Your Letters: Cyber Bullies, South Africa Rape
LINDA WERTHEIMER, host:
Time now for Your Letters. Last week I talked to California Congresswoman Linda Sanchez about a bill she's proposing that would make it a federal crime to engage in bullying online.
Charles Kelly(ph) of Washington, D.C. wrote in to say this. I've admired Linda Wertheimer's interview skills, well, forever, but her interview with Representative Sanchez took an uncharacteristic and, no doubt, unintended blame the victim turn, when she suggested that a young victim of cyber bullying could just unplug.
Except in the most extreme circumstances, he writes, I don't think we would ever suggest that someone should just stop going to school or stop eating lunch to avoid bullying in the classroom or cafeteria, in the same way we would never consider telling a rape victim to avoid future rapes by staying at home behind locked doors, 24/7. Instead of punishing them for being victims, don't we owe it to the victims to create a safer Internet environment?
Fair enough. We received many comments about our two-part series on rape in South Africa. Colleen Trailer(ph) of Groveland Township, Michigan wrote this on our Web site, it is a true shame that women all over the world have to suffer at the hands of men. Somehow we must find a way to change this trend. Men need to learn that women and children are not property. We are humans and feeling people.
And our discussion with senior business editor Marilyn Geewax about economic patriotism sparked quite a debate on our Web site. Megan McCombs(ph) of Newton, Massachusetts, wrote this.
Ms. MEGAN MCCOMBS: I've always thought, I'll buy the best product for me. If that's American made, that's nice. If not, perhaps the American product will eventually catch up in value or quality. I feel the entire basis of the capitalist system is competition, and that giving patronage to the inferior product, just because of its maker, undermines that principle.
WERTHEIMER: And Shawn Ponchigreen(ph) of Great Barrington, Massachusetts shared this. I believe in economic patriotism, but for different reasons. I try to purchase locally or regionally-made products and shop at locally-owned stores. I believe this builds a strong local economy, which can spread and connect to other strong local economies. He adds, if I buy products that were produced closer to where I live, they don't have to travel as far, and this reduces the amount of CO2 put into the atmosphere.
WERTHEIMER: We'd love to hear from you. Just go to our Web site, npr.org, and click Contact Us. Or you can leave us a comment on our blog, npr.org/soapbox.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.