Australian supermarket to rename racist biscuit

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Australian supermarket to rename racist biscuit

Postby TheSkyMovesSideways » Wed Oct 28, 2009 1:02 am UTC

Short version: Australian supermarket chain creates an Oreo-like biscuit (that's a cookie, for the Americans), and gives it a name which originally referred to people of mixed European and African ancestry. Whoops. :shock: After receiving complaints, they decided to change the name.

Meanwhile, Coon cheese are still sticking their ground. :lol:

Spoiler:
Coles backs down over 'racist ' biscuit wrote:Supermarket giant Coles will change the name of an in-house brand of biscuits amid claims it is racist.

Coles Spokesman Jim Cooper said the name of the "You'll Love Coles" brand of chocolate and vanilla biscuits, called Creole Creams, will be changed as part of the company-wide rebranding of Coles products.

The name change comes on the back of claims of racism, with the word Creole used to describe a person of mixed European and African ancestry.

"The word Creole comes from a period when people's humanity was measured by the amount of white blood they had in their bloodstream. This is the same kind of thought that underpinned horrific regimes like the Nazis," Sam Watson, the deputy director of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Unit at the University of Queensland, told brisbanetimes.com.au yesterday.

But Mr Cooper today disputed the racist claims and said the name Creole Creams referred to the "well-known Creole cuisine style that originated in the US.''

"It was certainly not intended as a racial reference, nor intended to cause offence," Mr Cooper said this morning.

He said the product had been stocked on Coles' shelves for three years and the company had never received a complaint.

However, he said the name would be changed as part of a rebranding exercise.

"That said, the product is about to undergo a packaging redesign, as part of our broader re-branding of 'You’ll Love Coles' products to simply 'Coles', and the product will be re-named as part of that process."

Opinion on the naming of the biscuits Creole Creams has been divided, with some internet blog posters and radio talkback callers unaware of its racial meaning.

Mr Watson said yesterday the use of a racially-loaded word for a chocolate and vanilla biscuit was thoughtless.

"The word Creole comes from a period when people's humanity was measured by the amount of white blood they had in their bloodstream. This is the same kind of thought that underpinned horrific regimes like the Nazis," Mr Watson said.

"People need to exercise their intellect. This so-called blending was actually the institutionalised rape of black women. They were victims of brutal regimes of rape and victimisation."

Mr Watson described the biscuit name as deeply insensitive and indicative of a "deep undercurrent of racism in white Australian society".

"It virtually infects every level of Australia's consciousness, language, culture and history," he said.

"Why the need to use that sort of language to market a confectionery?"

Creole cuisine is a style of spicy cooking originating in Louisiana.

It combines influences from Europe, Africa, North and Latin America, and India, and is known for dishes such as Jambalaya, Gumbo, and Pecan pie.

Coles’ Creole Cream is a chocolate and vanilla biscuit similar to Arnott’s Delta Creams and Oreos.
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Re: Australian supermarket to rename racist biscuit

Postby Sharlos » Wed Oct 28, 2009 1:20 am UTC

Never heard of the things. And if its a brand coles owns then I doubt it tastes as good as real food.

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Re: Australian supermarket to rename racist biscuit

Postby headprogrammingczar » Wed Oct 28, 2009 1:22 am UTC

I actually don't see a problem with the name. Creole food is fucking delicious.
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Re: Australian supermarket to rename racist biscuit

Postby TheSkyMovesSideways » Wed Oct 28, 2009 1:43 am UTC

Sharlos wrote:Never heard of the things. And if its a brand coles owns then I doubt it tastes as good as real food.

Not sure that I'd count Oreos or Delta Creams as "real food" either! :wink:
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Re: Australian supermarket to rename racist biscuit

Postby G.v.K » Wed Oct 28, 2009 1:46 am UTC

I always thought a creole was language which had evolved out of one or more pidgin languages.

I wonder if people in Australia even knew the 'offensive' meaning. seems to me like an Americanism and this link would confirm my suspicion

http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=creole

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Re: Australian supermarket to rename racist biscuit

Postby peter » Wed Oct 28, 2009 2:08 am UTC

article wrote:Creole Creams referred to the "well-known Creole cuisine style that originated in the US
article wrote:Creole cuisine is a style of spicy cooking originating in Louisiana.
How could a cookie have any relationship to an American southern spicy food?

