Tony Snow's "Tar Baby" Comment

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posted on May, 23 2006 @ 10:51 PM
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Originally posted by ceci2006
And "man up" you say? All I can say to you is that you sorely need to be in a situation in which you are the only White person in a place filled with another race before you can say such things. And when the other race talks about you in a derogatory fashion, you'd be screaming wildly about how your rights are being violated. And how you're not being heard. And of course, they would probably peg you as a "nut with issues".

But no matter. You'd never be brave enough to put yourself in such a situation.


Please, haha thats rich! I live in an area thats 95% hispanic! I feel sorry for you because its obvious that you carry around alot of resentment towards white folks for some reason. My rights were violated several times when i couldnt get hired because i was a white male so im quite aware of how it feels. I bucked up, swallowed the pill and moved on and got a better job somewhere else. I do not hold women and minorities responsible for the fact that i didnt get hired because that would be lunacy.

I wish that i could prove to you that i mean what i say but its clear to me that the chip on your shoulder is superglued in that spot for life. I never called you a nut, but i do still think you have race issues, but Im hoping youre actually just playing for points instead.




posted on May, 23 2006 @ 10:58 PM
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I don't have a chip on my shoulder. In fact, I find it interesting that you would say as such. I had a poster in my thread, "Is race a taboo?", say that when that term was being used, it was "patronizing". Now, I actually see what she means by that.

You are being patronizing toward me and my situation when you say I have chip on my shoulder.





[edit on 23-5-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on May, 23 2006 @ 11:17 PM
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Originally quoted by Escromutus
I feel sorry for you because its obvious that you carry around alot of resentment towards white folks for some reason. My rights were violated several times when i couldnt get hired because i was a white male so im quite aware of how it feels. I bucked up, swallowed the pill and moved on and got a better job somewhere else. I do not hold women and minorities responsible for the fact that i didnt get hired because that would be lunacy.


I don't carry resentment against White people. And I don't have "race issues". But, I find it interesting that I have to explain my point of view over and over. Still, it gets treated as idiocy and a non-issue. And then, I get accused of all types of problems across the board. I also find it funny how people can defend certain words and yet get offended by others.

It amazes me how people could get mad at words racially specific to them. But they don't feel anything when they use words that hurt other races. However, no matter. I don't make it a habit to use racially derogatory words at all. I think it is in bad taste.

And in the posts before, I tried to make a point. At this point of the game, I'm just happy that you get what I'm trying to say.

And I hope that while being surrounded in your 95 per-cent population of Latinos, you continue to learn more about race-relations.



[edit on 24-5-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on May, 24 2006 @ 04:16 AM
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Originally quoted by jsobecky
This is both puzzling and ironic. It implies that it is OK for someone from inside the group to use that term. As if it should be less offensive. And it also implies that all inside members are completely educated as to the origins of the term and the nuance associated with it.


jsobecky, no, that's not what I'm trying to say. People within a given group know about a racialized term more intimately because it has been used to denegrate them. It is up to people outside of that group to know all the meanings of the term and be judicial about its use.

Tony Snow is fifty-one years old. He was born in Kentucky, raised in Ohio and lives in Virginia. Part of those fifty-one years were spent in the Civil Rights Era. I'm sure he is well aware what "tar baby" meant beyond the Uncle Remus Stories. However, he probably had the view that he was speaking to an American audience most reflective of himself. And in that audience, it is probably okay to use such terms. However, he forgot that these Press Conferences are not just viewed in Washington D.C., but across the country, if not the world.


He probably assumed that he was conversing with educated people who understood the origins of the term, and that it was not necessary to explain away the term.

He quickly realized that he needs to learn to walk on eggshells because there are those who disregard the message in their pursuit of verbal injury.


