Letters: Snitching, Immigration and Audio Books

Listeners weigh in with their thoughts on snitching, illegal immigration, and the popularity of audio books.

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NEAL CONAN, host:

It's Tuesday, the day we read from your e-mails.

On our Opinion Page segment a week ago, we dealt with the issue of snitching, particularly among young African Americans.

One listener warned, we are giving our young people mixed messages. I've heard police justifying not snitching on each other. We have a government that had to be convinced to protect whistleblowers. Is it any wonder that young people have learned not to trust the police when they are mistreated by them and can't count on being defended? We, the adults, are teaching the wrong lessons and pointing our fingers the wrong way. That e-mail from Deloise(ph) in North Carolina. I hope I'm pronouncing that correctly.

And if you missed the discussion, you can always download our Opinion Page podcast at npr.org/talk.

Illegal immigration also came up last week, after the case of Elvira Arellano, the woman sent back to Mexico while her son, a U.S. citizen, stayed behind. We focused on the politics of enforcing immigration law.

It seems to be that no one represents the children who are the true victims in this discussion, e-mailed Jennifer Bell(ph), a listener in Florida. If I, a child through no fault of my own, born in the USA to parents who are in the country illegally, am a U.S. citizen, then I should have the same rights as a child born to other U.S. citizens or legal residents. To force my parents from my homeland is to deny me the access to the love and care I deserve in my homeland. While this might be a legal debate, she wrote, it's downright immoral.

Another listener disagreed. Responsibility rests with the parent who chose not only to violate the law, but to compound their crime by having children, e-mailed Maurice Simons(ph) in Eugene, Oregon. In effect, they've used our humanity as a weapon against us. How dare they, and how sad that they would use their children in such a way. Of course, they could reunite with their children by having their children join them. The power to solve this problem is squarely in their hands.

We also talked last week about the popularity of audio books. The final Harry Potter book broke the record for number of audio books sold. But not everybody is a fan. I've read one audio book in my life, e-mailed Lauren(ph), a listener in Oregon, and while it was okay, I still didn't feel the same sensation of completion by the end of the book. I don't think that an audio book can replace the wonderful feeling of anticipation as you become aware of an exciting event that lingers only pages ahead. Besides, reading books is vital to the development of one's imagination.

Another listener sometimes prefers the audio version. Carrie Schultz(ph), e-mailed from the Wisconsin Dells to tell us, I can't find the time to sit down and read as many books as I would like to, so I stick ear buds in my ears and read constantly. I never cease to be amazed of the fine performances and interpretations of various readers. And I've also found that I can become as lost in a vocal reading as I once did reading a book curled in a chair in a corner of the living room. Sometimes, I would prefer to hear the book read just because I know that certain narrators do such a wonderful job, dialects, feelings and all.

If you have comments, questions or corrections for us, the best way to reach is by e-mail. Our address is talk@npr.org. Please let us know where you're writing from and give us some help on how to pronounce your name.

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