The KKK had their say in the mountain town of Ellijay. Hispanics are bad, a black President worse. God bless white, their vile words filled with anger and spite. Remove the sheets, a blight on white, and the words sound eerily familiar, just turn on the radio, tv, internet. Listen.  The crowd similarly made from one whole cloth, no stitching required.

Photo: Covington, 1984. Some things change, some things don’t.


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Billy Howard

Billy Howard

Billy Howard is a commercial and documentary photographer with an emphasis on education and global health.

36 Comments
  1. Keith Graham

    Hard to believe that in 2010 we still have people in Ellijay or anywhere who hold Klan views. We can only hope that children like the one in your 1984 picture grow up to see their parents’ “values” for what they are. I see that the photo was taken in Covington, a town I know pretty well, and the good news is that I know many people from there whose views on race have progressed over the years. I hope the same can be said for this little boy.

    1. Keith, your comment reminds me of Nanci Griffith’s lyrics in “Hard Life:”

      If we poison our children with hatred
      Then, the hard life is all they’ll ever know

      1. Billy Howard

        In defense of Ellijay, most of the attendees were from elsewhere, outside agitators as it were, with only one Gilmer Co. plate amongst them.

  2. Frank Povah

    And hard to believe that we have others who would use such people as allies to achieve their own political ends.

  3. What a sad, petulant display this is. The sheer stupidity of insisting that the institutional racism you so sanctimoniously pine over is returning evidenced by the entirely justified and reasonable opposition to the incompetence, profligacy, lies and corruption of the Barack Hussein Obama regime is stupifyingly ignorant. You noble pot-head libs must wake up and realize it’s not 1958 any more. Heck, even in 1984 institutional racism was severely on the wane, clinging to its redoubts in small, benighted southern towns that had no access to wider, enlightened world. Your stupid autonomic hysterics over “Everyone’s a racist who disagrees with me!!” have grown so tiresome and irrelevant I don’t know that anyone else but me even takes the trouble to point out these pathetic rhetorical failures anymore. But I guess I do enjoy pointing out that the only “hope and change” leftist progressive Democrats have to offer is emotive whines and delusions of victimhood. So, so stupid.

    1. Frank Povah

      Francois (now corrected) Lipton: I’m confused, is it the racists you are denouncing or is it the so-called “liberals” who denounce the racists that attract your angry blue pencil – or should that, in your case, be red pencil; oh hell, there I go again – red = communist/socialist/nazi, or does it? I don’t know any more.

      Pine over means “to long for” or “grieve for”. Is that what troubles you, that the people you so loathe are yearning for the return of the days of institutionalized racism? Or you are cross with them because they are grieving because they worry that they might be returning.

      But thank you for your rugged individualism in being, as you so modestly put it, the only one who “takes the trouble to point out these pathetic rhetorical failures”. Thank you for your richly larded argument denouncing the center of political thought and for again reminding us that the President’s middle name is Hussein (mine’s Leslie by the way; does this feminine spelling of Lesley make me suspect also?)

      1. Look: I’m just tired of your slanders against people who have substantive disagreements based upon legitimate social policies being tarred as bigots on this sad little forum. You’ve carved out this tiny corner of the internet to spread vicious and hateful propaganda. You don’t care about the harm you’re potentially causing by making people paranoid about a race war. These poor idiot KKK supporters in far-off, rural Elijay are so far outside of the political mainstream as to be non-existent. But I’m sure you and your ilk are searching vigorously every day for these lost souls living off the grid to paint them mainstream conservative political operatives. This is a vicious and cruel lie designed to foment paranoia and hatred. Don’t you understand how evil that is?

        It should of course be left unsaid that the people opposing Barack Hussein Obama oppose him because he is an incompetent political boob and far left boob. He is threatening real harm with this redistribution and grievance agenda, thus the lack of investment, employment and other productive economic activity. People don’t like this because they know it will fail. That you have to LIE and call us very conventional Americans racists and bigots is inflammatory slander and an outrage. But I guess you are irrelevant so who cares?

        1. Billy Howard

          I have just connected the dots from a man who thinks that using Obama’s middle name somehow equates him to the enemy. You cry and cry that you are beyond racism, but you protest too much. Perhaps you should read noble laureate Paul Krugman’s take on the economy. To use your distinguished high-minded language, he is no boob. And the lies and slander are coming from you, Mr Annonymous. I stand behind what I write.

