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Shades of Brown

| 09:42 UK time, Thursday, 27 September 2007

Rani MoorthyActress Rani Moorthy knows first hand about the prejudice suffered by Asians with darker skin. She is currently touring the UK with her play that focuses on skin colour, Shades of Brown.

When I was a child my grandmother took me to one side and said make sure you're good at something, no man will ever marry you for your looks. I knew this was because I was dark skinned. It was treated as a disease and every Friday I had to have oil baths in an attempt to lighten my skin

Do you have any questions for her?

Or would you like to share your own experiences? We were planning to have her on today's show, but the events in Burma mean it's likely to be another show soon. In the meantime, you're still very welcome to discuss the issues here on the blog. Here are some other stories we considered...

Passing the World Have Your Say test of a story that people are talking about today, is the mistrial declared in the murder case against music producer Phil Spector. The jurors said they were split 10 to two in favour of convicting Mr Spector of murdering actress Lana Clarkson in 2003, so after 12 days of deliberation, Spector walked free.
The decision may dent people's confidence in LA's "celebrity justice" system, though
this LA Times article says it was Spector's fortune that bought his freedom, not his celebrity.

There is also some debate about the use of scientific evidence in cases:

The popular TV show CSI: Miami, which features a team of forensic detectives who solve crimes with the latest DNA technology, is thought to have further convinced jurors that a crime must be scientifically proven to merit a guilty verdict...

One for today?

Many thanks to Rachel for your very kind e-mail - something about WHYS being one of the best things about the BBC...
But mainly thanks for the request to talk about Jena Louisiana, the US town where six black teenagers were charged with attempted murder after the beating of a white classmate. The alleged assault followed a series of racial incidents between black and white students which began at Jena High School last summer. A black student asked the school's principal whether he was permitted to sit under the shade of the school courtyard tree, a place traditionally reserved for white students only. He was told he could sit where he liked. The following morning, when the students arrived at school, they found three nooses dangling from the tree.

It's a shocking case, there have been marches of protest, and even David Bowie has stepped in to defend the teenagers. Rachel isn't the first person to ask us to discuss the case, but she draws our attention to this article in today's Guardian newspaper. Have a read and let me know what you think of Laura Flanders question. Is Jena America?

I love this story about Republican candidate and former Major of New York, Rudy Giuliani. His mobile phone rang whilst he was delivering a presidential campaign speech. To the National Rifle Association. Not only did he take the call from his wife, he answered with these words:

Hello, dear. I'm talking to members of the NRA right now. Would you like to say hello? I love you, and I'll give you a call as soon as I'm finished, OK? Okay, have a safe trip. Bye-bye. I love you

Giuliani's personal life has been the focus of much media interest, and is his greatest weakness in his campaign to become the Republican presidential candidate. A Republican pollster said "this will not help".

Brilliant. Would you have taken the call? Would you have squirmed as much as the members of the NRA surely did? Come on, confess your most sickening public displays of affection to the world...and shame others!


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