Saturday, February 27, 2016

Filibusters: #SCOTUS Obstructionists of Justice

#SCOTUS Obstructionists of Justice

Filibuster: an action such as a prolonged speech that obstructs progress in a legislative assembly while not technically violating the required procedures. To act in an obstructive manner in a legislature, especially by speaking at inordinate length.

On Wednesday a couple colleagues {Akeem Rashad Allah/DJ Wise and Salim Adofo} and I had the privilege to be on a conference call directly from the White House with other key African American and Civil Rights Leaders around the country about the Supreme Court nomination process that was moderated by Stephanie Young and Valerie Jarrett. Stephanie Young is the Director of African American Outreach for The White House and Valerie Jarrett is the Senior Adviser to President Barack Obama and Assistant for Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs in his Administration. If you're unfamiliar with these women I encourage you to Google them.

Read President Obama's "A Responsibility I Take Seriously"

Following the death of Supreme Court Justice and ultra-conservative Antonin Scalia, this left a vacancy in the highest court of our country. According to our Constitution, in order to fill that vacancy the current President, in our case President Barack Obama, chooses a nominee who is then confirmed by the Senate and then appointed to that position. This is a process that requires several steps, which on average has taken 67 days since 1975, roughly two months, and every U.S. Supreme Court nominee in history has received a vote within four months. President Obama has over 300 days left to serve his second term as our commander and chief so there shouldn't be a problem nominating another Supreme Court Justice, unless of course the Senate doesn't cooperate. After our President makes his nomination it's then sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee who conducts hearings to question his nomination to determine if they'll make a suitable Supreme Court Justice. When these hearings conclude, the Judiciary Committee votes on whether the President's nomination should go to the full Senate with a good, bad or neutral report. Republicans in the Judiciary Committee, led by their chairman Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa, have already made it publicly known that they are not going to vote for whoever our President nominates. The last time a Supreme Court nominee was denied a hearing was in 1875. To give you some context, this was 141 years ago during the Reconstruction Era when the Civil Rights Act of 1875 was passed to guarantee African Americans access to equal housing, transportation and jury duty inclusion. By delaying this nomination process and dragging their feet, these Republicans and their special-interest group supporters, could very well get their way and there are no formal repercussions by doing this. The only repercussions they face are from their constituents. So instead of upholding the Constitution and doing the job they were elected to do, they have chosen to be filibusters. The bottom line is "they" want "their people" in that position and will do whatever they can to block, obstruct and go against the Constitution and what President Obama was elected to do in serving his final term as our commander and chief. These tactics aren't new and reflect the continuous uphill battle our President and First Lady have dealt with the entire two terms they've been in office. A battle with elected officials being uncooperative, unhelpful, unsupportive and outright disrespectful. 

Members of the Republican controlled Senate and Judiciary Committee have tried to argue that the 2016 President-Elect, not our current President, should nominate a Supreme Court Justice because it's an election year. Mind you, the Senate has confirmed 6 Justices in presidential election years since 1900 including the Republican President Ronald Reagan who appointed Justice Kennedy. If the Senate fails to act, the Supreme Court could have a vacancy for the better part of two Terms. This means that without a 9th Justice, the Supreme Court's 4-4 decisions can't legally establish uniform, nationwide rules. Many have been outraged at the sense of defiance, recklessness and disrespect on the part of the Senate Judiciary Committee and according to the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights & The Leadership Conference Education Fund, "a broad coalition of 82 civil rights, voting rights, public interest, environmental, labor, religious, and education groups sent a letter to Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) and the 10 other Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, condemning their recent announcement that they will refuse to hold a hearing on—or even meet with—any potential Supreme Court nominee." You can read and share this letter here

Because there are no formal repercussions the Senate Judiciary Committee will face, except from their constituents, what can we do? First I would encourage you to share this article via your social networks including the hash tags #SCOTUS and #DoYourJob.

