Anthropological Study Binghamton New York

By Rasa Von Werder, February 5th, 2015

Anthropological study conclusion in Binghamton, New York, University students vs. “ghetto dwellers” of like age


By Rasa Von Werder, Sept. 2011


In my quest to learn, wherever I am, whatever surrounds me becomes my subject. I came to Binghamton’s State St. from my country house for the purpose of dating. After thirty years & seven months of celibacy, it was time for the pendulum to swing the other way. I found State St., not for booze & bars but for men – I didn’t care what age. But as it happened, State St. males averaged twenty one years of age; they found me, I found them, we connected. After a bit of adjustment I began to see the people not in terms of my own needs, subjectively, but also by way of their patterns, objectively.




I befriended the “locals”, studying their zeitgeist, & how they saw themselves. This occurred through relationships, interviews, private parties & two hundred of them on face book.


On the other hand, there were the students, & THEY were looking at ME, asking questions, with me giving impromptu seminars on the street, in the pizza parlor, parking lot & my apartment. They invited me to be a part of their gatherings & projects.


There is an invisible barrier between these classes – two tribes with more conflict than commonality; they don’t mingle although they share the same pavement & clubs.




Definition of the ghetto & “the zoo” (as understood by the author):


The ghetto is a network of poor people, black, white & mixed, all connected by blood, friendship & relationships. Half of these people don’t work, most of the college age females have children & get welfare, those that work have minimum wage jobs, their parents also when they work, have low-paying jobs or welfare, many males & females are still dependent on their families, all scraping, sometimes conniving to get by. One thing in common is that few of them have any higher education or skills (which cost money!), & that puts them in the lowest earning brackets.


Where these people are is a continuum from at least one or several generations back to who knows where. Those who are born into it know no other life; they have no one to fund them for college or say, to start a business. They do not have the social skills to reach outside the ghetto, & find a professional class, wealthy or educated person to bail them out; they are mostly TRAPPED. They live in the SADDEST part of ‘THE ZOO” which is our social system.


Aside: Why is our social system called, “The Zoo?”


What is THE ZOO? The zoo concept was explained to me by my associate, Dr. Dale Glaebach, an evolutionary psychologist & it is the social order we live in, which is not conducive to our primitive instincts. In our original state we were hunter/gatherers. Women ruled, for two hundred thousand years – they provided 95% of the food (resources!) & had the higher status.


Around ten, eleven thousand years ago herding of animals & agriculture were invented. As hoarding of food/animals started, men saw where they could take advantage of RESOURCE CONTROL. Weapons were invented, WAR STARTED not because WE are violent by nature, but because MEN ARE.


Our true nature:


To study an animal, one cannot interfere with its path. One must leave it alone, watch & take notes. When one feeds the animal, it invades their nature, you begin training or taming, its behavior is modified. Thereafter you have “domestication” or on a wider scale, “the zoo.”


How “The Zoo” developed:


The zoo becomes whoever creates the zoo decides. The chairman, captain, president, zookeeper, makes the rules, & somehow, they always work to keep him & his on top, with convenient programs to hold the fort. And so you have the caste system or the class system, the poverty class (predominantly women & children) is to provide free or cheap labor/services/conveniences/pleasures to the men on top…read Karl Marx on the class system…check into the caste system in India where supposedly GOD wants you forever doomed in your class, & of course, the underling does the dirtiest menial work…Buddhism was thrown out of India because he was righteously anti caste, his religion veered into China & became the predominant faith…read the teachings of William Bond & myself, on how the first conspiracy was against women, without which, men could not have done what they did to the planet.)


Who runs “The Zoo”?


To see the BIG PICTURE you have to know that WE DO LIVE IN A ZOO where people are fettered, it’s for the convenience of the “alpha” males & their families, against the rest of humanity & the zoo of the present day is called PATRIARCHY.





The Saddest Part of the Zoo


Is of course the people who have the least resources economically & in most cases, intellectually. The spiritual condition of the underprivileged is an interesting topic. On the surface, there are more crimes & violence but this can be explained as desperation, frustration & results of pain.


The saints all say it is the rich who fall into Hell the most, while the poor have less purgatory due to their sufferings.


