Audience Shares Thoughts On Recent Segments

The program reaches into listener comments and blog postings related to recent programs. This week, the audience has its say about the role of social workers in a young girl's tragic death. Also hear reaction to former intern Kristen Lee's commentary about creating your own multiracial identity.

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LYNN NEARY, host:

And now it's time for Backtalk, where we lift the curtain on what's happening in the Tell Me More blogosphere and get to hear from you, our listeners. Lee Hill, our digital media guy is here with me. Lee, where do we begin?

LEE MARTIN: Hey, Lynn. Welcome back to Tell Me More.

NEARY: Great to be here.

MARTIN: So we began the week with a gripping story out of Philadelphia about the death of 14-year-old Danieal Kelly. Now in 2006, Kelly who had cerebral palsy was found starved to death and charges have since been brought against Danieal 's parents and two of the social service workers involved in her case. We talked with two experts on social work about the professional responsibility to prevent child neglect. Well, Lynn we received this comment in response to that from Byron.

BRYON (Listener): No child, no human being should be treated in that way. In addition I think two of your guest experts missed the point of the issue entirely. While they discussed the finer distinctions between social worker and case worker, someone should have discussed the distinction between human and inhuman behavior. Anyone responsible for a child should still have a human decency to care and protect for that child.

NEARY: Thanks for that powerful comment, Byron. And moving along if you were listening on Monday, you also heard this commentary.

Ms. KRISTEN LEE (Former NPR Intern): Can I just tell you I am a hip-hop loving piano playing dancing diva who grew up on a ranch in rural Michigan. I flaunt all of my cultural mix but so many people want me to pick a label. So if I have to choose, I choose hopper(ph).

NEARY: That's former Tell Me More intern Kristen Lee talking about her mixed heritage. Well Kristen's essay prompted many listeners to write to us about their multi-cultural experiences. Here's Alexandra.

ALEXANDRA (Listener): As a bi-racial person with a black father and a white mother, I am always having to explain that no, I don't identify with the black experience just because I have darker skin. I tend to say that I am a mutt(ph) and I think that hopper is a wonderful taking back of what could be an insult.

HILL: Thanks, Alexandra. And as an added note, Alexandra told me that one of the reasons she finds it difficult identifying with just one culture is because although she happens to be closer to her mom's side of her family, which is white, she tends to embrace the values of her dad's heritage which is traced to the West Indies.

NEARY: That's a really interesting perspective. And we want to hear your perspective about our coverage. Remember with Tell Me More the conversation never ends. To tell us more about what you think you can call our comment line at 202 842 3522. That number again is 202 842 3522 or go to the Tell Me More page at npr.org and blog it out and you might just hear yourself in the next Backtalk. Thanks, Lee.

HILL: Good to see you again Lynn.

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