Category Archives: Uncategorized

The New Liberator

Frederick Douglass
July 5, 1852

Frederick DouglassMr. President, Friends and Fellow Citizens: He who could address this audience without a quailing sensation, has stronger nerves than I have. I do not remember ever to have appeared as a speaker before any assembly more shrinkingly, nor with greater distrust of my ability, than I do this day. A feeling has crept over me, quite unfavorable to the exercise of my limited powers of speech. The task before me is one which requires much previous thought and study for its proper performance. I know that apologies of this sort are generally considered flat and unmeaning. I trust, however, that mine will not be so considered. Should I seem at ease, my appearance would much misrepresent me. The little experience I have had in addressing public meetings, in country schoolhouses, avails me nothing on the present occasion.

The papers and placards say, that I…

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Happy Birthday Brother Shabazz! ~ May 19, 1925 – February 21, 1965

The New Liberator

SPEECH TO SNCC WORKERS, SELMA, ALABAMA

FEB.4,1965

To understand this, you have to go back to what [the] young brother here referred to as the house Negro and the field Negro — back during slavery. There was two kinds of slaves. There was the house Negro and the field Negro. The house Negroes – they lived in the house with master, they dressed pretty good, they ate good ’cause they ate his food — what he left. They lived in the attic or the basement, but still they lived near the master; and they loved their master more than the master loved himself. They would give their life to save the master’s house quicker than the master would. The house Negro, if the master said, “We got a good house here,” the house Negro would say, “Yeah, we got a good house here.” Whenever the master said “we,” he said “we.”…

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Celts are looking good so far…

The New Liberator

Mauldin (Greenville County)

Professional (NBA) basketball player – Power forward

(May 19, 1976)

Kevin Garnett was born in Greenville to Shirley Garnett and O’Lewis McCullough (who his mother never married).  Shirley later married and divorced Ernest Irby. Garnett has two sisters, one older (by six years) one younger: Sonya and Ashley, respectively.  His half-brother, Louis McCullough, played basketball for the ABA’s Syracuse Raging Bullz

Garnett, or “KG” to his fans, is notable for his rise to stardom emerging as a high school pro draftee – first with the Mauldin High School Maverick and, then with the Farragut Career Academy Admiral (named after Civil War naval hero Admiral David Glasgow Farragut) in Chicago – to a star player with the storied Boston Celtics basketball team’s as part of “Big Three” combo of Paul Pierce (forward), and Dalzell, South Carolina native Ray Allen (guard) who in 1993 led…

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Racial Profiling 101 | “Black-on-Black” crime | Select passages from: “A Call for a new anti-war Movement” | By Kevin Alexander Gray

How to Legalize Drugs

Published in How to Legalize Drugs – Jefferson M. Fish (Editor), 1998 | reprinted in Waiting for Lightning to Strike:The Fundamentals of Black Politics, 2008

 