In my anthropological studies, at some point, I threw up my hands in two cases. One was the “hillbillies” around me in my country estate. At first, I had rose colored glasses & was a do-gooder, for ten years. I hoped to be part of the community. But finally, I said,

“They are a herd mentality…you have to be born into their herd to be a part of them…(I conjure up the image of the lion chasing a deer, the deer runs into a herd of wildebeests, the wildebeests push her out of the herd to be consumed by the lion – this is herd mentality. Ditto, these benign looking country folk smile & wave at the new people in town, then quickly turn into wolves to fleece the sheep, calling in all their friends for profit. They anoint the newcomers with three times the cost of all services), & I finally don’t want to be accepted by them – good bye wildebeests.”


The same thing happened with the underprivileged.

I came in with stars in my eyes, the sidekick of Martin Luther King, Jr. & fan of the Charles Dickens version of poor boys. I argued for hours with those who hated minorities & the underprivileged. I was their knight in shining lipstick, ready to guide, “lend” money, buy drinks, all the usual. But it went beyond fleecing, it was verbal & physical assaults. I got punched three times on State St., by black males, & half a dozen bodily threats. I kept’a’comin’ –

“the bad will end, the good will start.” (I did it all before, when I was a minister/social worker in Brooklyn in the seventies.)




Indeed, I saw myself as “educator, mother, Jesus Christ in person,” but they saw me for the most part as “foreign devil.”


When I first appeared wild rumors spread about. Ghetto people I learned are paranoid (reminded me of my prior move to the country, where I visited every neighbor to shake hands. Word got out that I had been in the adult trade, & so my new title became “porno lady.” To this they added so many bizarre rumors that it put grey hairs on my head & started anxiety attacks. I imagined someone could assassinate me & burn down my house. I think the country people projected their own perversions/fantasies onto me), because they have a lot to hide – the drug dealers especially were scared & reacted to me as if I wore “a wire.” They do the two-step the other way when I came near, or else they jumped five feet away, or even ran at my approach.





They could not understand why I wanted to be with them & friended them on Face book. It’s true, I was different from them, more like a minister or Guru, who loves people & reaches out to help. I wrote numerous articles about self improvement for women & men which I posted on their face books.


I was also a question mark to the students. I was told by one BU journalist that “the students do not understand you.” I sent her a list of credits & accomplishments, & never heard from her again. She probably thought she was in above her head.







Here is what I got from the poverty class vs. professional (or the academic class we call intellectuals.) This is based on PERSONAL OBSERVATION.


Education, skills:


Ghetto: lack of skills & education. Family cannot afford to put them through school or training. They lack role models, fall into the patterns around them – dysfunctional ones, but to them, it’s “normal.” They live on dreams of “magical” success – hitting the lotto, getting rich from selling drugs, “somewhere, someday over the rainbow, I will be rich & famous” – too many are on drugs. They are low on skills & perseverance in getting & keeping the lowest jobs, their interview abilities are slim as their vocabularies are sparse, their performance at work gets spotty, especially with the absenteeism. They tend to talk back to the boss, even tell them off when angry. The males fare worse in the job market than females, females humble themselves more easily & are less violent, moreover women have access to social services if they have children & so the ghetto is filled with women supporting the unemployed men.



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In addition, the young males have a “macho” image to maintain, they loath getting a job that “demeans” them. I have seen drug dealers given opportunities they sniffed at because it hurt their “swagga.” (I gave jobs to two of them doing yard work…it was ridiculous…I picked them up from twenty miles away, took them back, fed them It was because I felt sorry for them, thought they just needed someone to give them a chance. They stood me up three days, worked one day, there it ended…One of them was offered a job at McDonald’s he never showed up for. The other was offered a janitor job which he refused.) Swagga to a ghetto boy is the same as respectability/success to a professional class person. It’s all they have, an illusion of being “a real man” – that & the occasional windfall from making a pile illegally – which they don’t save or invest but blow by buying all their friends drinks at “Scoreboard”.


The female also has an image to uphold. She wants to be beautiful. The most glamorous females are not students, but “ghetto” women. They adorn the street in their dresses, high heels & high heeled boots; style their hair, lots of makeup & jewelry.


