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Immigration Comments Touch Nerve With 'Diverse' Canadians


And now it's time for Back Talk. That's where we lift the curtain on what's happening in the TELL ME MORE blogosphere. Editor Ammad Omar is back with us. What's going on today, Ammad?

AMMAD OMAR, BYLINE: Hey, Michel. How's it going? We got a lot of emails this week about a conversation you had about the rapper Danny Brown. Now, if you missed it, there was a this conversation about whether he was sexually assaulted by one of his fans at a concert. This woman in the crowd performed a sexual act on him, and there's a big debate about whether it was consensual or if he was the victim of a sexual assault.

Now, our panel mainly said that he may well have been sexually assaulted, but that's not the response that we got from listeners, Michel. A lot of people wrote in with comments like this one, from Don Dupree(ph) of Detroit. He says: I thought that everyone saying he was sexually assaulted was pretty messed up. I know females that have went through hell because they were hurt in that way, and I just feel it was unfair to them.

I understand where everyone was coming from on the consent front, but there are so many people who get forced into acts that ruin their lives.

MARTIN: Thank you, Don, and thanks to everybody who wrote in on this subject. We got a lot of responses on email, and also a lot on Twitter. So there's a lot to talk about there. I just want to take a minute to mention that I appreciate all the emails and Tweets I received in response to the essay I wrote earlier this week about my brother. Very much appreciated.

OMAR: Yeah. We did get a lot of Tweets about that, Michel, and one that really exemplified all of them came from Kristin Crane(ph) from Providence, Rhode Island. She says the Can I Just Tell You segment of TELL ME MORE I always a favorite part for me. I just want to give Michel a hug some days, like today.

MARTIN: Oh, thank you with that. I will gratefully receive that. We also got email about a story we covered yesterday, right?

OMAR: Yeah. So we talked about the immigration bill that's being proposed in the senate by the so-called Gang of Eight, and economist Julianne Malveaux had this to say.


JULIANNE MALVEAUX: The fact is that the way we allow people to immigrate has been patently unfair, just across the board. Michel, Canadian people emigrate by walking across the border, and because they're white people, they don't - are not subject to the kind of racial profiling that, let's say, a Latino is.

OMAR: That really got the letters flowing from our Canadian listeners. Pat Mennen from Ontario told us this: First, Canadians are proud that they're a very diverse nation composed of citizens of all races and colors. For example, in 2006, 47 percent of Toronto's population reported themselves as being part of a visible minority.

Second, he says crossing the border for a shopping trip or vacation requires proper documentation. And he says, third, this is an example of how little our closest neighbor knows about our country. I do hope that you will take a moment to correct these misconceptions.

MARTIN: OK. Consider it done. Thank you, Pat. Anything else?

OMAR: Yeah. So we talked about the first woman on the FBI list of most wanted terrorists earlier this week. She goes by the name of Assata Shakur. Now, our guest said that Shakur's brother, a man by the name of Mutulu Shakur, helped her escape from prison. Well, it turns out they're not really brother and sister, even though that's a common misconception. There is an interesting connection, though. That man, Mutulu Shakur, is the late rapper Tupac Shakur's stepfather.

MARTIN: Okay. Thanks for that, Ammad. And, of course, remember, at TELL ME MORE, the conversation never ends. To tell us more, you can visit us online at npr.org/tellmemore. Please remember to leave us your name. We're on Twitter. Just look for TellMeMoreNPR. Thanks, Ammad.

OMAR: Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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