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NRI Corner 2
<!--QuoteBegin-Viren+Dec 20 2006, 06:43 PM-->QUOTE(Viren @ Dec 20 2006, 06:43 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->Un-freaking-believable!
Mumbai immigration deports children!


Came in email:
Dear Friends,

A few weeks back, we came across a news item captioned "Mumbai immigration
deports NRI children" (
http://ia.rediff. com/news/ 2006/dec/ 20george. htm?q=tp& file=.htm ) and also an
email under circulation containing some very critical comments against the
alleged inhumane and indifferent attitude of Indian Immigration Authorities.

We caused an enquiry into the matter to ascertain the facts, which we are
sharing with you:

* The children landed at the airport without Indian visa or PIO Card. The
Airport FRRO offered Temporary Landing Permit (TLP) for the minors on
payment of US$ 80-00, which the parents did not agree to.
* Accordingly, a 'Refused to Land Notice' was issued against the children
with instructions to the Airline staff to keep them in their custody until
their PIO cards were arranged.
* Arranging the requisite permit would have taken 2-3 days time, but the
Airline was not willing to keep the children in its custody for that long
and instead offered to take them back to US on the next flight, to which the
parents also agreed.
* The allegation of denial of temporary or transit visa for the minors is
not correct.
* It is further stated that the allegation of allowing entry to the French
national who did not possess visa was also incorrect as he was also sent
back by the same flight.

This is for your information.

Anil K. Gupta
Minister (Community Affairs)
Embassy of India
2107, Mass. Avenue NW
Washington DC-20008
Tel.202-939- 7079
Fax 202-232-7455


By - <b>Jakob De Roover</b>

Research Centre
Vergelijkende Cultuurwetenschap
Ghent University, Belgium
<b>Indian siblings on American Idol</b>
Here you go , Another proof - - Morons, Jokers and Idiots who are working in Indian Consulate, San Francisco
<b>US: Indian consulate caught dumping visa applications</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->The Indian Consulate in San Francisco was caught in a controversy when the San Francisco Chronicle reported that it dumped documents and paperwork submitted along with the visa application, in the open. 

<b>Visa applications by Byron Pollitt, chief financial officer of San Francisco's Gap Inc, and Anne Gust, wife of California Attorney General Jerry Brown, were among the documents lying for more than a month in the open yard of a recycling company, the report said.

Brown, a former governor of California and a good friend of the Indian community, termed it as shocking and unacceptable.

After the Chronicle reporter examined the site and questioned the people, the documents were taken away on January 31. The documents contained information on applicants' names, addresses, phone numbers, birth dates, professions, employers, passport numbers and photos. Accompanying letters detailed people's travel plans and reasons for visiting India.</b>

But Consul General BS Prakash told the newspaper that the documents were not confidential and did not contain social security numbers or credit card numbers.

The consulate officials did not return a call from rediff.com. The report said that it was not difficult to find the social security number of a person using the information contained in the dumped papers.

'Data from the documents could be used to get false passports. Some of the 9/11 hijackers used false passports. This is absolutely sensitive information. It needs to be safeguarded,' Charles Cresson Wood, a Sausalito information-security consultant, was quoted in the report.

After keeping the documents for a year, the consulate would destroy them due to space problem, Pratik Sircar, deputy consul general, told the paper.

The consulate hired a company in December to cart the boxes to the Haight Ashbury Neighborhood Council recycling center near Golden Gate Park on Frederick Street.

<b>'We thought it was their job to shred the material as soon as they got it,</b>' Sircar said.

But Andy Pugni, general manager of the recycling center, said,

<b>The documents were in the open ground where public could get easy access. Many of the boxes were marked 'visa applications.' After the reporter's intervention, a truck was brought in to send the papers to an East Bay company that will boil them down and recycle them as blank pages. </b>

<b>Paperwork of almost all those who applied for visas between 2002 and 2005 were in the boxes. The documents submitted by Indian citizens were in other boxes</b>.