    2. Billy Howard

      Being labeled stupid with the rhetorical flourishes of Francois is as big a compliment as I can hope for on these pages. You talk in circles with more and more noise saying nothing, distancing yourself from the racism inherent in your very own comments. I suspect your friends, like you, come from that same whole cloth of white fabric, fraying at the edges, cocooned in your minds, afraid of any mixed blood tainting your thoughts. The lies you sling stick like mud, dry out and crack and you are left with nothing but dirt. No higher ideals, no great goals, only hate and fear. I will say a little prayer that perhaps your heart will open up and see that what makes America great is its diversity. Embracing that is to embrace the very ideals of freedom. Cheers.

    3. It’s very strange that some people see in others what they don’t recognize in themselves.

      Let’s put it this way. Regardless of who’s currently sitting in the White House and who’s in the majority in Congress, the reality is that over the last forty years, real wages for everyone have decreased while the people who play with money have gotten rich. The reality is that our average life expectancy has started to go down; that infant mortality is again on the rise; that chronic illnesses associated with chemical pollutants in water and air are going up; that our children are not learning because they don’t get enough rest or food; and that blaming these conditions on foreign enemies, immigrants, hippies, queers or socialists has worn really thin. The Tea Party people, the ones that aren’t being corralled by Koch Industries, have a point. They’ve been snookered. Much of the heartland has been snookered by the argument that life is great, if there’s somebody who’s got it worse. They just don’t know yet who’s to blame. And then, when they figure it out, they’re too wore out to do anything about it anyway.

      America has come to a sorry pass. But, I suspect Barack Hussein Obama is not a scape goat, willing to be sacrificed. So, the gods are going to have to be appeased some other way. I say it’s the bankers’ turn.

    4. I had trouble with this sentence: “The sheer stupidity of insisting that the institutional racism you so sanctimoniously pine over is returning evidenced by the entirely justified and reasonable opposition to the incompetence, profligacy, lies and corruption of the Barack Hussein Obama regime is stupifyingly ignorant.”

      But I diagrammed it. You are saying that “stupidity is ignorant.” Got it now.

  4. When the foolishness of government stimulus, “free healthcare,” the endless Spanish holidays, vacations, golf games, Air Force One Manhattan flyovers settles in upon you — maybe you will recognize that someone is tinkling in your face and telling you it’s just the rain. That you constantly carry this chuckhead’s water and say he’s an inspiring example is a real joke. But the slander and lies of your constant accusations of racism and bigotry where none exists is not to be excused. You embarrass yourselves and the lot of bobblehead ninnies who nod in agreement.

    1. Billy Howard

      You are such a funny little man, protesting name calling whilst calling out as many names as you can fit into a sentence. –and to say the bigotry doesn’t exist is to have head buried deeply into sand. Perhaps you should listen to your own words occasionally.

  5. Before Francois “Frankie” Lipton is vilified further, and despite his abrasi-gratingness, let’s take a step back. Pardon my density but I was puzzled by the entire article, so can we start over at square one?

    First of all, I thought the article was an introductory paragraph. Befuddled as I already was, the fuddling factor went up by a power of 10 when I searched for the link to page two and realized “That is it.” There was no further reading for me to chew on and try to digest. Help a comprehension-challenged reader out here (by refuting any mis-interpretation I may have made and fleshing out what I must have missed). I got:

    1. Picture of klanspeople or sympathizers thereof… but strangely, the photo is not current.
    2. Short article refers to and informs readers of recent klan activity.

    My thoughts:
    1. I actually took pictures of a sad, little ineffectual klan demonstration in Cambridge, MD in about 1984, being a typically-socially-impassioned (and looking for a good excuse for a day trip) college student with a new camera who wanted to capture in photojournalistic-masterpiece-style some jackass-ery and ensuing mayhem (but there was no mayhem, just some cowardly walking around by two people in an iron-fence-enclosed courthouse yard and a bunch of gawkers/hecklers like myself who came to see… nothing.) My impression: Klans people today are about as popular as they were then… and about as plentiful as a double-peanut M&M (the factory does occasionally put them out! Sort of like double-yolk eggs. But mostly they are the oddity and not even in the consciousness of most of the public, so few and far between are they.) I don’t think 99.99% of the public takes tiny fringe groups like that one, nearly universally reviled, seriously. I mean, there are other groups I could name that probably boast higher numbers, but I don’t even want to dignify some of them with a mention, so repugnant are they.

