wrong in white males, who consistently had far less qualifications than black employees for the positions they were being awarded, say something? Because he would have been terminated. Good Ol'boys are called Good Ol'boys because they are expected to go along with the program. They benefit as well as everyone in their clique. At the end of the day the HR director of a small, micromanaged company like Wingspan, where the managers are 99% white males, southern born and bred, wanted to keep his job as well. So he simply "followed orders" and overlooked the qualifications of so many hardworking minority candidates who he knew never had even the remotest chance of moving up at Wingspan Portfolio Advisors.

33 year old "Senior VP" Justin Belter
at Wingspan Portfolio Advisors


 I also can't understand why anyone would send the intimate pictures of himself with his spouse smoking "guda" and drinking and getting SLOBBERED back to their boss, the EVP Jason Dickard? I have never seen anyone so close to their boss where they would post this kind of a picture to be seen not just by the EVP Jason Dickard but by ALL STAFF..

Photo Removed as my dignity will not allow me to show the poor woman in such a drunken state.

I SIMPLY CANNOT POST THE PICTURE OF JUSTIN BELTER'S WIFE GETTING HAMMERED HOLDING A $4.00 BOTTLE OF CHEAP WINE IN SOME SLEAZY GETUP DOWN IN MEXICO WITH HER LEGS GAPED WIDE OPEN LIKE SHE'S EITHER WAITING ON "HER JOHN" OR "A PAP SMEAR" THAT MR. BELTER HIMSELF POSTED ONLINE. 

I HAVE MORE SYMPATHY FOR THE WOMAN THAN EVEN HE DOES.. AND THAT SAYS A LOT AS "HE" MARRIED HER.

SHAME ON THE DOTING "HUSBAND" TO PUT HIS WIFE, IN SUCH A COMPROMISING SITUATION AS BEING DRUNK AND OUT OF SORTS, ON DISPLAY. THIS SHOWS HIS ARROGANCE. AND ALSO HIS STUNNING STUPIDITY.

WAY TO RESPECT YOUR TRASH JUSTIN BELTER. AND TO THINK THESE WERE THE PICTURES HE SENT WINGSPAN'S "TOP REDNECKS" TO GET AHEAD. SHAME. EVIDENTLY IT WORKED. AND TO THINK "THIS" WAS THE GUY WE HAD TO GO TO AND TRUST HIS "JUDGEMENT".. HA! NOW THAT'S LAUGHABLE. ABOUT AS LAUGHABLE AS MELANIE PELLEGRINO SNAGGING A VP SLOT WHEN SHE DOESN'T KNOW HER ASS FROM A DOOR KNOB.



Way To Keep "It Classy",  Mr. Senior VP..
Why Put Your Wife Out There Like That?

We Could Have Done Without Seeing Your "Gut" dude.. Geez.
Wingspan Sure has high standards in promotions.. 
Is There a Labor Shortage of VP's?



Now who all wants to bet that if a black employee, ANY BLACK EMPLOYEE, at Wingspan would have sent pics of himself and his wife getting wasted like this to our managers, the VP's, that we would have automatically been rewarded not just with one promotion, but two all the way up to a SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT. Damn Near Overnight.

And who all wants to bet that if a black male, had managed to knock up his wife their would have damn near been a public company broadcast to cheer the guy on? Nah.. It wouldn't have happened. While "WE" were busy trying to keep our damn jobs, the white males of Wingspan were living the LIFE. While "WE" were being threatened, harassed and Terminated over any minor issue, The white males were clearly not held to the same standards. There was a serious double standard. 


This is where white privilege comes into play. In Corporate America, white corporate leaders look at younger white male employees as "Sons". There is an race based "affinity" there and because of this they are quicker to excuse errors, character flaws and lapses in judgment and open doors of economic advancement that would not be opened to fellow black employees. Black employees are simply viewed as "employees". The procedural aspect as it pertains to write ups, terminations, evaluations, etc. are mostly for "black employees". The white boys get "babied". They get away with much more. Far more than black employees would ever hope to get away with simply because of their white skin. 98% of Corporate Leaders in this country are WHITE MALES. They simply want people who look them sitting beside them in positions of power at the decision table. For wrong or right, this puts white males at an automatic advantage in corporate America. The "Affinity Advantage". Where everyone in leadership looks mostly like them. And desires them to share their positions of power with.
 
There are numerous studies on the internet and off which reinforce what I am saying. The power structure in this country has always been exclusively white and male. This creates a tremendous advantage for those starting off who are white and male. They are quickly trusted to handle greater responsibility than those who classify as minorities. Simply because they "Resemble" the existing power structure. That's why you can have scenarios where black employees are told if they leave work without permission they will be terminated, whereas white employees can leave work without permission and not face termination. The rules apply to both. However, they are only enforced with black employees.
For all of the purported "racial progress" we have supposedly made in this country, all one has to do is take one look at the board rooms and corporate leadership across this nation and they will realize America still has a long way to go. These positions are still overwhelmingly filled with WHITE MALES. I'm tired of being offered lower pay and lesser responsibility because I am a black minority than white males with the same and often fewer qualifications than I. Like Malcolm X said they say "go to school and get a degree" and when you get the degree they say "you're over-qualified". And without the degree they say "you're under-qualified". It's like you're damned if you do and damned if you don't if you're not a white male. Justin Belter started off with no experience, had average work quality and in a few years time was made Senior VP. From the pictures posted you can see how he spent a lot of his time. This is WHITE PRIVILEGE. Edward Snowden, the NSA Leaker and high school dropout, who managed to score a job making $122,000 a year with only his GED has NOTHING on this man when it comes to WHITE PRIVILEGE.

