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Racism is a white problem

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Racism is a white problem.

I know that many white people will instinctively and emphatically resist that observation. They'll note the self-evident truth that prejudice is confined to no one culture or color. Having known more than a few African-American bigots, homophobes and anti-Semites, I'll be happy to concede the point.

But racism is ...Read more

What happened in Starbucks isn't really about Starbucks

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

I don't drink coffee, so I can't boycott Starbucks. But I wouldn't if I could.

Yes, I understand -- and share -- the national anger over viral video of last week's arrest of two African-American men at one of the company's Philadelphia stores. The men, who have yet to be identified, were reportedly doing nothing more threatening than waiting ...Read more

'Excuses for Donald Trump'

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

"We kind of gave him -- 'All right, you get a mulligan. You get a do-over here."

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, on the white evangelical response to Donald Trump's alleged tryst with a porn star

"He's new at government, and so therefore I think that he is learning as he goes."

House Speaker Paul Ryan on allegations that Trump ...Read more

Shaun King might be controversial, but he's no terrorist

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Shaun King is a controversial guy.

As an activist and journalist, he's been prominent in the Black Lives Matter movement, defended the Palestinians and attacked the Republican Party. On Monday, apparently as a result of his politics, King was briefly detained at JFK Airport by an agent of ...Read more

Have you ever seen the moon?

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Have you ever seen the moon?

You will likely answer that you have, many times. But a new short video by filmmakers Wylie Overstreet and Alex Gorosh may have you reconsidering whether you've ever actually seen it at all.

Their names will be unfamiliar to you. A check of the authoritative IMDb website turns up resumes thin to the point of ...Read more

What killed Martin Luther King?

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

MEMPHIS -- Martin Luther King's men had a different question.

At least, according to his aide, Andrew Young, they did. When the first reports went out that King had been gunned down while standing on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in this city, America and the world demanded to know one thing: Who did it? Who was the sniper who shot him from...Read more

We've seen this movie 100 times

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Maybe we should just skip to the end.

Is that sacrilege? Is it too cynical by half? After all, this is the part where we're supposed to be waiting for answers and pretending to believe justice might be done.

But if you've seen a movie a hundred times, it is difficult not to mouth the dialogue ahead of time. Similarly, it is pretty hard not to ...Read more

Balancing gun rights with common-sense restrictions

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

So there you are, cowering under your desk.

From the hallway, you hear the pop! pop! pop! of gunfire, along with the shrieks of the terrified and moans of the dying. The good guy with a gun? Maybe he's crouched outside the building. Maybe he's dead in the break room. Whichever, he's not there. And now, horribly, the doorknob to your classroom ...Read more

At least Stormy Daniels is no hypocrite

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

"It is my ass," she declared. "I control it and I'll give it to whomever I want."

So said a woman named Juana Lopes, while testifying in Santa Fe in 1844. Lopes, a married woman, was defending her right to commit adultery.

Obviously, you wouldn't want to be her poor husband. But at the same time, it's hard not to be a bit impressed by her ...Read more

Parkland kids are rewriting the playbook

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Something came awake in them.

That has to be the explanation. As they cowered in closets, as they said goodbyes and waited, with gunfire echoing down the halls, to die, something inside stirred itself.

And when they didn't die, when these teenagers left the campus of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland alive -- something 17 of their ...Read more

What to do about Louis Farrakhan?

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

And here we are again, back to the same question. What to do about Louis Farrakhan?

The leader of the Nation of Islam has, for years, been a toxic fount of anti-Semitic and homophobic rhetoric. "These false Jews," he preached in 2006, "promote the filth of Hollywood that is seeding the American people and the people of the world and bringing ...Read more

What to do about Louis Farrakhan?

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

And here we are again, back to the same question. What to do about Louis Farrakhan?

The leader of the Nation of Islam has, for years, been a toxic fount of anti-Semitic and homophobic rhetoric. "These false Jews," he preached in 2006, "promote the filth of Hollywood that is seeding the American people and the people of the world and bringing ...Read more

In defense of cultural appropriation

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

I'm here to defend cultural appropriation.

"Cross-cultural influence," would be the less pejorative phrase. But the term above, with its connotations of grand-theft culture, is the one favored by some African-American activists who've had it up to here with nonblack performers borrowing the soul and style of Michael, Marvin and Prince. Singer ...Read more

Best thing Trump can do is ignore April 4th

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

I am not looking forward to April 4th.

In fact, I've been dreading it for months. April 4th is, of course, the 50th anniversary of the day Martin Luther King was murdered in Memphis. As such, it is one of those days when a president is called upon for wise words of summation and honor.

Unfortunately, the president...Read more

Shouldn't there be somebody to defend Donald Trump?

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Shouldn't there be somebody to defend Donald Trump?

Opinion page editors have been wrestling that question for over a year. A good opinion editor, you see, prides herself on ideological balance, mixing and matching pundits who reliably leave the conservative right gnashing its teeth with those who routinely leave the progressive left rending ...Read more

Hierarchy of violence

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

People were furious that Breana Harmon Talbott was raped by black men.

She actually wasn't, but we'll get to that. For now, let's concern ourselves with the way some folks responded after the then-18-year-old white girl from Pottsboro, Texas, stumbled into a church last March clad only in bra, shirt and panties, bleeding from cuts and claiming ...Read more

What's going on with 42 percent of Republicans?

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

This is a column about 42 percent of Republicans.

It is also a column about trust.

A few days ago in Miami, the Knight Foundation, a philanthropic institution, convened a conference of journalists, tech persons, business persons and others to consider the state and future of journalism. Central ...Read more

Parkland's kids demand change

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

You need to grow up.

As far as I know, no survivor of last week's mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland, Florida, has used those words to challenge conservatives who have created a world where mass shootings are almost literally an everyday thing. But the sentiment is clearly there.

Consider David Hogg, a 17-year-old ...Read more

The guy who paid Stormy Daniels to shut up

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Dear Michael D. Cohen, Esq.:

So you're the one who paid Stormy Daniels to shut up?

According to The New York Times, you claim to have forked over $130,000 during the 2016 campaign to Stephanie Clifford, a pornographic film "actress" who performs under that nom de coitus, in exchange for her promise not to talk about having sex with Donald ...Read more

I am a child of domestic violence

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

I am a child of domestic violence.

As a boy, I couldn't fall asleep until I heard my father return from his nocturnal ramblings. I'd listen hard, trying to gauge his mood from the tone of his voice, trying to determine if it was safe to close my eyes. Some nights, it was.

Other nights, it was not. On those nights, I came hurtling from my bed ...Read more

 

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