    2. What was the point of the very short article? That klans people still meet? This was news to me, so it served its purpose if it was news. And I guess it was appropriately short because that’s all I want or need to know about klans people. I guess if someone had asked me yesterday if they still existed, I’d say, “Yes, I guess… probably… I don’t know. There are always nutty people of all extremes so I’m sure there are still some around.”

    Frankie’s tone might be displeasing but was there any truth to what he has accused – maybe not individuals here – but SOME people of? Is there sometimes an implied, “Klans people don’t like Obama, so of you also don’t like Obama, you must share reasoning and motives with klans people and therefore must be to one degree or another, a racist”? That wasn’t the intent of this article, I presume, at least not directly. Is it sometimes the intent of those who denigrate anyone who is not an Obama fan? Has that insinuaton ever been voiced by writers here? Do some people simply stop listening as soon as a peep of discontent with the president comes out and assume you might as well book at hotel room near the next klan rally and suit up? Conversely, are there any people who are so afraid of being criticized by the Obamaphiles and suspected of racism or whatever else makes up anyone who strays from the party line, that they just put the stickers on their car and wear the t-shirts and ridicule (we’re getting to the bobbleheads now, I think) anyone known to be a Republican or a conservative? I hope those people don’t read and write here but I’m pretty sure I know some of those people. Has Francois possibly been irritated by those people? Is that where his crankiness comes from?

    Just some thoughts… Disorganized ones, for sure. Pick apart as you wish.

    1. Billy Howard

      The recent Klan rally was a reminder to me that voices of hatred, no matter how far outside the mainstream, should be confronted for what they are. I took the photograph at a klan rally and frankly decided never to attend another, not wanting to waste my time. They seemed to have gone away but the rhetoric coming from the far right sounds almost identical to the speeches made in Ellijay by the hooded ones. While I wouldn’t go as far as to suggest they are the same, the conversation is going downward not up. When Muslims are condemned for their religious beliefs alone we have become a different country than the one I believe in.
      Perhaps the back and forth with Francois was a bit over the top, but this was not our first sparring. His comments, always rude and confrontational, as well as anonymous, have painted a pretty nice portrait of arrogance, thus, I respond. The caption on the image was meant to be vague, not as a piece of news but, my hope was, as a thought inducing piece, one of reflection. Perhaps it didn’t work.

      1. I too have been disappointed with the slanted writing on this site and the racist accusations against all who oppose Obama’s socialist agenda and the insane direction he is taking our country. Apparently , according to the latest Rasmussen poll, 42% of the nation’s voters share my disgust with the direction this country is taking, and I believe most of us will be voting in the upcoming elections. We are not all extremists. We are not all closet Klansmen. We are not stupid. We are people who do not want bigger government, irresponsible spending, and intrusive policies rammed down our throats. The only hatred I feel is when I look at my paycheck and see how much is being stolen from me every week to support this bloated, corrupt system.

  6. Sorry to say this, but after reading this whole thread and the “Spiked Tea” one just now, I see nothing but a far-left pep rally with no real discussion of anything new or insightful. It really looks like a lot of, “Who’s with me, now?” “I am,” “Yes, I am, too!” “Right on!” and multiple back-pats. Francois really raised some good questions and brought up some good points and so did I (to a lesser degree, though) – he got heckled and I’ll probably be ignored, though (for being too rude and too polite, respectively.)

    I don’t think anyone here sees that painting an entire group with a broad brush the color of its most extreme fringe is insulting and conversation-stopping, not to mention unenlightening and discouraging to further thought and dialogue.

    I’m disappointed because I actually ordered a bumper sticker and planned to put it on my car but if the whole site is like this, I don’t want to anymore. I was hoping the site would be full of thoughtful analysis and intelligent dialogue, not a bunch of extremist rallying and extremist bashing.