Pollitt said he found it 'both astonishing and alarming to learn that basic safeguards were apparently not in place to ensure the privacy of my personal information. As a past victim of identity theft, I am painfully aware of how important it is to ensure personal information is well protected,' he told the Chronicle.

<span style='color:red'>Consul General Prakash said there might be a cultural dimension to the level of outrage related to the incident among Western visa applicants.</span>

<b>'In India, I would not be alarmed. We have grown up giving such information in many, many places. We would not be so worried if someone had our passport number,'</b> he was quoted in the report.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
I am shocked. Check Consul Gerneral pathetic remark. No surprise, people always complain about staff in Indian Embassy and consulates.

Lazy morons don't shred paper, it may require some work and fingers to move.
Before these morons get posted outside India, they should learn basic information about other country.

In case of identity theft, sue them.
Actual article -
<b>Sensitive data dumped at recycling center Indian Consulate tossed visa applications from business, political figures at S.F. facility</b>

Check all pictures. Anyone can get credit card, bank account ...
pict -1
<b>UK: Indian docs fight for work permit </b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->London: On Friday, the London High Court upheld a new rule, declining to quash the Immigration Regulations that came into force on April 3, 2006, leaving nearly 16,000 Indian doctors in jeopardy.

The Immigration Regulations stipulate that medicos from outside the European Union need a permits not just to work but to train as well in the UK, thus abolishing permit free training for overseas doctors
Norah Jones doesn't consider herself Indian

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Blog this story

Washington: Indian sitar maestro Ravi Shankar's American daughter Norah Jones says she and her father are close today after years of estrangement, but she does not consider herself part Indian.

"I knew who my dad was," she told Katie Couric in a 12-minute piece on CBS News "60 Minutes" Sunday. "I saw him sporadically until I was nine and then I didn't see him again or talk to him until I was 18."

Shankar never married her mother - their relationship, Norah said, was complicated and it ended when she was young. Her mother, she said, didn't want her talking about him.

Jones, 27, acknowledged it was kind of a secret. "You know, when you have a father who's pretty well known but you don't see him, the last thing you want to do is start talking about him all the time to people," she said.

When Norah turned 18, she sought out her father, who was living in California with his daughter and second wife.

Asked if she was angry or sought an apology from her father when they reconnected, Jones said, "Yeah. I might have. I might have wanted that." Today, she said they are close.

"Do you consider yourself part Indian?" Couric asked. "I grew up in Texas with a white mother," Jones said. "I feel very Texan, actually a New Yorker."

Norah Jones, who has sold over 30 million albums, more than any other female artist this decade, told Couric that success makes her uncomfortable as they talked about the 2003 Grammy Awards.

That evening Norah Jones, then 23, won a total of eight Grammys with her first album of romantic, dreamy ballads named "Best New Artist," "Record of the Year," and "Album of the Year."

But Jones said she felt really bad about her sweep. "I felt like I went to somebody else's birthday party and I ate all their cake. Without anybody else getting a piece. That's how I felt."

A year later, her second album went on to sell 10 million copies, proving her success was no fluke. Unlike her earlier albums, Norah Jones' just released third album, "Not Too Late" has all the songs written by her and as such "they're more honest, more personal and edgier."

"There's a little playfulness but there's also a lot of darker material on this album," Jones said. "And that comes less from me being a dark person than me sort of observing things going on around me and sort of turning them into songs."

"My Dear Country," which she wrote the day before the 2004 presidential election, is a political protest song that takes a jab at President George Bush.

Asked if she was nervous she'd face a fallout similar to what the Dixie Chicks experienced, Jones said, "No. It's more of a personal song for me. It's more of, it's just a song about questioning what's going on and frustration. And I think that a lot of people will, would be able to relate to that feeling, especially from the past few years."