During my employment at Wingspan, the white males would literally walk in off the street, get hired (sometimes without even valid ID's), hung over from the night before, bitch all day about how inept management was, leave without permission early which for blacks would be terminable offenses, and HR, Justin Belter, Melanie Pellegrino and Jason Dickard would consistently take these guys and try to groom them for management. These same guys who honestly could have cared less about the job. That was the mindset of Wingspan Portfolio Advisors.

I would observe my white male coworkers not only bitch and moan about management, but become openly hostile with management and they would be coddled. I would observe the quality of their work and see how many people would have to work to correct their work, and yet they kept their jobs and had promotions ready for them if they wanted them.

I would see white employees who had trouble doing the job go under training one, two, and up to three times until they would be transferred to an easier position or have a position created for them. These opportunities were never afforded equally to black employees.

The Human Resources clerk at the time was a black male and he had access to the pay scale of all employees. He stated he became so disgusted at the enormous pay disparity he resigned. He said he simply couldn't work at Wingspan Portfolio Advisors anymore making less than white guys who had less experience and who had just started to work there.This is what many employees did. They just quit. The few who dared to complain had their days numbered. They would quietly be dismissed.

There was not just a little double standard at Wingspan Portfolio Advisors. There was an enormous double standard at Wingspan Portfolio Advisors. This was whispered about in circles by the black employees. We could see what was happening. However, many of us simply wanted to keep our jobs and Wingspan was the type of company that if you complained of racism, they would find a way to terminate you. For any reason. Justin Belter did this to other employees. He watched one black female until she came to work late one minute and he walked over and terminated her employment. On the spot. She had been a good worker. But she had taken exception to the way Melanie Pellegrino had yelled at her and she was tired of the verbal abuse. This was all it took to remove her. This showed the rest of us that we were not expected to have any dignity while working at Wingspan Portfolio Advisors.

These guys were extremely dirty. Very underhanded and cut throat and racist. They held racist biases against blacks, were uncomfortable working with blacks, and were suddenly, thanks to Wingspan Portfolio Advisors, in powerful positions where they managed black employees and where they could act out on their biases and prejudices and wield undue influence in the lives of their black employees. There was a LOT of verbal abuse. Racist jokes. With blacks being referred to once by Melanie Pellegrino as "roaches" and of course Justin Belter calling a black male coworker a "Nigger" forcing the guy to storm out the building.

Yet these guys were promoted. They were white males in Texas and of course they could do no wrong. No one can tell me that there is not a double standard in Texas. Blacks are at the bottom of the Totem Pole when it comes to Promotions, Hiring, Pay, etc. I know that there are good companies out there, however, I do strongly believe that what I experienced while working at Wingspan Portfolio Advisors is reflective of the work experience of many minorities, especially black minorities, who work in the state of Texas. I initially thought that Dallas would have been different. If this is as "good as it gets" in Texas, then I might as well get the hell out because I can't imagine being someplace where the racism is any worse.

I was wrong to believe that the lone one or two black faces in management, that you will find at any company in Texas or otherwise, meant that the company was inclusive of blacks. This is often not the case and these "lone rangers" who have been selected to grace the offices of management at these companies are usually just "Tokens". Tokens to be propped up before a court to show that the company can't possibly be racist. In Wingspan's case there was Kevin Conn. Yet Wingspan was very racist and unbelievably it was usually Kevin Conn they went to and ordered to perform very questionable terminations and other employment related matters when it came to the black employees. This earned Kevin Conn the reputation of a "Snake" in black circles.

I never did get comfortable working under Justin Belter, Melanie Pellegrino or Jason Dickard, because these guys would look at me and other black workers like a deer looks at Headlights. They were clearly uncomfortable working with black people. I now believe, looking back, that they had honestly never really been around blacks. They seemed very uncomfortable and would stand at a distance and stare at us.

I would often see Jason Dickard as well, walking the floor, with a scowl on his face, looking side to side, from black employee to black employee. This too made me very uncomfortable. But I labored on. The black employees of Wingspan Portfolio Advisors, I can honestly say, put forth five times the work as white employees, who were largely nonchalant and laid back. They would play. They would joke with each other. They would come to work out of dress code all the time. And we would later hear that they had been promoted. There would be no fan fare. Just whispers.

The racism at Wingspan Portfolio Advisors was "insidious". It was deeply rooted. Sometimes overt. Very subtle. The constant promotions of the lesser qualified white candidates would be whispered about. This was done on purpose. The company knew what it was doing. This hurt a lot of black employees deeply. Probably more deeply than the pay disparity which was also taking place at Wingspan Portfolio Advisors. I can honestly say that on this one, HR was complicit in the racism because every white employee that started at Wingspan Portfolio Advisors, many of them right out of college, working alongside black employees who also held college degrees and had years of mortgage experience as well, started off at a much higher pay rate than what we were earning.

These white employees were open about their salaries. They must have thought we all were making what they were. They were naive. Or maybe they weren't and they simply didn't care about the company being sued because of the pay disparity.

The problem with the HR Director going directly to Mr. Justin Belter, who was in his mid 20's at the time, far younger than many others he "managed" who also happened to have far more experience than he did in "everything" pretty much was that Mr. Belter was friends with several of the white males and he was uncomfortable with blacks. Justin Belter also had a reputation for being openly hostile to black employees, even referring to one black male as a "Nigger" forcing the guy to explode and quit on the spot. This resulted in many of the individuals getting promoted, as stated above, having less qualifications than blacks. Some of these people could barely speak a coherent sentence.

At Wingspan Portfolio Advisors my white coworkers were consistently moved ahead of me, and not just me, but many other minorities with relative ease. The position I had applied for with several other highly qualified black candidates went to a white G.E.D. recipient who had a criminal background, absolutely no mortgage experience and who "enunciated" like she was educated in the back of a Barn; and to boot she had an absolutely awful attitude. She was argumentative with everyone and nasty with everyone. Go Figure.. She won out for the promotion over several minority candidates who had more qualifications than her in every category one could imagine.

