Saturday, November 4, 2023

Peter White has passed

ALL MY CHILDREN was a daytime soap opera that Agnes Nixon created.  It ran from 1970 to 2011.  It was a huge shift for daytime TV.  From the beginning young actors mattered, for example.  Tara ahd Phil and Eric were all in high school.  Erica would remain with the series throughout its run and was played by Susan Lucci.  Another shift was Ms. Nixon wanted the show to address real life.  So Phil went off to Vietnam and Aunt Amy and others fought for peace.  Erica had the first abortion on TV (until the show had been on for decades and they decided to change that).  

Over those years, there were many characters.  Tara was played by many actresses but the original one was Karen Lynn Gorney who went on to star opposite John Travolta in SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER. Sarah Michelle Geller played Erica's daughter Kendell before going on to BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, WOLF PACK, and more.   Kelly Rippa played Haley.  Kim Delaney would go onto many others shows after playing Jenny on AMC -- such as NYPD BLUE.  Dorothy Lyman would play Jenny's mother Opal and end up on MAMA'S FAMILY but also carving out a directing career for herself. Kathy Bates was briefly on the show.  Amanda Bearse played Amanda a high schooler who was friends with Liza and they picked on Jenny.  Ms. Bearse went on to become Marcy on MARRIED WITH CHILDREN. Debbi Morgan already has a solid acting career before she played Angie (wife of Jenny's best friend Jesse) and she continued that solid career.  For a soap opera, especially a long running one, it didn't have a lot of actors go to fame.

I mean, THE DOCTORS had Alec Baldwin and Kathleen Turner -- among others.  GENERAL HOSPITAL launched Demi Moore, John Stamos, Richard Dean Anderson, Rick Springfield, Janine Turner,  . . . GUIDING LIGHT alumni includes Kevin Bacon, Ruby Dee, Calista Flockhart, Taye Diggs, James Earl Jones, Christina Pickles, Mira Sorvino, Christopher Walken, Billy Dee Williams, . . .  AS THE WORLD TURNS has Meg Ryan, Parker Posey, Jason Biggs, Marisa Tomei, Dana Delany, Lauryn Hill, James Earl Jones, Julianne Moore,  Ming Na, Mark Rydell (who left acting to direct and directed the film ON GOLDEN POND among others), Richard Thomas, . . .

That lack of names might result from the fact that people wanted to work with Agnes Nixon so often a popular daytime actor would come over to ALL MY CHILDREN.  Genie Francis, Robin Mattson, Nicholas Coster, David Canary, Linda Dano , and others would come on ALL MY CHILDREN after having established themselves on another soap opera.

That is a clip of Linc and Kelly who were part of a supercouple.  Well, we considered them part of a supercouple but the actual truth is that Peter White and Francesca James were part of two supercouples.  First came Linc and Kitty.  And then Ms. James wanted to leave the show to be a professional singer so Kitty was killed off.  Ms. James missed the show and they brought her back as a lookalike Kelly.  We did not care.  We did not want logic.  We just wanted Peter White and Francesca James back as a couple.

I actually preferred Kelly because she was flawed and because she was tight with Mryrtle.


Ms. James would move into directing and then to producing and she would work on the soaps GENERAL HOSPITAL, SANTA BARBARA, and DAYS OF OUR LIVES.  She would start producing ALL MY CHILDREN in 1995 (until 1998) and the show would win an Emmy for Outstanding Daytime Drama -- which mean a lot more back then when there were over 12 soap operas on the big three networks.

For over 30 years, Peter White played Linc -- this was not 30 continues years.  In addition, he had a solid career outside of ALL MY CHILDREN.

He was a gay man, he was not out.  I do not think even the obituaries are noting it.  I will note it because I know a man he was involved with for six or seven months.  The man was a guy that I went to college with, a very good friend who passed away a few years ago.  They came over together to our house as a couple.  This was between Kitty and Kelly on ALL MY CHILDREN.  So whenever that was.  

It never bothered me.  It never made me root less for Linc.  He remained a favorite character.  I wonder if that would have been true for most of the audience?  I think it would have been.  ALL MY CHILDREN had a progressive audience which was why the show led on so many issues -- protesting the war in Vietnam, reproductive rights, Davon biting Sean's nipple in bed before becoming a lesbian (I am joking on that but it did happen for some reason in a bed scene in 1980 or 1981, Devon went to town on Sean's nipples and then later Devon did become a lesbian so Treva, my friend, and I always joked about that), AIDS, etc.  

I do understand his decision not to go public back then (the 70s) but I do wonder why he never came out.  He died on November 1st and it is a shame that he was not able to be who he was.

His first film was THE BOYS IN THE BAND.  He was part of the original cast when the play was performed off Broadway.  If he had come out, he probably could have taken some bows in the last two decades since THE BOYS IN THE BAND is a major film in the early portrayals of gay men on screen.  He appeared in many other films including Albert Brooks' MOTHER, Robin Williams' FLUBBER, ARMAGEDDON, and 13 DAYS.  His prime time TV appearances included Burt Reynolds' DAN AUGUST, HILL STREET BLUES, THE BOLD ONES, THE GREATEST AMERICAN HERO, Stefanie Powers' THE FEATHER & FATHER GANG, THE JEFFERSONS, HART TO HART, FALCON'S CREST, DYNASTY, DALLAS, SCARECROW & MRS. KING, SIMON & SIMON,  THE COLBYS, L.A. LAW, SUPERBOY, DESIGNING WOMEN, AMEN, MATLOCK, SISTERS, LIFE GOES ON, STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE, MURDER SHE WROTE, ALLY MCBEAL, MAD ABOUT YOU, THE X-FILES, WEST WING, NYPD BLUE, and JAG.