Norah said her musical roots are country and jazz, tastes acquired growing up in Grapevine, Texas, listening to her mother's eclectic record collection. An only child, she was raised by a single mom, who sacrificed to give her daughter every opportunity.

Norah Jones moved to Greenwich Village when she was 20 years old. "It's a cool neighbourhood to live in. When I first moved here, I actually moved to a little street called Jones Street," she remembered. She waited tables and got gigs singing and playing Jazz standards in small clubs.

In less than a year, her musical career took off when an accountant for Blue Note Records came to hear her perform. She was signed and put out her first album, which she hoped would ultimately sell 10,000 copies. It sold over 20 million.

In 2005, she took herself out of the spotlight and began performing in disguise. In one performance, she donned a blonde wig, singing with the all-girl band, "El Madmo."

"We wear wigs 'cause it's just fun. And we didn't want anybody to judge us, you know. So we wanted to be more anonymous," Jones said. "We wanted to be able to just try something out for fun, for the fun of music, you know. We ended up just enjoying the dressing up part, as much as the band part."

Norah Jones said she doesn't know where her career will go from here and she doesn't really care.

"I don't expect to sell millions of records every time. I just don't think that's gonna be possible. I think that's a lucky thing that happens every once in a while," she said. "I feel like I've had my cake and I've eaten it and it tasted great. And I don't need another piece."

Here is a great example,

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--> The Consul General of India, <span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>Mrs Shashi Tripathi introduced Anand Jon honoring him at a press conference as one of the outstanding cultural ambassadors of India</span> (for his breakthrough contribution in Fashion & Trade) followed by a spring 2000 preview (with a live performance by trance soprano Sasha Lazard).
Now rapist are cultural ambassadors of India. <!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo-->

<b>Anand Jon Alexander charged with rape in US</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Prominent fashion designer <b>Anand Jon has been charged in Los Angeles with multiple counts of rape and sexual assault involving three alleged victims, the youngest a 15-year-old girl.</b>

The 33-year-old Indian origin designer to the stars, whom Newsweek named one of the people to watch in its 'Who's Next in 2007' issue, was arrested Mar 6 after a woman said he raped her, the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday.

The designer is being held in lieu of $1.3 million bail. However, Immigration and Customs Enforcement has also placed a hold on the New York-based designer.

Jane Robison, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County district attorney's office, said Jon was charged with six felonies and one misdemeanour for alleged sexual assaults between October 2004 and Mar 5.
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd--><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Anand Jon's family has now responded to the charges against him, sending SAJA and others last night the press release below. 

On March 6, 2007 Anand Jon, notably listed in January 2007 Newsweek as “one to watch in 2007” was arrested for improper behavior. This rock star celebrity fashion designer, like everyone else in the court system is innocent until proven otherwise, not the other way around.  In America, you’re not supposed to be tried in the media, but everyone has a right to their day in court to defend themselves.  The press is supposed to report the news as facts, as it happens, unbiased.  Any false accusation can ruin a person’s life.  As the news stories come out one seems to be more sensationalized than the next with the facts more exaggerated.
More on <b>Anand Jon Alexander </b>
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->"I think some of them (the women) were upset that they didn't get as much exposure as they were promised in the fashion industry. They came to his apartment and slept with him. No one forced them to do anything," Reuters quoted him as saying.

"They say they slept with him and then months later they (make these charges),” Richards added.
<!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo--> Please vote for Sanjaya!

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->American Idol show: A Shilpa-type row in offing!

S Rajagopalan | Washington

Critics suspect Indian call centres are helping Sanjaya stay afloat

Is it an American edition of Britain's infamous Shilpa episode?