  1. Post/Share media interviews, memes, articles and statements via your social networks that talk about the importance of the President’s constitutional duty to ensure we have a full supreme court. 
  2. Post/Share media interviews, memes, articles and statements via your social networks that talk about the role of the court, the role of the President and/or the role of Congress when a seat on the Court needs filling.  
  3. Share media interviews, memes, articles and statements in the comment section of media interviews, memes, articles and statements via your social networks.
  4. Here are a series of graphics you can Post/Share via your social networks. 
  5. Be sure to include the hash tags #SCOTUS and #DoYourJob in all of your postings and commentary. 
  6. Find out the position of your regional and local public officials on this Supreme Court nomination where you live. Require them to state this position publicly and hold them to it as a matter of their policy record -regardless if they're running for reelection this year or in the future. 
Keep in mind that this filibuster scenario that's playing out on the national stage is also happening on a regional and local level throughout America. The reason you may not see certain things getting done in your municipality, your neighborhood or in your workplace is because of the same kind of people striving to block, obstruct and go against progress. Letting our voice be heard about the Supreme Court nomination informs the Senate Judiciary Committee that we will individually/collectively use our position, finances and vote to ensure that people like them, who are not doing their job, will not be in these positions to obstruct justice. We are also informing their constituents that we will not support them, especially in business. How can you trust a business person to do the right thing for their patrons [citizens] when they're deliberately supporting public servants who are not willing to do the right thing for their tax paying citizenry? All of us as citizens are expected to do our job and the citizens we've elected as public servants need to do their jobs too. It's just that simple. 


Sunday, February 14, 2016

Beyoncé: The Duchess of Viralshire

The Duchess of Viralshire  

When Beyoncé broke the internet Super Bowl week with the release of her Formation video, Super Bowl Halftime Performance and Take My Hand, Precious Lord mini-documentary, two things primarily happened; people reacted and people responded. From Political Talking Heads, Barbershop Talk, 15 second Instagram Vloggers, Conspiracy Theorists, Conservatives and Entertainment Bloggers, everybody and they Momma had something to say, positively and negatively. On February 9th, one of my colleagues Salim Adofo, Vice-Chair of the NBUF [National Black United Front], shared this poignant thought via his Facebook Page which effectively summarizes the same perspective I share:

"You can have whatever critique of Beyoncé that you want to have. The fact is she has help to keep the conversation of Black Resistance alive and in the mainstream media for the time being. I see this as a teachable moment. I understand the power and influence a mega star like Beyoncé has and if an incorrect message is sent out, it could be very misleading. Beyoncé is going to do what she is going to do. I cannot control that. However what I can control are the elements of my own cipher. I just need to perform my duty as a civilized man and continue to teach freedom, justice and equality. This gives me another avenue to educate some one that I may have not been able to reach before." 

On a personal level, I like Beyoncé's business acumen, work ethic and of course her beauty and sex appeal. Above all, I enjoy seeing how she communicates the complex dimensions of a woman; it's a level of sophistication you oftentimes don't see. Many women, especially in mainstream entertainment, are one maybe two-dimensional. If they ooze sexuality, that's all you see and it may take them a lifetime to change that perception. If they're chronically single and about that turn-up lifestyle, they may never successfully transition into a wife or mother, even if they got married and had a child. Beyoncé is an archetype of a woman's multi-facets. She's able to successfully and seamlessly articulate a variety of a woman's dimensions, which are, yet definitely not limited to, a Mother, Diva, Daughter, Sister, Wife, Bonnie [partner of Clyde] Queen, Girlfriend, Round The Way Girl, Sexy/Erotic, Activist and etc. Beyoncé's most recent manifestation is the real Sasha Fierce; the archetypal Phoenix from the X-Men, Dr. Jean Grey's alter-ego and one of the most powerful mutants. If you understand the context in which Stan Lee created the X-Men, the correspondence of Professor X. to Martin Luther King Jr. and Magneto to Malcolm X., what I'm saying makes perfect sense. In my assessment, some of the women who don't like Beyoncé oftentimes dislike one of her dimensions. Sometimes it's the same dimension they have yet to manifest. In other words, some women who criticize Beyoncé about her sex appeal, don't have sex appeal. Not all women are like that, some are, and those who are express it on social media every day. Some women simply don't agree with Beyoncé publicly displaying her sex appeal and think she needs to be more modest, more like a Sade. I can understand that concern for her or any woman's safety and any thinking person should. America is historically misogynistic, chauvinistic, [white] patriarchal and much of its low-brow citizenry still openly objectify, oppress and brutalize females/women with impunity. I talked about some of these standards in my article Is Bill Cosby Innocent or Guilty? This concern for her or any woman's safety doesn't mean that I think women should wear scent neutral potato sacks to not set off the savages. It does mean that I think we need to work towards a paradigm shift in terms of better educating our young girls and boys about self respect and respect for each other. It also means that if we want to teach that respect we need to consistently demonstrate it in our everyday lives and help each other do the same. Some of us, men and women, are savages and aren't going to do anything about our level of respect. When this is the case, it's important for us to manage our children's expose to this and help insure this kind of mentality isn't poisoning the wishing well of our next generation. As our children become young adults, adults and then possibly parents, they will make their own decisions about what they agree and disagree with. For those of us who care, it is our job is to make sure that the legacy we're creating, and will ultimately leave behind, helps lead our future generations in the right direction.