Peter White, the actor best known playing Lincoln Tyler on All My Children, has died. He was 86.

His death was confirmed to multiple reports by Kathleen Noone, who played Ellen Dalton on the former ABC sudser from 1978-2011.

White’s cause of death on Nov. 1 was melanoma.


White also played Arthur Cates, the attorney for Sable Colby (Stephanie Beacham), on the first two seasons of the ABC primetime soap The Colbys in 1985-86, and he recurred as the deceased doctor dad of the characters played by Swoosie Kurtz, Sela Ward, Patricia Kalember and Julianne Phillips on the 1991-96 NBC drama Sisters

  White first portrayed Lincoln Tyler, son of stern Pine Valley matriarch Phoebe Tyler (Ruth Warrick), from 1974-80 — he was the third actor in the role, starting with James Karen — then returned for stints in ’81, ’84, ’86, ‘95 and 2005.

White starred as Alan McCarthy in Mart Crowley’s The Boys in the Band, which opened off-Broadway at Theater Four in April 1968. The drama revolves around a group of gay men attending a birthday party in a Manhattan apartment for their friend Harold (Leonard Frey), though it’s left unclear whether Alan was/is gay.

Until then, most gay characters in American theater had been veiled or demonized.  

SOAP HUB adds, "Peter White was born on October 10, 1937, in New York City. In 1955, he left to attend Northwestern University, where four years later, he received a Bachelor of Science degree from the School of Communications. He then studied acting at the Yale School of Drama, where he received his Master’s degree."


This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Friday, November 3, 2023.  The horrors continue as the assault on Gaza continues, Senator Dick Durbin finds his voice (leaving only 99 other senators still voiceless), Speaker of the Hate Mike Johnson spent years on conversion therapy (for himself and others?), and much more.

A doctor at Gaza City’s Al-Shifa hospital said that low fuel stocks have plunged wards into darkness and cut off major, basic functions like oxygen generation.

Only one operating theatre, the emergency department, and the intensive care unit (ICU) continue to function, Dr. Yousef Abu Al-Rish, director of the hospitals in Gaza, said in a video obtained by CNN.

[. . .]

Filming an almost pitch-black building, Abu Al-Rish points out the services that are affected.

“This is the maternity hospital, there, which is containing the neonatal ICU. And this is the rest of the hospital. And this is the surgical department building,” he says.

“We are just trying to keep the hospital working... Even the admin part now, as you see, it’s in complete darkness.”

He said that they were “trying our best” to extend the fuel as long as they can.

“All the other services directly related to the electricity will stop. For example, the oxygen generator, as there is no fuel, it stopped.”

Dr. Ghassan Abu-Sittah, also at Al-Shifa hospital, told CNN’s Kaitlan Collins that the hospital is currently running on just one generator after the fuel shortage led to another generator being switched off.

“Unless there's electricity, this hospital will turn into a mass grave,” Abu-Sittah said. “It's as simple as that. If we cannot keep the ventilators running, if we can't take our critically wounded patients back to the operating room, then there's nothing for this place other than to come and die.”

Abu Al-Rish, in his video, said that pleas for help had gone unanswered.

“No one responds,” he said. “No one can imagine even how the nurses will complete their job to give the medication, to have follow up, without an electromechanical system. Without the light even. It’s very catastrophic.”

This is not surprising, day after day has come with a warning of this.  Lorraine Mallinder (ALJAZEERA) was among the many warning in the last days, "The looming threat comes as hospitals across the besieged enclave, deprived of essential fuel and medicine, are collapsing. Sixteen out of 35 are no longer functioning. Hospitals that are still running warn that once generators shut down, they will be unable to keep ventilators, incubators and dialysis machines working and will effectively turn into morgues."  There are patients who cannot be moved.  There are patients who need treatment.  The Israeli government doesn't care.  But if it were your loved one or friend, you'd care and you'd wonder what kind of a world is letting this happen.  The world is watching as these crimes take place.

Jordan Shilton (WSWS) observes, "The Israeli regime is carrying out horrendous war crimes on a daily basis, with Thursday marking the third day in a row that the Jabaliya refugee camp was struck. As the official death toll among Palestinian civilians surpassed 9,000, the Israel Defence Forces also reportedly struck four schools within 24 hours and is preparing a horrific massacre of civilians in Gaza City."  What kind of a person can watch this unfold and feel this is about peace?  An idiot like Amy Schumer, obviously, 

a hate merchant like Tulsi Gabbard as well.  Jeffery St. Clair (COUNTERPUNCH) notes:

+ Tulsi Gabbard, darling of Glenn Greenwald and Jimmy Dore, on FoxNews:

Islamist jihadists, both Sunni and Shiite, openly call for wiping out all Jews from the face of the earth—yet Cori Bush, the Squad, and others support or act as apologists for such jihadists and say that Israel is guilty of human rights abuses and genocide. This is one of the main reasons I left the Democratic Party—because it is led by and rife with apologists for Islamist jihadists.