This is what we experienced working as black employees for Wingspan Portfolio Advisors. SHEER RACISM. 

I take it that very small, redneckish companies work far different than the much larger established ones where one's merit, experience and education holds more weight.

After Being Allowed to Play God with the Career Advancements of many of his higher (than himself) qualified minority subordinates, this guy jet sets off to a beach in Mexico.. When the vast majority of minorities working for Wingspan were without vacation time, sick time, health insurance and where we were constantly threatened if we missed "One Day" of work we would be terminated. Yet this guy starts with all the rest of us and because he is one of the "FEW" white guys working at Wingspan at the time, he is essentially quickly promoted to be an Overseer of all the rest of us who were even more highly qualified than he was..

YEAH..IF YOU ARE A MINORITY.. HERE'S YOUR WELCOME TO TEXAS.

If you are one of the JP Morgan Folks out of Florida, Welcome to the Texas Way of Doing Business.
Wingspan Portfolio Advisors is again, a "very" small company where the management team are all related and very insulated from policies, rules and procedures other team members down the chain have to follow.

For the HR director to essentially overlook my qualifications, so that my lesser (than myself) qualified manager could pick and choose which "favorites" would get promoted showed that you cannot expect fairness at this company.

No matter the lies they consistently give in those meetings they have every 15 minutes which are often about nothing, where they often repeat what they said in the meeting 15 minutes prior; don't believe a word of it. These guys can't be trusted to do what's right. It's just a bunch of classless rednecks parading around as cultured and educated individuals and this couldn't be farthest from the truth.

My Racist Company Fires Minorities. What Can I Do About It?



by CBSNews

Dear Evil HR Lady, I work for a small family business where HR functions are handled by accounting and the department manager. I manage a very small workforce that contributes a great deal to the bottom line. I have recently conducted interviews for a position that is soon to be available. The problem is that the best candidate is a minority, and the owners of the business are racist. They are not overtly racist, they just put the microscope on every minority I hire, especially minority women. My direct supervisor is not a member of the family, but everyone else above me is. I feel that I would not be helping this candidate to hire her since I can guarantee that I will be asked to terminate her before her probationary period ends for "unsatisfactory performance." If I do not hire because my higher ups are racist, then am I guilty of discrimination? I have decided to hire the most qualified person, who is a minority, but I can count the calender days until I am instructed to terminate. What do I do?

Well, this is a sticky situation, isn't it? If the economy were humming along at full speed, I'd tell you to forget about these losers you work for and find a new job. Employers who don't treat their employees fairly soon end up without any good employees, because the good ones leave. That will happen to these people eventually, but in a bad economy, it's easier to keep people who normally wouldn't put up with you. However, I would start looking for a new job anyway because this isn't a place you want to be associated with.

But for the here and now, you need to take control of the situation. Your department contributes to the bottom line. That means other people are dependent upon your work for their paychecks. That gives you some leverage. Let's use it.

First, you need to have clear, objective, quantitative measures for success. This is a critical point. It needs to be established, in writing, what is expected of the new hire. Personally, I'm a fan of SMART objectives. These are objectives that are:

S--Specific M--Measurable A--Achievable R--Relevant T--Time Frame

Once you've written these up, get them approved by your boss and (to be safe) your boss's boss, who is part of the racist family. You need to have their approvals in writing, so that when the time comes you can effectively defend your new hire. Be careful with the SMART objectives: Make sure they're what you want to live and die by, because you'll have to do just that.

With the SMART job objectives in hand, go ahead and make an offer to your best candidate. Go over the details with her and explain that in the past many people have been terminated during the probationary period. Explain that these objectives are new, that they are designed to make sure everyone is on the same page, but again, that other people have been terminated during the probationary period. (And not that you asked, but I really dislike probationary periods. Having a probationary period says, "There will become a time in which you are no longer an at-will employee," but we'll deal with that some time in the distant future.)

To be fair to the candidate, you need to let her know that there is a possibility she'll be terminated. This is especially important if she's leaving another job. Explain that this is not going to be an easy job and that the family sometimes has a hard time accepting outsiders.

Then bring the candidate on board and work with her to make sure she meets the SMART objectives. If the powers that be want to fire her, you'll have solid evidence in your little hand that she has met all of the objectives. When they say, "But it's the probationary period, we can fire anyone at any time," you can say, "Yes, that's true, but this function is critical for the bottom line of the company. If I terminate someone who is clearly meeting the objectives we all agreed on, it's going to look like racial or gender discrimination. If she sues, we'll most likely lose, because how would we defend ourselves? Terminating her would be a poor business move, since she is meeting all the objectives."

Using the "we" form instead of "you" will help soften the blow that you're telling these people they're racist idiots. In fact, they probably won't pick up on it. All you're saying is that it "looks" like discrimination. If they still insist that she be terminated, this is where you need to draw your line in the sand. You need to refuse to terminate the person.

If the family wants to terminate, fine. But, don't you dare be the one who delivers the news. Why? Because often a defense in discrimination lawsuits is that the company can't possibly be racist/sexist/ageist/whateverist because the same person who hired did the firing. The argument is that if there were a problem with illegal discrimination, the person never would have been hired in the first place. Don't give them the opportunity to hide behind you.

