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Letters: Immigrant Family, Sports Team Nicknames, All-Woman 'Grease'

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Letters: Immigrant Family, Sports Team Nicknames, All-Woman 'Grease'

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Letters: Immigrant Family, Sports Team Nicknames, All-Woman 'Grease'

Letters: Immigrant Family, Sports Team Nicknames, All-Woman 'Grease'

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/4678662/4678663" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Hosts Renee Montagne and Steve Inskeep read from listeners' letters, weighing in on a family facing deportation, sports teams' nicknames, one man's story of racism and an all-woman production of Grease.

STEVE INSKEEP, host:

And it's time now for your comments.

(Soundbite of music)

RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

Last week, we introduced you to the Gonzalez family of Jefferson City, Missouri. Nineteen-year-old Marina Gonzalez and her parents have lived in the US since 1991, but since they're here illegally they're now scheduled to be deported to Costa Rica.

Ms. MARINA GONZALEZ: In my heart, I am a US citizen, because to me, I mean, they're taking me away from my country is wha--how I'm feeling. They're not taking me away to my country.

MONTAGNE: Nearly all of you who responded to this story are unsympathetic to the Gonzalez family.

Mr. TEROAN AGNONI(ph) (Listener): My name is Teroan Agnoni. I'm from Shreveport, Louisiana. My own family immigrated to the United States seven years ago, and we did it legally. People who cut the long line of want-to-be immigrants try to beat the system. They have no respect for the millions of others who are trying to do it the hard, legal way, and we should have no respect for them. I hope the Gonzalez family loses their case. It would serve as an example to all future immigrants.

INSKEEP: We got many letters in response to Frank Deford's commentary against the use of Indian names by sports teams. Of all those names, Deford said, `Redskins' is the most offensive because it refers not to skin color but to an Indian scalp taken as bounty.

Mr. GEOFFREY NUNBERG (Linguist, Stanford University): That's a story you hear a lot. But, as it happens, it isn't true.

INSKEEP: That's Geoffrey Nunberg, who's a linguist at Stanford University. As an expert witness for a group of Indian tribes, he tried, unsuccessfully, to get the Washington Redskins to change their name in court. He says the redskins-as-scalps definition has become something of an urban legend even though it is not supported by the historical record.

Mr. NUNBERG: The first citation for redskin goes back to the end of the 17th century, which was well before anybody was paying for Indian scalps, and there's no historical evidence for it.

MONTAGNE: In last week's StoryCorps feature, we heard Sam Harmon tell his grandson about the time that he tried to buy a ticket to a movie.

Mr. SAM HARMON (Grandfather): I reached my hand to get the ticket and lay down the money, and she pulled it back and said, `You can't come in here.' She saw my black hand.

MONTAGNE: Ciria Sandroom(ph) of Colorado Springs, Colorado, heard Sam Harmon's story while riding in the car with his daughter.

Mr. CIRIA SANDROOM (Listener): What impressed her was that the meanest of two seconds hurt someone for a lifetime. I'd like to thank Sam and Ezra for sharing such a personal moment from their lives because now their two seconds has touched us for the rest of our lives.

INSKEEP: Finally, our story about a theatrical licensing company shutting down a production of the musical "Grease" because it was to be performed by an all-female cast hit a sour note with some of you.

MONTAGNE: `I went to an all-girls school. We did "The Sound of Music." I played Baron von Trapp,' remembers Barbara Cantwel of Seattle.

INSKEEP: Diane Watson, an actor in Omaha, Nebraska, asks, `What's next? No Protestants in "Fiddler on the Roof"? Checking IDs to make sure that Mrs. Robinson is old enough to play in "The Graduate"? I understand the desire of playwrights to keep their work as they envisioned, but if they want total control, perhaps they should produce and direct the play themselves.'

MONTAGNE: As always, we'd like to hear from you.

INSKEEP: Although your letter may be read on the air by someone who's not the same gender as you.

MONTAGNE: So if you can handle that, write to us at morning@npr.org.

(Soundbite of "Grease" soundtrack)

Mr. JOHN TRAVOLTA: (Singing) Summer loving, had me a blast.

Ms. OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN: (Singing) Summer loving, happened so fast.

Mr. TRAVOLTA: (Singing) I met a girl crazy for me.

Ms. NEWTON-JOHN: (Singing) Met a boy cute as can be.

INSKEEP: This is NPR News.

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