From the Left



America Spends a Lot of Time Trying to Kill Democracy

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

For a nation that supposedly believes in democracy, America spends a lot of time trying to kill it.

In the postbellum era, white Democrats — the conservatives of that day — murdered hundreds of African Americans and forcibly seized state governments in order to disenfranchise Black voters. They constructed all sorts of barriers — poll ...Read more

Listen to Y Before it’s Too Late

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

You’re not reading this on a smartphone or tablet, are you?

I hope not, for your sake. They say the government can use imperceptible fluctuations in the light to reprogram your brain waves, giving them complete control over your thoughts and actions. You’ll be Joe Biden’s zombie and you won’t even know it.

You think that’s crazy? ...Read more

Black History is America’s History. It Will Not be Erased — No Matter How Hard America Tries

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Let’s try an experiment.

For 30 years, let’s require that young people are taught nothing about the moon. Let’s scrub Earth’s satellite from books and online articles. Let’s rebuff kids’ questions and discourage them from asking. Then, let’s assess the result.

Does it change the moon? No, it doesn’t.

Does it change the Earth...Read more

‘I Do Not Believe Unity is Possible’

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Uh-oh. Joe Biden is talking unity again.

It came last week at a CNN town hall in Milwaukee in response to a question about how he will bring Americans together. “I take issue with what everybody says about the division,” he replied. “The nation is not divided. You go out there and take a look and talk to people, you have fringes on both...Read more

GOP believes in Trump, not America

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Apparently, Adam Kinzinger’s family hates him now. Alexander Hamilton would not be surprised.

Like many in the generation of America’s founding, he saw political parties as something that “grows naturally out of the rival passions of Men” — but also as a threat to national cohesion. He called them a popular government’s “most ...Read more

For African Americans, Faith is Not Confined to the Hope of Heaven

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

George Zimmerman was acquitted in the killing of Trayvon Martin on a Saturday night in 2013. The next morning, I went to church wearing a hoodie.

This was mid-July, hardly hoodie weather. But other brothers showed up similarly attired, including our pastor. This gesture — an expression of solidarity and raw pain — was no surprise. Indeed, I...Read more

Right-wing media bad for American business

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

‘You think we’re bad for America?’

Sean Hannity of Fox “News” asked that question of Ted Koppel four years ago as the latter was interviewing him on “CBS Sunday Morning.” Yes, answered Koppel, “because you’re very good at what you do and ... you have attracted people who are determined that ideology is more important than ...Read more

This is not a feel-good story

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

This is not a feel-good story.

Of course, it’s easy to see why it has been positioned as one. Certainly, it contains all the elements: vulnerable people, heart-rending need, someone going above and beyond.

But this is not a feel-good story.

Not to mock or cast aspersions on the noble thing that has brought Henry Darby to national attention ...Read more

It is different, being us

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

An open letter to African-American people:

February marks the 95th observation of what started as Negro History Week and later became Black History Month. I wanted to use the occasion to talk about what being Black means, about how it feels, being us.

Hearing that, you’re probably braced for a litany of depressing statistics, indignities and...Read more

Josh Hawley blind to irony

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

So last week, Sen. Josh Hawley complained that he was being “silenced.” He lodged this complaint on Fox “News” and in The New York Post.

As social media observers promptly pointed out, that’s a level of media exposure that effectively refutes the senator’s claim. But Hawley is in a snit because Simon & Schuster backed out of a ...Read more

What’s it going to take to shock the GOP back to itself?

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

What is it going to take?

For years, that question has weighed upon the rest of us – and even some of its own members – as we watched the Republican Party slide ever deeper into a morass of political extremism, screwball conspiracies, alternate facts and ambient rage incompatible with responsible governance. Every time Republicans ...Read more

No way for decent people to 'unite' with racism, anti-Semitism or homophobia

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

It’s been said of Abraham Lincoln that he had a “mystical” devotion to the idea of Union. His conviction that the American states were united in an indissoluble bond is what braced him through the monstrous burdens he bore. It’s not too much to say that the very existence of this country owes in large part to the stubborn faith of that ...Read more

America no longer lives in an unpresidented time

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

And so we reach the end of an unpresidented era.

The reference is, of course, to one of Donald Trump’s many Twitter misspellings, this one found in his 2016 description of the seizure of a US. navy drone. He meant to call it “unprecedented.” But Trump’s mistake gave us a coinage perfect for this moment. For four years, America has been ...Read more

But he wasn’t Black

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

To the Republican Party:

As the Trump administration stumbles through its final hours, it seems a proper time to offer a summation of the era just past. Ordinarily, this calls for analytical heavy lifting. One seeks to reconcile a mosaic of accomplishments, failures and compromises into a single coherent portrait.

With Trump, however, the task...Read more

We let ‘em up easy once before and we’re still dealing with the repercussions

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

On April 4, 1865, Abraham Lincoln went to Richmond.

With the Civil War all but won, the president wanted to tour the rebel capital. There, he met a Union general who asked how the conquered city should be treated. “If I were in your place, I’d let ‘em up easy,’” said Lincoln. “Let ‘em up easy.”

This was in concordance with his ...Read more

Sweep them away like the garbage they are

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

So what now?

A few things, actually. But before we get to them, we must recognize last week’s insurrectionist rampage at the Capitol for what it was. It is being seen, and not wrongly, as the angry response of delusional right-wingers lied into believing a presidential election was stolen. It is being framed, and not without reason, as the ...Read more

White conservatives gave violent white radicals a pass. Now they’re about to destroy the country

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

In the end, it wasn’t "antifa.”

It wasn’t Black Lives Matter.

No, it wasn’t any of the boogeymen white conservatives have imagined, exaggerated and bloviated into national threats. Rather, it was a mob of white conservatives themselves, unrestrained by law, unfettered by patriotism, fueled by resentments, racial and otherwise, who ...Read more

Here's my "The Year of Reading Women" reading list

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

I don’t mind admitting that I could really go for a good fistfight just now.

Or a race against time to foil a terrorist plot.

Or a zombie apocalypse. A zombie apocalypse would definitely hit the spot.

As some of you will recall, I gave up those and other literary pleasures a year ago, bidding farewell to the likes of Robert B. Parker, Tom ...Read more

Americans looking for bold leadership from Biden

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Editors note: While Mr. Pitts is away, Rev. Jackson is filling in.

As we turn to a new year, the spotlight shines on the new president and the new administration. Even as he assumes center stage in Washington, profound questions still remain about Joe Biden’s plans. His initial appointments have been solid, diverse, experienced and ...Read more

Georgia has a long history of voter suppression

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Editor's note: While Mr. Pitts is away, Rev. Jackson is filling in.

Now that Donald Trump's baseless lies about voter fraud have been summarily dismissed by the courts, perhaps some attention can be paid to the true threat to free and fair elections: not voter fraud but systemic and massive voter suppression. Voter suppression, not voter...Read more



Gary Varvel Jimmy Margulies Ed Wexler John Deering Joel Pett Peter Kuper