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The Summer of Trump ... and Deez Nuts

From the Left / Clarence Page /

What does Donald Trump have in common with Deez Nuts, except for the way that their names make some people laugh?

Both Trump, the billionaire Republican presidential frontrunner, and Deez Nuts, the registered independent presidential candidate made up by a 15-year-old Iowa schoolboy, offer a measure of voter discontent with both major political...Read more

The Dubious Origins of Trump's Immigration Scheme

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Viewed through the lens of America's civil rights history, Donald Trump's new call to repeal birthright citizenship chimes with an ominous ring.

Spoiler alert: It sounds like racism.

It sounds like the Supreme Court's declaration in 1857 that African-Americans were "so far inferior that they had no rights which the white man was bound to ...Read more

Julian Bond Kept His Wit, Despite Tragedies of Race

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Unlike most of the people who are sadly reminiscing about Julian Bond, I fondly recall how my last conversation with the iconic civil rights veteran occurred at a zombie movie.

A mutual friend had invited us and our wives to share a Dutch-treat, triple-date movie night. The movie was "World War Z," in which Brad Pitt races against time to save ...Read more

Trump, Sanders Managing Political Angers

From the Left / Clarence Page /

The farther the left and right wings in politics move toward opposite extremes, an old saying goes, the more they resemble each other. You can see this vigorously at work these days in the Republican campaign of billionaire Donald Trump and the Democratic campaign of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Both are drawing huge crowds and surprisingly ...Read more

Trump Thumps Himself

From the Left / Clarence Page /

As if we did not already know it before Fox News' Republican presidential debate in Cleveland, Donald Trump can dish out barbs against other people, but he can't take 'em.

"The questions to me were far tougher," he told reporters after the debate. "I didn't think they were appropriate. And I thought Megyn behaved very badly, personally."

Right...Read more

Explaining the Audacity of Trump

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Debating Donald Trump is like boxing with smoke. You may have the facts on your side, but for this Republican presidential candidate, facts are mostly beside the point.

Take, for example, his recent slap at President Barack Obama's legacy. Americans won't elect another black president for a long time, Trump said in an interview on ABC News ...Read more

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

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