In seeing events like Beyoncé's recent media storm, it all comes down to asking ourselves, "What are you going to do about it?" -regardless if we're Team Reaction or Team Responded. One of the things that I've always strongly advocated is to critique something with contributions. Everyone has an opinion yet everyone is not willing and able to offer anything above and beyond that opinion. That inactivity changes nothing, especially when that critique is negative, and that's a double whammy. Even if it's a positive critique, we can still do something above and beyond that opinion. For example, I like the Hip Hop artist Earl Sweatshirt who was a member of the group OFWGKTA. Not only are my critiques of his music generally positive, I literally support his brand; a took two youth to a concert, I exposed thousands of listeners to him by featuring his music on a Musicology Episode of my show Atlantis Build Talk Radio, and I purchased some of his music and merchandise. I may not like everything Earl Sweatshirt does but if I do, I support it, with more than an opinion. If I don't, and I publicly share that critique, I offer some contribution as an alternative. I likewise don't like everything Beyoncé does artistically yet there are some things I do. In 2013 I screened Bey's 'Life Is But A Dream' documentary for an International Woman's Day event I co-hosted and again in 2014 for 9-12 year old youth in my STYA Program. If you haven't seen the documentary I encourage you to check it out, it's very insightful and especially empowering for girls and women of color to see. 

Queen Cee, owner of Queen Dollylama

Seeing all of these critiques I contacted one of my sisters in Canada, Queen Cee, who among many other things she does as an artist/activist such as the Be-You-tiful Girls Club initiative, owns and operates a company called Queen Dollylama that creatively re-images dolls to give them a naturally unique, ethnic and artistic look. As there is a lacking of dolls that are Afrocentric, she also specializes in re-imaging dolls of color. My idea was to build upon the positive momentum of Beyoncé using part of her platform to project black consciousness and culture into the mainstream media and collaborate with Queen Cee to customize a collectors edition doll that reflects these ideals of black resistance, #blacklivesmatter, Black Panther homage and of course #Formation. When complete I'm going to do an online drawing and give it away to one of my supporters. I will be sharing the rules of how to enter the drawing via my Facebook Page and Twitter so if you're not connected with me via Facebook and Twitter you'll need to in order to stay informed. 

In doing this project I am demonstrating what it means to "critique something with contributions" and expose my subscribers to Queen Dollylama and the work Queen Cee has been doing for more than two decades to advocate positive cultural expressions of people, especially women, of color. Events like Beyoncé breaking the internet will continue to be landmark moments within the chronology of our people that shapes the humanity geography of this world, whether we like it or not. The bottom line is we must be mindful of our position of power to consistently control this narrative. Not with an opinion, with contributions that are purposeful and a part of our legacy. Stay tuned for the Queen Dollylama Giveaway!


Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Five Percenter Table Talks Featuring: Author Paul L. Guthrie

Five Percenter Table Talks
Featuring: Author Paul L. Guthrie

I recently had an opportunity to build with Author Paul Lawrence Guthrie about his book Making of the Whiteman, his documentary series via the World Dhamma Foundation and various other sciences of life. We've agreed to make a portion of our dialogue available to the public. There are Five Percenter newborns, others within our Nation and members of other conscious groups who are not familiar with his contributions in regards to KOS [Knowledge of Self]. I wanted to highlight some of those contributions. Also, over the years the Five Percenters have often been labeled Muslims and Mr. Guthrie's work, particularly clarifying some of the source material of the Nation of Islam's teachings and 120 lessons, has been very helpful in addressing this label. Do the knowledge!