| “Black-on-Black” Crime ~  

… The targets of the war are [also] seduced into believing the negative things said or written about them.  This makes easier their surrender to the war against them.  Slogans, such as “black-on-black crime,” when used by black leaders, insinuate that black inter-racial crime is more insidious than black intra-racial crime.  It implies that black criminals should spare their brothers (that is, a criminal should choose their victims on the basis of race).  In contrast, crimes committed by whites against other whites are seldom referred to as “white on white crimes.”  It is commonly known that whites commit crimes against other whites, and blacks commit crimes against other blacks, at roughly the same rate of occurrence.  Most crimes are neighborhood crimes.  Moreover, victims and perpetrators are generally known to one another.  To categorize neighborhood crime as differing racially is an attempt to portray black crime as more insidious and violent.  Furthermore, the notion of the black perpetrator preying on whites is not only unfounded, but, it is deliberately used to stir the fears and passions of whites.  Political scientists James Lynch and William Sabol assert that the black underclass poses less of a threat to whites than the white underclass because it (the black underclass) is segregated residentially and therefore is less proximate to the working and middle classes than is the white underclass.   Many black politicians and community leaders have been manipulated or seduced into adopting racist arguments and stereotypes that support the lie that blacks are more violent than whites.  The back sliding by black elite leadership has taken place partly because many white liberals have changed their positions and beliefs about social justice.  Liberalism was in vogue during the sixties and seventies.  At that time, there was a greater willingness on the part of white officials to look at the causes of crime.  Liberalism involved believing that doing something about the human condition was part of the solution.  Today, it seems that liberals have apparently abandoned this mode of thinking to one of inherent racial pathologies.  Taking their cues from the white liberals, along with a lack of consistent focus on cause, often puts black leadership at odds with itself.  Case in point — calling drug laws’ racist but telling kids “to turn those suspected of dealing into the authorities.”  Such a request is fraught with obvious contradictions.  It says that although the system is unjust, there are some who are unworthy of justice. Black leadership has been unable to find a cogent vision, language and message to strike at dispossession created by white supremacy.  So they have followed the liberal lead and capitulated to the dominant [conservative] ideology of the time.  Consequently, some often promote the vision, language and message of the forces that historically have been arrayed against them.  The promotion of a majoritarian ideology can be conscious or inadvertent.  Still, the consequence of such promotion generally impacts on the poor and dispossessed in a negative way.   In 1994, civil rights activist Jesse Jackson, made what seems to be an inadvertent “off the record” comment that was widely reported during the crime debates.  The comment was indicative of the dehumanization, promotion of the dominant ideology and lapse in focus on the central problem of dispossession.  Jackson stated, “There is nothing more painful to me at this stage in my life than to walk down the street and hear footsteps and start thinking about robbery and then see somebody white and feel relieved.”

Waiting for Lightning to Strike: The Fundamentals of Black Politics

Jackson, who has traditionally criticized stereotypical characterizations, provided succor to those harboring racist attitudes and beliefs.  Perhaps it was “painful” to Jackson because he realized that he too had been seduced by the stereotypes of war.  Regardless of the reason, the message in effect tells whites that he can understand and does not blame whites for being racist because he is relieved that the person walking behind him is not black!  This suggests that any white person is justified for fearing black people.  There are those who insist that we cannot fault Jackson for his fear of the stranger behind because it is not unreasonable for people to make a risk assessment for the likelihood of being victimized by crime.  However, Jackson’s comments were made in the context of the crime debate.  Several things come to mind when one considers Jackson’s public pronouncement of fear.  Jackson often mentions the 319 death threats he received during his bids for the presidency.   It would be revealing to know the number of blacks issuing threats.  The answer would no doubt prove his fear misplaced.  Jackson is a public figure.  His comments were made in the middle of a policy debate and it can be assumed that he was addressing public policy.  His comments were supportive of policies that result in discriminatory treatment for those other than “somebody white.”  Curfews, random searches and other such policies, are often justified by the use of such statements.  Thus, there appeared to be no risk assessment of personal danger, only a political assessment.  The comment helped Jackson remain politically visible by not appearing soft on crime and provided him with “credibility” in the prevailing conservative political order.   This example is offered because while Jackson is not the only black leader with a conservative tone on crime, he is just the most well known.  Consequently, Jackson’s comments give conservatives and would-be moralists such as William Bennett and Patrick Buchanan, a place to hide on the issues of racism, crime, poverty and dispossession.

In fairness to Jackson, as the consequences and pressures on the black community due to the drug war  increased, he sought to mobilize the black church community around the increased incarceration rate.  Jackson  encouraged ministers to set up bail funds for non-violent drug offenders as well as church-based mentoring programs.  He also criticized the government’s focus on the building of prison at a rate twice that of public housing or school construction.  Jackson also condemned the sentencing disparity and, was openly critical black ministers’ support of the 1994 Crime Bill with its 62 death penalty provisions…

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White-on-White Crime: It Goes Against the False Media Narrativehttp://www.theroot.com/views/why-don-t-we-talk-about-white-white-crime

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[1].James P. Lynch and William J. Sabol, “The Use of Coercive Social Control and Changes in the Race and Class Composition of U.S. Prison Population,” paper presented at the meeting of the American Society of Criminology, Miami, Florida, November 9,1994: p.23.