I realize that this opens you up for termination. This stinks. But remember, you're a strong contributor to the bottom line. Remind them of that. Stand firm. Don't give in to the temptation to do something wrong to preserve yourself. Sometimes, you've just got to do what's right.

http://m.cbsnews.com/fullstory.rbml?catid=44940168&feed_id=76&videofeed=43CBS News Link
Wingspan Portfolio Advisors Blogspot

Wingspan Portfolio Advisors Sued For Discrimination, Retaliation & Abuse of Its Black Employees


Denny et al v. Wingspan Portfolio Advisors, LLC

Plaintiffs:Roslyn Denny  and Bonita Winslow 
Defendant:Wingspan Portfolio Advisors, LLC
Case Number:3:2011cv01094
Filed:May 24, 2011
Court:Texas Northern District Court
Office:Dallas Office
County:Dallas
Presiding Judge:Sidney A Fitzwater
Nature of Suit:Labor - Other Labor Litigation
Cause:28:1332 Diversity-Employment Discrimination
Jurisdiction:Federal Question
Jury Demanded By:



Plaintiff



Access Link Below For More Information:
http://dockets.justia.com/docket/texas/txndce/3:2011cv01094/206264/

Just A Thought....

If White People Fully Compensated All the Peoples of the World They Have Stolen From Throughout History to Build Up Their Societies, They Would Be BROKE.

Compensate the Africans and their descendants for the years of FREE LABOR.

Compensate the Africans and their descendants for the THEFT of their LANDS, DIAMONDS, OIL, IVORY, RARE METALS and other resources stolen from their ancestral countries.

Compensate the Native Americans (I don't call a few Casinos and a few acres of Tax Free Land adequate compensation) for the OUTRIGHT THEFT of the land that now forms The United States.

Compensate the Asians for their Forced Labor in building the railroads.

Compensate the East Indians For Their Stolen Resources and Labor Which was used to enrich Europe, and some of the wealth was later transferred to the States by Englishmen who relocated to America.

White People Took All of that Stolen Wealth and created a system whereby they loan out Stolen FUNDS and charge INTEREST to those they STOLE FROM to use their OWN STOLEN MONEY.

White People need to stop blaming Poor Blacks and Minorities for All that ails this society and realize that their OWN GREED and the actions of their OWN BRETHREN will cause the downfall of this society.

America has put GREED over HUMANITY.


American Slavery Extended Into The Twentieth Century

The American South has always been about slavery and exploitation. 
That hasn't changed with the passage of time. 



Slavery By Another Name, by Douglas A. Blackmon -- A cry for help: Having exhausted all other options, a desperate young woman named Carrie Kinsey wrote this letter directly to President Theodore Roosevelt asking him to help her brother, who had been taken to a forced labor camp nearby. “Let me have him,” she writes. “He have not don nothing for them to hase him in chanes.”

On July 31, 1903, a letter addressed to President Theodore Roosevelt arrived at the White House. It had been mailed from the town of Bainbridge, Georgia, the prosperous seat of a cotton county perched on the Florida state line.

Slavery By Another Name
 by Douglas A. Blackmon


The sender was a barely literate African American woman named Carrie Kinsey. With little punctuation and few capital letters, she penned the bare facts of the abduction of her fourteen-year-old brother, James Robinson, who a year earlier had been sold into involuntary servitude.

Kinsey had already asked for help from the powerful white people in her world. She knew where her brother had been taken—a vast plantation not far away called Kinderlou. There, hundreds of black men and boys were held in chains and forced to labor in the fields or in one of several factories owned by the McRee family, one of the wealthiest and most powerful in Georgia. No white official in this corner of the state would take an interest in the abduction and enslavement of a black teenager. (They still won't in many parts of the South, especially in racist, redneck Texas)




Confronted with a world of indifferent white people, Mrs. Kinsey did the only remaining thing she could think of. Newspapers across the country had recently reported on a speech by Roosevelt promising a “square deal” for black Americans. Mrs. Kinsey decided that her only remaining hope was to beg the president of the United States to help her brother.

“Mr. Prassident,” she wrote. “They wont let me have him.… He hase not don nothing for them to have him in chanes so I rite to you for your help.”

Considered more than a century later, her letter courses with desperation and submerged outrage. Yet when received at the White House, it was slipped into a small rectangular folder and forwarded to the Department of Justice. There, it was tagged with a reference number, 12007, and filed away. Teddy Roosevelt never saw it. No action was taken. Her words lie still at the National Archives just outside Washington, D.C.



As dumbfounding as the story told by the Carrie Kinsey letter is, far more remarkable is what surrounds that letter at the National Archives. In the same box that holds her grief-stricken missive are at least half a dozen other pieces of correspondence recounting other stories of kidnapping, perversion of the courts, or human trafficking—as horrifying as, or worse than, Carrie Kinsey’s tale. It is the same in the next box on the shelf. And the one before. And the ones on either side of those. And the next and the next. And on and on. Thousands and thousands of plaintive letters and grimly bureaucratic responses—altogether at least 30,000 pages of original material—chronicle cases of forced labor and involuntary servitude in the South decades after the end of the Civil War.

“i have a little girl that has been kidnapped from me … and i cant get her out,” wrote Reverend L. R. Farmer, pastor of a black Baptist church in Morganton, North Carolina. “i want ask you is it law for people to whip (col) people and keep them and not allow them to leave without a pass.”

A farmer near Pine Apple, Alabama, named J. R. Adams, writing of terrible abuses by the dominant landowning family in the county, was one of the astonishingly few white southerners who also complained to the Department of Justice. “They have held negroes … for years,” Adams wrote. “It is a very rare thing that a negro escapes.”



A similar body of material rests in the files of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the one institution that undertook any sustained effort to address at least the most terrible cases. Dwarfing everything at those repositories are the still largely unexamined collections of local records in courthouses across the South. In dank basements, abandoned buildings, and local archives, seemingly endless numbers of files contain hundreds of thousands of handwritten entries documenting in monotonous granularity the details of an immense, metastasizing horror that stretched well into the twentieth century.

By the first years after 1900, tens of thousands of African American men and boys, along with a smaller number of women, had been sold by southern state governments. An exponentially larger number, of whom surviving records are painfully incomplete, had been forced into labor through county and local courts, backwoods justices of the peace, and outright kidnapping and trafficking. The total number of those re-enslaved in the seventy-five years between the end of the Civil War and the beginning of World War II can’t be precisely determined, but based on the records that do survive, we can safely say it happened to hundreds of thousands. How many more African Americans circumscribed their lives in dramatic ways, or abandoned all to flee the South entirely, to avoid that fate or mob violence? It is impossible to know. Millions. Generations.



