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Requiem for American vision

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

"We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard." -- John F. Kennedy, 1962

This is a requiem for American vision.

That that quality has been lost is the unavoidable takeaway from three weeks of debate over the Green New Deal introduced in Congress by New York Rep. ...Read more

A Black History Month that explains why we need Black History Month

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

I keep hearing that I have an obligation to "bring us together."

That's something white people tell me all the time whenever I write something that cuts too close to some difficult racial truth. "Try to bring us together," lectures one. "Use your skills to try to bring us together," pleads another. "Why don't you journalists work to bring us ...Read more

Ridicule, the last great death of a culture

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

A few words about the Trail of Tears and other jokes.

Granted, the Trail of Tears would hardly seem a laughing matter. To the contrary, as recounted by History.com, it was an ordeal of robbery, mass relocation and death growing out of what white Americans of the 19th century saw as their "Indian problem." By ...Read more

Excerpt: 'The Last Thing You Surrender'

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

In this abridged excerpt from "The Last Thing You Surrender" by columnist Leonard Pitts, Jr., elements of the all-black 761st Tank Battalion make a grisly discovery and Pvt. Luther Hayes, whose parents were murdered before his eyes by a white mob when he was a boy of nine, learns a lesson about humanity's true capacity for cruelty.

It was a ...Read more

The high cost of not knowing

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

The most dangerous place for black people to live is in white people's imagination.

So says comedian D.L. Hughley. And surely Tamir Rice and Trayvon Martin would concur if they were alive to do so.

But if white people's imagination is the most dangerous place for black people, it is also the most denigrating. Fresh but superfluous evidence of ...Read more

Let's call it Trump Remorse

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

It's a new literary genre -- books by former staff members and aides who now want to dish about the awfulness of Donald Trump or his White House. Last month, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie debuted the latest book in that field, "Let Me Finish: Trump, the Kushners, Bannon, New Jersey and the Power of In-Your-Face Politics."

Christie thus ...Read more

Redistribute the pain

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Next time, they should redistribute the pain.

That's an expression Martin Luther King used -- he credited Jesse Jackson -- in the 1968 Memphis sanitation workers strike as he urged boycotts and other forms of economic coercion in support of the strikers. Those men had been suffering alone, he said. Now, let the whole town feel what they were ...Read more

Redistribute the pain

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Greetings from Albuquerque.

As these words are written, it is Thursday morning and I am in New Mexico to promote my new novel, "The Last Thing You Surrender." I have to be back home before Monday to teach a class. If my return flight were canceled because, say, the TSA went on strike, I'd be in a...Read more

The image that captured a nation at the breaking point

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. We'll have to make do with 600 or so.

The picture in question -- the video, actually -- electrified social media over the weekend. In it, a white high school boy wearing a "Make America Great Again" cap, confronts an older Native American man who is beating a ceremonial drum and singing a Native ...Read more

Three stories and a letter

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Our topic for today: three stories and a letter.

The stories all made recent headlines. The first was about the state of Florida posthumously pardoning the Groveland Four, a group of African-American men who suffered torture, prison and murder after being falsely accused of raping a white woman in 1949.

The second concerns broad Republican ...Read more

Some find it all too easy to denigrate women

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

This is a column about some black people.

Not all, thank goodness. Not even most.

But if you watched the stunning recent Lifetime documentary, "Surviving R. Kelly," which detailed decades of sexual assault accusations against the singer, surely you wondered about some of the black people you saw continuing to profess undying love and support ...Read more

We've all seen this movie before

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Haven't we seen this movie before?

Certainly, there is a sense of deja vu all over again as one watches the right wing hyperventilate over a certain freshman congresswoman from New York. The attacks on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have been frequent and furious, but also petty, silly and (in the mental-health sense) hysterical.

Just days ago, The ...Read more

Obscenity's not just a set of words

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

As a general rule, I don't curse a lot.

I've found that I can usually express myself effectively enough without it. And it's always seemed to me that foul language, used ubiquitously, loses its primary value, i.e., its ability to shock or to state a thing with force. How seriously should anyone take the F-bomb you drop after being passed over ...Read more

Should Donald Trump be impeached?

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Should Donald Trump be impeached?

That he will be seems likely as Democrats take control of the House of Representatives, the chamber where impeachment proceedings begin. That he deserves to be is similarly self-evident.

President Andrew Johnson was impeached after firing a member of his Cabinet without congressional approval. President Bill ...Read more

Loneliness isn't unique to the holidays - it's an all-season companion

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Editor's note: Mr. Pitts is away. Today's column is by Ana Veciana-Suarez.

I often complain -- rather gratuitously, I now realize -- that I don't have a moment to myself. Responsibilities and relationships tug at my time, and hardly a day goes by without someone calling or knocking on my door unexpectedly.

How did I get so lucky?

I'm ...Read more

Former ally David Pecker flips, and Trump probably flips out

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

One shocking headline you won't see in the National Enquirer:

"TABLOID RAG RATS ON STUNNED PREZ"

It would not be fake news.

The Enquirer, which has aggressively adulated Donald Trump and savaged his enemies, is abandoning the president to save itself from criminal charges.

Last week, the paper's parent company, America Media Inc., officially...Read more

2018, the year we lost ourselves

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Should old acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind?

Of course not.

As a year ticks into its final hours, old acquaintances are front of mind, sometimes painfully so. It lends a certain melancholy sweetness to the whole ritual. We mark a milestone reached, but we also remember all that we have lost along the way.

Meaning personal ...Read more

Trump doesn't want immigration solution; he needs issue to divide us

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Editor's note: Mr. Pitts is away. Today's column is by Rev. Jesse Jackson.

"Yes, if we don't get what we want, one way or the other ... I will shut down the government," said President Trump to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi, referring to his demand for $5 billion to build his border wall.

...Read more

There is no such thing as inhumane security

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Mr. Pitts is away. Today's column is by Robert Koehler.

It's the phrase "border security" that freezes my soul every time I hear it uttered, every time I see it in print -- so simplistically obvious, the equivalent of keeping your door locked. Did you ever have your cellphone swiped? If you're careless about this, you'll pay the price.

...Read more

White churches have moral responsibility to stand up

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

In 2019, we will commemorate 400 years since the first 20 slaves were transported by ship from Africa by white slave traders and landed in Jamestown, Va.

Now four centuries later, race still remains a central dividing line. Today, for example, the racial wealth gap exposes a stark difference. The median wealth of a white household (median means...Read more

 

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