[2].Howard Fineman, “An Older, Grimmer Jesse,” Newsweek, Vol. 123, Issue 2, January 10, 1994: p.24.

[3].Roger D. Hatch, Beyond Opportunity: Jesse Jackson’s Vision for America (Philadelphia: Fortress Press) 1988: p. 109.

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Racial Profiling 101 | Select passages from: “A Call for a new anti-war Movement” | By Kevin Alexander Gray

How to Legalize Drugs

Published in How to Legalize Drugs – Jefferson M. Fish (Editor), 1998 | reprinted in Waiting for Lightning to Strike:The Fundamentals of Black Politics, 2008

|Profiling 101 | i.e. “the war on drugs” (or ‘on blacks’ – whichever you prefer) – once the word “drug” or “drug-related” (or “gang-related” or “thug”) is uttered in policing, public discourse (to include media) – the person whom its applied is presumed “to have no rights that any man (or law) is bound to respect.”

“… The racists, that are usually very influential in the society, don’t make their move without first going to get public opinion on their side.  So they use the press to get public opinion on their side.  When they want to suppress and oppress the Black community, what do they do?  They take the statistics, and through the press, they feed them to the public.  They make it appear that the role of crime in the Black community is higher than it is anywhere else.

What does this do?  This message ‑‑ this is a skillful message used by racists to make the whites who aren’t racist think that the rate of crime in the Black community is so high.  This keeps the Black community in the image of a criminal.  It makes it appear that anyone in the Black community is a criminal.  And as soon as this impression is given, then it makes it possible, or paves the way to set up a police‑type state in the Black community, getting the full approval of the white public when the police , use all kinds of brutal measures to suppress Black people, crush their skulls, sic dogs on them, and things of that type.  And the whites go along with it.  Because they think that everybody over there’s a criminal anyway…”

 Malcolm X

The “war on drugs” particularly affects how children are viewed, valued and treated by society.  The perception created by the war is that youth are abnormally violent.  The dehumanizing portrayal of the current  youth subculture as being more violent than past generations has resulted in a corresponding erosion of the rights of minors.  Warrantless searches of lockers, drug sniffing dogs and urine testing for athletes have become commonplace in the public schools.  Many state and federal laws now allow minors as young as thirteen to be tried as adults.  Punishment is one of the few areas that society grants minors equal (or more) value to adults.  Ordinarily, minors do not receive the same rights’ protections, or value, as adults.  It might be assumed that since many in the black community have a child, relative or friend under some type of penal supervision, they would eschew any attempts at dehumanization.  However, it seems that tacit acceptance of the portrayal of youth as abnormally violent has taken place.  Since the fear of youth is promoted, solving the drug abuse problem takes a back seat to control and containment.  This promotion of fear gives irresponsible adults an escape from facing their responsibility for the problem of so-called incorrigible youth.  Instead of dealing with the problems of youth one often hears stereotyping comments such as, “If you look at them [youth] hard they will cuss you out or shoot you.”   Fear also creates irresponsible parents.  Fear lowers resistance to dehumanization and parental responsibility is surrendered to the state.  The surrender takes the form of more police with an over-abundance of power, the proliferation of  boot camps, regressive “youth-oriented” legislation such as curfew and noise ordinances, and schools that are more reminiscent of penal facilities than educational institutions.  Consequently, lack of parental responsibility coupled with the increased reliance on control and containment has caused children to become resentful and lose respect for adults and institutions, especially in the face of the erosion and disrespect for their equal protection and due process rights.  Worse, there is a diminution in value that the child places on all life.  These are the dynamics that make for a more violent society.”

