ED GORDON, host:
And now on to our listener feedback. Each week we go through letters and voicemails to get your take on stories we've covered on NEWS AND NOTES.
Jasmine Marks(ph), of Charlotte, North Carolina, weighed in on the sexual assault charges that have been levied against two Duke University Lacrosse players. Marks thinks it's the culture of college sports and the special treatment afforded athletes that's at the heart of the problem at Duke and other college athletic programs. She left us this voicemail.
Ms. JASMINE MARKS (Charlotte, North Carolina): Whether they think about it or not, it'll put them in a, like a, I guess a subconscious mindset of, I'm going to go to this school, I'm going to play these sports. And because I'm so good at whatever it is I'm doing, I'm going to get with it is I want. If I mess up, somebody will fix it. I think it's just a sports thing, period. Not even, you know just simply what's going on there. I think it's going on everywhere. And just because this is a big school, and because it happens to be an interracial thing, is why this is blowing up.
GORDON: Several listeners responded to a Roundtable discussion about a fraternity hazing incident at a Florida college. Listener Jerry Dupree(ph), of Washington, D.C., though the discussion lacked balance. He wrote:
I always enjoy the Roundtable discussion on NEWS AND NOTES. The discussion on 19 April regarding hazing and pledging was very provocative. I agreed with most of the points provided by the panel members. However, the opinions lacked credibility because not one of the panel members were themselves a member of a fraternity or sorority, or at least would not admit it. Having a panel member who is in fact, a Greek, would have validated some of the obviously biased opinions. As a fraternity member of an HBCU, I want to adamantly state that I am not in favor of hazing, and agreed with part of the discussion; however, some of the other off-hand comments about pledging and branding, et cetera, were inappropriate and, more to the point, incorrect. Your panel provided the reasons for not joining a Greek organization. Next time, have someone step up to represent the other side.
GORDON: Joy Gregstadt(ph), of Sandusky, Ohio, called in to comment on a Roundtable discussion about mudslinging between black politicians; some of whom accused their opponents of not being black enough. Here's what she had to say.
Ms. JOY GREGSTADT (Sandusky, Ohio): I think one thing that the African-American community does that is a disservice to itself, is identifying its candidates or office-holders as black or African-American candidates. Because, when you really think about it, once that person would be elected, he should be representative of his entire constituency. And by identifying black candidates or black issues, you are excluding a large part of the society that, I think, is your intention to become one with. And in a lot of ways I think the black community, by identifying itself as such, makes it very difficult for whites not to feel excluded. I think that if there were black candidates that came up and addressed issues that were important to their entire constituency, black, white, poor, middle-class, wealthy, education; those are not confined to any one community. And I think black politicians would find more success with a wide variety of voters if they would concentrate on the issues and leave race out it.
GORDON: We appreciate all of your comments, good or bad. We want to hear from you, so please keep them coming. You can call us at 202-408, 3330; that's 202-408-3330.
Or you can e-mail us. Log on to npr.org and click on, Contact Us. And please be sure to tell us where you're writing from and how to pronounce your name.
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