Letters: Race Debate, Fisherman

Listeners respond to last week's conversation with Joe Klein and Michael Erik Dyson about race and the attorney general's recent speech on the subject. And, there is praise for an interview with a Newfoundland fisherman who helped rescue a pod of dolphins from the ice.

MICHELE NORRIS, host:

We'll read from a few of your emails now. On Friday, we aired a discussion about Attorney General Eric Holder's speech to the Justice Department on the subject of race. Holder said this last week:

Mr. ERIC HOLDER (US Attorney General): In things racial, we have always been and we, I believe, continue to be, in too many ways, essentially a nation of cowards.

NORRIS: Our conversation about that speech explored, among other things, the differences between it and President Obama's speech on race during the campaign. Christmas Yale(ph) of New Windsor, New York, liked hearing our two guests. He writes, I heard Joe Klein and Michael Erik Dyson and really appreciate hearing some bold speech on this issue. People on both sides need too meet on a regular basis in an everyday kind of setting so that we can feel more comfortable with each other. Thanks for bringing all these ideas to light.

MELISSA BLOCK, host:

Shaun Scully(ph) of Philadelphia didn't feel so enlightened. He called the discussion a bloody train wreck. He writes, it devolved quickly into a petty series of personal attacks and self-absorbed defenses. It shed little light on the interesting speech by Eric Holder earlier in the week. Please never make us sit through such a calamitous shouting match again.

NORRIS: Also on Friday, we aired an interview with a fisherman in the Canadian province of Newfoundland. He had helped to rescue a pod of dolphins from the ice that was closing in around them. Ruben Giles told us how he rocked a 17 foot motor boat against the ice to clear a path.

Mr. RUBEN GILES (Fisherman): Time was running out and the blowhole was only about, I would say, 15-feet round. They would've died that night.

NORRIS: So, when you talk about this blowhole, you're talking about this area where the dolphins were able to surface, where you could actually see them above the water?

Mr. GILES: Yes, my love. That was the only supply of oxygen that they would have had there. Meanwhile, there was only three of us in the boat. The other two guys would keep the dolphins above where they were in the water with floater suits on trying to survive - keep them up so they could breathe, right?

NORRIS: Larry McMillan(ph) of Varina, Virginia, was one of many of you who sent us a note of appreciation. He wrote: Thank you loves, thank you so much for the piece on freeing dolphins. My spirits soared. Man, did I need that.

BLOCK: Well, whether or not we send your spirits soaring, we need to hear from you. Go to nrp.org and click on contact us at the top of the page.

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