They are also PREGNANT a lot, something you don’t see in the students. Each pregnancy pays in cash from social services, most of the dads are deadbeats, they often support them or the next guy that comes along, albeit modestly.


What you basically see, the typical ghetto male & female age is a woman on welfare, with child/children, a male who lives by his “wits” in selling drugs, stealing, in & out of jobs that he cannot hold onto. The women maintain the men with the little they have; their status is equal to men because of this, although the males like to think they are the boss.





Family can afford to put them through school or gives them some sort of support, not always money, but knowledge of how to get money as through loans. These people also have the skill to get & keep a job, even if it’s a minimum wage one to get through school. They have role models of relatives & friends who have gained success in earning an honest living.


Of course the males also protect their “macho man” image. They gain status by excelling in sports, being in a fraternity, having good grades (intelligence), success with women (that goes in both groups) & having an accomplished family & friends.


Sense of “Morality”


Ghetto morality:


“You do what you gotta’ do.” That means, for the males, selling drugs or stealing. They are quiet about the stealing (but females report this to me,) the drug part everyone knows, their names get in the paper, they are NOT ASHAMED.


Why should you be ashamed when your parents sell drugs or do drugs? – your friends sell drugs or do drugs? Their parents have been in jail, their friends are in jail for drugs or other scrapes routinely. There is an inordinate amount of violence in the ghetto, females against females, and males against everyone. The majority of American jails are filled with ghetto people, & so, for them, it’s the norm, they say to each other “hold your head up high” as if some force has hurt them once again, they are the victims, not the perpetrators.


The “morality” of the poverty class here, is not a judgment call, merely an observation.






I am well aware that the most serious crimes against our fellow man are the war mongers, the powerful elite who call the shots, run the rackets called “medical profession, big pharma, insurance companies, & crooked lawyers. The bankers make money from war, profiting from both sides, they destroy, kill people for money, they steal what others have, they hire the poor to do the work to make their corporations rich. Noam Chomsky calls their crimes “wholesale crime” while people on the street do “retail” or “small potatoes” crime. The jails are filled with the poor people of America while rich criminals live in obscene luxury.


Student Morality, jail:


On the street level of ghetto vs, students, students do not want to be caught dead committing crimes. They would lose status & self esteem, their parents & family are not jail material & would be horrified. They consider their future being tainted; the disruption of studies, a criminal record putting a stumbling block onto success.


“My father/mother was in jail” means something different to a professional class vs ghetto class person. Ghetto people automatically assume,


“The system is bad…they are out to get us…dirty cops…he was framed…wrong place, wrong time…he did what he had to do & he got caught…probably selling drugs, something we gotta’ do or we starve…etc.


A professional class person hears,


“OMG, WHAT DID HE DO? His dad/mom is a jail bird! A criminal! Disgraceful, even if he/she is INNOCENT, he’s tainted, he will be persona non grata in society!



What an amazing statement – the mold which forms a life is the boundaries or restrictions surrounding one…this would include ideas, beliefs, patterns, accepted behaviors, by which one can be molded. Try and break out of a “mold” society puts us into is a challenge.




Sexual morality, children out of wedlock:


Ghetto women:


Cannot afford to be “moral” in the sense of waiting for Mr. Right to come along, build a home & support the kids together. They start getting pregnant young. Marriage has gone the way of high-button shoes. Women get paid by the welfare system when they have children – it isn’t much, they live in poverty even when they have side jobs, but it keeps them from starving. If they wait for Mr. Right to help, they will be past child bearing age; such animals in their world are nearly extinct.




As to the “sexual morality” or restraint of ghetto males, they have none. The “double standard,” after all, was built to fetter women, not men.


Student sexual morality:


From our conversations, females are more restrained than males in sexual activity. As students who seek their professional success & a male who is the same, there are two things they don’t want. One, is they don’t want to get pregnant. If they do, they are more likely to get an abortion, as they have to finish school. The other thing they don’t want is to be labeled “slut,” as that would curtail getting a “good” husband (an educated, affluent one). If a female student has an active sex life, she will more than likely keep it quiet.