Yes, I can tell. His mumbled comment about "American Lore" surely emitted his genius. Well, I have to take the site "Crook and Liars'" answer to that: American Lore also dictates that "tar baby" is also a racist slur in the South. So, "education" is in the eye of the beholder. His comment even produced gasps in the crowd. Believe me, Southern apologists can say all they like about Joel Chandler Harris. But, in my consciousness, I have never heard of the term being used in a positive way. Especially when kids at my elementary school shouted it at me, among other things.

So, walk on eggshells if you must. But, isn't it better you know now before you make a gigantic social faux pas in front of a mixed crowd?



My guess is that she [Dr. Rice] didn't take offense. She is an educated, literate, articulate woman. After the chuckle, she probably said something like "Welcome to the White House".


Yes, I'm sure she laughed just like the time she was called an "Aunt Jemima". Or she probably guffawed when that Secret Service Agent pushed her out of the way. She was probably in stitches when that clerk treated her rudely when she shopped for earrings. Or when in PieMan's post, she probably had tears rolling down her eyes when she was just being called another racial slur by a talk show host.

Yes, it's all one big laugh riot. Dr. Rice may hardly talk about race. But even she is not that blind.








[edit on 24-5-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on May, 24 2006 @ 05:00 AM
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So, was Mr. Snow lightly rapped on the wrists? Yes and no--depending on who is doing the reporting.

I hardly make it a habit to take material from FOX news, but in one of their columns, there is an interesting tidbit relaying the details of what happened after Mr. Snow made the comment. Brit Hume says as much:


It Didn't Take Tony Snow Long To Run Afoul of Some in the Media

In declining to discuss the NSA's alleged collection of domestic phone records, Snow had said he wouldn't "hug the tar baby" of commenting on a program the White House won't confirm or deny. Brazile wanted it known that several people called her to complain about that reference to an American folk story about a trap that's impossible to get out of — which has also been used as a racial slur. Ryan has obligingly filed a story about it.


CNN mentioned that his comment "raised eyebrows" in the press corps:


Tony Snow gets personal in first on-camera session

The expression, which refers to a character in the most famous of the fictional Uncle Remus stories, is sometimes used to portray an inextricable situation. But, as the word also has been used as a derogatory term for blacks, it raised eyebrows when spoken from the White House podium.

Later in the briefing, Snow was asked what he meant. "Well, I believe 'hug the tarbaby,' we could trace that back to American lore," he said.


When asked about his attitude toward the racial overtones of the Immigration debate (also mentioned in conjunction with the "tar baby" comments), CNN's Suzanne Malveaux and American Urban Radio reporter April Ryan were completely ignored by Mr. Snow:


TONY SNOW ‘HUGS TAR BABY’ IN FIRST WHITE HOUSE BRIEFING

Also during the briefing, Snow summarily dismissed questions about racial overtones in the nation’s immigration debate.

"I think I will not try to improve on the president's words from today," was the only answer given to CNN's Suzanne Malveaux’s question. When Ryan inquired about racial tensions caused by the proposed guest-worker program, Snow wondered "how on earth" that could be the case.


Yes? How on earth? Mentioned in the Sentinel piece I posted above, Gabe Caggiano hints at how Mr. Snow might have been "snubbed" by the White House when the WNBA Champions Sacramento Monarchs came by for a visit:


Tony Snow takes his lumps and hugs the baby

In what has to be the height of irony, after the briefing President Bush greeted the 2006 WNBA championship team the Sacramento Monarchs to the Rose Garden. All of the women are tall, strong and quite tough.

I didn't see Tony Snow in any shots of Bush with the team. I will leave up it to you, wise reader, to connect the dots on this one.


And Howard Kurtz answers a letter from a concerned person who asks why hasn't The Washington Post taken a stand on Mr. Snow. Mr. Kurtz skirts the issue:


Washington Post

Silver Spring, Md.: Why has the Post not written an editorial, lambasting Tony Snow for offending people of color by using the word "tar baby" in answering a question during his first press conference. Why did The Post not report this in the story that it did on the event? Tar Baby is a derogatory term and Snow should be fired for using it and then trying to defend it with a lame explanation. Toni Morrison defines tar baby this way: "Tar Baby is also a name, like "n---," that white people call black children, black girls ." How can a person like this be a spokesman for the White House, when he obviously has no sensitivity to people of color--a necessary trait at any given time, but especially so considering race relations in this country, and the current negotiations regarding immigration issues. Why has The Post expressed outrage over this insult?