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Re: Australian supermarket to rename racist biscuit

Postby punkymonkey » Wed Oct 28, 2009 2:18 am UTC

I've always associated it with the creole cuisine. I've personally never heard it used as a racial slur. Does this mean "creole" cuisine must now be renamed?
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Re: Australian supermarket to rename racist biscuit

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Wed Oct 28, 2009 3:12 am UTC

I don't think the word "Creole" is itself offensive, but rather its use here to describe a food (and not that food's ethnic origin, but just its physical makeup).
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Re: Australian supermarket to rename racist biscuit

Postby gmalivuk » Wed Oct 28, 2009 3:18 am UTC

If nothing else, I find it funny that they took a racial term to name this cookie, while "oreo" can have a racial meaning because of that cookie.

(But yeah, the problem isn't that the word "creole" is itself offensive, so much as that something as complex as race and ethnicity is boiled down to describe the colors of the parts of a cookie. It'd be like calling a chocolate food product African just because of the color: "African" is not an offensive or dehumanizing term, when it's used for things pertaining to Africa. When it's stripped of this and just used to refer to something else of the same color as many Africans, though, it becomes so.)
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Re: Australian supermarket to rename racist biscuit

Postby Diadem » Wed Oct 28, 2009 4:23 am UTC

gmalivuk wrote:(But yeah, the problem isn't that the word "creole" is itself offensive, so much as that something as complex as race and ethnicity is boiled down to describe the colors of the parts of a cookie.

Well black people are black, and white people are white (or actually pinkish). I don't see any racism in making the comparison between races and colours. Those traits are kind of obvious, and you're not assigning any values to them. Sometimes I get the impression that some people consider every reference to race to be racist. I don't see why that would be the case though.

Here in the Netherlands type of candy consisting of chocolate coated marshmellows. We call them 'Negerzoenen', which translates as "Negro kisses". It's not a problem. The name is old, it probably does come from a time when racism was still common. But even that does not make it racist. It's not an insult to blacks. There's no malice in the name at all. There actually was a riot over the name some time ago, when the biggest producer of them announced they would change the name after complaints about it from an unspecified anti-racism group, but it turned out to be a virial marketing trick (And a failed one. Despite massive media exposure sales went down after the name change). Most interest groups seemed to agree that there was nothing wrong with the name.
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Re: Australian supermarket to rename racist biscuit

Postby gmalivuk » Wed Oct 28, 2009 4:46 am UTC

Diadem wrote:The name is old, it probably does come from a time when racism was still common.

I see, so you come from a distant future world.

That explains a lot, actually.
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Re: Australian supermarket to rename racist biscuit

Postby Princess Marzipan » Wed Oct 28, 2009 4:48 am UTC

Wow. They actually handled that pretty much perfectly.
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Re: Australian supermarket to rename racist biscuit

Postby Kain » Wed Oct 28, 2009 6:08 am UTC

I'm vaguely curious: In austrialia, is there any significant Creole population? If so, I would be curious as to their take on the whole situation...
I know that depending on the country, people of the same ethnicity may disagree on what is acceptable in terms of the name for their population, culture, etc, so I don't know if any 'Creole' populace in Australia object to the term on its own grounds, or use a different name for themselves.

Of course, that is entirely moot, as the cookie/biscuit was not named becuase it was based on the culinary traditions of the Creole culture, but on its mixed composition, as was pointed out above.
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Re: Australian supermarket to rename racist biscuit

Postby TheSkyMovesSideways » Wed Oct 28, 2009 7:11 am UTC

Kain wrote:I'm vaguely curious: In austrialia, is there any significant Creole population?

Creole is not a particularly strictly defined term. I doubt there would be a significant number of the original (?) Portuguese-African "Creole" people, but the definition of "Creole" could possibly extend to people of mixed European and Australian Aboriginal descent, in which case there would be quite a few.