To have sex while “going steady” for a female is NOT considered sluttish or immoral. (Thank God for small mercies.) But to want MULTIPLE MEN is considered a no-no in both camps, not so for the men to want MULTIPLE WOMEN. So the double standard still prevails across the board, although my ideas about sex received a more relaxed audience with the ghetto females than the students – WHEN MALES WERE AROUND. When no males were present, female students removed their front & spoke openly about wanting sex, how they liked it, with men & with women, who did what best, what size organs men have, etc. But when the males were present, they put on a virginal image. Ghetto women were less hypocritical.



Lifestyle differences, ghetto vs. students:


Ghetto lifestyle:


I saw little to be proud of in the ghetto lifestyle. Poor people mostly “chill,” which means do NOTHING, but sit around watching television (NOT educational stuff, sports for men & some women, pugilist cartoons for male boys (that’s all we need) sitcoms, movies – but not the all-time classics with a message, the more current brainless stuff.)


Since many of them DON’T WORK (except child rearing for the women) they have free time, & this is NOT WELL SPENT. The poor people I met lacked ambition, no hobbies, no disciplines, no self education – most of them HAVE NEVER READ A BOOK. You cannot have a meaningful discussion with a person who has never read a book– a disproportionate number of them have attention deficit disorder, & again, another subject, poor people seem to have more mental & emotional problems than the student class.


In the ghetto lifestyle I find them doing substances during the day as well as at night, the males doing more “chillin” than the women, as some women take care of children, cook & clean house. It is a rare ghetto male who helps his woman, most of them seem to want to get away, once their needs (for food, sex & sleep) are met, & hang with the guys. This is when they get into trouble, as just picture:


immature, uneducated boys with nothing constructive to do
these same boys now partaking of substances or booze
they have run out of money for whatever they are doing





What is the next step? Immature, uneducated, impulsive boys plotting to get some money whatever way they can, quickly turns to crime. This is how gangs start.


Student lifestyle:


Of the students I was friendly with few had time or desire to get into trouble. Many of them were mentally drained from study & for some, part time jobs, they just wanted to hang out, drink, watch TV (not necessarily meaningful) & do some sports.


I have had hours of conversation with male & female students, dinner with some, have spent whole nights talking with them.


The best conversations were with females who were versed in women’s issues. The worst conversations were with males who are threatened by emerging female power. They wanted to argue until they were blue in the face – I threw my hands up & longed for women/only safe space. I’m still working on that.


Mental, emotional states of ghetto vs. students -

Frustration & violence vs. sense of security:


Ghetto: Mostly dysfunctional.


Synonyms for dysfunction are “debilitated, defective, broken, and sick.”


This describes the average ghetto resident. I heard many life stories over three years. Here is the template:


First, they had parents with little to give – knowledge, culture, understanding, motivation or money. These parents were too busy trying to survive or recovering from the wounds of life. They did not inspire or motivate their children, & were unable or unwilling to send them elsewhere for help, as to Catechism or Bible School. Lacking positive drive or vision, these children learned from the streets, from television, from their peers – the peers being in the same boat as they are. A lot of negativity is absorbed, without the medicine of religion & positive thought to heal them.



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The parents & relatives of the ghetto dwellers I met did not have any successful relatives or friends!


Another commonality was problems between mother & father. Mostly the father was absent, if he was there, he did not contribute much. The burden of all was on the shoulders of an exhausted woman. Trying to love, support, discipline & teach a brood of children is a daunting task, mothers snap, yell, scream. When comes time to teach, their own education/example is not stellar – they are failures – what they transfer by word & deed is dubious & sketchy.


The other component common to most life stories was they were abused. Many people get abused. But when you lack education, skill, vision, culture, role models, you get more damage.



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Some ghetto folk had education & skills, but something went wrong, example, the guy who became a pharmacist. He was paid big money, but he messed up royally. He drank a lot, got so many DWI’s & lost his license. His job went, he started selling drugs & went to jail. He had a great wife but fooled around with another woman & lost her, then he lost the other woman too. Now he lives off relatives, & had the gall to ask me for money! This man is an example of

“had a chance, could have been somebody, but some internal demon screwed me up.”


Ghetto people are ANGRY. This is why they are more VIOLENT than the “haves.” A person gets angry when they feel helpless, when they’re in pain. Internal demons flare up, difficult to hold back rage, especially when one is drinking or drugging.


