From the Left



Dare We Hope?

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

“Dare we hope?”

That was the rather plaintive response of a man on Twitter when news broke that Kansas voters had rejected an attempt to remove the right to abortion from their state constitution. We are talking about a fire-engine-red state. It went for Donald Trump in 2016 and repeated the error in 2020. In fact, Kansas has supported only...Read more

Bill Russell Was 'An Arrogant Negro' To The End

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Back in the day, his FBI file dubbed him “an arrogant Negro.” But then, people often mistook principle for arrogance whenever African Americans insisted on justice.

Sometimes, they still do. As recently as 2017, after all, much of white America vilified NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick for kneeling during the national anthem in protest of ...Read more

The Year (Bleep) Got Real

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

“There’s a choice we’re making. We’re saving our own lives.” -- from “We Are The World”

Yes, this is early.

That ritual where the columnist assigns the year a theme doesn’t usually begin until December. But the view from this pew is that, where 2022 is concerned, said theme is already clear.

In recent days, this has begun to ...Read more

Let's Talk About the Nazis

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

We’ll get to the Nazi flags in a moment.

First, however, let us turn to Merriam-Webster for clarification of a point recently made in this space that left a few of you vexed. It came in a passage that noted the right wing’s attempted takeover of state voting apparatuses and contended that because of it, 2024 could be the last meaningful ...Read more

The Rule of Law Could Use a Win

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Dear Attorney General Merrick Garland:

You are doubtless familiar with the old adage that, “The wheels of justice may grind slow, but they grind exceedingly fine.” As we watch your Justice Department’s ongoing investigation of the criminal conspiracy that was the Trump White House, many of us can readily vouch for the first half of the ...Read more

'Massive Resistance' Goes Both Ways

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

They called it “massive resistance.”

That, some of you may recall, was what Virginia dubbed its campaign of defiance of Brown v. Board of Education, the 1954 Supreme Court ruling that outlawed school segregation. The Virginia crusade was just part of a drive by conservatives all over the South to blunt the effect of that decision.

It’s a...Read more

Leonard Pitts Jr.: Trump 'fell under malignant influence'?

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

“Donald was enabled from the beginning . . .” -- Mary L. Trump, "Too Much and Never Enough"

Liz Cheney sure called that one.

Tuesday afternoon, in her opening statement at the latest hearing of the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection, the Wyoming congresswoman advised America of a change in strategy by ...Read more

Fascism Is On Our Doorstep

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Our story so far...

The Extreme Court just gutted reproductive rights, shredded a New York law that helped keep guns out of public spaces for more than a century, and crippled the Environmental Protection Agency in the face of a global climate crisis.

Georgia may soon send to the Senate former football star Herschel Walker, last seen claiming ...Read more

What is Wrong With American Men?

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

He couldn’t get a date.

Or he hated Black people.

Or he was bullied in school.

If any of that sounds familiar, it should. Every time there’s a mass shooting in this country -- which, as a functional matter, pretty much means every day -- those are the kinds of explanations routinely offered in the aftermath. A simple trip to the store, ...Read more

Just a Different Kind of Rape

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

So what does all this tell us about justice?

“All this” meaning the fact that Ghislaine Maxwell got 20 years on Tuesday and the next day, R. Kelly got 30. It was, make no mistake, an indisputably good thing to see those punishments handed down. And it’s hard to blame anyone who found in it a reason to rejoice.

It’s also difficult to ...Read more

Republicans, Don't You Want to Be Free?

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Dear Republicans:

That’s what a free woman looks like.

Meaning, of course, Cassidy Hutchinson, a young former aide in Donald Trump’s White House, who appeared before the House committee investigating the attempted coup of Jan. 6. Free of the need to defend the indefensible or rationalize the irrational — free, in other words, of Trump �...Read more

Progress Has Lurched Backward

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

This is not just another setback.

Anyone who’s lived long enough has seen the Supreme Court issue a ruling they didn’t like. This is not that. No, what made the ruling that felled Roe v. Wade and its companion case, Planned Parenthood v. Casey, more than just another disappointment, what made it the judicial equivalent of a kick in the ...Read more

We Can Be a Nation Bound by the Aspiration to Simple Values

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Eighty-three years ago, Mr. Smith went to Washington. Last Tuesday, Lady Ruby did, too.

Georgia election workers Ruby “Lady Ruby” Freeman and her daughter, Wandrea ArShaye Moss -- “Shaye” to her friends -- appeared last week before the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection. Like the title character in Frank Capra’s ...Read more

Everybody Plays the Fool

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

"Everybody plays the fool.” -- The Main Ingredient, 1972

I won’t bother reasoning with you.

As I’ve said before in this space, it’s my opinion that you folks who support Donald Trump are, by definition, incapable of that function, so it’s foolish to even try. You may think that’s harsh. I think it’s time-saving.

But I ...Read more

Donald Trump LOST the 2020 Election!

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

It comes at the end.

After his supporters march on the U.S. Capitol chanting “Whose streets? Our streets!” after they breach police barricades, after they smash windows and climb through, after they chant “Hang Mike Pence” and erect a gallows for that purpose, after one of them yells, “White power!” after police are beaten and ...Read more

The Janes: 'We Thought It Was Over'

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

It opens with a woman’s voice and a black screen.

“I had no other options,” she says. “I wanted it over with.” Then you see her. White, gray-haired, maybe somewhere in her 70s. And she continues her story.

“I didn’t care how it was done. I was that desperate.” Someone gave her a phone number. “And it was the mob.” The ...Read more

'Real ' Conservatives Are About 30 Years Too Late

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Where were you when we needed you?

That’s my blanket response to a persistent trickle of emails from readers who keep asking me to, in effect, stop using the word “conservative” when I mean “crazy.” “Or “fascist.” Or “mean.” Which is to say that these people, most of whom would consider themselves conservative, want me to ...Read more

So Much for the Good Guy with a Gun

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

So much for the good guy with a gun.

That, you will recall, was NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre’s preferred solution to America’s epidemic of firearms violence. “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun,” he said, “is a good guy with a gun.” He said this on Dec. 21, 2012 — one week after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School ...Read more

'Who Will Be the Last to Die?'

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

“Whose blood will spill, whose heart will break? Who’ll be the last to die for a mistake?” — Bruce Springsteen, “Last To Die”

And once again: Why?

It’s the question we always find ourselves asking in moments like this, the understanding we always seek as bodies lay strewn and the air is rent by shrieks of mourning. But ...Read more

Sen. Bill Cassidy Still Doesn’t Know What Hit Him

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy still doesn’t know what hit him.

That’s the only logical conclusion following a Sunday tweet in which he responded to the political firestorm he ignited last week. For those who missed it, it came when an interviewer from Politico asked about his state’s high rates of women dying in childbirth.

“About a ...Read more



Bill Bramhall Dana Summers Lisa Benson Clay Bennett David Fitzsimmons John Deering