Hello, Baratunde. I'm a little white lady. I started public school the year schools were integrated in our small town in Kentucky. To the credit of my parents and our teachers, I didn't know this for years afterward. Nobody made a big deal out of it, to my knowledge. I became aware of racism as I got older, but I was able to maintain friendships with my black classmates. One of my two best friends was black, and was the valedictorian of our class. Still a lifetime friend. I loved this last piece you wrote because you spoke of the possibility of the oppressed finding their own joy, independent of the actions of others. I'm also glad you spoke of the weariness associated with tragedy after tragedy. Even from a place of relative privilege, I'm beginning to feel shell-shocked and to lose optimism about the promise of America. I also feel less hopeful about my ability to become part of the solution. But you, Baratunde, bring me hope. You're the kind of person I'd love to have to dinner. Please keep on speaking your truth with love, and finding your own joy, and sharing it with all of us. Know that people of all colors and stations in life have hospitality for you in our hearts.

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Amazing piece. Thank you.

The idea of freedom on one’s own terms and not waiting on others to change. That’s it. That is everything for all people who have been oppressed. Thank you.

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Dear Baratunde,

1. I want to tell you something. Black people have saved the United States from total ignominy. If

we the people of the United States of America have any moral standing, in our own eyes and in the eyes of the world, it is because of times when people of color represent us.

I'm not talking only about leaders. I'm looking at the masses of people who turn out, who show up, in the kitchen, in the church, in the street, in the voting booth, who get up every single time and stand in front of the cameras so the world can see the people who are what we're talking about. And because we're a visual world, the fact of being Not White, of being Black, Brown, Red, Colorful, makes everybody see - look, there're the Americans!

If you want to stir people in their souls, make people want to do right, be something other than consumers, you have to show the people moral courage that winds up in law and in national behavior. We're still going to be fighting that war until the planet dies. Two choices: fight or don't.

2. Jim and I are just down the road in Massachuchu; week of March 5-9 we'll be in NYC, listening to jazz, looking at art, dining and etc.. PM me if you can hook up.

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Thanks for sharing your journey. I have watched your series on PBS and the joy you bring to your travel experiences and the people you meet is inspiring as I too like to meet people from other places and spaces. Hugs, Pamela

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On a "joyful, inspiring. The opposite of Buffalo" note, my family and I couldn't be more thrilled about Season 2 of America Outdoors on PBS. So glad to hear that is happening.

We're always up for a good outdoors show, but the way you weaved broader issues into the narrative was unique.


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I love your programs, and interestingly have been surprisingly mesmorized when I watch. I think its because you are not locked into the mindset about the tragedies of society you described in the article. Even when you celebrate encounters with other black people, you are highlighting the human contact and shared experiences in nature that reach beyond the simplicity of color.

You steer clear of the black/white grievance script as you bring nature into focus. Doing that, highlights the much larger focus on your humanity much as I, as an aging white woman, have to discard the all too frequent male/female/racial transgressions issues, and be mindful of all that we share from our common ancestor.

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I havent read your latest piece yet, Baratunde, but I’m looking forward to it.

I cannot stop thinking of the shoppers in Buffalo. I wish the families of the victims (and those who survived but were traumatized) could bring a lawsuit against Fox News and Tucker Carlson. The shooter was inspired by the Replacement Theory that Tucker Carlson has repeatedly promoted on his show. It is not fair and it is criminal that Tucker Carlson and Fox News bear no consequences for all the hate they spew and inspire. And all the disinformation they promote.

I hope the Dominion Voting lawsuit is successful and can inspire others.

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Feb 20·edited Feb 20

Baratunde, keep the faith and please pace yourself. You’re a wonder of the world and a national treasure. Thank you for all you do. My request, please provide/suggest actions we can take to help bring about positive change. Wishing you and your loved ones (all of us) peace, health & happiness 🙏🏾✌🏾♥️

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