Howard Kurtz: Dana Milbank reported Snow's use of the "tar baby" phrase. I have no idea why the Post editorial page decides to write or not write on a particular issue, but perhaps the folks there were giving Snow the benefit of the doubt in not using the phrase as a racial insult.


Yes, perhaps, Mr. Kurtz. I'm sure the folks in the media were.

But for the most part, Don Froomkin probably summarizes Mr. Snow's "wrist slapping" aptly:


The Two Faces of Tony Snow

He got away almost scot-free using a term -- "tar baby" -- that many consider racist.


I just have to use Jabari Asim's comments from a 2002 piece in the Black Electorate to sum up the difficulties of understanding another side of this entire affair. He describes the power of words and what they can do:


Erasing Race: The Ward Connerly Approach

...I continue to doubt the power of language to correct deeply held misconceptions and the harmful behavior that often results from them.

For instance, if Rodney King had informed his pursuers that he was not black but simply American, would they have spared him his notorious beating? If Amadou Diallo's assailants had believed him to be not a black man but simply a New Yorker, would his wallet have remained just a wallet? And if changing or removing racial labels truly influences behavior, why do White Citizens' Councils by any other name smell just as foul?














[edit on 24-5-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on May, 24 2006 @ 05:23 AM
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Ok, i see it raised some eyebrows. I dont think Tony Snow meant it in an insulting term. I feel indifferent about Tony, i do tend to think he's a nice man (Neo-con that he is) he's still nice enough.

In this case, i dont see the problem, but evidently some did. The context in which he stated this term does not imply an insult. Pure and simple.

I'm sure he wont be saying it none too soon again.



posted on May, 24 2006 @ 05:44 AM
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Originally posted by ceci2006
Gabe Caggiano hints at how Mr. Snow might have been "snubbed" by
the White House when the WNBA Champions Sacramento Monarchs
came by for a visit


THAT is your definitive proof of this statement?



Originally posted by ceci2006
Tony Snow has gotten his hands slapped. He was ostrasized
for a few days by the Bush administration. But he'll be forgiven
and back in the swing of things.


- 'hints', 'might have been' ... from one guy??

One reporter at one paper says that Tony Snow didn't show up for
photographs and 'meet the NBA stars' (something a press secretary
may or may not have time to attend) and THAT is somehow showing
you that Tony Snow was 'ostrasized for a few days'.

But then you post a link where a former news rival says that Tony
Snow 'got away with it'. So which is it?? Was he ostrasized for
days (no proof of that) or did he 'get away with it' (no proof he
did anything wrong)???

I'm reminded of the story of the boy who cried wolf. He cried wolf
so many times when nothing was wrong that when the wolf finally
showed up and the boy cried out to warn people of the problem;
no one paid attention because they no longer believed him.

When REAL racism rears it's ugly head, it needs to be exposed and
taken care of. When nothing is wrong and it's pointed at as racism,
then that takes away from the real problem of racism when it does
show up. Crying wolf constantly doesn't help the 'cause'.



posted on May, 24 2006 @ 05:47 AM
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Originally posted by FlyersFan




When REAL racism rears it's ugly head, it needs to be exposed and
taken care of. When nothing is wrong and it's pointed at as racism,
then that takes away from the real problem of racism when it does
show up. Crying wolf constantly doesn't help the 'cause'.
Precisely. This is a NON-ISSUE

[edit on 24-5-2006 by dgtempe]



posted on May, 24 2006 @ 06:06 AM
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Originally posted by ceci2006
His comment even produced gasps in the crowd. Believe me, Southern apologists can say all they like about Joel Chandler Harris. But, in my consciousness, I have never heard of the term being used in a positive way. Especially when kids at my elementary school shouted it at me, among other things.