<b>Teen singer Sanjaya Malakar's continuing progress in the American Idol contest - he has now reached the Top 10 - is unpalatable to many, including the show's judges, one of whom has threatened to quit the show if the Indian American boy goes on to win the title.  </b> 

His critics are clearly mystified that the "kid with the flowy hair and thin voice" is still around "despite being the worst of the lot". <b>They believe that Sanjaya is getting the votes because there are many people out there who want to mock and finish the popular reality show.</b> <!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo-->

There are others who see something more sinister. <b>One famous conspiracy theory doing the rounds now is that Indian call centres have got into the act, flooding the phone lines to boost the 17-year-old Sanjaya's fortunes.</b>

"Malakar is the first contestant of Asian-Indian heritage, and he is getting huge coverage in the Indian media. The theory goes that Indians are calling en masse from overseas," writes the New York Daily News.

An Indian blogger laughed it off, remarking in jest that workers at Indian BPOs "are far too busy ripping off your bank accounts to waste their time voting for American Idol".

The hostile comments notwithstanding, some observers believe it may be wrong to conclude that the show has degenerated to such an extent as Britain's controversial "Big Brother" reality show that featured Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty.

Here in the Idol contest, many apparently expected Sanjaya to be eliminated in the early rounds. Instead, he has kept bouncing back week after week, much to the dismay of the three judges. <b>One of them, Simon Cowell, has gone to the extent of declaring that he will quit the show if Sanjaya wins the contest.</b>

Sanjaya's detractors, it would seem, are burning their fingers with the sort of strategy that they have adopted. <b>A group calling itself Fanjayas (Fans of Sanjaya) has sprung up and it wants him to win "because he is just so bad".</b> <!--emo&:cool--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/specool.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='specool.gif' /><!--endemo-->

<b>Then there is the website, www.votefortheworst.com, and it asks all followers to phone in and vote for Sanjaya as he is "the worst" in the contest.</b> It is being said that after radio shock jock Howard Stern interviewed this website's founder recently, the Sanjaya movement has skyrocketed, with blogs, other radio shows and newspapers picking up on the trend.

<b>This website, logging more than one million hits a day, is believed to have ended up in helping keep Sanjaya in the running.</b>

<b>Some other critics are trying other tricks to see that Sanjaya is halted in his tracks. A 23-year-old New York woman, calling herself "J", has announced on a YouTube video that she will not eat food until Sanjaya is voted out or he "graciously" steps down on his own.</b>

"<b>I am midway through my sixth day of fasting (she is drinking fluids, though) and I am determined not to give up until Sanjaya is off American Idol," she claims on her MySpace page, "Starvation for Sanjaya". A couple of others, equally on the plump side, have announced they are following suit.</b>

Executives of the American Idol show have not reacted as yet to the hostile comments about the contest or Sanjaya, save for labelling the votefortheworst.com website "mean-spirited".

As the contest moves towards its finale in May, one contestant bows out every week. It remains to be seen if Sanjaya stays or exits this week. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->About Us
thefunnystone - January 5, 2007 - 2:22pm

We're back! Votefortheworst.com was started in 2004 to support voting for the entertaining contestants who the producers would hate to see win on American Idol. Why do we do it? <b>During the initial auditions, the producers of Idol only let certain people through. Many good people are turned away and many bad singers are kept around to see Simon, Paula, and Randy so that America will be entertained.
Now why do the producers do this? It's simple: <b>American Idol is not about singing at all, it's about making good reality TV and enjoying the cheesy, guilty pleasure of watching bad singing. We agree that a fish out of water is entertaining, and we want to acknowledge this fact by encouraging people to make an even funnier show by helping the amusing antagonists stick around. VFTW sees keeping these contestants around as a golden opportunity to make a funnier show.
<b>The show starts out every year encouraging us to point and laugh at all of the bad singers who audition. We want this hilariously bad entertainment to continue into the finals, so we choose the contestant that we feel provides the most entertaining train wreck performances and we start voting for them. We don't necessarily vote for the worst technical singer; we take into account many factors like if they have crazy personalities, how well they dance and move around the stage, if they have an attitude, if they annoy the general public or judges, etc. The bottom line is that they have to be entertaining and they have to go against what AI wants to produce in a winner.</b> So we don't just vote for the worst singer, we vote for the most entertaining contestant using our own criteria.