    1. Billy Howard

      We on the Dew are all individuals with our own take on what is happening in the world. I can only express my own take as you are able, on this site, to express yours. While the flavor is liberal, many stories have nothing to do with politics but with a southern sensibility, with life, how it is lived and the experiences that have shaped the individual writers. If you are so offended by a few posts, then you are certainly within your rights to dismiss the entire site, or perhaps to add your own voice, to put your spin on posts with your comments. Seems pretty egalitarian to me.
      As for Francois, who has bitterly attacked us with high school bullying and name calling, if he is your model for conversation, then I wish you well. I am open to respectful dialogue and have had same with others on this site, but when attacked anonymously, I will certainly, in my own name, defend my stand.
      Cheers.

      1. You see, Billy, your tone is fisticuffs-like. I didn’t say I was “offended.” I didn’t say I was going to “dismiss” the entire site.

        I raised questions: “Is the entire site like this?” (hoping someone might fill me in on the answer if they have one, but knowing that regardless, I have to figure this out for myself.) I didn’t mean to imply that I *will not* (for sure, as of this moment) put the sticker on my car. It’s that I’m fearing that the site might be, like every other one out there, slanted heavily to one side or the other, with a lot of rah-rah-ing and not a lot else.

        I was hoping for more. I may still get more. My verdict is not in.

        I think you really don’t see that you can be just as insulting as your detractor Francois can. You said a lot of things in the tea party column that pretty much implied that people in favor of less government involvement (as the tea party is supposed to be based on, as I understand it) are really just all racists, all just small-minded bigots, etc. etc. etc. Are you really trying to examine anything or are you just slinging mud?

        I just now saw that you implied that Francois might be my “model for conversation.” Do you see how patronizing and demeaning your…. demeanor is? Think about it. Unless all you want is a bunch of high-fives from your buddies. In that case, don’t bother thinking about it.

        Granted, I haven’t read many articles in-depth except a few of yours, but I’ve perused a lot of them and I’ve seen the same names coming up over and over again in the comments, and now that you’ve told me the flavor is liberal, I’m sort of discouraged. Because 99 times out of 100, a group of liberals gathered is going to be extreme and intolerant, and a group of conservatives gathered is going to be extreme and intolerant. Oh well, it’ll be no big loss to the site if it turns out to be not worth my while to swim against an overwhelming tide, I’m sure. It’ll streamline the comments if everyone agrees, at least in large part.

        1. Billy Howard

          Touché. Perhaps my writing has been slanted more than intended. I am inundated in the media with the slant angling in the other direction on radio, tv the internet, and my inclination is to balance the ship. I will try and be mindful of its affect on people I have no qualms with. I have many friends and family who disagree with me politically yet we have high regard for each other. I will take you at face value as someone truly engaged and consider your comments in future posts.

  7. Well damn. How tiresome many of you have become. You folks waste a lot of time and many-syllabled words without saying much. You never write or respond regarding how life for you itself goes and what you worry about at night when it is 3 a.m. and sleep is slow to come. You wax eloquent about, well, about nothing that moves me, and I suspect I am not alone. Too many of you seem to desire a big canvas. Forget the big picture that so many of us don’t give a damn about. Really, if you can move beyond politics to folks busy with surviving, raising kids, and burying parents, you’ll find few give a damn about the things that stir your blood. What about the really real picture: parents with cancer, children who are lost in life (drugs), what to do when life gives you a free moment where you can write something that matters. Really, you all wring your hands about stuff that no one in the world I know gives much thought to … you remind me of tenured professors who live in a world they themselves dreamed up for their own self importance and their students hate them.

    I am getting the real feeling that many of you only write to impress others and can’t say anything substantial that a man on the street might listen to. Insult me all you want, but you come across as sanctimonious elites who are here to convince people what a noble life you lead. Please, please … can we write about things that really touch our lives? Or is that not possible? I have come to believe that not working for the mass media is the best thing that ever happened to me. Thank God for that.

    My days of posting here are soon to end. LTD is not what I thought it is. Many of you have been kind to me but I find that too many of you are one-trick ponies: you’ve got to beat the divisive political drums that way too many of us tuned out long ago. Please. Prove to me that you can write about things that touch us on a personal level and forget the big empty canvas. To be profane, the world I live in is peopled by folks too busy to give a shit about the stuff that obsesses you.