+ Will she run as RKF, Jr.’s sidekick?

But most people only experience outrage and horror over this.   ALJAZEERA notes, "The Palestinian health ministry in Gaza says the death toll since October 7 has reached 9,227. The ministry said 3,826 children and 2,405 women were among those killed in Israeli attacks. More than 32,500 people have also been wounded in the same period."  Writing from Gaza, Nowar Diab (GUARDIAN via ZNET):

However, there is one thing that has recently given me hope in the face of the tragedy that has become our lives here in Gaza. It is the pictures of hundreds of thousands of people standing up for us and protesting in our name – demonstrations held in the streets of cities across the world, from Algiers and Istanbul to London and Washington DC. The kindness of strangers, often thousands of miles away: this pulls us out of that feeling of hopelessness. Seeing this, I cannot help my eyes filling with tears. It shows people care and our suffering is felt.

These scenes of support and solidarity really restore our hope. Seeing people of all ages and from all communities descend on the streets of London last weekend proved that our cries were not in vain. We are heard. The world is watching. And our fellow humans are standing up for us by opposing this war.

We are in dire need of hope right now. I cannot stress this enough. The situation is so difficult and we need a portion of hope every day. This is what your support gives us: enough hope to get through the long, painful and difficult day that will come tomorrow. So my message to those people of Britain – who will stand up for us yet again today by attending peaceful demonstrations held in London and other cities– is a simple word of thanks. You restore my faith in humanity – each time you march in our name and call for peace, each time you chant for a free Palestine and a better world, and with every sign, banner and flag that you wave in our support.

We are together. We march with you in our hearts and hopes. The people of Gaza are watching. We see this and we feel less alone. You give us hope for a better, fairer world.

Protests are taking place around the world.  Betsey Piette (WORKERS WORLD) explains, "As demands increase for a cease-fire in Gaza to stop Israel’s genocidal war against the people of Palestine, demonstrations continue in cities across the U.S. Coordinated actions included the National Student Walkout for Palestine in the U.S. and Canada on Oct. 25, which was organized by the Palestinian Youth Movement, Dissenters and Students for Justice in Palestine. In many cities, protests were held outside the offices of U.S. senators and congress members, calling on them to pressure President Joe Biden into agreeing to a ceasefire."

On November 2, some 500 students and workers participated in a rally organized by the Wayne State chapters of the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (IYSSE) and Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), called “Stop the Genocide in Gaza!” The protest was held at the Wayne State University campus in downtown Detroit, Michigan.
Speakers included students from the SJP, the IYSSE and the Socialist Equality Party. After the speeches, a march was held in which protesters chanted, “Biden Biden what do you say? How many kids did you kill today?” “Israel Israel you can’t hide, we charge you with genocide,” and “Free free Palestine” among others.
Prior to the march, Aya, the co-president of SJP at Wayne State University, pointed out that while the last 27 days have featured “relentless violence” and thousands of “shattered lives and lost dreams,” this is a continuation of “75 years of enduring injustice and relentless oppression.”
“It is time for change and it is time for action,” said Aya.

The link in the Tweet above goes to Caya Craig and Camiryn Stepteau's HILLTOP article:

More than 100 students gathered around the campus flagpole on two separate days last week to protest Israel’s bombardment of Palestinians in Gaza. 

Students from Howard University Students for Justice in Palestine and DMV chapter of Students for Socialism organized a vigil on Oct. 23 to pay respects to Palestinian lives lost in Israel’s attack, and a walkout on Oct. 25 to express their dissatisfaction with the U.S. and, purportedly, Howard’s aid to Israel’s apartheid state. Students on the Yard advocated for a “liberated” Palestine. 

Some students held signs that read “End Genocide Now” and “HU Students for Palestine,” while  others wore Palestinian flags on their backs or shirts that read “End Apartheid.” 

The students also engaged in various chants on the Yard in support, yelling, “Free Free Palestine,” “Long Live Palestine” and “Not in Our Name.”    

These protests, Joyce Chediac (LIBERATION NEWS) notes,  have taken place despite the many government and media lies,  "While certainly confusing some, these gross distortions have not succeeded in masking the brutality of the Israeli invasion or stifling support for Palestine. Millions of people around the world, and hundreds of thousands in U.S. cities, have taken to the streets to demand a free Palestine and denounce Israeli genocide and apartheid and the U.S. government as well for arming and protecting Israel. A giant national demonstration is planned for Washington on Nov. 4. For more information click here."

AMY GOODMAN: As pressure builds for a ceasefire after 27 days of Israel’s bombardment of Gaza, we spend the rest of the hour with the acclaimed author and journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates. This summer, he spoke at a literary festival in the West Bank that connected the Palestinian struggle with decolonization struggles around the world. In Ramallah, he opened his remarks with a comparison between the struggle of African Americans and Palestinians.

In recent weeks, Coates joined dozens of other writers and artists in signing “An Open Letter from Participants in the Palestine Festival of Literature,” that was published in The New York Review of Books and called for, quote, “the international community to commit to ending the catastrophe unfolding in Gaza and to finally pursuing a comprehensive and just political solution in Palestine.”

AMY GOODMAN: Last night, Ta-Nehisi Coates participated in another event hosted by organizers of the Palestine Festival of Literature, or PalFest, in the James Chapel at Union Theological Seminary here in New York City. It was called “But We Must Speak: On Palestine and the Mandates of Conscience.”