Saladin Allah: The first time I heard of you was back in the 90’s and it was through a book you published entitled "Making of the Whiteman: History, Tradition and the Teachings of Elijah Muhammad." That book was a staple for those of us coming into knowledge of self before the proliferation of the internet and social media. Even today, and almost twenty five years later, that book is still considered a literary classic. What prompted you to write that book and how do you see it almost twenty five years later?

Paul Guthrie: At that time, a lot of the literature on the topic was religious in nature and I wanted to write something non-religious. I wanted the book to be short enough to read in one day; with over-sized type, to reduce eye strain; and to use plain words, so as to be understandable to everyday people. I'm happy that the book has held up well, over time.

Saladin Allah: True indeed. In addition to the book itself one of the best parts to me were the numerous sources you cited in the back. I read the book in one day yet invested many days researching the sources. Some of the books I found in my local library hadn't been taken out in almost twenty years. With the development and expansion of the internet, we now have a Millennial Generation born as social media natives. For many, web surfing and social networking has begun to replace the traditional fact finding missions of exploring local libraries, bookstores, visiting people and etc. to gain knowledge. What does this technological paradigm shift mean for our present and future generations? How does this shift positively and/or negatively effect ones journey who is seeking knowledge?

Paul Guthrie: Those references were used with the hope that people might go on to further reading. The way you used the book was exactly what I had in mind.

Since the rise of the internet, literacy has been in decline. And even literacy itself, is changing. Reading words printed on paper (in books) is a different process than reading online. When I first began to read online I had to almost re-learn the kind of thought processes used while reading from books. It took me several months to re-learn how to mentally process online information. Computers throw the information at you at a different speed and with a different flavor. It's not the same; it comes at you from a different angle. I promote that people use paper printed books (while they’re still available), and maybe supplement their reading with online sources.

I’m not very familiar with most of the social media. However, I think it’s safe to say that following the shift towards social media, people are becoming less social. Maybe computers should be used in moderation.

Saladin Allah: Since the release of your book I see that you've been able to successfully use this 'medium' to present something called The World Dhamma Foundation. What is the World Dhamma Foundation and how did it come about?

Paul Guthrie: Dhamma means reality. Dhamma is the word used in Buddhist circles to describe things as they are, as well as to describe the science or method leading to the attainment of insight into those things. Dhamma is a scientific discipline rooted in personal experience. World Dhamma Foundation promotes the study and practice of Dhamma (Buddhism).

Saladin Allah: Several years ago in 2008 through the World Dhamma Foundation you began to share a series of videos related to your research on W.D. Fard, also known as Master Fard Muhammad; co-founder of the Nation of Islam. In those videos you elaborate in detail on his origins in India, not Arabia and his teachings correlation to Buddhism, not Islam. How did you begin to make these correlations and what in particular within the Supreme Wisdom book and specific degrees within 120 lessons made you come to this conclusion?

Paul Guthrie: My Supreme Wisdom lessons come literally from a garbage can, from the alley behind Muhammad's Temple #8. The Temple threw them away in the 1970's. I lived a few blocks away, near 25th and Imperial and I still have those lessons today. The Temple was located across the street from what had once been the local chapter of the Black Panther Party.

The 120 or Supreme Wisdom lessons is a coherent body of teachings. A pattern or paradigm. In my view, Buddhist principles and practices run throughout the lessons from start to finish. When I look at the terminology used throughout them; as well as the principles and practices, they are consistent throughout with Buddhism. I think it's significant that W. D. Fard mentions no Islamic principles or practices. If we call the lessons “Islam” we should know it’s very different from what the rest of the world calls Islam. And it’s okay to do so, however for me it seems more coherent to refer to those principles and practices as perfectly consistent with Dhamma.

Saladin Allah: It's interesting you mention that because a similar paradigm shift took place with the branch of the Nation of Islam under the leadership of Minister Louis Farrakhan fairly recently. Over the last decade his Department of Supreme Wisdom stopped issuing official copies of the Supreme Wisdom book and consequently the lessons. His controversial Scientology campaign directing his believers to get audited at its church and study Dianetics also came a short time after this.

