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
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 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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?
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
Editor's Note: Leonard Pitts, Jr. is away. The following column is by Carl Hiaasen.
Stephen King himself would be challenged to invent a fictional villain as monstrous as Jeffrey Epstein, but Epstein is real.
And, despite mountainous evidence of stomach-churning crimes, today he is free as a bird -- thanks to the man who now sits as the...Read more
Leonard Pitts is away. Today's column is by Robert Koehler.
When I popped open the old laptop, the Geek Squad guy said maybe I should dust it off.
He slid a canister of Endust toward me. "Spray the cloth," he said, "not the machine."
I started choking on my sense of humiliation. This ...Read more