American Idol producers don't like this though, because they've already spent time "pimping" the contestant that they want to win. Because they don't like our site, Fox has called us "hateful" and "mean spirited". Doesn't it seem a tad hypocritical to say that when the show has weeks devoted to making fun of bad auditions? The producers also profited from a "Worst of American Idol" DVD set. How can the producers let Simon mock some of the contestants but then let us be called "vicious" when a campaign exists to help those very contestants? We don't hate the people we vote for, we actually love them!

Vote for the Worst encourages you to have fun with American Idol and embrace its suckiness by voting for the people who the general public and the producers are rooting against. We rally behind one choice so that we can help make a difference and pool all of our votes toward one common goal. Join us and vote for the VFTW contestant as many times as you can each week. Our aim isn't to win every single week, but to get a bad contestant as far as possible. If our VFTW pick is ousted from the competition, we'll move onto someone new. If we can help someone who was supposed to go home inch a spot closer to winning, that's a great success! We care less about succeeding every single week than we do just enjoying the performances as they happen.

People may tell you "VFTW makes no difference, their votes don't count". Obviously this makes no sense, because every vote counts. We're a fanbase just like the fangirls who somehow thought Ace Young was a good singer. It wouldn't make much sense to say that our voting bloc makes no difference and then vote all night for your own favorite, because your votes would make even less of a difference.

We've had VFTW victories in the past with contestants like John Stevens, Scott Savol, Kevin Covais, Kellie Pickler, and Taylor Hicks. We're now gearing up for season 6 of America's Largest Karaoke Contest. So, go on, embrace the cheesiness of American Idol and other television shows. Help us Vote For the Worst!<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
I would not treat Simon Cowell’s view of Sanjay as too objective. Most britons I have come across hold racist views towards Indians.
<!--QuoteBegin-Admin+Mar 21 2007, 04:02 AM-->QUOTE(Admin @ Mar 21 2007, 04:02 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin--><!--QuoteBegin-Mudy+Jan 23 2007, 08:02 AM--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Mudy @ Jan 23 2007, 08:02 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>FACING THE CHALLENGE OF AMERICAN PLURALISM ON THE FUTURE OF THE NRI COMMUNITY</b>
By - <b>Jakob De Roover</b>

Research Centre
Vergelijkende Cultuurwetenschap
Ghent University, Belgium

<b>Is American Pluralism Inimical to Hindu Culture? Perspectives on a paper by Dr. Jakob DeRoover</b>
<i>By Chitra Raman</i>

Tiny URL: http://tinyurl.com/324sjc

<b>The Swami, the Priest and the Rediscovery of the Indian Traditions: A Reply to Chitra Raman

Tiny URL : http://tinyurl.com/34hq99</b>
<!--emo&:ind--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/india.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='india.gif' /><!--endemo-->
Maths `Nobel` for India-born professor

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Oslo, March 28: India-born Srinivasa S R Varadhan has been named winner of the Norwegian Abel Prize, known as the Nobel Prize for mathematics.

Varadhan was cited for his "fundamental contributions to probability theory and in particular for a unified theory of large deviations", the jury said.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Varadhan, born in 1940 in Chennai, has since 1963 worked at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, New York, where he is a professor of mathematics and currently Frank J Gould Professor of Science. He is now a US citizen. "I come from south India, and Ramanujan`s name is extremely well known there. Even in high school our teachers talked about him, as somebody from a different generation of course, but who reached exalted heights. He was a role model for me," Varadhan said.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>The Quiet Indian Who Brought Down An Empire: Mahatma Malakar and the End of Idol</b>
Posted Mar 28th 2007 8:24PM by Mo Rocca
Filed under: Pop Culture, TV, American Idol, Sanjaya Malakar, Indian-American politics, Sanjaya's hair, Dancing with the Stars, Heather Mills, Simon Cowell, Reality Television

Do you hear that creaking sound? I do. It's more like a low rumbling. It's the sound of an Empire collapsing.