    1. Billy Howard

      The ideologies that determine our future through the election of politicians pandering to the far right is indeed a big picture issue that ultimately affects each of us in the minutiae of our daily lives. While I have posted stories having nothing to do with politics, when I am confronted with issues of institutionalized prejudice (witness the recent Georgia Republican primary where Nathan Deal and Karen Handel fell all over themselves declaring how much they despised gays) I feel a need to call them out for their divisive politics. And while you may feel this is all self aggrandizing elitist talk, the people affected by this rhetoric, not only gay people but people who believe in equality, think it is truly the big picture.

      Write what you like and involve yourself in the websites you like. Personally I have enjoyed your stories and hope you stay to contribute. You are welcome to provide your own balance to the posts you see on this site. But with an internet filled with voices like Bortz, Limbaugh, Hannity and any number of self-professing Obama bashers, having a voice speaking out on the left is an obsession worth pursing.

      1. Billy Howard

        Looking back through my contributions to this site, over 90% have nothing to do with politics but are the daily life stories you prefer. Whether they are good or bad is not for me to judge, but the ebb and flow of any blog is going to include moments where the political ideologies of the writers comes forth. Read Janet Ward’s lovely story today or Jack DeJarnette’s hilarious post or Frank Povah’s tale from Australia and I think you will find exactly what you seem to be missing. It’s all there including a lovely post by you, A Horse for All Seasons. Add to that the reviews of movies, books and food and I think, perhaps, Like the Dew is closer to what you want than you think it is.

  8. Lee Leslie

    Many of us who grew up in the South have still vivid memories of evidence of the Klan. Hearing of the recent and, thankfully, poorly attended parade in Ellijay, GA this weekend, I was reminded of a growing up in Greenville, SC. For a while, the Klan’s favorite spot for the dark-of-night abominations was an empty lot at the corner of Faris and Grove roads. Coming home on Sundays, my family would too often pass the burned crosses which marked the Klan’s rituals and left as a reminder of their hatred. It is not without irony that this same spot is now the site Greenville Hospital Medical Campus that includes the Shriners Hospital for Children, Women’s Hospital, Cancer Center, Heart Institute, Roger C. Peace Rehabilitation Hospital, Marshall Pickens Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment Hospital and related services – a phoenix, if you will, risen from the ashes of those crosses.

  9. Billy, thanks for your comments. LTD is losing what was once an eloquent voice as the political and racial fires get stoked. I don’t listen to talk radio for the same reason I don’t like certain posts here: they divide people. I go to the polls and vote though I believe anyone who runs for office has a personality problem. Voting’s enough for me. I don’t feel that I have to take others by the hand and lead them to enlightenment. The big picture for me involves those things that touch all humans: birth, growth, decline, death, fear, anxiety, love, sex, and family—not politics and not religion. No matter the culture or political system, the things I listed prevail in the end. Finally, as Obama goes I believe history will judge him harshly, possibly the worst president the country has seen in modern times. It has nothing to do with his skin; it has everything to do with his policies. If Obama and Limbaugh were in a rowboat and it sank, who would I throw a float to? Neither. That’s as close to political diatribes as you’ll get with me.

  10. Cliff Green

    I’d throw a lifeline to Obama. Nigras can’t swim, and Limbaugh has enough blubber on him to float for a week.

    1. How in the heck are you going let this crazy old cracker racist redneck mo-fo post this racist drivel for more than 24 hours and no one says, “boo,” to him? So it’s OK to be racist if you tow the party line on LikeTheDemocrats.com. Sad, sorry-ass bunch of punks.

  11. Cliff Green

    I told you, cowards don’t even understand satire.

    1. An utterance such as yours is not satire, it’s bigotry plain and simple. But just goes to show you the blatant bias of this hollow partisan corner of cyberspace. Once again exposing you “me-too” leftist self-righteous partisans for who you really are.

    2. I was wondering about post #10, also. I couldn’t even quite process it, as a matter of fact. So if it’s satire, and if it comes from someone “in the fold” here, it stands without rebuke? What if it came from Lipton or me or anyone else? Where I live, words included in that post can’t even be used – satirically or otherwise, not to mention that the sentiment expressed wouldn’t be looked well upon, either. I can’t believe that was left without comment but that tells me everything about this site that I need to know.

      I’m done here.