This is not an easy story for Americans to receive, much less accept. The idea that not just civil rights but basic freedom itself was denied to an enormous population of African Americans until the middle of the twentieth century fits nowhere in the triumphalist, steady-progress, greatest-generations accounts we prefer for our national narrative. That the thrilling events depicted in Steven Spielberg’s recent film Lincoln—the heroic, frenzied campaign by Abraham Lincoln leading to passage of the Thirteenth Amendment abolishing slavery—were in fact later trumped not just by discrimination and segregation but by the resurrection of a full-blown derivative of slavery itself.

This story of re-enslavement is irrefutably true, however. Indeed, even as Spielberg’s film conveys the euphoria felt by African Americans and all opposed to slavery upon passage of the amendment in 1865, it also unintentionally foreshadows the demise of that brighter future. On the night of the amendment’s passage in the film, the African American housekeeper and, as presented in the film, secret lover of the abolitionist Congressman Thaddeus Stevens, played by the actress S. Epatha Merkerson, reads the amendment aloud. First, the sweeping banishment of slavery. And then, an often overlooked but powerful prepositional phrase: “except as a punishment for crime.”

It began with Reconstruction. Faced with empty government coffers, a paralyzing intellectual inability to contemplate equitable labor arrangements with former chattel, profound resentment against the emancipated freedmen, and a desperate economic need to force black workers back into the fields, white landowners and government officials began using the South’s criminal courts to compel African Americans back into slavery.



In the first years after the Civil War, even as former slaves optimistically swarmed into new schools and lined up at courthouses at every whisper of a hope of economic independence, the Southern states began enacting an array of interlocking laws that would make all African Americans criminals, regardless of their conduct, and thereby making it legal to force them into chain gangs, labor camps, and other forms of involuntarily servitude. By the end of 1865, every Southern state except Arkansas and Tennessee had passed laws outlawing vagrancy and defining it so vaguely that virtually any freed slave not under the protection of a white man could be arrested for the crime. An 1865 Mississippi statute required black workers to enter into labor contracts with white farmers by January 1 of every year or risk arrest. Four other states legislated that African Americans could not legally be hired for work without a discharge paper from their previous employer—effectively preventing them from leaving the plantation of the white man they worked for.

After the return of nearly complete white political control in 1877, the passage of those laws accelerated. Some, particularly those that explicitly said they applied only to African Americans, were struck down in court appeals or through federal interventions, but new statutes embracing the same strictures on black life quickly replaced them. Most of the new laws were written as if they applied to everyone, but in reality they were overwhelmingly enforced only against African Americans.



In the 1880s, Alabama, North Carolina, and Florida passed laws making it a crime for a black man to change employers without permission. It was a crime for a black man to speak loudly in the company of a white woman, a crime to have a gun in his pocket, and a crime to sell the proceeds of his farm to anyone other than the man he rented land from. It was a crime to walk beside a railroad line, a crime to fail to yield a sidewalk to white people, a crime to sit among whites on a train, and it was most certainly a crime to engage in sexual relations with—or, God forbid, to show true love and affection for—a white girl.

And that’s how it happened. Within a few years of the passage of these laws, tens of thousands of black men and boys, and a smaller number of black women, were being arrested and sold into forced labor camps by state officials, local judges, and sheriffs. During this time, some actual criminals were sold into slavery, and a small percentage of them were white. But the vast majority were black men accused of trivial or trumped-up crimes. Compelling evidence indicates that huge numbers had in fact committed no offense whatsoever. As the system grew, countless white farmers and businessmen jostled to “lease” as many black “criminals” as they could. Soon, huge numbers of other African Americans were simply being kidnapped and sold into slavery. (source: Blackmon, Douglas A. Slavery By Another Name, )




Courtesy of Ron at USS Blogspot

Former Alexander McQueen Store Employee Called 'Burrito Face' Files Discrimination Lawsuit




"Burrito face," "Goya princess" and "taco smoke” are just a few of the offensive and racist names that a former Alexander McQueen store employee is claiming her boss called her while on the job.

According to the New York Post, Moselle Blanco, a 43-year-old Hispanic woman and former saleswoman from the West 14th Street boutique in NYC's trendy Meatpacking District, is now slapping the high-end British fashion house with a racial discrimination lawsuit.

The Manhattan civil suit, which was filed last Wednesday, contests that Blanco's boss, Max Cantey, not only called her names but also subjected her “to a persistent barrage of offensive comments based on her race and national origin.”

In one instance, Blanco recalled Cantey telling her that “she had greasy hands like a Mexican and that he did not want any product to ‘get messy.’” She also said she was falsely accused of stealing and using cocaine at work.

Calls to Cantey at the Alexander McQueen store were not immediately returned. However, the company did email the HuffPost a statement:

“Alexander McQueen is committed to equality in the workplace, and we are proud of our diverse employee base. We take any allegations of this nature seriously and will always investigate them thoroughly, but we will not comment on individual cases.”

Blanco said the alleged abuse also infringed on “her ability to close additional sales with her clients" -- one of which was Jessica Seinfeld, comedian Jerry Seinfeld's wife. And in September 2012, Blanco, who worked at the store for over 10 years, was fired after she allegedly failed to call back a dress the store lent to Seinfeld.

Sadly this isn't the first racial discrimination lawsuit that the luxury store has faced this year. In July, an African-born former security guard named Othman Ibela filed a similar suit, claiming he was subjected to racially insensitive taunting by various sales clerks. The hostile work environment allegedly led to his hospitalization for his depression and anxiety attacks. Ibela also contested that black customers were racially profiled -- a topic that has reared its ugly head at other high-end stores as of late.