My take on this is that the connection this product has to the Portuguese-African "Creole" people is weak at best, existing only because of the apparently coincidental colour of the biscuits, and that it's probably just an unfortunately poor choice of name that they couldn't have been expected to have picked up on. Coles seems to have made a smart choice in avoiding conflict and changing the name. That said, I'm somewhat perplexed as to how the biscuit is connected with Louisiana Creole cuisine, and perhaps the lack of connection there is more reason for a name change.

Kain wrote:Of course, that is entirely moot, as the cookie/biscuit was not named becuase it was based on the culinary traditions of the Creole culture, but on its mixed composition, as was pointed out above.

Coles backs down over 'racist ' biscuit wrote:But Mr Cooper today disputed the racist claims and said the name Creole Creams referred to the "well-known Creole cuisine style that originated in the US.''

;)


And some related, but older news, a Queensland sporting group has finally decided, after a 10 year battle, to rename it's Nigger football stadium. We're a very progressive country, you can see. :? :shock:
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Re: Australian supermarket to rename racist biscuit

Postby Kain » Wed Oct 28, 2009 7:52 am UTC

yes, thats what they said, but the connection is so tenious that it suggests an alternative reason for the naming.
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Re: Australian supermarket to rename racist biscuit

Postby TheSkyMovesSideways » Wed Oct 28, 2009 9:07 am UTC

Kain wrote:yes, thats what they said, but the connection is so tenious that it suggests an alternative reason for the naming.

All possible links of the word "Creole" with a biscuit are pretty tenuous. I really don't think there's any reason to believe that they would have chosen that name for its racial connotations. I mean, yes, if they did, they'd probably be denying it now, but I don't think there's any evidence to suggest that they would have been that stupid.

I mean, can you imagine the marketing team saying, "Ok guys, I know a lot of you are leaning towards naming them 'half-breed mongrel biscuits', but we're thinking we should be a bit more covert if we really want to use these biscuits to precipitate a race-war. How about we call them 'Creoles'?" </ridiculous_exaggeration>
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Re: Australian supermarket to rename racist biscuit

Postby hermaj » Wed Oct 28, 2009 9:28 am UTC

G.v.K wrote:I wonder if people in Australia even knew the 'offensive' meaning.


To me "creole" decribes two things already mentioned in this thread: linguistically, the next step up from a pidgin, and the cuisine. The former would almost never be encountered outside of linguistic studies, and the latter isn't in widespread usage or anything over here outside of culinary stuff. It's not a term that would be recognised as offensive by most of the Australian poplace. I can't help thinking that this just joins the bandwagon along with the black-face skit and the midget jockeys, as yet another way in which Australians are all politically backwards at the moment. Looks like Coles handled it pretty well though.

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Re: Australian supermarket to rename racist biscuit

Postby Maurog » Wed Oct 28, 2009 9:38 am UTC

I don't get it, by opposing innocent products with what they perceive as racist overtones, don't they effectively struggle to preserve the word in its original meaning? Wouldn't it actually be better for their cause if we relinked Creole to biscuits instead of mixed heritage people in our collective unconscious?

It really seems to me that when people start going "Coon? You mean the cheese?" that particular piece of racism is dead and buried. Instead, people are watering and grooming taboos for some inexplicable reason. You're not helping!
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Re: Australian supermarket to rename racist biscuit

Postby Pez Dispens3r » Wed Oct 28, 2009 10:19 am UTC

[url=http://www.theage.com.au/national/coles-backs-down-over-racist--biscuit-20091027-hhjx.html] wrote:The word Creole comes from a period when people's humanity was measured by the amount of white blood they had in their bloodstream. This is the same kind of thought that underpinned horrific regimes like the Nazis," Sam Watson, the deputy director of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Unit at the University of Queensland, told brisbanetimes.com.au yesterday.

Godwin'd on zero'th post!

Incidentally, what do people think of Banania? The image was first popular because the French were quite fond of the West Africans who fought for them (the French were always very inconsistent racists), but today it seems like an image that should be retired.
Last edited by Pez Dispens3r on Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:00 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Australian supermarket to rename racist biscuit

Postby Diadem » Wed Oct 28, 2009 10:40 am UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
Diadem wrote:The name is old, it probably does come from a time when racism was still common.

I see, so you come from a distant future world.

That explains a lot, actually.

