Letters: Race, Online Moms, College and Myanmar

Listeners weigh in with their thoughts on discussions of race, moms online, the value of a college education, and whether Myanmar should be forced to accept aid.

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It's Tuesday and time for your emails and blog comments. Hundreds of you wrote in response to our program on speaking openly about race, some about the first time it happened. This from Sherry in Berkeley, California. "The first time I talked about race I was six years old. I confided in my African-American friend that I had a crush on LeVar Burton. She told me I couldn't have a crush on LeVar because he was black and I was white. I asked her why, and she said that was just the way it was. That was in 1989, and it was the first time I learned that race played a role in people's thoughts, feelings, and experiences."

Another listener, Jodi in San Francisco wrote, "From my perspective, I truly thought racism was just about gone, and its remnants from times long past were gasping their last breaths. In a conversation with a black peer last year, I was shocked to learn how strongly he felt that racism was as present as ever."

We also heard from some of you whose mothers hang on to that Internet cord. Monica in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, wrote, "I am 28. Mom is 48. We'd been chatting last week about all types of things. I typed the following, love you lots, mom, TTYL. Her response is, what is TTYL? My response is, LOL, talk to you later. We have since discussed further text language, and she does, by the way, give the same advice over text and instant messenger that she would over the phone."

And yesterday's program on the value of college had some of you saying no way. Amy in Tulsa, Oklahoma, wrote, "The little piece of paper may be overrated, but the college experience is one of the most valuable experiences anyone could have. The changes and advancement one goes through in those four to five years of college is like no other."

But Tim in Sacramento is happy he didn't don the cap and gown, "I've been a carpenter for more than 30 years and have been disappointed to hear all the talk about college. Someone has to do the work, and there is a constant complaint about the lack of properly trained and skilled tradesmen. It's an honorable career, and has supported me well for my life."

And lastly, the devastation in Myanmar made us reflect on whether aid should be delivered at gunpoint, if necessary. "Do we really believe we can force a country to take part in something they do not want? Would the U.S. allow itself to be forced into anything?" wrote Gonzalo in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

If you want to go back and listen to that or any of our programs, you can find our podcasts by going to npr.org/talk. And if you have comments, questions or corrections for us, the best way to reach us is by email. The 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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