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Waiting for Lightning to Strike:The Fundamentals of Black Politics

You cannot have war without an enemy.  The first act of the drug warriors was to claim that they were  protecting citizens from an evil enemy.  After identifying the enemy, war supporters peppered the air with cries of national unity and war metaphors.  The metaphors helped create a militaristic environment.  Criminologists’ Peter B. Kraska and Victor E. Kappeler write:

Metaphors play a central role in the construction of and reaction to social problems: they act to organize our thoughts, shape our discourse, and clarify our values (Ibarra and Kitsuse 1993; Spector and Kitsuse 1987).  Sociologists have documented the spread of the medical metaphor — defining social problems as “illnesses” to be treated by medical professionals — as an important trend in twentieth-century social control (Conrad and Schneider 1992; Conrad 1992)…  The ideological filter encased within the war metaphor is “militarism,” defined as a set of beliefs and values that stress the use of force and domination as appropriate means to solve problems and gain political power, while glorifying the tools to accomplish this — military power, hardware, and technology (Berghahn 1982; Eide and Thee 1980; Kraska 1993).

When the enemy is a targeted group of people, they face immediate dehumanization.  Martin Luther King, Jr. often referred to dehumanization as “thingification.”  Public acceptance of the growing incarceration rate is due in large part to the continuing thingification of blacks.  Rather than picturing the black and Latino fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters that are being jailed, politicians and demagogues dismiss them as criminals — the “enemy.”   The obvious consequence of dehumanization is an erosion of respect for human rights and the constitutional protection of those rights.  

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Dehumanization has a variety of elements, nonetheless, in the drug war racism is the most obvious element.  The war’s propaganda re-enforces the notion that the enemy possesses an inherent or genetic predisposition to violence.  This validates disproportionate state action and control.   As long as the object of scorn has no humanity, they are not worthy of justice or even life.  During World War II, the Japanese were labeled “Japs” and assigned a variety of stereotypes.  This made the decision to drop atomic bombs on them seem somewhat less barbaric.  During the Vietnam War, the North Vietnamese became “Charlie” or “gooks,” which partly explains why the United States could not envision losing a war to a group of ‘pajama clad commies.”  When Africans were enslaved for their labor and North American aborigines were exterminated for land, they were respectively referred to as “dumb savages” and “noble savages.”  In the war, black men labeled are “predatory,” in an attempt to reinforce dehumanization.  Labeling black youth as “predatory” arose from attacks against foreign tourists in Florida in the early nineties.  It was also used to describe incorrigible youth in New York City (along with the term “wilding”).  In 1993, during the heat of the crime debate, news programs, such as NBC’s Meet the Press, revived and popularized the D.W. Griffith  Birth of a Nation stereotype of the black male “predator.”   Needless to say, all crimes are predatory in nature.  Milwaukee serial killer and cannibal Jeffrey Dahmer was surely predatory, however, he was not a black or a teen when he committed his crimes.  Furthermore, neither Dahmer or Colin Ferguson –the Long Island Train killer, had any arrests prior to their murderous acts.  To apply the term “predatory” on the basis of age reinforces the perception of the youthful offender being more violent than the adult offenders.  To add race simply implies that black youth offenders are more violent than all others.

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The drug warriors target the “enemy”  by use of a “profile.”  The profile allows police to make cursory assumptions as to whom they suspect is apt to engage in criminal activities.  How one “fits the profile” can depend on a number of things.  It can be something as obvious as gender, race and age.  It can be the area one drives through or lives.  It can be the time of day that one drives down a highway or the fact that one drives on a certain  road at all.  Profiling encompasses one’s car and its “gold” accessories.  Those driving with tinted car windows, any type of neon lights and, chopped or hydraulic suspensions are always suspect.  It can be a haircut — dreads locks (hairstyle associated with Rastifarians) mean reefer smoker.  A style of dress — baggy pants and oversized jacket mean gangbanger.  In addition, “colors” are a dead give-away.  It can be “eye balling” a police officer or, looking away.   It can be traveling with a crowd or traveling alone.  Profiling can entail anything, everything and nothing.  The most often used profile is that of being a young black and there is an increase in the number of these “profiled” individuals from targeted areas going to jail.  To this extent, the drug warriors’ battle plan is a success…. 

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Ignorance is no excuse for slurring Jeremy Lin | By Kevin Alexander Gray

I’m a basketball fan. 

I root for the Chicago Bulls, NY Knicks and Houston Rockets.  In that order.

The only time I don’t pull for the Knicks or Rockets is when they play the Bulls.

