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Politics

Evan Halper's own personal hell

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

You may trust that Evan Halper is in his own personal hell right now.

It's a place to which all good journalists go when they make mistakes. Which is to say, it's a place to which all good journalists eventually go. If the error is relatively small, one may spend a day there. If one makes a bigger blunder, one might pack for a weeklong stay.

...Read more

Election 2020: Act with foresight or regret with hindsight

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

I'm here to offer you an action list.

With last week's balloting behind us, we now have just less than a year before one of the most momentous elections in American history. As voters in 1860 had to decide between Union and secession, we face a stark choice of our own: America or Trump. There is no middle ground. This is democracy at its ...Read more

The kids may 'OK' this Boomer to their heart's content

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

"Every generation blames the one before." -- Mike + The Mechanics

So I guess "OK Boomer" is a thing now. And I gather I'm supposed to be offended by it. Certainly, some people seem to be.

The saying -- a dismissive eye roll from Generation Z to their elders -- is suddenly all the rage. It appears on hoodies, headlines, tweets and memes, this ...Read more

Social media platforms and the fate of truth

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

It may be too much. And also too little.

Meaning last week's announcement by Twitter that it is banning all political advertising over concerns that the medium gives politicians too much reach, too much power to deceive. News of the ban, which takes effect later this month, comes as that other social media giant -- Facebook -- struggles with ...Read more

Donald Trump got what he deserved

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

They let Donald Trump out of his bubble Sunday. It did not go well.

Granted, every president lives in a bubble, due to security concerns. But Trump lives in a bubble within a bubble, one that has less to do with protecting him from assassins than with protecting him from reality. That's why his public appearances are largely confined to ...Read more

Women are not the ones who need fixing

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Women are not the problem.

There has always been something grotesque about the idea that they are. But to embrace that idea in the #MeToo era is not just grotesque, but clueless. It suggests that you slept through a reckoning that has shifted the Zeitgeist.

So somebody please tell Ernst & Young ...Read more

Too many of us have not courage, but cowardice

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

When, at Mamie Till's insistence, the coffin was opened, she saw her son's right eyeball sitting on his cheek, dangling by the optic nerve.

Let that single grisly detail stand in for all the rest. Let it speak to the savagery two white men unleashed upon the body of a 14-year-old black boy named Emmett Till.

On Saturday, a new marker was ...Read more

If we can't be free within ourselves, then we cannot be free

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

"If you're white, you're all right. If you're brown, stick around. If you're black, get back." -- African-American folk saying

I was about to give a speech -- I can't remember when or even where -- when this teacher brought a student up, hoping I could help her.

The teacher was white, and her student was a black girl, perhaps 13 or so, of ...Read more

Why, when we see black people, do we so often see what isn't there?

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

The beam from his flashlight reflects off the glass, so we can't see what he saw.

But in a sense, we don't need to see what Fort Worth police officer Aaron Dean saw to know what he saw, peering through that window. He saw something fearsome, a threat to life and limb. All this in the person of Atatiana Jefferson, a 28-year-old black woman, who ...Read more

It can happen here

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

I was maybe 10 years old when this happened.

Mom is driving, I'm in the back seat. It's night. She's trying to cross Vermont, a busy L.A. thoroughfare, from a side street. Southbound traffic is jammed, but a guy in a truck makes a hole and waves us through. We've almost cleared the intersection when a car, speeding northbound, clips us. We go ...Read more

The thing about forgiveness

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Here's the thing about forgiveness.

It's not just something you extend to someone else. It's also a gift you give yourself, permission to lay down the heavy burden of grudges and rage. And if you're a Christian, it's an obligation -- albeit a hard one -- of faith.

One can believe all that, yet still be deeply conflicted by last week's act of ...Read more

How the times have changed

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

You may, if you are old enough, recall a TV actor named Foster Brooks.

He was a guest star on such classics of boomer kitsch as "The Monkees," "The Munsters" and "The Mod Squad." But if you do remember him, it's likely for one thing only: his imitation of inebriation. Brooks made his slurring, stammering "funny drunk act" a TV staple, back when...Read more

What if Trump's right about a civil war?

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

"If Democrats are successful in removing the president from office (which they never will be), it will cause a Civil War like fracture in this Nation from which our Country will never heal." -- Donald Trump, roughly quoting Robert Jeffress, a conservative Dallas preacher

What if he's right?

Granted, no militias are massing. No declarations of ...Read more

Trump makes Captain Queeg look like Captain Kirk

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Only the ball bearings were missing.

The reference, for those who don't know, is to Humphrey Bogart's performance as the emotionally unstable Captain Queeg in the 1954 film "The Caine Mutiny." In a pivotal scene, Bogart vividly etches the captain's mental disintegration, rambling on the witness stand about strawberries and tow lines and the ...Read more

What does it mean that Dennis Turner is black?

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

'By Leonard Pitts Jr.

"They try to tell us we're too young..." -- Nat King Cole

So what does it mean that Dennis Turner is black?

Turner, as you may know, was the police officer who arrested Kaia Rolle last week. Kaia, it must be said, was raising a ruckus, acting in a disorderly and disruptive manner. Worse, when someone tried to restrain ...Read more

We were told our institutions would save us

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Once upon a time, there was an ideal. It was called the United States of America.

And in 2016, the presidency of the United States was captured by the flamboyantly incompetent star of a TV reality show, a man who doesn't believe in any ideal beyond his own enrichment and aggrandizement. Some shaken observers assured us everything would yet be ...Read more

The truth of climate change has long been painfully clear

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

With apologies to Stevie Wonder, for whom it was once an album title, nothing is "hotter than July." July was the hottest month.

Maybe you're waiting for that sentence to be qualified: "hottest month of the last 20 years," let's say. But it turns out July of 2019 was the hottest month, period -- hottest in the history of record keeping, hottest...Read more

Arguments over electability are an annoying diversion

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Our subject today is a word.

It seems to be the word of the moment, at least on the political left. One can hardly read an opinion page or watch cable news without confronting this tiresome term, this irksome idiom.

For the love of heaven, people, please stop saying "electability."

Note, please, that the last president was a black man with ...Read more

Another mass shooting, a nation on tenterhooks

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

In 1879, on the road leading into Dodge City, there stood a sign. "The Carrying of Fire Arms Strictly Prohibited," it said.

As recounted in the book "Gunfight: The Battle Over the Right to Bear Arms in America" by Adam Winkler, the gun control ordinance was the first law passed when the city was organized in 1873. Nor was Dodge unique. Many ...Read more

We are living the fable of the emperor's new clothes

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

If you're going to lie, make it a good one.

Meaning, put some effort into it. Make it convincing. Make sure the truth is not easily discoverable. Don't just draw on a weather map with a Sharpie.

That's apparently what Donald Trump or someone in his employ did last week to prove he was right all along in claiming that the state of Alabama lay ...Read more

 
 

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