Perhaps I should have written 'still very common and accepted'. But I can't escape the feeling that you're arguiing over semantics here.
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Re: Australian supermarket to rename racist biscuit

Postby JayDee » Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:45 am UTC

I hear the word Creole I think the racial meaning of the word, from various fictions set in New Orleans mainly. I'll admit, though, that it wasn't until this biscuit thing I realised it was a racist thing. I'd just (very naively, I know) thought it was a word to describe people of a particular descent.
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Maurog wrote:It really seems to me that when people start going "Coon? You mean the cheese?" that particular piece of racism is dead and buried.
Um, that particular piece of racism is certainly not dead and buried.
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Re: Australian supermarket to rename racist biscuit

Postby Pez Dispens3r » Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:54 am UTC

JayDee wrote:
Maurog wrote:It really seems to me that when people start going "Coon? You mean the cheese?" that particular piece of racism is dead and buried.
Um, that particular piece of racism is certainly not dead and buried.

Maurog may have a point in regards to Australian society. I know I only ever knew the term "coon" existed from watching Forrest Gump. I'm not sure the word has the same connotations as elsewhere ("wog", for example, although a racist term, has a very different meaning than it would in Britain, if Fawtly Towers serves me at all).
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Re: Australian supermarket to rename racist biscuit

Postby Chen » Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:55 am UTC

JayDee wrote:
Maurog wrote:It really seems to me that when people start going "Coon? You mean the cheese?" that particular piece of racism is dead and buried.
Um, that particular piece of racism is certainly not dead and buried.


The post was saying that ONCE Coon is primarilly used to define a type of cheese, that piece of racism would, implicitly, be dead (since the racist connotation would not be the one that was immediately linked to the word). Its evident that that is not the case at the moment.

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Re: Australian supermarket to rename racist biscuit

Postby TheSkyMovesSideways » Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:59 am UTC

JayDee wrote:Um, that particular piece of racism is certainly not dead and buried.

True, it just doesn't carry the same meaning in Australia, which is why people don't look twice when they see it as the name of a cheese.

Perhaps because we don't have any raccoons here? :?
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Re: Australian supermarket to rename racist biscuit

Postby JayDee » Wed Oct 28, 2009 12:05 pm UTC

Chen wrote:The post was saying that ONCE Coon is primarilly used to define a type of cheese, that piece of racism would, implicitly, be dead (since the racist connotation would not be the one that was immediately linked to the word). Its evident that that is not the case at the moment.
Fair enough, then.

TheSkyMovesSideways, Pez Dispens3r: I'm from country Australia, where the word does carry the same meaning. I get so sick of hearing racist jokes from people prompted by stupid ads about cheese.
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Re: Australian supermarket to rename racist biscuit

Postby TheSkyMovesSideways » Wed Oct 28, 2009 1:37 pm UTC

JayDee wrote:country Australia, where the word does carry the same meaning

Interesting... I had no idea. :|
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Re: Australian supermarket to rename racist biscuit

Postby Heisenberg » Wed Oct 28, 2009 1:43 pm UTC

Coles’ Creole Cream
I imagine the primary motivation behind their word choice was alliteration. The secondary motivation could have been a racial connotation I had never heard of before today, or a culinary connection I am very familiar with. I can't say for sure, but I do know that this doesn't seem like a big deal to me. Turns out, most words probably have a racial, culinary, and sexual connotation somewhere in the world.
gmalivuk wrote:If nothing else, I find it funny that they took a racial term to name this cookie, while "oreo" can have a racial meaning because of that cookie.
So, the moral here is that whatever name they pick will be used as a racial slur in a few years anyway.

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Re: Australian supermarket to rename racist biscuit

Postby negatron » Wed Oct 28, 2009 4:16 pm UTC

In Poland there is a delicious dessert which involves cream and chocolate. It goes by the name "Murzyn" which essentially means "a black person" in a very literal sense, but the word is not slanderous. As far as I know it is still being sold, the black population there is very low.
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Re: Australian supermarket to rename racist biscuit

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Oct 28, 2009 4:24 pm UTC

Is no one else appalled at the bad journalism, wherein they use the same quote twice?
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Re: Australian supermarket to rename racist biscuit

Postby Azrael » Wed Oct 28, 2009 4:31 pm UTC

Unless the cookie happens to taste like celery, onions, bell peppers and heat than there's no real justification for calling it 'creole'. I know that what I find tasty and what anyone else finds tasty will vary, but I sincerely doubt the cookie tastes creole. Seriously. Doubt.

