Listeners Nominate Changes To Election Day

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Tell Me More editor Ammad Omar and host Michel Martin comb recent listener feedback. More than 900 responses poured in for a recent conversation about pushing election day to the weekend. They also hear responses to an interview with the comedian who made the YouTube viral video about stuff 'white girls say.'

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

And now, it's time for BackTalk. That's where we lift the curtain on what's happening in the TELL ME MORE blogosphere. Editor Ammad Omar is here with us once again.

Ammad, what do you have for us?

AMMAD OMAR, BYLINE: Well, Michel, we got more than 900 comments on a segment from earlier this week about whether to move election day to the weekend. You spoke to the executive director of an organization called Why Tuesday? about that.

MARTIN: And I pointed out that Why Tuesday? is supported by people from across the political spectrum, but I do want to note that I misspoke when I said that Why Tuesday?'s Norman Ornstein was a cofounder of the American Enterprise Institute. I don't know why I said that. I must have had a brain freeze. I've known that man for years. He's actually a resident scholar at AEI.

Anyway, I wanted to ask what other people think about the idea of moving election day to the weekend, so Ammad, what did people have to say?

OMAR: Well, I'd say most people said, yes. Please do move election day to the weekend, away from Tuesday. Morgan Henderson(ph) from New York says, either move it to the weekend or give us a paid day off to vote.

MORGAN HENDERSON: Here we are, picking our nation's leaders and we are forced to think about it as an afterthought to our normal (unintelligible). I have a vision of it as a whole day (unintelligible). Maybe the candidates will just shut up while we work it out.

MARTIN: Interesting idea, Morgan. But, Ammad, not everybody thought moving election day was a good idea. What did other people have to say?

OMAR: That's right. Pedro Traz(ph) says Saturday or Sunday voting will not make a difference. What has to change is the mentality of the American people.

MARTIN: Well, thank you, Pedro. And thanks everybody who wrote in on that story. I just thought that this would be something people would want to weigh in on.

So what else do we have, Ammad?

OMAR: Well, Michel, last week, you had a conversation with comedienne Franchesca Ramsey about her controversial YouTube video. It's called "Stuff White Girls Say to Black Girls." That's not the real name, but that's our radio-friendly version of the name.

Anyway, we asked our listeners if they thought the video was funny or offensive. Here's some of what they told us. Sally Adler(ph) wrote in. She says, quote, "As a 62 year old white chick, I kind of think this is a necessary part of our national dialog on race. I don't take offense. I'm fascinated."

Justin Mann(ph) weighed in with this. He says, it's offensive and funny, although only moderately so on both counts.

And one more from Wes Mason(ph) from Massachusetts. Let's play the tape.

WES MASON: This video does a good job, not only as a parody, but also as satire. If the video made you feel uncomfortable, you might have some internal racism to confront. Most people do. I know I do.

OMAR: Well, Michel, the "Stuff White Girls Say to Black Girls" video is a spinoff of the original "Stuff Girls Say," but in the last few weeks, we've seen the Internet explode with more spinoffs than we can count. Some of the latest ones that we can say on air, that is, are "Stuff Monks Say," "Stuff Grandmas Say." They even have "Stuff People Say About Stuff People Say" videos.

MARTIN: And if you have questions of your own about these videos, that debate is still going on on our website and, like those videos, with TELL ME MORE, the conversation never ends. To tell us more, you can call our comment line at 202-842-3522 or visit us online at NPR.org/TellMeMore. Please remember to leave us your name. You can also find us on Twitter. Just look for TELL ME MORE NPR.

Thanks, Ammad.

OMAR: Thank you.

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