60 years after Mohandas Gandhi's civil disobedience movement led to the end of British rule in India, the gentle Sanjaya is just as peacefully (if less than tunefully) bringing Viceroy Simon to heel.

American Idol is an institution built on an ideal: the most talented singer wins. In the end, all it has is its credibility. That's been crippled now, perhaps beyond all repair. And once the tipping point is reached (one week from now? Two?), HMS Idol will sink fast.

I've written extensively about the stunning parallels between Gandhi and Sanjaya. (Of course their hair is a contrast, though Sanjaya has at least one more week to debut a chrome dome. This I would not advise. Sanjaya's eyes are too closely set to pull off a bald look.)

The parallels between the Brits of the 19th and early 20th centuries and Simon are worth examining. In both cases, it was the hubris of the otherwise ingenious Englishmen that did them in. The Brits in India with their oppressive Salt Taxes and brutal suppression of their Indian subjects; the imperious Simon with his gratuitous, sometimes cruel, insults of a young man with a real, if not enormous, fan base. (Simon overstepped. And now millions of American families are paying a dear price as the show they love slips away from them.)

The implications are huge indeed. It's about more than a single show or a major network. The entire Reality Show Raj may already be teetering. Idol whetted our appetites for talent contests, by far the most enduring of the reality sub-genres. Without Idol, Heather Mills may as well hop back across the pond (where I suspect her countrymen will promptly trade her for the servicemen held in Iran).

And all because of one soft-spoken Indian.


UPDATE:<b> So it's the end of the road for Chris Sligh. A sign that the influence of the Christian Right is waning? With his dismissal and the survival of Sanjaya, one thing is clear: This is a new America</b>.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

He is blasted with so much criticism and he is still standing. Amazing.
Simon Cowell forgets that he is in USA not UK.

USA is for the most part a tolerant society and UK is exactly the opposite.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Simon Cowell forgets that he is in USA not UK. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
US media is very much against Sanjaya. He is not a great singer but racist comments towards him are horrible. He is mixed, half Bengali Indian and half Italian.
If you check Today's show, they hate him. They even referred him African American.
<b>Rate of Indians becoming US citizens rises</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Statistics are showing that 133,000 Indians were in the soon to be naturalised category in 2005 of a total eligibility pool of 248,000, said the study released by the Pew Hispanic Center on Wednesday.

"We've seen dramatic changes in countries across the board," said Jeffrey Passel, the Pew Hispanic Center's senior research associate

The study has shown that among the immigrants who are eligible to become citizens by 2005, 77 per cent from the Middle East had already done so, Asia (South and East Asia) coming away in the second place with 71 per cent followed by 69 per cent for Europe and Canada and 46 per cent for Latin America. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

There's a genunine concern that someone as bad as a singer as Sanjaya can make it to the top and the show's credibility would be shot. The sponsors have huge $ riding on this so does recording companies. Impact to Fox is huge

There's a huge backlash against this show. The pompous judges had made very silly and derogatory comments against some singers in early part of the series to pump up the rating - it even included ridiculing someone with physical deformity, one his handicap!! Joe Scarbrough ran this issue for weeks in a row.
Now Howard Stern's weighed and he has a huge following to make some difference.

Chicken's coming home to roost, yess.... take that Murdoch, Ailes, Hannity and O'Reilly - you helped a put the local village idiot in White House (twice!), time someone returned the favor to you (in a however small a measure) <!--emo&:bhappy--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/b_woot.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='b_woot.gif' /><!--endemo-->
I do not see anything wrong with being referred to as African American. It can be a case of mistaken ethnicity. Other than that, we are all humans.

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