So what we have here is a fairly significant marketing failure. Ask yourself, "Why would they have called this cookie 'creole'?" While I doubt they meant any offense, I also doubt they would've called it 'Mulattos' either. Someone fucked up. Some *probably* fucked up by trading on racial factors.

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Re: Australian supermarket to rename racist biscuit

Postby GoC » Wed Oct 28, 2009 7:47 pm UTC

Maurog wrote:I don't get it, by opposing innocent products with what they perceive as racist overtones, don't they effectively struggle to preserve the word in its original meaning? Wouldn't it actually be better for their cause if we relinked Creole to biscuits instead of mixed heritage people in our collective unconscious?

It really seems to me that when people start going "Coon? You mean the cheese?" that particular piece of racism is dead and buried. Instead, people are watering and grooming taboos for some inexplicable reason. You're not helping!

THIS. This so hard.
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Re: Australian supermarket to rename racist biscuit

Postby i » Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:09 pm UTC

I just wanted to say that brown sugar tastes delicious.

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Re: Australian supermarket to rename racist biscuit

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:25 pm UTC

Maurog wrote:I don't get it, by opposing innocent products with what they perceive as racist overtones, don't they effectively struggle to preserve the word in its original meaning?

Innocent? What the hell? What do you suppose "Creole" is supposed to mean here?

Maurog wrote:Wouldn't it actually be better for their cause if we relinked Creole to biscuits instead of mixed heritage people in our collective unconscious?

Thing is, "Creole" isn't a slur in and of itself. It becomes a problem when a racial identity is reduced to an identifier for the color of a food. Like what gmal said:

gmalivuk wrote:But yeah, the problem isn't that the word "creole" is itself offensive, so much as that something as complex as race and ethnicity is boiled down to describe the colors of the parts of a cookie. It'd be like calling a chocolate food product African just because of the color: "African" is not an offensive or dehumanizing term, when it's used for things pertaining to Africa. When it's stripped of this and just used to refer to something else of the same color as many Africans, though, it becomes so.
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Re: Australian supermarket to rename racist biscuit

Postby i » Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:39 pm UTC

But what about Italian sausage, which is spicy? Just like Italians!


Edit: I also have it on good authority that it was named after the race of people that first made it.

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Re: Australian supermarket to rename racist biscuit

Postby The Mighty Thesaurus » Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:50 pm UTC

G.v.K wrote:I always thought a creole was language which had evolved out of one or more pidgin languages.

That's what a linguist means when they use the term.
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Re: Australian supermarket to rename racist biscuit

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:55 pm UTC

i wrote:But what about Italian sausage, which is spicy? Just like Italians!


Edit: I also have it on good authority that it was named after the race of people that first made it.

Yeah. The Creole Cream wasn't.

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Re: Australian supermarket to rename racist biscuit

Postby The Mighty Thesaurus » Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:59 pm UTC

You mean Italian sausage isn't made of Italians? Next you'll be telling me that dragon sausage doesn't contain dragon.
LE4dGOLEM wrote:your ability to tell things from things remains one of your skills.
Weeks wrote:Not only can you tell things from things, you can recognize when a thing is a thing

Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam

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TheGrammarBolshevik
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Re: Australian supermarket to rename racist biscuit

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Thu Oct 29, 2009 12:01 am UTC

Not only that, but an English Breakfast contains an average of zero Englishmen!
Nothing rhymes with orange,
Not even sporange.

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Re: Australian supermarket to rename racist biscuit

Postby TaintedDeity » Thu Oct 29, 2009 12:05 am UTC

What recipe are you using?
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Re: Australian supermarket to rename racist biscuit

Postby The Mighty Thesaurus » Thu Oct 29, 2009 12:16 am UTC

The French one.
LE4dGOLEM wrote:your ability to tell things from things remains one of your skills.
Weeks wrote:Not only can you tell things from things, you can recognize when a thing is a thing

Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam


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