I was watching the press conference when he said it and i heard no such gasps. There was probably a single muffled gasp from a lone liberal reporter who wanted to stir up trouble.

Here we go again with this chip on your shoulder thing again. The elementary school comment is another example of how you harbor rensentment towards white people. I dont know what school you went to or in what era, but that kind of behavior wouldnt have been tolerated in any of my schools and im in my mid 30's. Race relations have come leaps and bounds in the past 20 years so I know that it CERTAINLY wouldnt be tolerated now with all of the new zero tolerance laws. I'm assuming that you are in your 50's and still carrying around a grudge. Let it die, stop perpetuating racism and carry on with your life and youll be surprised at how easily all that hate inside you flows away.



posted on May, 24 2006 @ 06:17 AM
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Originally posted by Escrotumus
There was probably a single muffled gasp from a lone liberal
reporter who wanted to stir up trouble.


Oh yes ... Gabe Caggiano... Interesting fella
cannonfire.blogspot.com...


Until his firing on July 28, former "Fox-7" reporter Caggiano was very
likely the most hated man in Austin television journalism. A few phone calls here
and there can certainly make one believe so -- very quickly, one finds colleagues
who complain that he is rude, unprofessional, sexist, belligerent, hot-tempered,
and more than a little scary. Channel 7 reporters, former co-workers, journalists
from rival stations, even Austin correspondents from non-competing stations in
other cities -- all nearly fell over themselves in rushing to complain about
Caggiano. And all, except one, asked to remain confidential, often citing a fear of
physical violence from Caggiano


THIS is the guy who Ceci claimed as a source .. the fella who said
'hint' and 'might have been' on the outs with the Bush administration.

A real gem.

weeklywire.com...

[edit on 5/24/2006 by FlyersFan]



posted on May, 24 2006 @ 07:00 AM
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dgtempe and Escromutus,

I suppose you are right. I've had time to think about it. I guess for the majority of people, this might not mean a thing. But it's not crying wolf. I've done research on this term. And this is a point of contention within the African-American community because it is offensive. I am glad that there are some people that do know about its context beyond the Uncle Remus books.

But I do not harbor any resentment toward any White people. In fact, I don't harbor resentment toward anyone. I would just like to be treated like a human being, however.

However, it's like I said before. I just feel that people have to have common sense. It's not about walking on eggshells. Or trying to be politically correct. It has to do with decency. And when the term has been used against me, it was not decent. I have never heard in my experience of the term being used in a positive light.

Obviously, people outside my race has. I've accepted that. But, I would wish that people would just say that they recognize that "tar baby" is a loaded word with multiple meanings. And that they would notice that it does hurt people.

Or else, when someone calls you a derogatory name and you speak out against it, they won't treat you as if you are paranoid or crazy. They would just accept that you would not permit yourself being de-humanized in your eyes.

Other than that. I've learned quite a deal on this thread as well--especially about people's perceptions of social mores. I think then, it is quite fair to throw around any derogatory word that you please and say that you don't mean anything by it.

I mean, that if I don't "see" it's use in a derogatory fashion, then I guess it is perfectly all right to say it. After all, there aren't any sore egos here, I hope.

But in that freedom to throw around any derogatory word I please, I am lucky to have the choice not to do it. Because hurting people is one of the last things I would want to do.

However, never mistake kindness for weakness.

P.S. Escromutus, you'd be surprised what people have said to me, how it is been tolerated by other people and how it is dismissed as "nothing". All I can say, unless you have been in my shoes, you would never know what people have said to me and have gotten away with. Even on this board.

But in the scheme of things, there are other things to be interested in. And perhaps Tony Snow just made a poor choice in words. But does it not bother you that even in Mr. Snow's mind that he cannot conceive that there are idioms in language that make him hurt too?

The cynic in me says, probably not.











