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A Fresh Voice for An Impatient Generation

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Congratulations to Ta-Nehisi Coates. His meditation on race in America has hit No. 1 in its first week on the New York Times' best-seller list. Race relations may still be a mess, as his book suggests, but at least people are interested in reading about it.

Good timing helps. In the age of smartphone ...Read more

Why Obama Freed His Inner 'Kenyan'

From the Left / Clarence Page /

It must make the birthers' heads explode to hear President Barack Obama ridicule the ridiculous charge that he is a secret Kenyan. That's only one good reason for him to do it.

"Birthers" are people who just can't -- or refuse to -- get it through their narrow minds that Obama was born as he and documentation says he was, a legal United States ...Read more

Sandra Bland's Mysterious Arrest -- and Death

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Evidence points to suicide, not homicide, as the cause of a Chicago-area woman's death in a Texas jail cell outside Houston, Texas, officials say. Yet the arresting officer's dash-cam video raises serious questions as to why Sandra Bland was arrested in the first place.

Bland, 28, from suburban Naperville, became a tragic national news story ...Read more

Both Parties Face an Angry Summer

From the Left / Clarence Page /

If anything is certain about Donald Trump's bizarre bid for the Republican presidential nomination, it is the huge favors he does for the Democrats.

That thought occurred to me last weekend, for example, as Trump was lobbing verbal mud balls at Sen. John McCain's heroic war record at an appearance in Ames, Iowa.

Had national attention not been...Read more

Kick the 'New Jim Crow' Out the Door

From the Left / Clarence Page /

As President Obama talked to reporters after becoming the first American president to visit a federal prison, his thoughts appeared to flash back to "the Choom Gang."

That was the nickname of the pot-smoking crew to which the future president belonged in his Honolulu high school days, according to Obama biographer David Maraniss. "Choom" was ...Read more

Summer of Sanders -- and Trump

From the Left / Clarence Page /

What are we to make of the two biggest political pseudo-surprises of this mid-summer: the spectacular crowds drawn by Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders.

I say pseudo-surprises because, in some ways, we should have expected both men to do well in polls. Trump has higher name recognition than any of the other 15-and-counting major Republican ...Read more

'Public Moralist' Cosby's Iconic Fall

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Suddenly Bill Cosby has become the Confederate battle flag of the entertainment world. Everybody seems to want to take him down.

For months the iconic showman's defenders have tried to dismiss the parade of women who have accused the now 77-year-old of drugging, raping and otherwise sexually molesting them.

But now his own testimony in a 2005 ...Read more

Race and Rick Perry

From the Left / Clarence Page /

I applaud Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry's call for the Grand Old Party to patch up its differences with African-Americans, among other voters of color. Although I eagerly wait to hear how he would follow up his words with deeds, lip service is better than no service at all.

The former Texas governor's olive branch offers a ...Read more

Which GOP Rival Will Fire Trump?

From the Left / Clarence Page /

At this stage, the 2016 presidential campaign is looking a lot like high school. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, for example, sounds like the locker room bully who would torture Louisiana Gov. Bobbie Jindal with wedgies.

And Donald Trump? He's the class clown. He's the student government candidate who sells fake ID card on the side -- which he ...Read more

Obama's New 'Bucket' Attitude

From the Left / Clarence Page /

One of the most ironic things about U.S. presidents is how soon after they get comfortable with the job that it's over.

That's a happy thought to those who can't wait to see President Barack Obama go -- as the ranks of hopeful Republican candidates grow well past a dozen.

But the president's attitude? "Bucket."

That's what he said with a ...Read more

Conservatives Attack, Rescue Obamacare

From the Left / Clarence Page /

What a deal. The Supreme Court's Obamacare decision reminds me of a demand that an aide to the late Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley is said to have given to reporters: Don't say what the mayor says, say what he means.

Conservatives hoped that the high court would hold congressional Democrats to what they wrote in the Affordable Care Act, better ...Read more

Prisoners of a Long-Lost Cause

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Could this, at last, be the end of the Civil War?

Or, as some fans of Southern heritage call it, the War Between the States?

Or the War of Northern Aggression?

That question came to mind as I watched South Carolina's Republican Gov. Nikki Haley do what I thought I might not live to see a South Carolina governor do. She called for the removal ...Read more

Are We Giving Up On Gun Laws?

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Witnesses say that the white gunman who killed nine people at Charleston's historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church was quite vocal about his motives: He wanted to kill black people.

Quoting a survivor of the horror, Sylvia Johnson, whose cousin Rev. Clementa Pinckney was one of three ministers killed in the church, said the shooter ...Read more

A Fake Black Woman's 'Passing' Fancy

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Perhaps we African-Americans should feel flattered that Rachel Dolezal wanted so desperately to be one of us.

Or maybe we should feel insulted, as some of her critics say, by her demonstration of white privilege even as she boldly lived a life of opposition to it.

You know who I'm talking about. Everybody's been talking about Dolezal, the 37-...Read more

Can Clinton Rally Obama's Coalition?

From the Left / Clarence Page /

His campaign is a long shot, but I'm happy to see Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders putting forth a good impersonation of a serious challenge to Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign. Like a near-sighted javelin thrower, the self-described democratic socialist may not score many points but he'll keep the crowd alert.

The former first lady, senator ...Read more

Jenner's Gender War on Pronouns

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Keeping the pronouns straight. In my experience, that's the hardest part of adjusting to a friend's sex-change operation.

My experience in this case consists of working in the same newsroom as Ridgely Hunt, an award-winning war correspondent for the Chicago Tribune, as he became Nancy Hunt in the mid-1970s.

Or as Nancy probably would prefer to...Read more

'Broken Windows' Fights the 'Ferguson Effect'

From the Left / Clarence Page /

It's not easy to find a middle ground between the tough-on-crime and "#BlackLivesMatter" movements, but it has to be done.

As police officers find their routine stops or arrests recorded increasingly by civilians with their smartphones, a rising chorus of critics fear that wary cops already might be bringing the nation's 20-year crime dip to an...Read more

Huckabee and Duggar: Now Showing on Red State Reality TV

From the Left / Clarence Page /

After watching the fuss Republican presidential wannabe Mike Huckabee made about Beyonce Knowles early this year, it has been amusing to watch him try to wriggle and squirm his way out of the Duggar family's scandal.

In his latest book, the former Arkansas governor and Baptist pastor got all judgy about the president and first lady allowing ...Read more

Police Chief's Viewpoint is An Antidote to Distrust

From the Left / Clarence Page /

This story is not new.

On March 6, Matthew Kenny, a police officer in Madison, Wis., shot and killed an unarmed 19-year-old black man named Anthony Robinson Jr., who, he said, had attacked him. The shooting triggered days of peaceful protests. An autopsy found a cocktail of illicit drugs in Robinson's system. Earlier this month, ...Read more

The Disintegration of Us-vs.-Them Politics

From the Left / Clarence Page /

For all the decades of its existence, American social conservatism has been rooted in a premise simple enough to be fully expressed in just three words:

Us versus them.

As in, an implicit promise to defend the former against the latter. This was its mission when it pushed for immigration quotas in the 1920s, when it animated the Red Scare of ...Read more

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