Audience Weighs In On Brett Farve, Black 'Girl Power'

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Host Michel Martin and producer Lee Hill, the program's "digital media guy," comb through listener feedback and offer important news updates to recent conversations heard on the program. Listeners react to Martin's commentary on a scandal involving NFL quarterback Brett Favre and respond to a blog post about two videos that are circulating the celebrating young black girls' beauty, individuality and their hair.

MICHEL MARTIN, host:

And now it's time for Backtalk, where we lift the curtain on what's happening in the TELL ME MORE blogosphere and get to hear from you, our listeners. Lee Hill, our digital media guy is here with me, as usual.

Hey, Lee, what's up?

LEE HILL: Hey, Michel. Monday we began the week with your commentary on the scandal involving NFL quarterback Brett Favre. The Minnesota Vikings player is accused of sending lewd cell phone images to a woman who worked for the New York Jets when he was a player for that team. Here's a clip from your Monday commentary, Can I Just Tell You?

MARTIN: As has been reported by the gossip site that first published the pictures, the young lady in question resisted Brett Favre's advances, saying she did not want to end up in the garbage can. You can see her point. Is there anybody who can honestly envision a scenario where a star player loses his job because of some unpleasantness with a female employee? Not going to happen.

HILL: As usual, people wrote in to share their opinions. Here's a note we received from blogger P. Fletcher, who writes: This has been going on for far too long. In general, one's position in an organization, one's salary ranking in that organization, and one's value/replaceability in that organization all lead to a delineation of power or powerlessness. One does not have to be in a direct line on the organizational chart to render someone else helpless against your power.

And Michel, this week we also talked about hair - black girls' hair, in particular. There are two videos circulating the Web: one with a Sesame Street muppet, the other by budding child star Willow Smith. And they're helping young girls celebrate their beauty and individuality. Here's a clip from the Sesame Street song "I Love My Hair."

(Soundbite of song, "I Love My Hair")

Unidentified Child: (Singing) Don't need a trip to the beauty shop, 'cause I love what I got on top. It's curly and it's brown, and it's right up there. You know what I love? That's right, my hair. I really love my hair.

MARTIN: And Lee, TELL ME MORE producer Veronica Miller wrote on our blog about those videos. Veronica's post prompted this note from blogger Cheryl, who has an 8-year-old daughter. She writes: As a black child in a predominantly white school, she's made a few casual remarks that indicate she was starting to have issues with her hair. I have spent time lovingly letting her know how beautiful her fuzzy hair is, but tools like this help support what I teach her. Thank you, Cheryl.

Lee, any updates?

HILL: Just one, Michel. We've reported on the video project by columnist Dan Savage in response to a recent string of suicides by teens who were bullied because of their sexuality. It's aimed at encouraging gay youth with a message that it gets better.

(Soundbite of video)

Mr. DAN SAVAGE (Columnist): However bad it is now, it gets better. And it can get great, and it can get awesome. Your life can be amazing. But you have to tough this period of it out, and you have to live your life so that you're around for it to get amazing. And it can, and it will.

HILL: Well, that campaign is celebrating a milestone, Michel. The video messages have now received more than 10 million hits on YouTube.

MARTIN: And President Obama has also recorded a message for the campaign, which is posted now. Thank you, Lee.

HILL: Thanks, Michel.

MARTIN: And remember, with TELL ME MORE, the conversation never ends. To tell us more, you can call our comment line at 202-842-3522. Please remember to leave your name. You can also log onto our Web site. Go to npr.org, click on Programs, then on TELL ME MORE, and blog it out.

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