[edit on 24-5-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on May, 24 2006 @ 07:21 AM
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Escromutus,

I don't have hate in my heart. But you do. It is laced in every contemptuous word that you have said to me. You refuse to recognize my experiences. You dismiss them. So, I think you have issues too.

Why don't you try to extend yourself more to other races? And learn about their culture.

And then, through their words, you might lessen the guiltless feeling you have when you dismiss their emotions and thoughts. And you might have some empathy. If you actually learned to listen instead of patronizingly tell others about how you perceive their personality and knowingly tell them what to do, then perhaps you would not be seen as having a cold, unfeeling heart.

You must. Because something tells me that you do feel resentment toward women and other people of color that have taken positions that you can't have.

Your use of "tar baby" and your unrepentance about it is a way to get them back.

I could be wrong. But please do get your hate out of your own heart. Not every person of color is going to get you. Most namely in the Latino population you live in.

After all, I really don't think that perhaps it was not race or gender that got them hired. Maybe you did not have enough skills, education or merit.

You should just swallow that bitter pill on that one too.


[edit on 24-5-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on May, 24 2006 @ 08:16 AM
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Originally posted by ceci2006
I just feel that people have to have common sense.


Common sense. Excellent. Here's some common sense.

1 - dbates already debunked this. He debunked this on page 1.

2 - The phrase has different meanings and it was obvious that it
wasn't ment in the racist meaning.

3 - Tony Snow has no history whatsoever of having said or done anything
racist. If he hasn't done it in the past, he isn't going to suddenly start
on the first day of a new job with almost the entire planet watching him.

4 - Tony Snow is a well seasoned reporter. He isn't just going to spout
idiocy on TV. He didn't get one of the biggest media positions in the
world because he was an idiot. He knows what to say and what not to.

5 - The highly controversial reporter who said 'hint' and 'might be' has no
evidence to support his opinion and no backup from other reporters.

6 - If this were a real case of racism Tony Snow would be gone from his
job and the NAACP would be all over this. Snow is still there and the
NAACP isn't calling for his head.

Ceci. You have energy and a passion to fight against racism. That's
wonderful. But you are grasping at nothing here and are unchanneled.
Find a case of REAL RACISM and go after it. Then you'll do some good.
Otherwise, when a real case comes up and you point at it .. no
one will listen. You have energy, passion, and focus. Now for the
common sense. Go after some REAL racism. We will all applaud.



posted on May, 24 2006 @ 08:18 AM
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It might have been the "whisting of a lot of hot air", but would any of you like to answer the question of what is "real racism"?

I would surely like to know so I can learn from all of you about what "real racism" is supposed to be.

And of course, what does it take before someone isn't "crying wolf"?

What is the criteria here so I will be more well versed about what "racism" is and "what it isn't".

And what is the difference between resentment and racism?



posted on May, 24 2006 @ 08:52 AM
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The ICERD (International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination) defines it here -

www.sahrc.org.za...

The dictionary says this ...
rac·ism (rā'sĭz'əm) n.
The belief that race accounts for differences in human character
or ability and that a particular race is superior to others.
Discrimination or prejudice based on race.

What does it take before someone isn't "crying wolf"? Read the
children's story and you will see. Yelling 'wolf wolf' all the time
when it isn't there. Only cry 'wolf' when the dangerous wolf is
real. That's very simple. Find REAL cases of racism and go
after them. You have the energy. You have the drive. You
have the motivation. So go get the wolf and let the innocent
sheep graze peacefully and don't accuse them of being wolves.




[edit on 5/24/2006 by FlyersFan]



posted on May, 24 2006 @ 09:04 AM
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Don't turn around the post i just made to you to make yourself feel better about your own issues. Its a ploy and we can all see through it. In fact i DID have the skills and all the requirements for that police officer job. I just lacked the plumbing and skin color that they were looking for. They even took out full page ads advertising for women and minorities so that they could better equalize their work force. I would be lying if i said that i didnt feel discriminated against at the time, but i certainly didnt take it out on women or minorities or i would never have dated any girls afterwards or hung out with any of my friends in college who were minorities themselves; some even getting jobs on the force. Even they told me that their minority status gave them a huge leg up on the competition. They too had all the requirements needed for the job just as I did, but their minority status was what sealed the deal.