      1. Frank Povah

        Don’t go Vic – yours are the only comments from an opposing viewpoint that aren’t merely name-calling. I won’t comment on Vic’s reply because frankly I don’t understand most American humor though I will concede I hoped it was satire poorly done (sorry Cliff) and spread too thick.

        You and I will never see eye to eye on politics or economic policy, but at least I’m sure we’d be able to yell at each other in a bar without resorting to name calling, fisticuffs or worse.

        Again – present your arguments, disagree with me all you like, but don’t turn away.

      2. Billy Howard

        You complain that no one makes a comment about Cliff’s statement, but indeed you have made a comment, as has Francois. So you leave evidence of the very thing you are looking for in your own comments. The only way to have a dialogue is for people with another viewpoint to continue to contribute and you are that person right now. Many conservative blogs do not even allow dissenting viewpoints yet we continue to allow Francois, who posts many immature, combative, name calling rants, to have his say. We disagree and often descend to his level, but he freely posts his feelings. Tell me a right leaning blog that would allow me to do the same.

        Opting out of the conversation is your right, but allowing one person’s comments to send you away is a bit unfair. You want this to be a blog of many voices but in order to do that your voice should stay. I agree with Frank, you are one of the few, and there are a few others, who while disagreeing leave room for dialogue. As you will see from Francois’ many comments, he leaves very little room for substantive dialogue.

        1. I guess what I didn’t make clear is: I don’t want to be the only “dissenting” voice (well, me and Lipton, which isn’t saying much.) I’m not going to be the token tolerated non-conformist (to this site.) I have better things to do with my time and with my mental health.

          By the way, it’s already been said to me that “you and I will never agree on politics or economic policy” but I don’t even have strong and clear opinions on those, for the most part. I’ve been protesting what appears to me to be a bunch of bandwagon-preaching. I think I know that when I see it, even when I’m not a complete expert on the topics. I don’t even see issues being examined in detail – instead, I see a lot of posturing and catch-phrase repeating. The very things you accuse the idiot-right of doing (rightfully so a lot of the time, granted.)

          More importantly, though, what Lipton and I both pointed out is what appears to be extreme hypocrisy: When one of “your own” uses a word not even allowed where I live (is it because I am in Maryland that I don’t see that as even vaguely acceptable? I don’t think so; I’m descended from south Georgians for a half-dozen generations back on both sides and I never, ever heard anything resembling that “N” word growing up till I heard it from lowlifes at school or in the community) and when “your own” puts forth, even jokingly, racial stereotypes (again, aren’t “liberals” famous for not sanctioning that?), then it’s OK and no one takes him to task on that? Could he post remarks about watermelon, fried chicken, etc. (again, never heard those till high school or later, believe it or not) and you’d look the other way? Because it’s ” a joke”? (Note: I happen to believe that a little humor SHOULD be taken in stride even by the intended butt assuming it’s not meant to be vicious, but it’s funny that people grant that to “their side” but not the other, routinely. Words starting with “N” get outside the humor realm pretty fast and I’m not sure who can really get away with that or in what context – again, around here, we just steer clear.)

          Would I or Lipton or any other unknown be given the liberty to make jokes like that or use words like that? Even if we wanted to say something like that? (And I wouldn’t – any credit for that? Didn’t think so.) I’m just disgusted by the us-against-them theme here. If your buddy Cliff can speak that way and no one makes a peep, I’ve had enough. That’s what I meant to say, elaborated a little more. (I think Lipton said the same thing, but since he’s reviled, even valid points of his get ignored.) (See, I’ve had coffee now; I hadn’t previously.)

          1. Billy Howard

            The writers on Like the Dew have opinions and express them. We allow you and anyone else to disagree. None of us has a lock on the truth, but we are all seeking it and responding to the world in the way that makes sense to us. Some of us are strident and some of us go over the top in our writing, as Francois has done in his responses. Your responses to posts have caused me to reflect on how I write, so I have found them useful, but the overall tone of the site disturbs you more than the rewards you might receive from dialogue. I completely understand and might feel the same if the roles were reversed. I hope you find an outlet that has the balance you are looking for.

  12. Cliff Green

    OK. I stepped over the line. I would like to apologize to all the fat people out there who were offended by my mention of Rockin’ Rush Limbaugh’s blubber. Are you cowards happy now?

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