In your videos about W.D. Fard you talked about how the lessons only mention about a few Islamic words in comparison to ten thousand other words, and not in a traditional Muslim context. Another point you elaborated on, in addition to Fard's handwriting being Urdu, not Arabic, is that in his 'Instructions to the Laborers' he specifically defined the teachings as "mixed." In my own research I also found correlations between some of the lessons and what Madame HP Blavatsky taught within the Theosophy Society such as her being educated by hidden masters in the East during the time of Fard's childhood, the 25,000 calendar and etc. Did you also come across these correlations? What other correlations did you find throughout these "mixed" teachings other than Buddhism?

Paul Guthrie: Yes, in the lessons you can see evidence of the trends of that time. And as you've noted, Blavatsky’s Theosophical Movement is one such trend. Blavatsky's Isis Unveiled was published in 1877, and the same is officially recognized as W. D. Fard's birth year. Blavatsky is said to have borrowed the title Isis Unveiled, from the title of Anacalypsis, by Godfrey Higgins. The full title is: "Anacalypsis: An Attempt to Draw Aside the Veil of the Saitic Isis or an Inquiry into the Origin of Languages, Nations and Religions." It's reported that W. D. Fard frequently used the text Anacalypsis during his talks. Both Anacalypsis and Isis Unveiled focus on Buddhist India.

Regarding groups ceasing to issue the Supreme Wisdom lessons: maybe they believe they’ve exhausted the value contained in those lessons. Sometimes religious organizations ban or otherwise de-emphasize their source material for political reasons. Ancient Rome’s conversion to Christianity is one such example. In the case of Christianity, many of the early texts were banned following the Roman conversion. Rome did that for political reasons. The Gnostic school (Knowledge) was replaced by the newly Romanized, Pistos school (Faith). In politics and in religion, authority tends to flow uphill. Outside of politics and religion, authority normally rests with the individual. I think the lessons speak of that dynamic and guard against it - where the Instructions say, "I do not want importance among the Laborers nor Officials."

I mention the 25,000 year processional calendar cycle and the trillion-plus calendar year system in Part One of the documentary series. I plan to talk about a lot of other correlations in Parts Three and Four.

Saladin Allah: Much of what you say conflicts with what people are traditionally taught about Fard and the lessons. What has been the general consensus from those who have been exposed to your research? How has your research been received by the different branches of the Nation of Islam? And I ask because many people are unaware that there are multiple "Nations" of Islam with various leaders such as the late John Muhammad [Elijah's brother], Silis Muhammad, Solomon Royall, The Son of Man [Marvin Muhammad], Ahmad A. Muhammad, Minister Louis Farrakhan and others.

Paul Guthrie: Most of the people from whom I've heard have been open to the ideas. I think they’re exceptional in that they probably don’t represent the general consensus.

There are a number of Nation of Islam organizations. I don’t know that any of those organizations have received the Get On Board The Wheel documentary series in a welcoming way. Outside of the people who are already studying with us, the most positive reception has been from the Five Percent. I value their responses. Especially the older Gods -- many of them already know what I’m talking about. Additionally, I’ve heard from many rank-and-file Nation of Islam members; some of them have been very supportive. I value their support too.

Saladin Allah: Your research is what sparked a public dialogue and inspired various people to research, write about, lecture and even publicly debate the correlation between Indian or Indus Valley teachings and the original source material of the Supreme Wisdom book and 120 lessons. As Five Percenters, we are scientists of life, not religious or dogmatic. This is one of the reasons many of us appreciate you; you've added on and continue to add on knowledge to our cipher. Because we are not Muslims and don't base our worldview on a belief system, in our quest for knowledge we strive to be right and exact and stand to be corrected if we're not. If I'm building with another Five Percenter or anybody that's sharing information that either conflicts with or adds onto what I previously learned, I'm open to researching and integrating it into my life if it's right and exact. That attitude and posture is a vital part of the growth and development process.

Although change can be challenging for any of us, I think it's very difficult for most religious people because their foundation is belief, not knowledge. In regards to those who have been the most oppositional to your research, what have you found to be the most problematic for them to accept? What have you learned from this opposition and how have you addressed it?

Paul Guthrie: I agree with you on that, in real dialogue everyone wins. Also, I have tried to keep up with your builds for a number of years now. Your builds are informative and very solid. You teach by example Saladin and many people (including myself) benefit from that example.