Ta-Nehisi is the recipient of a prestigious MacArthur Fellowship and the recipient of numerous prizes, including the National Book Award for his book Between the World and Me. We Were Eight Years in Power is another book, An American Tragedy, and his memoir, The Beautiful Struggle. His novel is titled The Water Dancer. In 2014, he wrote an award-winning cover story for The Atlantic magazine headlined “The Case for Reparations.”

Ta-Nehisi, welcome back to Democracy Now! It’s great to have you with us, under extremely difficult circumstances. Last night, this remarkable event almost didn’t happen. I mean, it was in the James Chapel of Union Theological Seminary, but venue after venue had said no to this gathering. And without almost any publicity, well over a thousand people turned out, but the place only held 300, so people went over across the street to another place of 300, overcrowd, overflow, and then thousands watched on the live video stream. Can you talk about your experience being in the West Bank, going to the Occupied Territories, and how it changed you?

TA-NEHISI COATES: Oh wow. I spent 10 days in Palestine, in the Occupied Territories and in Israel proper. I’ve had the great luxury over the past 10 years of seeing a few countries. I have not spent more time or seen more of another country or another territory than I did this summer.

I think what shocked me the most was, in any sort of opinion piece or reported piece, or whatever you want to call it, that I’ve read about Israel and about the conflict with the Palestinians, there’s a word that comes up all the time, and it is “complexity,” that and its closely related adjective, “complicated.” And so, while I had my skepticisms and I had my suspicions of the Israeli government, of the occupation, what I expected was that I would find a situation in which it was hard to discern right from wrong, it was hard to understand the morality at play, it was hard to understand the conflict. And perhaps the most shocking thing was I immediately understood what was going on over there.

Probably the best example I can think of is the second day, when we went to Hebron, and the reality of the occupation became clear. We were driving out of East Jerusalem. I was with PalFest, and we were driving out of East Jerusalem into the West Bank. And, you know, you could see the settlements, and they would point out the settlements. And it suddenly dawned on me that I was in a region of the world where some people could vote and some people could not. And that was obviously very, very familiar to me. I got to Hebron, and we got out as a group of writers, and we were given a tour by our Palestinian guide. And we got to a certain street, and he said to us, “I can’t walk down this street. If you want to continue, you have to continue without me.” And that was shocking to me.

And we walked down the street, and we came back, and there was a market area. Hebron is very, very poor. It wasn’t always very poor, but it’s very, very poor. Its market area has been shut down. But there are a few vendors there that I wanted to support. And I was walking to try to get to the vendor, and I was stopped at a checkpoint. Checkpoints all through the city, checkpoints obviously all through the West Bank. Your mobility is completely inhibited, and the mobility of the Palestinians is totally inhibited.

And I was walking to the checkpoint, and an Israeli guard stepped out, probably about the age of my son. And he said to me, “What’s your religion, bro?” And I said, “Well, you know, I’m not really religious.” And he said, “Come on. Stop messing around. What is your religion?” I said, “I’m not playing. I’m not really religious.” And it became clear to me that unless I professed my religion, and the right religion, I wasn’t going to be allowed to walk forward. So, he said, “Well, OK, so what was your parents’ religion?” I said, “Well, they weren’t that religious, either.” He says, “What were your grandparents’ religion?” And I said, “My grandmother was a Christian.” And then he allowed me to pass.

And it became very, very clear to me what was going on there. And I have to say it was quite familiar. Again, I was in a territory where your mobility is inhibited, where your voting rights are inhibited, where your right to the water is inhibited, where your right to housing is inhibited. And it’s all inhibited based on ethnicity. And that sounded extremely, extremely familiar to me.

And so, the most shocking thing about my time over there was how uncomplicated it actually is. Now, I’m not saying the details of it are not complicated. History is always complicated. Present events are always complicated. But the way this is reported in the Western media is as though one needs a Ph.D. in Middle Eastern studies to understand the basic morality of holding a people in a situation in which they don’t have basic rights, including the right that we treasure most, the franchise, the right to vote, and then declaring that state a democracy. It’s actually not that hard to understand. It’s actually quite familiar to those of us with a familiarity to African American history.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: Well, Ta-Nehisi Coates, last night you were asked about the significance of Martin Luther King’s words on Vietnam. You said it’s taken you years to, quote, “understand nonviolence as an ethic” and that you understood that ethic in Israel. Could you explain?

TA-NEHISI COATES: Yeah, sure, I mean, and I think the thing to do is just to proceed off of what I said. Martin Luther King dedicated his life to the fight against segregation. His was a segregated society. The Occupied Territories are segregated, de jure segregated. It’s not, you know, hard to understand. There are different signs for where different people can go. There are different license plates forbidding different people from going different places. Now, what the authorities will tell you is that this is a security measure. But if you go back to the history of Jim Crow in this country, they would tell you the exact same thing. People always have good reasons, besides, you know, “I hate you, and I don’t like you,” to justify their right for imposing an oppressive regime on other people. It’s never quite that simple. And so, that was the first thing.