In the past few weeks, Barneys and Macy's have been at the center of racial profiling based lawsuits.

Washington Post Columnist Smears Interracial Marriage

 
 
 
Richard Cohen is back at it again, this time with incendiary comments about interracial marriage and lesbians. In his November 11 column in the Washington Post entitled "Christie’s tea-party problem," Cohen said that the GOP has had trouble embracing some of the country's cultural shifts. He wrote:
 
Today’s GOP is not racist, as Harry Belafonte alleged about the tea party, but it is deeply troubled — about the expansion of government, about immigration, about secularism, about the mainstreaming of what used to be the avant-garde. People with conventional views must repress a gag reflex when considering the mayor-elect of New York — a white man married to a black woman and with two biracial children. (Should I mention that Bill de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray, used to be a lesbian?) This family represents the cultural changes that have enveloped parts — but not all — of America. To cultural conservatives, this doesn’t look like their country at all.
 
In fact, according to a Gallup poll conducted earlier this year, 87 percent of Americans approve of interracial marriage between blacks and whites.

Obamas and Bananas: Offensive Twitter Image Underscores Virulent Racism In Russia

Weeks after an Italian Cabinet minister of African descent had a banana thrown at her, a far more prominent black politician was apparently racially slurred with a photoshopped image linking him with the yellow fruit.

                                                        Obama And The Banana: Offensive Twitter Image Underscores Virulent Racism In Russia
                                                        Obamas and banana Twitter 
                 
Linking bananas to black people is considered extremely insulting and inflammatory, but has become a regular feature of life in Europe, especially on soccer pitches where black and African players are frequently taunted with bananas. And in late July, a banana was thrown at Italy’s Congolese-born Integration Minister, Cecile Kyenge, during a political rally.
 
Now, Rodnina, a member of Vladimir Putin's United Russia party (and, bizarrely, an Olympic champion figure-skater), posted the offending picture on her personal Twitter account.
 
Michael McFaul, the U.S. ambassador in Moscow, accused Rodnina of "outrageous behavior, which only brings shame to her parliament and country,” on his own Twitter account.
 
Tikhon Zyadko, a Russian journalist, tweeted: "Irina Rodnina doesn't hide she is a racist."
 
"Maybe this is everyday racism. Maybe it's that she was badly brought up and has a warped sense of humor," wrote Aider Muzhdabayev, deputy editor of Moskovsky Komsomolets, a newspaper.
"The main thing is that Rodnina did this, and she doesn't regret it a bit."
 
In response to criticism over the racial nature of the photo, Rodnina said the picture was sent to her by friends in the U.S. and declared: "Freedom of speech is freedom of speech, and you should answer for your own hangups.”
 
Refusing to apologize, Rodnina even suggested that the criticism was tantamount to a political conspiracy engineered by “liberal” journalists and other Russian opposition figures.
 
 
Racist Russian Politician Irina Rodnina
She's clearly not White, But racism towards
Blacks has apparently been taught to others
very well by whites through the Centuries.
 
Refusing to apologize, Rodnina even suggested that the criticism was tantamount to a political conspiracy engineered by “liberal” journalists and other Russian opposition figures.

"Are there still some of you who haven't had their say on Daddy Navalny's orders?" she tweeted in a snarky reference to opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

Interestingly, Navalny himself defended Rodnina, calling the photo a “joke.”

Moreover, Rodnina found some succor in Russian media who defended her.

"What Irina … put on Twitter is her business; it is her own personal space," wrote Vladimir Soloviev, a pro-Kremlin television host. "This is not a big scandal,” adding humorously, “I advise everyone who attacked her that the next time they go out for a coffee, they should not call it a black coffee but an African-American coffee."

The Guardian Express reported that some of Rodnina’s fellow MPs, including Vladimir Gartung and Yan Zelinsky, both members of the parliamentary ethics committee, also defended her and claimed she broke no laws.

"She sees the president of the United States as liking bananas. What's the big deal?," Zelinsky told Russian News Service radio.

But racism against blacks and Africans is deep-rooted and widespread in Russia, and has been accompanied by neo-Nazi and skinhead violence against immigrants and minorities.

Julie Ioffe, a Russian-American journalist, told AmericaBlog.com that “there’s quite a bit of violence against people considered to be black.”

The Moscow-based Sova Center, a human rights group, reported that last year 19 people were killed and 187 wounded in racially motivated attacks against “non-Slavic-looking individuals,” although such numbers have been declining since the mid-2000s.
 
 
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Russian Skinheads, White Supremacists Wage War Against Black African Students


Russian Skinheads, White Supremacists Wage War Against Black African Students, Migrants


 
African immigrants in Russia (Facebook)

SAMARA – It was April 19 when Oleg Sviridov, rector at the Orenburg State Institute of Management (OSIM), received an unexpected invitation to speak with a top local official.

Eugene Arapov, head of the municipal government of Orenburg, a Russian city near the Kazakhstan border, told Sviridov that by June 1 he wanted all of the international students out of the university’s dormitory, located in a city park.

“I was told that nobody needs to see reports on television about black people walking around the park,” Sviridov said. “They told me that the African students might rape children.” According to the rector, during the meeting the officials went even further, roundly saying that foreigners were not welcome in Orenburg. “And this region is always trying to promote itself as a tolerant and multicultural one,” Sviridov said.

OSIM’s dormitory, which is home to students from 23 different countries, including Zimbabwe, Congo and Chad, is located on a city-owned wooded park that extends over several hundred hectares. In addition to the dorms, a couple of children’s camps are located in the park, although they are separated by fencing.

According to the rector, the students are living legally in the dorms. “They are taken to the university by bus everyday and taken back, they don’t have anywhere else to live,” Sviridov said. “And saying that the Africans, in particular, might rape children, is absolutely insulting.”