Ghetto people are TOUCHY. Since they lack self esteem & often harbor self hate (the worst demon) the slightest insult, reprimand or criticism, real or imagined, gets under their skin. They lash out. I’ve seen this many times.


Ghetto people lack courage & skill to reach out to the “haves”. They feel inadequate, lack confidence; they think they can’t make the grade. Perhaps they have tried & failed & don’t want rejection again. They give up easily.


Often, when they do meet a successful person, their approach is negative. Instead of becoming honest friends, they plot how to con, rob, or borrow money that will never get paid back, & that being done, the benefits of a long-term relationship are over. It’s stupidity & a lack of self worth, that makes them do this. If they felt they had value to give, they would work on a friendship, but they don’t, the thought being,

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“I cannot hold my own with this person, they have it all & I have nothing…they will dump me soon, I better get what I can, as fast as I can.”


Then the con games, the stealing or borrowing occurs & ends the relationship of promise.


Fuck & rob:


A terrible thing ghetto males are doing is what I call “fuck & rob.” It happens with one-night stands & steady girl friends.


I watched some of the best looking males collecting phone numbers of numerous girls, many of them ugly by some standards when they already had someone attractive at home? Could they be that desperate for sex?


The dam of information burst when I began to share my woes of theft with the girls. Prior to that, they’d been ashamed to share. Females now divulged how guys, once in their house for sex, went through their things, or cased the joint for later burglaries, climbing through windows.


One female told me that her “sports hero” boyfriend regularly took money from her purse. On his face book, the swagga was huge, but she told me,


“He lives with his mother & is unemployed.”


She was now pregnant by him, expanding the ghetto by one more child. Like most ghetto women, their tolerance is as big as their esteem is small.


A portly middle-aged white friend told me how one ghetto guy had been taking money from her purse while she was in the shower – after she paid for the dates – for THREE YEARS before she realized it. Other ghetto dates were also on the take materially.


One long haired big one told me,


“All they want from us is cribs, cash & cunt.”


And yet, standing at the railing of Scoreboard one night, I looked down & on the stairwell observed a round DOZEN of BIG WHITE WOMEN whom I know like black locals.


This says to me that for all the blows women suffer, they still hold out the hope that ghetto guys will do right by them.


I tried to teach them how to fish, but they wanted my fish ($$$) instead:


I befriended a female who has two children with two deadbeat dads. Her entire life was a set of woes & wrong choices. I told her I would give aid temporarily, but then she has to make the right choice, a man who would help (she was on welfare & also worked) support her & her kids.


“You will not find him in the ghetto”

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I said,


“I will take you to the “No.5” a couple times & pay for it, but then you have to work on it yourself.”


The BIG PROBLEM with ghetto people was that they could not, would not, escape the boundary of their network, all of them in the same boat, without a paddle up the creek.


About the laziness:


I was at a ghetto beer pong one night. They’d run out of beer, I gave the females the money for more, they left me with three guys.


The guys, who drank my booze all night ignored me totally (lack of manners & gratitude), two watching basketball reruns, the third texting women at the same time.


I suggested to them that if they want to hero worship basketball stars, they should exercise, at the very least, while they watched. After all, the stars got there through discipline, but they were sitting on their rumps fantasizing they were them.


I challenged them to a round of push ups, who could do the most. None of them would do it, they just stared at the set, so I stood in front of the TV & rebuked them,


“Don’t watch heroes, be heroes. Do what they did, exercise! Look at your smooth muscles! Develop them!”


The lazy parkers had all kinds of excuses why not to train when the girls came in & saved them by the beer can, so back it went back to slurping & tossing dirty balls.


There are always exceptions. I know a beautiful black female raising two children on her own, going to BU & working, all at the same time, & this, even while having a deadbeat dad (white) mooching off her & beating her. Thank God he is no longer there; after giving her 28 stitches on her eye, he spent five months in jail. This woman might be in the ghetto but she is not of the ghetto, & not surprisingly has faith. She’s a born-again Christian, a rose among thorns.