But the second thing I think that you’re referring to is, you know, I — you know, this is like really personal for me, because I came up in a time and in a place where I did not really understand the ethic of nonviolence. And by “ethic,” I mean the notion that violence itself is corrupting, that it corrupts the soul. And I didn’t quite understand that. If I’m truly honest with you, as much as I saw my relationship with the Palestinian people and as much as it was clear what the relationship was, it was at the same time clear that there was some sort of relationship with the Israeli people, too. And it wasn’t one that I particularly enjoyed, because I understood the rage that comes when you have a history of oppression. I understood the anger. I understood the sense of humiliation that comes when people subject you to just manifold oppression, to genocide, and people look away from that. I come from the descendants of 250 years of enslavement. I come from a people who sexual violence and rape is marked in our very bones and in our DNA. And I understand how when you feel that the world has turned its back on you, how you can then turn your back on the ethics of the world. But I also understood how corrupting that can be.

I was listening, actually, to my congressman last night, or I guess it was two nights ago, talk on the news. And a journalist asked him, “How many children, how many people must be killed to justify this operation? Is there an upper limit for the number of people that could be killed, when you would say, 'This is just too much. This just doesn't — this just doesn’t, you know, compute. This does not add up’?” And I will tell you, that congressman couldn’t give a number. And I thought, “That man has been corrupted. That man has lost himself. He’s lost himself in humiliation. He’s lost himself in vengeance. He has lost himself in violence.”

I keep hearing this term repeated over and over again: “the right to self-defense.” What about the right to dignity? What about the right to morality? What about the right to be able to sleep at night? Because what I know is, if I was complicit — and I am complicit — in dropping bombs on children, in dropping bombs on refugee camps, no matter who’s there, it would give me trouble sleeping at night. And I worry for the souls of people who can do this and can sleep at night.

AMY GOODMAN: Let me ask you, Ta-Nehisi, last night, as I said at the beginning, I think Union Theological was the fifth place that PalFest had turned to for this event. I want to point out who was there. Among the speakers was you, you know, a MacArthur “genius” fellow; was Michelle Alexander, the remarkable author and lawyer; Rashid Khalidi, a leading Palestinian American scholar, Edward Said professor of Arab studies at Columbia University; and others. And you being at Union Theological, you know, Dr. Martin Luther King is known for that speech, “Why I Oppose the War in Vietnam,” that he gave across the street at Riverside Church, but he started at Union Theological. So many people came, he had to go across the street for it. But can you talk about this difficulty in speaking out? I mean, just last week, we spoke to Viet Thanh Nguyen, who is the Vietnamese American Pulitzer Prize-winning author, who was on a book tour for his latest memoir, and the 92nd Street Y, now known as 92NY, canceled his conversation about his memoir because he had signed on to a letter — I think it was signed by 750 other people — calling for a ceasefire. The U.N. secretary-general has called for a Gaza ceasefire. Can you talk about what it means to break the sound barrier, and if you were nervous about coming out and speaking about Gaza, about the West Bank, even going, to begin with, knowing what you would feel responsible for doing once you came out?

TA-NEHISI COATES: Yeah, I wasn’t just nervous. I was afraid. You know, I hear people talk all the time about how fearlessness is a necessary quality. And I have never had that. I’ve never had that in my life, and I certainly have never had that in my career.

I spent five days with PalFest when I was over there, and then I spent another five days with a group of Israeli Jews. And I knew that whatever I was going to see — like, I had a sentiment. I couldn’t express it like I just expressed it for you right now, because, obviously, I hadn’t been there. But I had a sentiment that what I was going to see was not going to be great. And I know that, A, because of my upbringing, and I know that, B, because of my vocation as a journalist, you can’t behold evil and then return and not speak on it. And segregation is evil. There just is no — there’s no way for me, as an African American, to come back and stand before you, to witness segregation and not say anything about it.

One of the hardest things was to come back and then to read the rhetoric of certain African American politicians who are defending this regime. And I just — I couldn’t understand it. You know, I wanted to know if they had been to Hebron. You know, I wanted to know if they had been to Masafer Yatta, if they had been to Shusha, if they had been to Tubas. Had they seen? Had they really seen what is actually happening here? I don’t know how anybody who benefits, who stands on the shoulders of our ancestors’ struggle against Jim Crow, against segregation, could see what is happening right now, could see the bombs being dropped, 9,000 people dead, an ungodly number of them children, in service of Jim Crow and segregation, which we have exported, and be OK with that. I don’t — I don’t understand it.

So, yes, I have my fears. I do. I do. You know, I’m afraid right now, sitting here talking to you. But I have to measure my fear against the misery that I saw. I have to measure my fear against the promises that I made to the Palestinians who welcomed me into their homes and gave me the facts, to the Israeli Jews who welcomed me into their homes and gave me the facts, to the Holocaust survivors who welcomed me into their homes and gave me the facts. I have to measure it against my own ancestors, against Frederick Douglass, against Ida B. Wells, who certainly faced off against things that were much, much more perilous than going someplace, coming back and telling people what you saw. This is the minimum. It’s scary, but it’s also the minimum. And the fact that people are trying to suppress speech is not an excuse for you not to speak. It’s always been this way for Black writers and journalists. This is our tradition, you know? And so, I feel — as I do feel the fear, I also feel that I am in good company, because I’m in the company of my ancestors.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: Well, Ta-Nehisi, I want to ask you about the way in which this conflict is in fact being represented in the media and, as you pointed out, politicians, congressmembers, but also the White House. On Monday, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre compared pro-Palestinian protesters to the white supremacists who took part in the deadly —

TA-NEHISI COATES: Yeah, I saw it.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: — Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017. She made the comment in response to a question from Fox News’s Peter Doocy.

