Letters

Farai Chideya reads listener e-mails and other messages received about reports and commentaries heard on the show.

FARAI CHIDEYA, host:

Now, your comments.

Every week we share the e-mails and voicemails you send about our stories. This week, Richard Singer(ph), of Saginaw, Michigan, wrote us. The topic: our Roundtable on possible criminal charges against media who revealed the Bush administration's efforts to trace terrorist money trails. Singer is a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. National Guard. He wrote:

"No war is won without gathering intelligence about the enemy. No war is won without maintaining state secrets. The balderdash that the commentators were putting forth was nothing but anti-Bush rhetoric. Put the politics aside for just a few minutes, grow a patriotic spine, and start studying U.S. national defense policy. Don't start rambling about some so-called loss of civil rights - I'm still waiting for proof that any U.S. citizen has had their civil rights violated in the execution of this conflict until you are well-versed in defense policy and strategy."

Commentator Karla Holloway told us no word could describe a parent's loss of a child. Two of you tried anyway.

Rachel Miller(ph), of Rochester, New York, suggested Graypalabay(ph), a play on grieving parent left behind. And Karen Gurley(ph) coined paralosside(ph), which includes the Middle English word side for child.

African-American women with HIV/AIDS is the subject of a new show by Sheryl Lee Ralph. Cheryl McFarland(ph), of Greensboro, North Carolina, reacted strongly to our interview with Ralph.

She wrote: "While I applaud Ralph's good intentions, I couldn't help but feel saddened and disappointed by the opinions she expressed regarding how to solve the HIV/AIDS crisis among communities of color and African-American women, in particular. Rather than naming the social inequalities that keep AIDS drugs out of the economic reach of the world's poor and working class people of color, whom the disease disproportionately affects, Ralph chooses a blame the victim approach by citing a litany of personal behaviors, such as violence, low self-esteem, mental illness, and deceit. Ralph gives the oversimplified impression that the AIDS crisis in the black community would magically disappear if only African-Americans could simply get their act together in order to avoid getting caught out there."

Finally, a couple of e-mails about podcasts. The first from Andy Siler(ph), of Washington, D.C. "I am waiting for the glorious day when NEWS AND NOTES WITH ED GORDON begins podcasting in its entirety. I just love listening to the show and I wish I had the freedom to hear it."

And this one from Travis Taylor(ph), of Conway, Arkansas. "NPR just released a plethora of podcasts of different subjects, so why do we have just one African-American-centered podcast? What about a weekend podcast? What about Farai Chideya? She should have a show."

Well, Travis, thanks a lot. I appreciate it. Okay, I just want to tell everyone, I don't know Travis. But, Travis, thank you so much.

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CHIDEYA: 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. Just log onto npr.org and click on Contact Us. Please be sure to tell us where you're writing from and how to pronounce your name.

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