Racist attacks against foreigners in Russia are not new, and Amnesty International has said that racism in Russia is “out of control.” Attacks on foreigners and foreign students, particularly those who appear obviously non-Russian, such as Africans and East Asians, are not uncommon, although the primary targets of racist rhetoric and violence are people from the Caucasus mountains, such as Chechens, Armenians and Azeris.

Still, for officials to make blatantly anti-immigrant remarks is surprising. After the rector’s refusal to move the international students, the city office sent him two official notices “recommending the removal of the foreigners from the proximity of the camps.”

In addition, there have been two raids in the dormitory building housing immigrant students. In the second raid, on May 24, immigration agents arrived accompanied by unidentified individuals with guns. “Our bus was stopped by some people with automatic rifles who ordered everyone to turn off their telephone,” said Al-Fakikh Cami Akhmed, a student from Yemen. “I turned mine off, but they hit me with the butt of the gun anyway. Later I was told that it was immigration officers. But my documents are in order, I don’t understand why they hit me.”

The rector noted that the foreign students in Russia arrive thanks to inter-governmental agreements, including many children of diplomats. “Of course, they wrote a complaint about the illegal actions of the immigration service. We have asked the prosecutor’s office to investigate,” Sviridov said.

Last Friday, students from OSIM protested in the street, carrying signs that said “We are against lawlessness in the immigration service,” and “We came to study.” The cost for a foreign student to study at a university in Russia starts at $1,800 per semester.

Federal Migration Service in Orenburg admits to carrying out an unplanned raid in the University’s dormitory. “But our agents did not break in anyway, and they were unarmed,” an official of the Migration Service said, stressing that they did find one student who was living in the dormitory building illegally during the raid.

The city of Orenburg refused to comment on the situation for this article, saying only that in the camps next to the dormitory, “there are 14-year-old girls, and the symbolic security guard doesn’t stop anyone.” The Orenburg regional prosecutor’s office has not yet received an official complaint from OSIM.

The city’s actions have been welcomed by radical nationalists. “This is the first time that the government is taking care of the population,” said the former leader of the outlawed nationalist group Movement Against Illegal Immigration Aleksandr Belov. “There was obviously something going on, there is no smoke without fire. At the end of the day, everyone knows that a dormitory with African students is a hotspot for narco-traffickers. Without preventative actions it is difficult to fight, because while you’re tracking down the criminal, he or she will have fled home.”

The Ministry of Education and Sciences stands with OSIM. Their press-office explained that OSIM has 125 registered foreign students. “They have a registration and have been given a place in the dorms in complete accordance with the law,” the press office said.

Rights works say that the situation in Orenburg is egregious. “This is unprecedented in Russia, that officials can say these kind of things about people with dark skin, without any kind of reason, saying they are all potential rapists,” said Aleksandr Verkhovskii, head of a research center focused on xenophobia in Russia. “Unfortunately, it will be hard to hold them responsible for these kinds of remarks.”

“We are always talking about multiculturalism, holding tolerance programs, but in reality very little changes,” said Stefaniya Kulaeva. “This could happen in any city in Russia.”

In Russia, The Worst Kind Of Racism Arrives On Campus - All News Is Global.
 
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Mainstream Media To Blame in Trayvon Martin, Renisha McBride Deaths

My 2 cents!

I blame the media for the desensitizing of black life as worthless and deserving of any violence perpetrated on them. The fact that they show such an unbalanced story of African American life is unreal. Blacks, especially young blacks, must live up to the stereotype in order to make the printed press or seen on television. The media ignore all others regardless of the higher percentage NOT falling into a package of stereotype. This has been going on for so long now... blacks fitting stereotypes must sales papers. Blacks having a normal or exceptional life must not. At some point the media has to wake up to what they've been doing over the years. They have their part in Trayvon Martin's death as well as Renisha McBride's.
 
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The Slaying of Renisha McBride Casts Another Ugly Glare on the Perils of Black Women

The slaying of unarmed and from reports distressed motorist Renisha McBride in Dearborn Heights near Detroit casts yet another ugly glare on the extreme peril to black women. In the past few years, the number of black women that have been slain by police, brutalized by officers, or as in the case of McBride, slain by a homeowner, in several cities has at times drawn headlines and protests. This is separate from the endless tales of black women who have been beaten, tasered and threatened during routine stops or street searches by police officers often with no charges filed against them, or whatever charges were filed were soon dismissed.

The black women that have been victimized have had several things in common apart from their gender and race. They were unarmed, and in nearly all the cases were not committing a crime. Their victimizers were not charged in their assault or killing. The McBride case seems to fit all three of these categories with the sole exception of the still dangling possibility that a charge may be slapped on the homeowner. Even if the homeowner in the case is charged and justice demands that, it does not change the fact that the shooter initially wasn't. The perpetrator's attorneys claim and prosecutors seem to think there are circumstances that warrant either exoneration or for them to foot drag in making an arrest.

The indisputable fact that McBride was unarmed, apparently was not in the home, and was looking for help, should have been more than enough to warrant some charge. Prosecutors have a plethora of lesser charges that they routinely slap on those who resort to gun play in highly questionable situations. If there were truly valid reasons why a homeowner feels they have to kill no matter whether deliberate or accidental, then they would come out at a trial or during preliminary legal proceedings.

None of this initially happened in the McBride slaying. This then raises the always troubling suspicion the race played a role in her slaying. There's the horrid history of racial stereotyping, profiling if you will, that indelibly link crime and violence with African-Americans. This linkage isn't just confined to black men. There's the feminization of racial stereotyping too. While black men are frequently typed as violent, drug dealing "gangstas," black women are typed as sexually loose, conniving, and untrustworthy. In effect, many believe that black women offenders are menaces to society too. Much of the public and many in law enforcement are deeply trapped in the damaging cycle of myths, misconceptions and crime fear hysteria about crime-on-the-loose women.