PETER DOOCY: Does President Biden think the anti-Israel protesters in this country are extremists?

PRESS SECRETARY KARINE JEAN-PIERRE: What I can say is what we’ve been very clear about this: When it comes to antisemitism, there is no place. We have to make sure that we speak against it very loud and be — and be very clear about that. Remember, what the president decided to — when the president decided to run for president is what he saw in Charlottesville in 2017, when we — he saw neo-Nazis marching down the streets of Charlottesville with vile, antisemitic just hatred. And he was very clear then, and he’s very clear now. He’s taken actions against this over the past two years. And he’s continued to be clear: There is no place — no place — for this type of vile and despite — this kind of rhetoric.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: So, Ta-Nehisi Coates, that’s the White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre. Your response?

TA-NEHISI COATES: You know, I don’t want to personalize this. I’m sure she’s a very, you know, nice person and a very, very kind person. But, you see, all of us stand on the shoulders of Martin Luther King. All of us stand on the shoulders of the nonviolent struggle. And on King’s birthday, the White House, like it’s done for years, stands up, and, you know, it praises Dr. King, and it talks about Dr. King as our modern-day prophet. I don’t know how these people do that and sleep at night. I don’t know how you compare people who are trying to stop a war, who are very much in the tradition of nonviolence, who are trying to stop bombs being dropped, literally, on refugee camps, to neo-Nazi protesters. It’s disgraceful, to use her own words. It’s disgraceful. It’s reprehensible. It is offensive, as far as I am concerned, to the shoulders on those whom we stand right now. I just — I don’t understand it.

I would extend this further. I mean, I think hearing President Biden himself — and here I will personalize it — downplay the number of Palestinian deaths, to say that he doesn’t believe the Palestinians, I just — when his own State Department was citing those figures only months ago, you know? At some point, you know, there’s that saying: When people show you who they are, you have to believe them. And so, I’ve spent a lot of time trying to do the political calculus on this. And I think at a certain point we have to just stop and say, “They believe it.” They believe it. They believe bombs should be dropped on children. They just think it’s OK. They think it’s OK, or at the very least they think it’s the price of doing business.

That’s not an ethic I can align myself from, because, as I’ve said several times in this interview, I come from a history where people wanted to make the exact same calculus about us and took stances that we would now say are immoral. But, see, the test isn’t what you did in the past; the test is what you do in the moment right now. I’m a writer. I would be much more comfortable — I was working on a book about this. I would be much more comfortable sitting at home writing about this, before I’m here talking to you guys right now. It is not my nature to talk about things that I have not written about yet. But one has to balance one’s responsibility against the suffering, against the death, against the body count. And to see what is coming out of this White House right now is just — it’s morally reprehensible. Again, I don’t know how people sleep at night.

AMY GOODMAN: You’ve been talking about Dr. King. His daughter, Dr. Bernice King, who heads The King Center, lawyer, Martin Luther King’s youngest daughter, responded to a post by the comedian Amy Schumer, who shared a video of Dr. King condemning antisemitism and defending Israel’s right to exist. Bernice King wrote, quote, “Certainly, my father was against antisemitism. He also believed militarism (along with racism and poverty) to be among the interconnected Triple Evils. I am certain he would call for Israel’s bombing of Palestinians to cease,” Dr. Bernice King said. And so, if you could comment on this and also talk about how the issue of Palestinians, the Occupied Territories, the occupation, has been raised in the Black community, the Movement for Black Lives, for years now, and the pressure you come under when you do?

TA-NEHISI COATES: Yeah, and, look, I think it’s very, very important to talk about the force of antisemitism in history, indeed in American history, in fact. It’s a very, very, very real thing, and I don’t think you can understand the events of the moment without understanding that.

And I think, over the past few weeks especially, much has been made about the historic alliance between Black folks and Jewish activists and Jewish folks and that sort of thing. And it’s a very, very real thing. It’s a very, very important thing. But I think, like any alliance, it is at its best when it grounds itself in moral principle, not in a kind of gang truce, not in a kind of “I had your back, so you’ll have mine.” A moral alliance that is transactional is actually, in fact, not a moral alliance. And we have always been at our best — you know, when I think about the Jewish civil rights workers who went south and put their bodies on the line for the civil rights movement, I like to think — and I think it’s true — that that was not a transactional arrangement. That was not, you know, an attempt to say, “Look, I’m doing this because I think you’ll have my back in the future.” They did it because it was right. They did it based on principle.

And so, you know, I think some of the frustration that certain, certain people feel about the lack of African American support for this war comes from this notion that we should have people’s back as they drop bombs to try to defend a segregationist apartheid regime. We shouldn’t do that. And we haven’t done that. That’s the history that you allude to, I mean, going back to Angela Davis, to SNCC, to Black Lives Matter. I stand here, or I sit here, very, very humbly as a latecomer to the cause, but someone who has come to the cause nonetheless. We have to stand on principle, Ma’am. We have to stand on principle. And if I’m a latecomer to the Palestinian cause, I’m also a latecomer to the cause of nonviolence, but I’m here now. You know? And knowing what that has meant to our history, you know, to our — there is no way in the world that we can leverage the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, there’s no way in the world we can leverage the weight, the ancestry of our movement, in defense of a war, in defense of indiscriminate bombings on refugee camps. We just — we can’t do that. We can’t do that. We would be a disgrace to our ancestors.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: Ta-Nehisi, last night, just to end, you said — we’ve just spoken about the fact that it was so difficult for the Palestine Festival of Literature to find a venue for last night’s event. Your own books here in the U.S. have faced book bans, and yours aren’t the only ones, of course. But you’ve said that when people resort to these measures — book banning, limiting public discussions — these are weapons of a weak and a decaying order. Could you explain what you mean by that, and why there is, despite the horror of the moment, some scope for optimism?

