From the Left



Police Suicides Remind Us That Our Folks in Blue Get the Blues, Too — To a Deadly Degree

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Reports of the recent death of a Chicago police officer from a self-inflicted gunshot reminded me of a sadly startling statistic: Police in recent years have been more likely to die by suicide than in the line of duty.

That’s according to Blue H.E.L.P., a Massachusetts-based nonprofit that tracks police suicides. Since the organization relies...Read more

Clarence Page: Hey, Chicago, New York Democrats sent you a message: Fund the police, but wisely

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Civic pride prevents me from looking too often to New York for political guidance. Chicago’s and New York’s styles of politics are about as far apart as their preferences for pizza.

But political junkies everywhere can marvel at the Big Apple’s latest challenge to the conventional political wisdom: the nomination of Democrat Eric Adams, a...Read more

Donald Trump vs. Big Tech: If You Can’t Beat ’Em, Raise Money Off of ’Em

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Former President Donald Trump’s lawsuit against Facebook, Twitter and Google’s YouTube social networks is a lot like his presidency: full of sound and fury, signifying spectacular fundraising opportunities. m’

Yet, as often happens in his political quests, he also manages to raise some important questions that have troubled other people�...Read more

Pot, Politics, Protests — Yes, It Must Be Time Again for the Olympics

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Hey, sports fans, it’s time for the Olympics again. So let’s talk about pot, protests and politics.

Purists still decry the intrusion of politics into their sacred Games, especially if the politics disagree with their own. But such intrusions have been happening so often, that the International Olympic Committee might as well consider ...Read more

Race, Gender Blame Game Won’t Save Bill Cosby or Mayor Lori Lightfoot

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Bill Cosby and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot may not know each other but both have been giving genuine racial victimization a bad name.

After the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned the actor-comedian’s sexual assault conviction, Cosby, who spent three years in prison, reacted through his publicist Andrew Wyatt that the decision was “...Read more

Can the Left Defend Critical Race Theory? Or Merely Oppose Its Critics?

From the Left / Clarence Page /

A national panic mostly from conservatives over critical race theory — erupting perhaps in a state legislature, university or school board meeting near you — triggers spirited counterpunches from its left-progressive defenders.

But are they defending CRT, I have to ask, or merely attacking its opponents?

I’m talking about myself, among ...Read more

Can Biden Chill the Spike in Gun Violence? He Knows He Must Try

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Let’s start with a guessing game:

Which presidential hopeful made the following boast about how he was tougher on crime than even than “law-and-order” President Richard Nixon?

“Every time Richard Nixon, when he was running in 1972, would say, ‘Law and order,’ the Democratic match or response was, ‘Law and order with justice’ �...Read more

Southern Baptists Face Turmoil Over Critical Race Theory, Whatever It Is

From the Left / Clarence Page /

“Critical race theory,” again?

Groan. Every time I surf the news these days, those three little words continue to pop up, even though hardly anybody, including the people who say it, seem to know what “critical race theory” or CRT, for short, really means.

So I was only half-surprised to see the CRT dispute has even reached churches, ...Read more

The Historic Latta Plantation Controversy Reminds Us What Juneteenth Can Teach Us

From the Left / Clarence Page /

After more than a century and a half of underappreciation, the emancipation celebration known as Juneteenth is bringing out the regional differences in various ways, some of which make me wonder whether the Civil War really ended in 1865 — and if so, who won.

“Juneteenth,” also called Freedom Day and Emancipation Day, among other names, ...Read more

Vice President Kamala Harris’ Charm Offensive Turned Mostly Offensive

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez actually was being kind when she described Vice President Kamala Harris’ “Do not come” message to undocumented Central American migrants as “disappointing.” “Embarrassing” would have been closer to the point.

On her first foreign trip as vice president, at a news conference with Guatemalan President ...Read more

American Reporter Detained in Myanmar for Committing Journalism

From the Left / Clarence Page /

He was so close.

Danny Fenster was about to board a plane in Myanmar on May 24 to return home to Michigan.

Instead he was detained at Yangon International Airport, apparently for — as one of his former teachers at Columbia College in Chicago aptly tweeted — “performing acts of journalism.”

I say “apparently” because the military ...Read more

Let’s Not Forget: Chicago Had a ‘Black Wall Street’ Too

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Of the many lessons to be considered 100 years after a breathtakingly brutal race riot tore through Tulsa’s Greenwood district, one of the most painful is this: Tulsa wasn’t alone.

The two-day rampage came two years after the “Red Summer” of 1919 in which race riots and white supremacist terrorism tore through more than three dozen ...Read more

Loyola Academy Stirs Up an Unexpected Lesson in What Race, Privilege and Education Really Mean

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Education or indoctrination? That’s the big question at the core of the hullabaloo over “critical race theory,” and you don’t have to be a conservative to worry about it. You only have to be a parent.

The concept of critical race theory, or CRT, has been widely roasted by conservative politicians, commentators and activists as radical, ...Read more

Mayor Lightfoot’s Call Out for Media Diversity Didn’t Have to Look Like a Stunt

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has raised a ruckus by announcing that she would only give one-on-one interviews on the two-year anniversary of her term to journalists of color, noting that the City Hall press corps is “overwhelmingly white” in a city that’s much more diverse.

As a journalist of color who has been writing for the Chicago ...Read more

Yes, There is a Case for Using Offensive Words in Classrooms — in Certain Situations

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Should white professors be allowed to use the N-word in class, especially when it is an essential element of the lesson that is being taught?

That question caused an uproar at the University of Illinois at Chicago’s John Marshall Law School this past winter that still hasn’t quite gone away, ...Read more

Who’s Afraid of Critical Race Theory? Those Who Don’t Know What It Is

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Amid rising attacks against a line of academic debate called “critical race theory,” I was surprised to see a Black state lawmaker from Chicago’s West Side, La Shawn Ford, introduce a bill calling for its inclusion in police officer training.

As a practical matter, I’d rather see, for example, more violence de-escalation training to ...Read more

A GED for College? Not as Far-Fetched as It Sounds

From the Left / Clarence Page /

When I saw the Wall Street Journal headline, “Some CEOs suggest dropping degree requirements in hiring,” I was impressed. At last, I thought, the business establishment is starting to see things my way.

I’m a big supporter of education in the spirit of — among other elders — my late grandmother, who was a public school teacher. But in...Read more

If Chicago is In Hot Pursuit of a Better Police Chase Policy, Why is It Moving So Slowly?

From the Left / Clarence Page /

If Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s recent call for a new police foot-pursuit policy made you feel a twinge of what Yogi Berra is said to have called “deja vu all over again,” maybe you have good memory. We’ve been here before.

Five years ago a groundbreaking Chicago Tribune analysis of every police shooting from 2010 through 2015 found ...Read more

Are We a ‘Racist Nation’? Who’s Asking?

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Some questions can best be answered with another question.

Consider, for example, the question that popped up with prominence as President Joe Biden finished his first 100 days last week: Are we a racist country?

Before I answer that question, I want to know, “How do you define ‘racist’?”

That’s not a cop-out or whitewash — or ...Read more

The Complicated Road to Slavery Reparations — and the Need for An Apology

From the Left / Clarence Page /

When “The Daily Show” host Trevor Noah opened his nightly monologue with “Let’s talk about slavery” a couple of years ago, he immediately followed with alarm, “No, white people, come ba-a-a-ack.”

Right. That’s the voice I hear whenever I consider writing about slavery reparations. Nothing in my many years of punditry triggers ...Read more



Mike Smith Chip Bok Kirk Walters Peter Kuper Steve Kelley Tim Campbell