Using your own argument, maybe the reason that minorities aren't getting jobs or that they perceive this "white privilege" nonsense is because they in fact lack the skills, education or experience themselves?

I am firmly a non-believer in "white privilege", but i do however firmly believe in "white guilt". Apparently Bill Cosby and Shelby Steele do as well. I would encourage you to read the following article by Shelby Steele:

www.cir-usa.org...

I will quote one paragraph since I feel that it really hammers home what I'm seeing from you:


To go after America's liability we had to locate real transformative power outside ourselves. Worse, we had to see our fate as contingent on America's paying off that liability. We have been a contingent people ever since, arguing our weakness and white racism in order to ignite the engine of white liability. And this has mired us in a protest-group identity that mistrusts individualism because free individuals might jeopardize the group's effort to activate this liability.


I also encourage you to read the article below. If more people took heed of this information then maybe we could get past this nonsense and become the great nation that we were destined to be.

www.successmethods.org...

Take the advice and find some real racism and we will all encourage you to fight it. Ill join you myself. Tony Snow is a good man and I dont like seeing his honor trampled on for something that was so obviously taken out of context in this manner.



posted on May, 24 2006 @ 09:16 AM
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I'm not trying to twist your words. You do harbor some resentment. If you didn't, you would not be using words as "lunacy" or "idiocy" or saying things, like having "issues". Let alone calling the subject matter that I bring up "a conspiracy".

You do have issues. You have a bad case of "racial denial".

If you didn't, you would simply say that you accept my experiences and not psychoanalyze my feelings about the word. You would listen. You would ask questions. But you don't.

Instead, you think that what I am trying to bring up is worthy of invalidation. You believe that what I talk about is simply not happening. Yet in many a post, I have described the experiences of other people and their reaction to the word. Three or four times.

Still, they are dismissed as nothing. But thank you for your input. Don't feel badly if I call you a racially derogatory term and then tell you that there's nothing to it. Just swallow that pill, get the hate out of your heart and move on.



posted on May, 24 2006 @ 11:46 AM
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ceci, apparently somone in your past used the term as a racial epithet directed at you. But that is their problem, and one you need to deal with. You cannot walk through life thinking that that is the way the world thinks.

Tony Snow did not direct his comment at any individual. He used the term in a way that most educated people understood it to be meant. Granted, not every person in the US, or your state, or your city, or your block, will interpret it the same way.

So go ahead and seek out those who would be offended. Or grow up and join the world of adults. Your choice.



posted on May, 24 2006 @ 12:07 PM
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jsobecky, is that what you think? Just because a word offends me, that I have to "grow up"? I'd be hard pressed to tell you how condescending it is, but I would rather say that the next time I use a word offensive to you and you complain about it, I'll use the same excuse.

The funny thing is, there are worse words that offend me. But, just because I put out an alternative view to what is contrary to what people think, I find I have to defend my experiences and myself.

This is bitter irony. The only thing I wish at this point is that there is a poster, who is of color, that could come forward and express their views regarding "tar baby" and its use. Especially, if that poster of color is of dark skin.



posted on May, 24 2006 @ 01:06 PM
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And I ask, how do you suggest I deal with it, jsobecky? Since you are imparting your wisdom about the matter, I ask you for advice.

By talking about it? Well....no one listens. By bringing examples? No one reads them or writes them off. By trying to give reasons why it might happen? It is dismissed as a "conspiracy".

So...perhaps there is a way to reach people who are unwilling to say that they understand and accept my experiences.

Maybe there is yet another way to get through to people who think that Mr. Snow's action is a "non-issue".

So, I'm all ears. Tell me how to get through to people who don't listen?





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