TA-NEHISI COATES: Well, I think if you — and a lot of this is, you know, actually from my time talking to Rashid Khalidi, Professor Rashid Khalidi up at Columbia. And one of the points he made — you know, I came back from Palestine, and I just was glass-eyed. I didn’t understand. I had this deep-seated feeling that, in fact, I had been lied to. And I began consulting people and talking to people. And so, I got to spend some time with Professor Khalidi.

And one of the things he said to me was, never has the movement — this is somebody who’s been fighting this war for his entire life. He said, “Never has the movement been as powerful as it is right now.” And, you know, I had to take that in. I also have to take in the fact that, like, when I think about what I did not know, and when I did not know, it wasn’t that I had competing sources and I didn’t know where to turn. The way I think Americans have traditionally, up until very recently, you know —

AMY GOODMAN: We have 10 seconds, Ta-Nehisi.

TA-NEHISI COATES: — saw this struggle — sure. I’m sorry about that. I will just say that I’m very optimistic about the fight, and I think we’re going to win. I’ll leave it there. Sorry about that.

AMY GOODMAN: Ta-Nehisi Coates, acclaimed writer, National Book Award winner, spoke at an event last night organized by Palestine Festival of Literature here in New York. We will link to the live stream.

Before we end, this update from Gaza: The Palestinian WAFA news agency is reporting at least 27 people were killed today in an Israeli bombing of an UNRWA school in the Jabaliya refugee camp, the largest refugee camp in Gaza. I’m Amy Goodman, with Nermeen Shaikh.

As the War Crimes continue, Reporters Without Borders announces it has filed a complaint:

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has filed a complaint for war crimes committed against Palestinian journalists in Gaza – the third such complaint since 2018 – and against an Israeli journalist, killed and wounded in the course of their work. These reporters were the victims of attacks amounting – at the very least – to war crimes justifying an investigation by the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Filed with the office of the ICC prosecutor on 31 October, RSF’s complaint details the cases of nine journalists killed in the course of their work since 7 October and two others who were wounded, also in the course of their work. It also cites the deliberate, total or partial, destruction of the premises of more than 50 media outlets in Gaza. 

According to RSF’s tally, 34 journalists have been killed since the start of the war between Israel and Hamas, of whom at least 12 were killed in the course of their work – 10 in Gaza, one in Israel and one in Lebanon.

“The scale, seriousness and recurring nature of international crimes targeting journalists, particularly in Gaza, calls for a priority investigation by the ICC prosecutor. We have been calling for this since 2018. The current tragic events demonstrate the extreme urgency of the need for ICC action.

Christophe Deloire
RSF secretary-general

War crimes complaint

This RSF complaint to the ICC concerns eight Palestinian journalists who were killed in bombardments of civilian areas in Gaza by Israel, and an Israeli journalist who was killed on 7 October while covering an attack on his kibbutz by Hamas.

The attacks suffered by Palestinian journalists in Gaza correspond to the international humanitarian law definition of an indiscriminate attack and therefore constitute war crimes under Article 8.2.b. of the Rome Statute. Even if these journalists were the victims of attacks aimed at legitimate military targets, as the Israeli authorities claim, the attacks nevertheless caused manifestly excessive and disproportionate harm to civilians, and still amount to a war crime under this article.

The Israeli journalist’s death constituted the wilful killing of a person protected by the Geneva Conventions, which is a war crime under article 8.2.a. of the ICC’s Rome Statute.

It will be up to the ICC prosecutor’s office to determine the precise nature of these crimes and, at the end of their investigation, to select any other applicable classification.

In its complaint, RSF also calls on the prosecutor to investigate all of the cases of journalists killed since 7 October – 34, according to our latest information. RSF’s complaint details the cases of journalists killed in the course of their work. Other cases are still being investigated before being referred to the ICC. Several reporters have been killed or wounded in Lebanon, which – unlike Palestine – is not a State Party to the ICC. RSF is looking into the possibility of referring these cases to other competent jurisdictions.

RSF’s third complaint about war crimes against Palestinian journalists in Gaza

This is RSF’s third complaint to the ICC prosecutor about war crimes against Palestinian journalists in Gaza since 2018. The first was filed in May 2018 about journalists killed or injured during the “Great March of Return” protests in Gaza. The second was filed in May 2021 following Israeli air strikes on more than 20 media outlets in the Gaza Strip. RSF also supported the complaint filed by Al Jazeera about the fatal shooting of Palestinian journalist Shirin Abu Akleh in the West Bank on 11 May 2022.

In other news,  Jake Johnson (COMMON DREAMS) reports:

  Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin on Thursday became the first U.S. senator to call for a cease-fire in Gaza and Israel, joining the head of the United Nations, human rights organizations, and nearly two dozen House progressives.