Jeremy Lin ~ NY Knick Point Guard

Yet like many, I’m in Jeremy Lin’s corner.

I like Knicks’ guard. I like his game – except the turnovers and his waiting just a tad to late to dish it off in the paint.  Hopefully, he’ll become a better player.

Even so, what I like most about the young athlete is his patience with ignorance.

Facing bigotry isn’t a new thing for the American-born player of Taiwanese descent in the NBA. While playing at Harvard, during a game against Georgetown in Washington, a spectator yelled “Sweet-and-sour pork!” from the stands.  He’s been called “chink” more than once during his college days.

One would hope that attitudes and behavior would change at the professional level.

Then again, one can never underestimate the capacity of  people to be ignorant or stupid. 

In one interview Lin spoke of watching Michael Jordan on TV as a kid and then running outside to his backyard goal to try to duplicate MJ’s shot.  Yet having a black hero isn’t enough to satisfy some.  Boxer Floyd Mayweather tweeted:  “…Lin is a good player but all the hype is because he’s Asian. Black players do what he does every night and don’t get the same praise.”

Some of the bigotry even perplexes Lin:  “People say things like ‘he’s deceptively quick’ or ‘he’s quicker than he looks.’  What does that mean?”  Maybe the answer can be found in  Knicks’ fan and movie director Spike Lee’s tweets describing Lin as:  Jeremy “Kung Fu Hustle” Lin, Jeremy “Crouching Tiger” Lin & Jeremy “Hidden Dragon” Lin.

After a stellar performance from Lin, Fox Sports columnist Jason Whitlock took to his Twitter to congratulate Lin. “Jeremy Lin is legit!” he tweeted.  Then he followed with a penis joke: “Some lucky lady in NYC is gonna feel a couple of inches of pain tonight.” 

There was also the Madison Square Garden (MSG) Network airing a spectator-made poster depicting Lin’s face above a fortune cookie with the slogan “The Knicks Good Fortune.

On the Nick DiPaolo and Artie Lange show which runs weekday nights on Cumulus Media’s San Francisco station KNBR 1050, one host urged listeners to call in with the most racist joke about Lin they could think of. He offered a “joke” about “Lin having to do teammate Carmelo Anthony’s laundry as an example of what he was looking for.”

ESPN editor Anthony Federico was fired and anchor Max Bretos (whose wife is Asian) suspended for 30 days when they led a story with the headline — “Chink in the Armor: Jeremy Lin’s 9 Turnovers Cost Knicks in Streak-stopping Loss to Hornets.”

Some suggest that “Frederico is 28 years old. Could his ignorance be generational? …50-somethings know that chink is a racial epithet for Asians, we heard it growing up. Would a 20-something know this?”  Perhaps the “consequence of this offense should have been sensitivity training and a second chance?”

Federico said he understands why he was fired. “ESPN did what they had to do.” He said he has used the phrase “at least 100 times” in headlines over the years and thought nothing of it when he slapped it on the Lin story.

A gracious Lin, gave Federico and Bretos a pass: “They’ve apologized, and so from my end, I don’t care anymore.  You have to learn to forgive, and I don’t even think that was intentional.”

Yet the ESPN staffers weren’t the only ones to use the term and Lin in the same sentence. Knicks radio voice Spero Dedes did it too.

On his final call of the Knicks’ loss to the Charlotte Hornets, Dedes said “For the first time in what has been a remarkable two-week run, Jeremy Lin shows a chink in the armor. The Knicks’ seven-game winning streak ends against the Hornets as they fall for the first time since February the 3rd.”

Doubtless, “chink in the armor” is a common phrase.  It means there’s a dent in the armor caused by an imperfection borne in the forging process or a by a sword fight. The chink is the weakest point in the shield.

Chink is also as well-known a slur as “gook.” Some believe it derived from the sound the hammer made when the Chinese workers of the 1800’s, often enslaved and exploited, struck the iron or steel spikes into the railway ties. Others say it is simply a shortened version of Chinese.

