NPR logo More on 'The Thomases'

More on 'The Thomases'

Well I'm back. I never left, actually. Just had to duck-out to the doctor to confirm what I already knew ... I have laryngitis. I apologize, again, for the poor quality of my voice this week. But I am muddling through. It's bad, isn't it?

... I mean, whoever sang "I am Woman, hear me croak"?

But I decided it wasn't bad enough to call in reinforcements. And, who am I kidding? I am selfish. Let somebody else talk to Rita Moreno? I don't think so.

I have another FAB-U-LOUS musical guest for next week, whom many of you know. Actually, whom ALL of you know. She's been out of the studio for quite a while and has just found her way back in. She's with us next week for a combined Wisdom Watch/listening session about her new CD. I'm trying to think of a hint ... OK, how about this: You don't say her name once, but three times ... fast.

The first respondent to guess who I'm talking about wins ... our admiration.

Today's show featured an interview with Anucha Browne Sanders. She is the executive who successfully sued Isiah Thomas and the Knicks for sexual harassment. (Thomas maintains his innocence and says he'll appeal) I had an odd deja vu feeling about this ... We just did a program about Clarence Thomas' new memoir, just published, where he settles old scores, including about the sexual harassment charges leveled at him during his confirmation hearings in 1991. I was a White House correspondent during those hearings: I remember it all and, subsequently, reported a documentary about it for the now-defunct ABC News program Turning Point.

I am sure everybody has opinions about the Justice Thomas ordeal, but, let me say, while people are entitled to their own opinions, they are not entitled to their own facts. I think it is entirely fair to fact-check Thomas' new memoir and compare it to facts established in the public record. We'll be doing that, if we find appropriate and compelling guests.

I also want to call attention to our middle section of the show today: two voices from West Africa. What's the peg, you ask? Why them, why now?

Part of the reason is that Chris Abani has just published a new short novel. It is purposely vague about time, date, and place, most likely during the Biafran war, but clearly in West Africa. I think the vagueness works because the novel tells the story of a child soldier, inaptly named "My Luck."

If you think about it, how would a child — taught to fight so brutally — ever really know anything about why he is fighting, or what he's supposedly fighting for? He's fighting because he's been taught to fight.

The story is both beautiful and horrifying, and I hope our conversation conveys some of it. And, we felt it necessary to let everyone know that while Abani's story is fiction, the world he describes is not. Thus, our interview with Jacob Massaquoi, a refugee from Liberia who now works to help other exiles, asylum seekers like him resettle in the U.S.

Finally, if you need a laugh, check out Raina Kelly's story about how she spent an entire month as a "freegan." One word: no skittles.

She almost didn't make it.

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