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Your Letters: Bay St. Louis; Glenn Beck Rally
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Your Letters: Bay St. Louis; Glenn Beck Rally

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Your Letters: Bay St. Louis; Glenn Beck Rally

Your Letters: Bay St. Louis; Glenn Beck Rally
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Host Scott Simon's chat with NPR News Analyst Juan Williams about the rally convened last week in Washington, D.C., by radio and TV personality Glenn Beck generated a large response. Simon reads listeners' letters on his return visit to Bay St. Louis, Mississippi and last week's Glenn Beck rally.

SCOTT SIMON, host:

Time now for your letters.

(Soundbite of typing and music)

SIMON: My chat with NPR News analyst Juan Williams about the rally convened last week in Washington, D.C. by broadcaster Glenn Beck generated a large response. Peggy Shrader(ph) of Bakersfield, California invoked a message delivered by the niece of Martin Luther King, Jr. in her note to us.

She writes: Your coverage of the Restoring Honor rally shows that you are completely missing the meaning of the event. In the words of speaker Dr. Alveda King, the rally is about faith, hope and love. I believe the rally honors Dr. King, an American patriot, a man of unity and a man of love.

Other listeners took issue with one of Juan's other observations.

JUAN WILLIAMS: You have people who saying building a mosque at Ground Zero is really upsetting, it's in violation of what some might view as sacred ground. Now you have people on the left upset over a right-wing rally at what is a sacred place for them, where King spoke.

SIMON: Sarah Bauerle of Carrboro, North Carolina writes: This comparison is wrong and insulting. Reverend Sharpton's counter-rally does not question Beck's right to hold a rally, but voices political opposition within the confines of the law. Mosque protesters, however, question the very right to religious freedom. Suggesting that these two issues are somehow analogous effectively legitimizes the bigotry surrounding the mosque protests.

Many of you were touched by our return visit to Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, which was devastated by Hurricane Katrina five years ago. Caroline Cogsdill of Rock Stream, New York, who cared for extended family in a shelter during the storm, remembered: We knew that they were losing everything except each other, and what they had in their cars. I knew the charm of Bay St. Louis. It had been a refuge for me, a place with artists, fresh air and seemingly no prejudice. The best of Southern culture. I miss the South so much.

We welcome your thoughts. Send us an email by going to NPR.org and clicking Contact Us. Or find us on Twitter. I'm at NPRScottSimon - all one word. The rest of the weekend staff is at NPRWeekend.

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