From Our Listeners

Letters: Rachel Robinson, Haley Barbour

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Listeners react to our interviews with Rachel Robinson, the widow of Jackie Robinson; and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour. Melissa Block and Michele Norris read from listeners' e-mails.


And now, time for your letters. Yesterday I spoke with 87-year-old Rachel Robinson, widow of Jackie Robinson about her experiences when her husband broke baseball's color line.

Ms. RACHEL ROBINSON: I went to Baltimore with Jack once. And the name calling was - the trouble started in the dug out with the players and their coach and their managers yelling at us and saying things. And I just sat there kind of stunned that this could happen. And my only thought was to protect Jack.

So all I could do was sit up taller as if my back, you know, it's a fantasy that my back could block some of that stuff that was coming at him out of the stands. And then to know that we were going - he was going to play so well, they weren't going to be able to keep it up.

NORRIS: Well, Herb Drake(ph) of Williamson, Michigan writes: As a 60-year-old on-and-off baseball fan, remembering sneaking into Cincinnati's Crosley Field, Rachel Robinson's interview was a relief from all the current athletes' attitudes. Mrs. Robinson, touch 'em all.

And John Polich of Encinitas, California says this: Her elegance and perception brought tears to my eyes.


My interview Tuesday with Mississippi governor Haley Barbour struck a nerve with many of you, particularly after I asked if the oil spill was testing his political philosophy of smaller government, less regulation and more freedom for industry.

Governor HALEY BARBOUR (Republican, Mississippi): I think right now every oil company in the world says I don't want to pay $100 million a day to cut corners on drilling a well. And that's where I believe the market system works. Nobody's got more to lose in this deal than BP.

BLOCK: Cecil Benoit of Hendersonville, North Carolina writes: I could not believe my ears when I heard Haley Barbour saying no one had more to lose in this spill than BP. What about the hundreds of thousands of people who live on or near the Gulf Coast and depend on its environmental viability?

NORRIS: And Carl Huber(ph) of York, Pennsylvania says that Haley Barbour's version of the market system simply can't be trusted. He writes: This is why we have the threats to public health, wealth and safety that we do. Without someone looking over their shoulder, even conscientious business leaders are pressured into cutting corners by the actions of those without conscience. More regulation to threaten cheaters is needed, at least until we find effective, preventive measures.

BLOCK: Thanks for all of your letters. You can send us your thoughts at Just click on Contact Us at the bottom of the page.

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