As far as certain people opposing or not accepting particular ideas - I'm open to that. So far, the main opposition has been emotional opposition. I don’t see much evidence-based opposition. I suspect that over time the emotional responders will piece together a more coherent opposition. Those kind of emotional reactions are “magnetic”, it's just a way to throw us off course. In Dhamma practices, the magnetic is called clinging and aversion – if you watch, when someone reacts to an issue emotionally, you can see they’re trying to push you or pull you in one direction or the other – to turn you away from the issue. I’m open to critique and to dialogue and learning. I certainly don’t advocate that people agree with a thing until after they’ve thoroughly looked into it for themselves.

Saladin Allah: I appreciate that my brother and I'm honored that I've been able to add-on. Your mention of "magnetic" reminds me of the 22nd lesson in the 1-40. As you know, it talks about Yacub discovering magnetic while playing with two pieces of steel as a child. Within that discovery Yacub learned that the piece with the magnetic attracted the piece without. As it correlates to people, it was the piece/people without magnetic who were pushed or pulled and easily led in one direction or the other that the devil was eventually made manifest through. It was also this manifestation that eventually threw the entire human family off course. I've definitely witnessed and experienced various forms of emotional opposition and knee-jerk reactions to knowledge, especially in the form of social media trolling nowadays. If it occurs I've always strived to not go there because it's nothing more than a proverbial island of Pelon where people are made other than themselves.

Right now you've made Get On Board The Wheel Part One and Get On Board The Wheel Part Two documentary series available to the public and are currently working on Part Three. What other projects can we look forward to from The World Dhamma Foundation and are you currently working on any future books?

Paul Guthrie: That’s true, I’ve followed your builds for a number of years. I’m not surprised to hear that. It reminds me of the classic, WWII bomber pilot saying, “If you’re receiving fire, it only means you’re over the target.” Keep dropping that knowledge brother.

I do plan to put a few things in book form. Any future books will be free of charge. It's easy today to make ebooks without any overhead charges. I'm currently able to convert literature into epub, mobi and pdf formats. Under the current circumstances, it's far easier for me to produce and easier to distribute in digital formats. If people prefer, they can print them onto paper. That's how I plan to handle any future literature (free of charge).

The Get On Board The Wheel series is preparatory to the Dhamma Talks series. I want to share a view of Dhamma specifically tailored on our culture, using our language and our dialect. Alongside the Dhamma Talks series will be other series.

Saladin Allah: That's excellent to hear and I'm sure many of us are looking forward to that. Over the last decade I've seen people use some of your research to self publish books, do paid lectures and public debates. I've even heard that your book "Making of the Whiteman: History, Tradition and the Teachings of Elijah Muhammad" has been reprinted and sold without your authorization.

As there is a fine line between sharing knowledge and monetizing what we do as researchers, authors, consultants and etc., why have you chosen to share The Get On Board The Wheel series, the Dhamma Talks series and future literature for free as opposed to selling it at a reasonable cost?

Paul Guthrie: The information is free. Books, dvd’s, information or services from me are free of charge.

Saladin Allah: If it's true that your book has been reprinted and sold without your authorization, how have you addressed this in regards to your intellectual property rights?

Paul Guthrie: The last “authorized” version was in 1996 (around that time). Nearly all the copies since then have been bootleg versions (with the exception of maybe 1 or 2). A few years ago a friend asked me if he could publish a few thousand copies (he owns KHA Books). That’s probably the only “authorized” printing in nearly the last 20 years. I’m not charging him for those. I still own the intellectual property rights to the book and I do know who the bootleggers have been. I have generally responded to the bootleggers on a case-by-case basis.

Saladin Allah: I definitely understand and I will that you continue to address that. At one point an article I wrote was being used without my authorization as the forward to a book of lessons being sold on Amazon. It took some research but I was finally able to track down the author through his publishing company and get Amazon to stop selling copies and him to re-edit the book. It was a nightmare, seeing that we as Five Percenters don't sell our lessons.

Well Brother, our interview has drawn to close and I want to thank you again for this opportunity to build. Where can my readers stay connected to your continual work with The World Dhamma Foundation and is there anything else that you would like to share before you go?

Paul Guthrie: Thank you Saladin and thank you to your readers.