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
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
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
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
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
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
Editor's note: While Mr. Pitts is away, Mary Sanchez is filling in.
Because bible-pounding has become a favored tactic of politicians, it was only a matter of time before one of the cabinet choices of the incoming Biden administration would set off screeds of fire and brimstone.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has become the ...Read more
Editor's Note: While Mr. Pitts is away, Robert Koehler is filling in.
"We won't be in a position to make permanent progressive changes until the bad governments are changed permanently into good governments. And all governments are bad governments now and will remain bad governments until we have a global humanity."
The words are those ...Read more
Editor's note: While Mr. Pitts is away, Bill Press is filling in.
To say it was shocking is the understatement of all time. For those of us living in the Bay Area, the news of the Jonestown Massacre was the equivalent of an earthquake, monsoon, and tornado striking at the same time.
A year earlier, Jim Jones, pastor of San Francisco's...Read more
I realize I'm just a simple newspaper columnist, but it seems having a lame-duck U.S. president openly advocating a coup is a really bad and insane thing, yet the people who most loudly call themselves patriots don't appear to give a whit.
Maybe I'm on an island here, but the conclusion that can be drawn from the following string of facts ...Read more
Editor's note: Ms. Sanchez is filling in while Mr. Pitts is away.
Virtually every date, place and event that Americans are taught about the nation's history could be expanded, enlivened and enriched by the inclusion of Latinos.
We've been here from the beginning, and that's far earlier than most realize.
The quest to help more people ...Read more
No institution lasts forever. They get too old, too big, too tired. Eventually, they outlive their usefulness and forget their original purpose. When that happens, the best thing you can do for them is pull the plug.
It’s time to pull the plug on the Republican Party. Because, let’s face it, the Republican Party we once knew — a credible ...Read more
And so this is Christmas.
So sang John Lennon in 1971. The Vietnam War took 2,414 American lives that year, so the song was a prayer of harmony and peace with a scrim of irony. Nor did the irony end there. Lennon was shot to death nine years later, 40 years ago Tuesday.
And if the events of 1971 seemed sharply at odds with the hope of the ...Read more
Well, that was . . . normal.
President-elect Biden slips while playing with his dog on Saturday and has to go to the hospital, where he is diagnosed with hairline fractures in the bones of his foot, necessitating a few weeks in a walking boot. The information is released in a businesslike and apparently transparent manner. No ...Read more
Gerald Ford was right. It was years before I understood that.
I was 17 years old on the day in 1974 when the 38th president pardoned the 37th, Richard Nixon, for his crimes in the Watergate affair. Like millions of others — like Ford’s own press secretary, who resigned in protest — I was disgusted by this largesse.
It wasn’t until ...Read more
I am not disappointed in Donald Trump.
For there to be disappointment at childish behavior presumes an expectation of adult behavior. No such expectation exists where Trump is concerned. So his weeks of sulking and floating bizarre conspiracy theories since he lost the election, while embarrassing in the extreme, doesn’t really let me down so...Read more
Greed is good.
That, you may recall, was the mantra of corporate raider Gordon Gekko in the 1987 film, “Wall Street.” It came to symbolize the rapacious gluttony of that era - and its rejection of the dewy-eyed idealism of the 1960s.
Well, 1987 was a long time ago, but Gekko’s cynical watchword feels as timely now as it ever did. ...Read more
“The coronavirus is the common cold, folks.” — Rush Limbaugh
“One day, it’s like a miracle — it will disappear.” — Donald Trump
“The risk to the average person does remain quite low” — Laura Ingraham
The American death toll from the novel coronavirus will soon pass 250,000. That’s a quarter of a million people lying ...Read more
Dear Price Wallace:
There was a time I would have reasoned with you. There was a time I might even have pleaded.
Back then, I’d have been shocked and appalled to see a Mississippi state lawmaker advocate secession from the Union as you did in a Twitter exchange with former state representative Robert Foster a few hours after the presidential...Read more
We turn, one last time, to Hans Christian Andersen.
Over the past four years, many observers, this one included, have found one of the Danish writer’s most famous tales irresistible for explaining both Donald Trump and the Republican Party’s slavish sycophancy toward him. In “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” a monarch parades through town ...Read more