Lack of faith among ghetto people:


Binghamton does not have any black churches & in my study of ghetto dwellers of mixed races, I only met ONE who openly professed her faith. I did pray with others, but I initiated it. I met no ghetto person who regularly went to church. In fact, God is not in their vocabulary, unless you mention God first. They are not against God, they simply don’t pay attention to God. And as a result, they do not gain access to the Power of God or an abundance of graces.


We can here conclude that the Binghamton poor are not like the poor of Alabama when Martin Luther King Jr. led & inspired them with prayer & songs of “We Shall Overcome.”


When people do not have a God to gain strength from, they easily fall into hopelessness & despair, their faith then hooks into the bad instead of the good. A black friend of mine who is a spiritual success, said this to me,


“It’s hard for me to have faith good things happening, because every time I put my hopes up, they are dashed.”


This man comes from a distinguished family, he graduated an Ivy League school, but he has suffered. His feelings reflect many I met in the ghetto – so many bad things happen to them, they get so much rejection, they have lost hope & give up easily. They have stopped believing that good, or even great things can happen to them, & unless they gain such faith, good things never will.



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“As a man thinketh, so is he.”


There is a dearth of positive thinking in the ghetto. I knew they desperately needed help.


Mental, emotional state of students:


What was different about the students & alumni that I befriended was they were LOVED BY THEIR PARENTS. Down to the very last one, I know of no case that were not loved or supported, & usually, they were supported in more than one way, emotionally at the very least.


Students had role models, had parents who had accomplished something, passed on their knowledge, & most had some money – not always a lot, but enough for basics & emergencies, while the ghetto people would sit in jail for $500 bail, for weeks or months.


Most students that I met had some ideology, frequently religious. Faith in the good was the most important factor.


Most of them had decent self esteem, & therefore confidence, which is paramount for relationships, & relationships make life worth living.


Again, I speak in generalities. There are students out there who are the worst of the lot. I have not met any, but last night, I saw documentaries about a brilliant med student in Boston who preyed on call girls – he robbed & killed them. He was the type of person you would call “respectable” & a handsome blonde, but obviously, sick inside.


Of course, the poor can be saints, the intellectuals can be sinners. I make no judgment calls, just my observations, as an amateur anthropologist, what I have seen, heard & learned.


For the poor – lack of money the root of all evil?


The class of poverty comes down to lack of money again & again, but lack of money is often a symptom, not a coincidence. In other words, their karmic ways, their behavior, or lack of action, is what made them poor in the first place.


There are many reasons for this, & often not their own fault, as, for example, I will give you some:


Not the highest intelligence
Lack of social skills by which to climb up the ladder of success
Bad parenting, abuse, that impoverishes the soul & breaks the spirit
Lack of application, ambition & discipline, often caused by lack of all of the above
Inability to seize an opportunity when it appears, even biting the hand that feeds them
Self hate, lack of self esteem & confidence, sabotaging all the good that comes to them


Keith & his fraternity


The opposite of all the bad stuff that goes on in the ghetto was shown me by Keith, one of the fraternity GREEK GODS, when he asked me to be in his show.


He was impressive in all his ways, willing to do whatever it took to get me there, after persuading me calling every day to make sure I was on.


He approached me at the gym, I was not interested. He said what would it take to get me there? He was willing to pay but I said no. Somehow it came to making dinner for me, at my apt., & rehearsing therein.


This came to pass. He came on a skateboard, carrying a bag of marinated chicken, onion & asparagus. In fifteen minutes the asparagus, coated with coconut oil & baked, was ready & we ate it – delicious. Then the chicken, baked with sliced onion on top. The chicken was moist, the onion sweet, the meal was a prize, Keith knew what he was doing.


Keith had a trained every day for six months, to be the embodiment of this god, he had pulled together a show of several acts, many people involved, all of whom he joined together & motivated.


Keith’s parents came to the event, he loves them, they love him – support. Keith has a girlfriend, to whom he is faithful – there is honor there.


The event with Keith capped my love affair with the students.


I quit studying the ghetto people when one of them punched me out on State St., in front of the cops! It was the third & worst assault, I was injured, there will be a day in court.


I know there are reasons for the frustration, the hate & the anger of poor people, I know every one of them, but I don’t want to be their victim any more. Soon after June 26, 2011 I closed the last page on this book & present to you my findings.

Rasa Von Werder, Sept. 28, 2011



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