TMM's Active Week Covered Lots Of Ground : Tell Me More The U.S. Department of Justice has responded to crime data referenced by David Duke last month during a TMM interview.
NPR logo TMM's Active Week Covered Lots Of Ground

TMM's Active Week Covered Lots Of Ground

Sasha Obama, left, Malia Obama and Michelle Obama (pictured in June 2008) face their own unique White House transition, as President-elect Barack Obama works to build his administrative cabinet. Many wonder whether the Obama girls will attend public or private schools during their time in Washington. Getty Images hide caption

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William "Bill" Ayers' relationship with then-presidential candidate Barack Obama was repeatedly questioned by Obama's opponents during a tense election season. AP hide caption

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The U.S. Department of Justice recently weighed in on a growing online discussion about crime statistics based on race, centered around figures referenced last month by David Duke in a TMM interview. AP hide caption

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I think back over this week and the word that pops into my head is INTENSE.

We had conversations about public and private school, and especially what it means for middle class minority parents -- like the Obamas -- to have that choice.

We talked about the role of the auto industry in lifting minorities into the middle class.

We talked about what we expect of Michelle Obama and what we see in her and, naturally, what we see of ourselves in her.

... Intense conversations with former Weather Underground leader William "Bill" Ayers, with filmmaker Melvin Van Peebles, with former civil rights attorney-turned Washington, D.C., powerbroker Vernon Jordan, as well as our panel of regulars: Leslie Morgan Steiner, Jolene Ivey, Rebecca Walker, and Anna Perez (who in her other life was former First Lady Barbara Bush's press secretary).

I found my head spinning, especially trying to keep up with all the threads our guests brought to us. I sat up until 1:00 a.m. one night finishing Bill Ayers book, and until 2:00 a.m. a couple nights later reviewing Melvin van Peebles' films.

As we close out this year and think ahead to the next. It all makes me think about that balance between the internal world and the external one, and how one influences the other.

Which matters most?

Writing it down doesn't capture how it felt; the emotion that surfaced, sometimes from surprising quarters. Real life, but concentrated. But these times are bringing out deeply felt experiences. Of course, some people don't want to hear about all that, which is fine. But as I say all the time: just because something does not interest you doesn't mean it has no reason to be heard.

And speaking of what needs to be heard, or what does not ...

Those of you who heard our conversation last month with former Ku Klux Llan leader David Duke may remember that he cited some statistics. The statistics referenced by Duke compared how many white women were raped by black men in the course of a year, versus how many black women were raped by white men. Now, you may ask (as did I) why he doesn't care about how many white women are raped by white men, and how many black women may have been raped by black men.

David Duke is a white supremacist (although he does not think he is). We thought it important to check on his facts, and so we have. We've updated the original Web page for the Duke interview with an audio statement by the Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics. Thanks for your patience.