The stereotype when lethal force has been used against young blacks has in a grotesque way given even more deadly justification to the dubious use of the stand your ground defense in these cases. The McBride case is no different. The delay in bringing any charges almost certainly hinges on Michigan's stand your ground law. The key provision of the law states that individuals may shoot if the individual honestly and reasonably believes that the use of deadly force is necessary to prevent the imminent death of or imminent great bodily harm to himself or herself or to another individual. The operative words that virtually give anyone a license to use such force is "honestly and reasonably." That's a murky legal minefield that's wide open to individual interpretation and prosecutors know this.

This is where racial bias rams its way in, and further muddies a highly suspect killing given the relentless, and deeply encoded negative typecasting of young blacks as inherent criminal menaces and threats. This was evident with brutal effect in the slaying of Trayvon Martin. Defense attorneys, a legion of supporters of Martin's killer, George Zimmerman, and some in the media, were more determined to put Martin and his alleged past misdeeds on trial than Zimmerman.

In far too many cases where young black women have been victimized there were endless and predictable efforts to dig up any and every bit of damaging information about their history or lifestyle to in effect virtually blame them for their own unjustified killing. The disturbing underlying public narrative about them was that their slaying was more than justified not solely because of their alleged reckless acts, but because of their alleged past.

The family and associates of McBride demand that simple justice dictate that a charge, some charge, be brought against McBride's killer. It's then up to a court to determine the truth of what precipitated the killing. This must happen in McBride's case. The fact that it hasn't and has taken so long again casts the ugly glare on the continuing peril to black women.

Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. He is a frequent MSNBC contributor. He is an associate editor of New America Media. He is a weekly co-host of the Al Sharpton Show on American Urban Radio Network. He is the host of the weekly Hutchinson Report on KTYM 1460 AM Radio Los Angeles and KPFK-Radio and the Pacifica Network. Follow Earl Ofari Hutchinson on Twitter: http://twitter.com/earlhutchinson


Follow Earl Ofari Hutchinson on Twitter: www.twitter.com/earlhutchinson
 
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UFC fighter asks Black Woman “Can I touch your hair?” during live interview



Reblogged: To See Original Post, Click HERE

As women of color, we all know how hard it is to even get our feet into the doors of journalism. Furthermore, once we get in and get settled into the world of bringing the news to the public, we know we have to work twice as hard and twice as often for our talents to be taken seriously. We work overtime to prove we aren’t just some affirmative action hire who at best can only provide mediocre talent.

Yet, after all that hard work, we are constantly reminded that no matter how much we excel in our jobs, our bodies and our beings will never truly belong to us.

The video above shows UFC fighter Chael Sonnen randomly asking ESPN reporter Sage Steele if he could touch her hair. Steele, who responds with an awkward, stifled laugh and responds with how “random” the question was, graciously allows Sonnen to touch her coils.

Of course, Sonnen goes on and on about how everyone just fantasizes about touching Steele’s hair and marvels at how soft it is! Who knew our naps could actually be soft and lush and not feel like a fucking Brillo pad!!!

Did you notice how Sonnen blatantly dismissed her interview as if her work as a professional is inconsequential or not important enough to respect? Gotta love that sexist derailing!

Time and again, whiteness and white folks feel it’s their God-given right to have access the bodies of women of color whenever they ask. For him to even ponder asking a reporter — during a live fucking television interview, I might add — if he can invade her personal space and touch her hair on demand is mind-boggling.

I know some of you won’t see the harm in allowing a man who is merely curious about black women’s hair. I know some of you won’t even understand why this is a big deal. After all, he compliments her about how awesome it feels, right!?

While Steele did say in a tweet she was fine with it and “couldn’t care less” and went on about how she knew he was a “wild man,” Sonnen’s ability to ask her to invade her personal space only magnifies his white privilege. It publicly declares to the world in an oh so subtle way that black women’s bodies are open for touching and exploring.

This treatment of black women and our hair as some sort of oddity and a curiosity only adds to the continued othering we have to face on a daily basis. Black women and our hair are not some mobile exotic being that exists only for the pleasure and entertainment for whiteness whenever it’s feeling bored.

Asking to pet a black woman’s hair and complimenting on how soft and velvety it feels is not a compliment; it’s a demonstration that whiteness continues to marginalize our bodies and our hair as substandard and inferior, and only exist to satisfy its occasional curiosity with the exotic.

- See more at: http://newblackwoman.com/2013/05/13/ufc-fighters-asks-can-i-touch-your-hair-during-live-interview/#sthash.N370io0P.dpuf

COMMENTS


Crystal
                             
That was the most obnoxious thing I think I've witnessed in my life.
  
  • Avatar
    R Laurie Kolb
                                                                                         
    As a woman of no-color, but a woman who gets being marginalized and demeaned and not being able to respond in kind right on the spot, I was totally appalled by that interview and saddened that Steele wasn't in a position to say "I beg your freakin pardon? No you cannot. Now don't ignore the question! Do you hate people? 'Cause, I kind of think you do."

  • Hopefully, as she gets a little older, more confident, she'll be able to lob those insulting volleys right back. She was clearly uncomfortable, and at a loss and embarrassed. As women are admonished to fight this sort of treatment with humor, all that does is make us feel weaker and unable to handle it when it happens the next time. And the next time after that.

  • He was rude and dismissive, demeaning and misogynistic and took the control right out of her hands, which she didn't see coming (she's young, right?) Then he disguised it as cutesy macho flirting or God knows what, and yes, gotta call it, Racist with a capital R. I suppose he might have asked to touch some blondie's straight locks as well and said the same fake-complimentary words to defray the effect after the fact, BUT, looking into the camera to report "And it's soft, everyone!" Please! Even I know what's going on there.
  •