Durbin (D-Ill.), the number two Senate Democrat, said during a CNN appearance that he supports a cease-fire agreement that includes the "immediate release" of all hostages.

"An effort should be made to engage in conversation between the Israelis and the Palestinians," said Durbin, who was first elected to Congress with AIPAC support in 1982. "Let's face it, this has gone on for decades. Whatever the rationale from the beginning, it has now reached an intolerable level. We need to have a resolution in the Middle East that gives some promise for the future."

Durbin said he has not communicated his position directly to the Biden White House, which has thus far vocally opposed a cease-fire, claiming it would benefit Hamas. On Wednesday, President Joe Biden expressed support for a "pause" after his campaign speech in Minnesota was interrupted by a demonstrator calling for a cease-fire. 

Hopefully, others in the Senate will find similar courage.  In the House, Speaker of Mike Johnson just embraces hate.  Connor Surmonte (RADAR) reports:

According to a 2005 recording obtained and shared by CNN’s Andrew Kaczynski on Wednesday night, Johnson argued that “gay people could be made straight” during an Exodus International event 18 years ago.

Although Exodus International ceased operations in 2013, the non-profit group promoted itself as an “ex-gay Christian organization” that sought to "help people who wished to limit their homosexual desires.”

“It’s time for an honest conversation about homosexuality,” Johnson said during one portion of the 2005 recording. “There’s freedom to change if you want to.”

“Our race, the size of our feet, the color of our eyes, these are things we’re born with and cannot change,” the new House Speaker claimed at the time. “But what these adult advocacy groups like the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network are promoting is a type of behavior.”

“Homosexual behavior is something you do,” he added. “It’s not something that you are.”

Meanwhile, CNN reported that Exodus International’s founder – Alan Chambers – issued an apology after ceasing operations in 2013.

Chambers reportedly apologized for the “hurt and pain” the “ex-gay Christian” organization caused and admitted that Exodus International was “very damaging” for the gay teenagers the group sought to convert.

CNN’s Erin Burnett and Andrew Kaczynski also discussed Johnson’s efforts to overturn the 2003 Lawrence v. Texas ruling that threw out the state’s sodomy laws.

Let's wind down with this:

Jody Watley Talks Music, Sports and Inspiration With NBA Hall Of Fame Icon Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson

Via BNM Publicity Group and Management

(NATIONWIDE) November 2, 2023 – Jody Watley, the celebrated singer, songwriter, and iconic figure in the world of music and fashion, is delighted to announce a special guest appearance by Earvin “Magic” Johnson, the legendary basketball icon and accomplished entrepreneur, on “The Jody Watley Show” airing on November 12th 6 P.M. EST / 3 P.M. PST

Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson

The show, exclusively on SiriusXM’s The Groove, has attained a huge mass appeal to their subscribers and dedicated fanbase throughout the years.

Earvin “Magic” Johnson, celebrated not only for his remarkable basketball career but also for his extraordinary success in the world of business, will engage in a captivating conversation with Jody Watley, promising an enlightening and inspiring discussion. Johnson’s exceptional journey is artfully depicted in the AppleTV+ project, “They Call Me Magic,” which became the top-selling documentary series per episode upon its release in 2022.

“I am thrilled to welcome Earvin “Magic” Johnson as a guest on my show,” expressed Jody Watley. “His incredible achievements, both on and off the court, are a testament to his tenacity, business acumen, and unwavering commitment to making a positive impact in our communities.”

Earvin “Magic” Johnson, who successfully transitioned from the basketball court to the boardroom, now serves as the Chairman and CEO of Magic Johnson Enterprises (MJE). MJE specializes in providing high-quality products and services primarily to ethnically diverse and underserved urban communities.

In addition to his accomplishments, Earvin “Magic” Johnson has expanded his influence through ownership of multiple sports franchises, including the Washington Commanders, Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Sparks, Los Angeles Football Club, and Team Liquid.

He also manages businesses such as EquiTrust Life Insurance Company and SodexoMAGIC, a food service and facilities management company.

In today’s dynamic digital age, Earvin “Magic” Johnson continues to invest millions of dollars in infrastructure improvement across the United States through a joint-venture fund, JLC Infrastructure.

Renowned as one of the defining artists of the 80s with a profound influence on style, music, and pop culture, Jody Watley has set the standard that many artists follow today. Her groundbreaking marriage of rap and R&B in hits like “Friends,” her fusion of high fashion, street fashion, and music, and her effortless crossing of musical genres make her a true visionary in the industry.

“The Jody Watley Show” is a 2-hour monthly program offering a unique blend of classic and contemporary R&B music, along with engaging conversations and surprise guests.

Listeners can enjoy the best of Old School R&B on SiriusXM’s The Groove, hosted by Jody Watley, featuring artists from the ’70s and ’80s, such as Michael Jackson, Luther Vandross, Janet Jackson, Earth, Wind & Fire, Isley Brothers, and the Gap Band, among others.

Don’t miss the opportunity to hear the extraordinary Earvin “Magic” Johnson in conversation with Jody Watley on “The Jody Watley Show.”

Tune in to SiriusXM’s The Groove on November 12th at 6 PM (EST) / 3 PM (PST), or listen via the SiriusXM app on your smartphone or other connected devices. 

SiriusXM is available to subscribers in their car, on their phone and connected devices at home with the SXM App. Streaming access is included with all of our trials and most popular plans. Go to to learn more.

The following sites updated: