From the Left

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Politics

When making people uncomfortable is the point

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

It "makes some people uncomfortable."

That was the explanation Kenny Holloway, a school board official in Biloxi, Mississippi, gave the Sun Herald newspaper last week, for the board's decision to remove from its eighth-grade curriculum a Pulitzer Prize-winning American classic, Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird."

"There is some language in ...Read more

Democrats need to move left

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

I've been struggling with this question for a month.

It's been that long since a Democratic state legislator rose during the Q&A after a speech and asked me a deceptively simple thing: What should Democrats do now? What should their message be?

I had no idea how to answer that, nor even any confidence that I was the one to do it. It seemed to ...Read more

The GOP is finally, sorta, willing to admit the obvious

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Yes, he's childish and incompetent. Is that really news by now?

But of course, it wasn't that assessment of Failed President Trump that made jaws drop over the weekend so much as it was the person making it. Meaning Sen. Bob Corker, who unleashed an extraordinary barrage of contempt on Twitter and in a ...Read more

When ignorance is impervious to fact

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

You could call it a moment of truth, except that what actually came out of that moment was a realization of how little truth now matters.

This is back in 2010, after I recounted in this space an astonishing feat of World War I heroism -- a small African-American soldier named Henry Johnson, wounded 21 times, single-handedly fighting off a ...Read more

'Thoughts and prayers' for Las Vegas victims not enough

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

There is, by now, a grim routine to all of this.

That's how frequently it happens, how unremarkable it has become in America for some lunatic with a gun to shoot up a public place: we have evolved a script for it. Take Sunday night's massacre in Las Vegas -- at least 59 people dead, over 525 wounded -- as an example.

Like a favorite movie, you...Read more

We were idiots then

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

We were such idiots then.

That realization is, if you are a guy, an unavoidable hazard of seeing the new movie, "Battle of the Sexes." The film, in which Emma Stone and Steve Carell recreate the 1973 tennis face-off between "women's libber" Billie Jean King and "male chauvinist pig" Bobby Riggs is, for those of us who lived through that era, a ...Read more

So black athletes have forgotten their place?

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Dear black people:

I guess we've messed up again. Seems like we're never going to learn how to properly protest, no matter how hard conservatives try to teach us.

When there was violence in the streets over unpunished police killings of African-American men, they said that was the wrong way to go about it. Most of us agreed.

But when peaceful...Read more

So black athletes have forgotten their place?

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Dear black people:

I guess we've messed up again. Seems like we're never going to learn how to properly protest, no matter how hard conservatives try to teach us.

When there was violence in the streets over unpunished police killings of African-American men, they said that was the wrong way to go about it. Most of us agreed.

But when peaceful...Read more

The one and only Jackson Bezzant

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Dear Jackson Bezzant:

Hi, my name is Leonard. I read your dad's Facebook post about you and wanted to share some thoughts.

When I was your age, I was a shy, skinny kid with thick glasses, couldn't play kickball to save my life, always had my head in a book, lived alone in my own little world. All of this drew bullies to me like moths to a ...Read more

Sean Spicer at the Emmys no laughing matter

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

"Was nothing real?" -- Jim Carrey in "The Truman Show"

Funny covers a multitude of sins.

That has long been my go-to explanation of a dynamic unique to comedy. Meaning the fact that you are allowed to be crude and shocking, to transgress all kinds of isms, all bounds of propriety, if you can get a laugh in the process.

Sean Spicer got a laugh...Read more

What did Jemele Hill get wrong?

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Let's consider the evidence.

He was sued for systematically refusing to rent to African Americans and settled out of court.

He demanded the death penalty for five black and Hispanic kids charged in the notorious Central Park jogger rape case -- and refuses to recant to this day, though the young men were long ago exonerated and set free.

He ...Read more

Nickel prophets are a dime a dozen

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

"Be still and know that I am God." -- Psalms 46:10

It's an admonition some of us struggle to obey.

Indeed, some of God's self-appointed spokespersons seem to find it especially difficult. Thus, before the first raindrop fell, the first palm tree bowed, or the first transformer blew, they came out to tell us what He meant by pointing a monster ...Read more

Nothing to see here, say climate deniers

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Katia and Jose? Seriously?

As if it were not bad enough that Houston is still drying out from Hurricane Harvey and South Florida is hunkered down in the face of Hurricane Irma, last week found the newly formed hurricanes Katia and Jose, respectively spinning in the Gulf of Mexico and whirling west across the Atlantic. We face multiple, ...Read more

America, a land of liberty and justice for some

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Steve Loomis is angry.

Loomis, the head of Cleveland's police union, is using words like "hypocritical," "ignorant," and "offensive," and you might, for a wishful second, convince yourself he's talking about that day in 2014 when two Cleveland police skidded to a stop in front of a 12-year-old black boy playing with a toy gun in a park and ...Read more

Alan Gratz's novel 'Refugee' demands your humanity

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

" 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?'

"He will reply, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.' " -- Matthew 25:44-45

They are the least of these.

They are women without faces, men without voices, ...Read more

Hurricane Harvey brings Houston together

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

It seems like it always takes a disaster.

Twenty-five years ago this month, that disaster was Andrew, a hurricane that devastated a large swath of South Florida, including the house in whose master bedroom closet I sheltered through the night with my wife and five kids. The storm took our roof and our possessions. It left us effectively ...Read more

The day Marcellus Williams didn't die

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Last week, on the day he was scheduled to die, Marcellus Williams didn't.

Just hours before he was to be strapped down and pumped full of poison, Williams, the convicted killer of Felicia "Lisha" Gayle, a former reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, received a reprieve. Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens stayed the execution and announced ...Read more

Charlottesville didn't spring from nowhere

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

It is important to look beyond the riot.

Yes, last week's violent demonstration by white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia, culminating in the death of 32-year-old Heather Heyer, made for a carnival of obscenity as sickening as it was riveting. But the thing is, it did not spring from nowhere.

And while your first instinct -- unlike ...Read more

Sadly, America is not 'better than this'

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

It has become the go-to cliche for moments like this.

We whisper it when someone breaks the mosque window or scrawls hatred on the synagogue wall. It is our assurance and our hope.

"We are better than this," we say. "This is not America."

So it is no surprise to be hearing that sentiment days after white supremacists descended, armored and ...Read more

With this president, subtlety would be the greater sin

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

A few words on trash-talking the president.

Said words are occasioned by emails from a large number of readers who have noted an increased propensity toward that practice in this space. Many found that rather ironic in light of an admonition that appears in the auto response received by any person who sends me an email. It warns that the reader...Read more

 
 

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