California Rep. Judy Chu (D) slammed the ESPN headline, saying she did not believe using the phrase was an innocent mistake: “…if he [Federico] was using it all those times, that is extremely sad. The word was used since the 1880s to demean Chinese Americans and to deprive them of rights, and it is used on playgrounds specifically to humiliate and to offend Asian Americans. So I don’t know where he’s been all this time.”

Some people just can’t seem to get their minds around an Asian-American basketball player who’s got game.

Back in 1997 when a young Tiger Woods was burning up the PGA, FrankFuzzy” Zoeller referred to Woods as “that little boy” and urged him “not to order fried chicken or collard greens for the Champions Dinner next year.”  People could not get their minds around an black golfer who could play the game.

Even so, imagine the outrage if a black athlete was referred to as a “nigger in the woodpile” which – in racist parlance and “the mind’s eye” is analogous to the ESPN headline. What if someone ran a headline: “Special Olympics athlete retarded in efforts to win gold medal”? 

Lin has faced a barrage of mindless ignorance.   In a court of law, pleading ignorance is no excuse.  A good parent will tell their child the same.  They would also add – ignorance in curable. No matter how embedded.  That’s the victory.

(Thanks to Karen, Judith, both Deborah(s), Jane, Karen and other facebook friends who contributed to the discussion on Lin | Note ~ Lin is not the first Asian-American to play professional basketball in the United States or the first Asian-American to play for the Knicks. In 1947, the Knickerbockers drafted Wataru (Wat) Misaka, a 5-foot-7, 150-pound — yes, 5-7, 150 pounds — point guard.)

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BOMB PLANT NEWS | Upcoming Meeting of Savannah River Site Citizens Advisory Board

Federal Register – June 29, 2011

DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY- Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board, Savannah River Site

ACTION: Notice of Open Meeting

SUMMARY: This notice announces a meeting of the Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board (EM SSAB), Savannah River Site. The Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub.L. No. 92-463, 86 Stat. 770) requires that public notice of this meeting be announced in the Federal Register.

DATES: Monday, July 25, 2011 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Tuesday, July 26, 2011 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

ADDRESSES: Savannah Rapids Pavilion
3300 Evans to Locks Road
Martinez, GA 30907

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Gerri Flemming, Office of External Affairs, Department of Energy, Savannah River Operations Office, P.O. Box A, Aiken, SC, 29802; Phone: (803) 952-7886.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:
Purpose of the Board: The purpose of the Board is to make recommendations to DOEEM and site management in the areas of environmental restoration, waste management, and related activities.

Tentative Agenda:
Monday, July 25, 2011
1:00 p.m. Combined Committee Session
5:00 p.m. Adjourn

Tuesday, July 26, 2011
8:30 a.m. Approval of Minutes, Chair Update
Public Comment Session
Agency Updates
Administrative Committee Report
Nuclear Materials Committee Report
Strategic and Legacy Management Committee Report
Public Comment Session
12:00 p.m. Lunch Break
1:00 p.m. Waste Management Committee Report
Facility Disposition and Site Remediation Committee Report
Public Comment Session
4:30 p.m. Adjourn

If needed, time will be allotted after public comments for items added to the agenda.

Public Participation: The EM SSAB, Savannah River Site, welcomes the attendance of the public at its advisory committee meetings and will make every effort to accommodate persons with physical disabilities or special needs. If you require special accommodations due to a disability, please contact Gerri Flemming at least seven days in advance of the meeting at the phone number listed above. Written statements may be filed with the Board either before or after the meeting. Individuals who wish to make oral statements pertaining to agenda items should contact Gerri Flemming’s office at the address or telephone listed above. Requests must be received five days prior to the meeting and reasonable provision will be made to include the presentation in the agenda. The Deputy Designated Federal Officer is empowered to conduct the meeting in a fashion that will facilitate the orderly conduct of business. Individuals wishing to make public comments will be provided a maximum of five minutes to present their comments. Minutes: Minutes will be available by writing or calling Gerri Flemming at the address or phone number listed above. Minutes will also be available at the following website:

http://www.srs.gov/general/outreach/srs-cab/meeting_summaries_2011.html.

Issued at Washington, DC on June 23, 2011.
LaTanya R. Butler
Acting Deputy Committee Management Officer

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