BackTalk: 'Tell Me More' Blog Conversations

Hear listener reactions to recent stories, including the impact of Catholic sex-abuse scandals among Hispanic communities, and the "Summer of Soul" series. Also, learn more about guest host Cheryl Corley as she sits in for Michel Martin.

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CHERYL CORLEY, host:

It's Friday, time for BackTalk, where we highlight conversations happening on the TELL ME MORE blog. And sitting with me in studio is the TELL ME MORE blog guy, Web producer Lee Hill.

Hi, Lee.

HILL: Hey, Cheryl, and welcome to TELL ME MORE.

CORLEY: Thank you.

HILL: Well for those of you who've been reading the blog, you know that our host, Michel Martin, is taking some well-deserved time off. But we are very fortunate to have with us another esteemed journalist in the voice of NPR's Cheryl Corley.

Cheryl, I know you sort of hit the ground running here, but why not pause to tell our listeners just a little bit about yourself?

CORLEY: Okay. Well, Lee, I typically cover the Midwest and New Orleans. And I'm based in Chicago. I've been around for a little while reporting as well as occasionally hosting. I've been with NPR for a little over 10 years. And for the next few days, I'll be bringing Chicago's Windy City sensibilities to the show to TELL ME MORE. And yes, we will continue the show's tradition of not only talking but blogging. Speaking of which, Lee, what do you have for us this week?

HILL: Well, let's start with a segment we did on the Catholic sex abuse scandal and the impact on Latino communities. The minority group, as many know, makes up a significant portion of the Catholic Church. Manny Vega, a police officer, spoke about learning to come to grips with being abused in that segment. Well, we got a note from blogger Raoul(ph).

He wrote to us saying, I was really struck by the civility of the abused officer in this conversation. What I can't help thinking about in this is what the abuse situation must be like in Central and South America, not to mention Asia and Africa. These are places where the church has utter dominion over its flock. Hopefully, this will lead all people of faith to demand accountability from their church, mosque, et cetera.

CORLEY: Well, thanks, Raoul, for that. You know moving right along, though. On Monday, we sat down for an interview with Gustavo Arellano. He wrote a book called "Ask A Mexican." And his work seeks to confront stereotypes often encountered by Mexicans in America. Now, some find his work to be, well, a little controversial. But one of our listeners, Moji(ph) in Florida, disagrees.

MOJI (Caller): I love the Gustavo segment about "Ask A Mexican." I think he gets a free pass for giving edgy remarks because he is a Mexican-American. It wouldn't be the same if a person of a different background gives an off-color remark. It kind of reminded me of "In Living Color" and "The Chappelle Show" sketches. The fact that the sketch or commentary is coming from a person of color made it funny.

CORLEY: And I guess we should also mention that Moji also wrote in about our 1967 Summer of Soul series that kicked off last Friday. And we ask you to submit your favorite soul songs from that summer. And we know that many legendary hits were recording during that time.

And Moji says, quote, "It's got to be 'Respect' by the queen of soul herself, Aretha Franklin. It's just one of those songs that, no matter how many times you've heard it, nobody dare change that dial when it comes on the radio."

I hear you, Moji. I hear you. We got anything else, Lee?

HILL: Yes. Well, don't forget, you out there, to go to our blog and submit your thoughts on the new Seven Wonders of the World. Some were a bit upset when their favorites didn't quite make the cut in the worldwide callout from earlier this summer. So we're giving you a chance to send us your wonders in Africa, Latin America, the U.S., wherever.

CORLEY: All right. Well, thanks so much, Lee.

HILL: Well, thank you, Cheryl.

CORLEY: Remember, the conversation never ends. To tell us more about what you think, go to npr.org/tellmemore and blog it out. That's our program for today.

I am Cheryl Corley in for Michel Martin, and you've been listening to TELL ME MORE from NPR News and the African-American Public Radio Consortium. Let's talk more on Monday.

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