From the Left



Sometimes You Wonder What They’re So Afraid Of

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Not that the subject has ever been easy. No, as has often been noted in this space, this country has been positively Herculean in its effort to remain ignorant of African American history. From schools trying to ban it to state laws restricting it, to textbooks telling lies about it, that history is something we have long resisted.

But if the ...Read more

Let’s Talk About ‘Foxitis’

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

That, as you may recall, was the explanation attorney Joseph Hurley offered last week at a court hearing for his client, accused Capitol insurrectionist Anthony Antonio, who is facing five federal charges for his role in the attack. “You want war?” he reportedly yelled to police. “We got war! 1776 all over again!”

But as it turns out, ...Read more

We Keep Hitting New Lows

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

We keep hitting new lows.

So perhaps we ought not be surprised that the GOP, the party that brought us the insurrection of Jan. 6, now presents the public, if figurative, execution of Liz Cheney. At this writing, she is not yet politically dead, but the vultures are certainly tying their bibs.

Cheney, you understand, committed no sin against ...Read more

Why Can’t We Have Nice Things?

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Its Constitution fixed the value of African Americans at three-fifths that of other humans.

Its bloodiest war was over whether they should be enslaved.

It has no institution — not one — that is free of racial discrimination.

Yet, we are supposed to take seriously those who now ask if America is a racist country? It seems to have obsessed ...Read more

Times These Days When You Simply Must Close Your Mind

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Thirty years ago, when I was still a music critic, I received a letter from a lady who informed me in no uncertain terms that I didn’t know what I was talking about.

This was after I‘d written about the origins of gospel music, a subject on which I considered myself, if not expert, reasonably well informed. But Minnie C. Howard, a church ...Read more

We've Failed Our Children

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

An open letter to the children.

We owe you an apology.

Meaning all of us in the generations above you. We had one job where you were concerned, and that was to keep you safe. “Save the children,” pleaded a man named Marvin Gaye a long time ago. But we didn’t. We failed.

And for that, I’m sorry. You deserved so much more.

I offer this...Read more

Not an Open-and-Shut Case

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Sorry, but this is not an open-and -shut case.

This is not Tamir Rice, Philando Castile or Walter Scott, unarmed and clearly executed on camera by police. No, the bodycam video of Tuesday’s killing of a 16-year-old black girl named Ma’Khia Bryant tells a more complicated story.

In it, we see Columbus, Ohio police officer Nicholas Reardon ...Read more

Leave These Children Alone!

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Look, I get it, OK?

A lot of this, you plain do not understand. Much of it leaves you confused. Well, me too.

I have no idea what it must be like to grow up feeling as if you were assigned the wrong body, a girl with boy genitalia or vice versa. I confess to being discombobulated at the idea of having to declare my preferred pronouns. And all ...Read more

Real Justice Shouldn't Be This Difficult

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

I sat there trying to remember how to breathe.

I suspect I had that in common with people — particularly African-American people — all over the country. Didn’t we all hold our breath as we awaited the verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin?

Then that verdict was read. The former Minneapolis police officer was found guilty on all three ...Read more

'A Riot is the Language of the Unheard'

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

“The anguish we are suffering cannot translate into violence.”

So said Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey last week in the wake of yet another police killing of yet another unarmed African-American man. The sentiment was altogether fitting and proper, especially given that his city was the epicenter of a national uprising last year after one of ...Read more

It Takes Two Parties To Be Bipartisan

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

There is nothing sacred about nine.

The number was not carried down from a mountain on stone tablets, nor did it appear in a burning bush. In fact, before the Supreme Court contained nine justices, it contained six, the number fixed when the tribunal was established in 1789. Then, in an attempt to hobble his successor, President John Adams ...Read more

Another Word for Anxiety is Fear

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Apparently, Robert Pape was surprised.

Notwithstanding earlier research or the alarm raised in this and other forums, Pape, a professor of political science at the University of Chicago, expected, when he began studying the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, to find the rioters acted out of economic anxiety. His anticipation, he told The ...Read more

Chauvin Trial Cannot Vindicate America

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

America is on trial.

Or at least, that is the conviction of many observers as Derek Chauvin, a white former Minneapolis police officer, faces judge and jury in the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old African-American man. America on trial: it’s a headline in Time, the Toronto Star and Agence Marocaine De Presse, a news agency in Morocco. It�...Read more

Small Wonder the Church is Shrinking

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

So, it seems the church is shrinking.

The mosque and synagogue, too, for that matter. Not that this is breaking news. It has long been known that the numbers of Americans who belong to religious organizations are dwindling. But last week, that decline hit a milestone. For the first time since Gallup began tracking religious membership back in ...Read more

'A Change Gon' Come'

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Dear Republicans:

Let’s just say this plainly. You are a people lacking integrity and honor. And you have not a thimbleful of respect for one of this nation’s most sacred principles:

Meaning equality under the law. One person, one vote.

That harsh appraisal is necessitated by your response to losing the 2020 election. First, you pretended...Read more

The Victims of This War Don’t Get a Wall

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

“This is a violent civilization — if civilization’s where I am.” — Gil Scott- Heron, “Gun”

Alexis Knutson doesn’t want to see her friend reduced.

That friend, she told The New York Times, “had the biggest, brightest smile. She always just had these dimples that, especially when she got excited about something — her smile ...Read more

A Model of Policing We Too Seldom Get to See

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

We need to talk about what happened last week when police confronted a mentally disturbed man at a convenience store near Washington, D.C.

They helped him.

Yes, that was a bait-and-switch. But it wouldn’t have worked if you weren’t primed to expect something worse. Certainly, you’d be justified, given some of the headlines of recent ...Read more

He Was Having a Bad Day

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

He was having a bad day.

So said Cherokee County Sheriff’s spokesman Jay Baker by way of explaining last week’s mass shootings at three Atlanta-area massage parlors. The suspect, a 21-year-old white man whose name won’t be used here, is said to have told police he suffers a sex addiction at odds with his Christian faith. They say he shot ...Read more

Republicans Considers Ballots More Dangerous Than Bullets

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

On the issue of guns, John Kavanagh has a record unblemished by sanity.

Indeed, a scroll through Vote Smart, the nonpartisan, nonprofit voter information clearinghouse, suggests the Arizona state lawmaker has never met a pro-gun measure he didn’t like. That includes bills authorizing concealed carry in public buildings, firearms sales without...Read more

'Woke Supremacy is as Bad as White Supremacy'

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Dear Sen. Tim Scott:

Sadly, it is no longer much of a surprise when an official of your party says some racially offensive thing. From calling Barack Obama “uppity” and “boy,” to decrying an imaginary “war on whites,” to declaring the world’s Black and brown nations “shithole countries,” racial offense has become the ...Read more



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