From the Left



'I was wrong' -- the three hardest words in the English language

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

They might be the three hardest words in the English language: "I was wrong."

Three simple syllables, but many of us find them unpronounceable. As in a Twitter critic who referred to me as "her" the other day.

"Her?" tweeted I. Whereupon, she launched into this tortured explanation of how my beard and name were not enough for her to determine ...Read more

For some, 'faith' has little to do with Jesus

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Today, we will discuss one of the most pressing threats to American Christianity. Meaning, of course, American Christians.

Yes, that's an overly broad statement. All those Christians whose faith requires them to live the Good News, to feed the hungry, to house the homeless, speak for the voiceless and welcome the stranger, surely do not ...Read more

A grisly tale that should never be forgotten

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Fair warning: this story will disgust you.

But this week -- Saturday, to be exact -- marks 100 years since a singular act of barbarism in tiny Valdosta, Ga. And the tale of what happened there demands to be recalled.

It began when somebody killed Hampton Smith, a white plantation owner. Suspicion fell on Sidney Johnson, an African-American ...Read more

How did we ever forget this song?

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

It's like listening to a song you used to know.

It's an old sweet song, a hymn of hope and possibility. It's a tune you haven't heard in far too long.

That's how it is when Rev. Dr. William Barber speaks morality. It's not just that Barber, pastor of Greenleaf Christian Church in Goldsboro, N.C., and organizer -- with Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis --...Read more

'If reality is altered, what can we believe in?'

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

"If Reality Is Altered, What Can We Believe In?"

In 1994, that was the headline of the first column I ever wrote about the manipulation of images and words -- digital lies that made it difficult to know what was really real. Small wonder, I said, we were a nation "paralyzed by cynicism."

Twenty-four years later, the technology has improved ...Read more

Do we really need to 'understand' Trump supporters?

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

This is for Rose.

She is a nice lady who wrote me a nice email in which she spoke about the need to try to understand Donald Trump's supporters. As Rose put it, "We need to not close ourselves off to how the other side thinks."

It's a sentiment I hear a lot from progressives, and it bespeaks a great generosity of spirit.

But I couldn't ...Read more

Open letter to Sen. Marco Rubio

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Dear Sen. Marco Rubio:

You didn't answer the question.

Questions, plural, actually. As a result, I find myself addressing you for the second column in a row via open letter -- and feeling not unlike Glenn Close in "Fatal Attraction." That is to say, "I'm not going to be ignored, Mario."

But first, let me offer some context for those who are ...Read more

Fighting for our country

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Dear Sen. Marco Rubio:

So I see where you came after me on Twitter. I'm flattered. Never knew you cared.

"This well known national writer," you tweeted about my last column, "states very clearly that the 63 million Americans who voted for Trump are haters who should not be ...Read more

America is once again a house divided

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Dear Shania Twain:

I used to love "Roseanne." I don't know if that show aired in Canada, where you're from, but here in the States, it was considered appointment TV, groundbreaking and mercilessly funny.

That's why I welcomed news of its reboot. But the show ended up sitting on my DVR for weeks. See, I had read where its star, Roseanne Barr, ...Read more

Racism is a white problem

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Racism is a white problem.

I know that many white people will instinctively and emphatically resist that observation. They'll note the self-evident truth that prejudice is confined to no one culture or color. Having known more than a few African-American bigots, homophobes and anti-Semites, I'll be happy to concede the point.

But racism is ...Read more

What happened in Starbucks isn't really about Starbucks

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

I don't drink coffee, so I can't boycott Starbucks. But I wouldn't if I could.

Yes, I understand -- and share -- the national anger over viral video of last week's arrest of two African-American men at one of the company's Philadelphia stores. The men, who have yet to be identified, were reportedly doing nothing more threatening than waiting ...Read more

'Excuses for Donald Trump'

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

"We kind of gave him -- 'All right, you get a mulligan. You get a do-over here."

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, on the white evangelical response to Donald Trump's alleged tryst with a porn star

"He's new at government, and so therefore I think that he is learning as he goes."

House Speaker Paul Ryan on allegations that Trump ...Read more

Shaun King might be controversial, but he's no terrorist

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Shaun King is a controversial guy.

As an activist and journalist, he's been prominent in the Black Lives Matter movement, defended the Palestinians and attacked the Republican Party. On Monday, apparently as a result of his politics, King was briefly detained at JFK Airport by an agent of ...Read more

Have you ever seen the moon?

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Have you ever seen the moon?

You will likely answer that you have, many times. But a new short video by filmmakers Wylie Overstreet and Alex Gorosh may have you reconsidering whether you've ever actually seen it at all.

Their names will be unfamiliar to you. A check of the authoritative IMDb website turns up resumes thin to the point of ...Read more

What killed Martin Luther King?

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

MEMPHIS -- Martin Luther King's men had a different question.

At least, according to his aide, Andrew Young, they did. When the first reports went out that King had been gunned down while standing on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in this city, America and the world demanded to know one thing: Who did it? Who was the sniper who shot him from...Read more

We've seen this movie 100 times

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Maybe we should just skip to the end.

Is that sacrilege? Is it too cynical by half? After all, this is the part where we're supposed to be waiting for answers and pretending to believe justice might be done.

But if you've seen a movie a hundred times, it is difficult not to mouth the dialogue ahead of time. Similarly, it is pretty hard not to ...Read more

Balancing gun rights with common-sense restrictions

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

So there you are, cowering under your desk.

From the hallway, you hear the pop! pop! pop! of gunfire, along with the shrieks of the terrified and moans of the dying. The good guy with a gun? Maybe he's crouched outside the building. Maybe he's dead in the break room. Whichever, he's not there. And now, horribly, the doorknob to your classroom ...Read more

At least Stormy Daniels is no hypocrite

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

"It is my ass," she declared. "I control it and I'll give it to whomever I want."

So said a woman named Juana Lopes, while testifying in Santa Fe in 1844. Lopes, a married woman, was defending her right to commit adultery.

Obviously, you wouldn't want to be her poor husband. But at the same time, it's hard not to be a bit impressed by her ...Read more

Parkland kids are rewriting the playbook

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Something came awake in them.

That has to be the explanation. As they cowered in closets, as they said goodbyes and waited, with gunfire echoing down the halls, to die, something inside stirred itself.

And when they didn't die, when these teenagers left the campus of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland alive -- something 17 of their ...Read more

What to do about Louis Farrakhan?

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

And here we are again, back to the same question. What to do about Louis Farrakhan?

The leader of the Nation of Islam has, for years, been a toxic fount of anti-Semitic and homophobic rhetoric. "These false Jews," he preached in 2006, "promote the filth of Hollywood that is seeding the American people and the people of the world and bringing ...Read more


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