From the Left



Celebrating the rituals of spring

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

I've been meaning to write this column for years.

The inspiration will invariably come some warm May evening as I am standing in the lobby of a downtown hotel and, suddenly, a limousine sweeps up and disgorges these boys in crisp tuxes, these girls in sparkly dresses, T-shirts and hoodies abandoned for the night, looking handsome and gorgeous ...Read more

Donald Trump is stupid

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Dear Republicans:

So how much more will it take? What else do you need to see?

Seriously: What Rubicon must yet be crossed, what crisis must be borne, what tragedy must befall, before you stop smiling queasy, nothing-to-see-here smiles, stand like grown-up women and men and say, finally, that enough is enough?

You are posing for history here....Read more

Animus of white working class deeper than politics

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

"White people riot by voting."

Years later, I no longer recall who first shared that bit of wisdom with me, but I've always found it striking. Not, of course, that it is literally true.

As is attested by any fair reading of the history of urban uprisings -- New York City in 1863, Chicago in 1919, Los Angeles in 1943, San Francisco in 2012 -- ...Read more

Trump needs to get over his Obama fixation

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

"Does my sassiness upset you?

"Why are you beset with gloom?

"Cause I walk like I've got oil wells

"Pumping in my living room." -- Maya Angelou, "Still I Rise"

Dear Mr. So-Called President:

You really need to get over this Obama fixation.

Can't you see he's just not that into you? The sooner you accept that and get on with your life, the ...Read more

Justice for Levar Jones?

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

So when will there be justice for Levar Jones?

The question is occasioned by a reader's recent request for an update on an incident I wrote about in 2014. Jones, an unarmed African-American man, was shot by South Carolina State Trooper Sean Groubert during a routine traffic stop in Columbia.

Jones did nothing to merit this. You know that if ...Read more

The Groveland Four get a little justice

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

The Groveland Four finally received a little justice last week.

Nearly seven decades after a white woman in Central Florida leveled a false charge of rape, the state legislature apologized for what was done to four young African-American men as a result.

For 16-year-old Charles Greenlee being hung nude from a pipe in the basement of the jail, ...Read more

Ann Coulter was right

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Look, I'm the guy who once called her a "viperous harridan," OK?

That was 11 years ago in this space. I described her as such after she savaged four widows whose husbands died in the Sept. 11 attacks, denouncing them as "witches" and "broads" who were "enjoying their husbands' deaths."

So I don't need to be convinced Ann Coulter...Read more

Let Ann Coulter speak

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

So it looks like Ann Coulter just turned the volume up to 11 and broke off the knob.

The reference is to her ongoing dispute with UC Berkeley, which declined to provide her a venue for a speech she was contracted to give on campus Thursday. As more than one observer has pointed out, in canceling a speaking engagement by the right-wing flame ...Read more

The day Bill O'Reilly got fired

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

On the day Bill O'Reilly was fired, Serena Williams announced she was 20 weeks pregnant.

Fans did the math and concluded Williams must have had a baby on board in January when she won her 23rd Grand Slam singles title in dominating fashion. That, said TV tennis analyst Pam Shriver, made Williams' win "even more spectacular."

That same day, ...Read more

Turns out Alex Jones was only pretending to be a madman

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

So it turns out Alex Jones was only kidding.

That time the radio host and ringmaster of the "Infowars" website said the government brought Ebola into the country to terrorize us? That time he said a Beyonce video was created to start a new civil war, that time he wished gang rape on Jennifer Lopez, those times he suggested the Oklahoma City ...Read more

America's Well Worth Fighting For

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

BP has not been pleased.

Indeed, BP, who is one of my readers, has been downright disappointed with what she's seen in this space since last year's election. She wrote me about it a few days ago. Her email said, in part:

"I had hoped for your articles to be the beacon of light to show the way a democracy should work. Instead I am finding ...Read more

The War on Drugs is Back

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Looks like the War on Drugs is back.

The Washington Post reported Sunday that the new attorney general, Jeff Sessions, is preparing a return to the same hardline strategies that have so spectacularly failed to reduce drug use since 1971. Indeed, the nation has spent more than a trillion dollars, made itself the biggest jailer on the planet and ...Read more

Sessions, Pepsi Choose to Be Blind

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Yes, that Pepsi ad was an insult.

But if you think it was the worst insult Black Lives Matter suffered last week, then you weren't paying attention.

Not that the ad wasn't revolting. Imagine that, three years after the police shooting of a black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri, ignited protests by African Americans sick of seeing their sons and...Read more

Martin Luther King's Other Dream

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

This is a column about Martin Luther King's other dream.

His most famous dream, of course, is the one he articulated at the Lincoln Memorial in 1963. It was a vision of racial amity so frightening that people killed to keep it from coming true. Five decades later, it's so broadly accepted that even those who don't believe in it feel constrained...Read more

Let's Talk About Bill O'Reilly and Insults

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Dear Bill O'Reilly:

Let's talk insults.

Me, I like a good put-down as much as the next pundit. Judiciously employed, it can be an effective rhetorical tool, the equivalent of a slam dunk over the defense. You don't just score, but you also demoralize and embarrass the other team.

Similarly, to drop an insult into a political debate tells us ...Read more

Campaign 2016, Journalism's Biggest Fail

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

We did a lousy job.

Doubtless, there are journalists who would disagree with that assessment of how news media performed during the 2016 campaign, but I've never met one. The consensus among those I know is that coverage of that campaign represents journalism's biggest fail since the run-up to the Iraq War.

The culprit, of course, is our ...Read more

Will We Have Law or the Mob?

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

It's a scene you've seen a hundred times.

The angry rabble advances on the jail, meaning to seize the prisoner and hang him from the nearest tree. The sheriff, a lone defender of the rule of law, stands them off, refusing to give in to the mob's demand for extralegal justice.

Granted, no one is storming the Orange County, Florida, lockup where...Read more

Trump's Chickens Finally Come Home to Roost

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

On Monday, accountability finally arrived for Donald Trump. After 70 years spent largely skating free of consequences for his puerile misbehaviors and diarrheal mouth, he likely found it something of a shock. Seven decades is a long time, after all, and if the so-called president has learned nothing else in those years, he has learned this: ...Read more

Time to Explain Journalism to Fox News ... Again

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

It is time, once again, to explain journalism to Fox News.

In a way, that's disappointing. After all, that network's Shepard Smith has emerged as something of a journalistic hero lately, repeatedly standing up to Donald Trump's administration for its attempts to undermine and delegitimize the news media. It's been a stirring performance -- and ...Read more

Trumpcare, a Bullhorn Touting its Scorn for the Poor

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Suddenly, there was just blood everywhere.

It erupted from my father's mouth as we sat watching television. I was still struggling to process this horror when my mother, too shaken to drive, asked me -- 17 years old and still on my learner's permit -- to get us to the emergency room.

Somehow, we made it. But the ER was crowded with folks like ...Read more


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