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
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?
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
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
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
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
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.
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
Golden Ghetto: How the Americans & French Fell In & Out of Love During the Cold WarSteve Bassett
Considering the suspicions, jealousies, bigotry and greed inherent when a foreign power occupies another Golden Ghetto: How the Americans and French Fell In and Out of Love during the Cold War tells an improbable story. If ever a US military base deserved the sobriquet Golden Ghetto it was ...
So apparently this is now Republican Party doctrine:
You can't trust the news media. They're biased.
You can't trust the CIA. They're hacks.
You can't trust the Justice Department. It's unfair.
You can't trust the FBI. It's disgraceful.
But you...Read more
This is about a question Donald Trump failed to answer.
Granted, there are a lot of those, but this was a particularly tough one. Indeed, it was likely more difficult in its way than anything April Ryan or Lester Holt has ever asked him. But then, they're only adults. Ava Rose Olsen is 7 years old.
As anyone who has experience with human ...Read more
What we've got here is failure to communicate.
Except it's not really failure. It's actually unwillingness to communicate, fear of what communication might mean. After all, if you communicate, you might understand some painful truths -- and then where would you be?
That's why discussing race with a white person is often one of the most vexing ...Read more
Leonard Pitts has filed a BONUS column on the death of singer Dennis Edwards. It is available for immediate release.
"The first time I met Dennis Edwards, I thought he stood nine feet tall.
As I recall, it was 1977. Edwards, who died of meningitis in a Chicago hospital on Friday, a day short of his 75th birthday, strode into the Los Angeles offices of SOUL Magazine that day to give his first interview after leaving the Temptations. And I had assigned it to me...Read more
Sisters are doin' it for themselves.
That, you may remember, was the title of a hit 1985 pop song. But 33 years later, pop has become prophecy.
What other conclusion can one draw from the tsunami of woman power now bearing down on us? As chronicled by the New York Times, CNN, NBC News, Time and others, 2018 has brought a record number of women...Read more
What if Donald Trump were smart?
It is likely not a question you've given a lot of thought. After all, the urgency of our ongoing disaster leaves little time for speculation. One is too busy tallying up the damage that's happening to worry about the damage that could.
But maybe it's time we did.
Tyrannies, we tend to think, are things that ...Read more
That was no government shutdown. It was a long weekend. It was a snow day.
Don't get me wrong. I am no fan of shuttering the federal government as a tactic of political negotiation. In the first place, it inflicts hardship on the people you're sworn to serve. In the second place, it confirms the U.S. Capitol building as the ...Read more
And here we are, one year later.
If you are groping for markers by which to measure how profoundly we have been changed since Inauguration Day, here's one you might want to consider:
In January of 1998, reports surfaced of a sexual affair between President Bill Clinton and a 24-year-old White House intern. It would mushroom into...Read more
I was wrong.
Years ago, people used to ask me what journalists should do to combat the nation's drift toward "factish" and "truthy" logic. What was needed, I'd reply with misplaced confidence, is robust fact-checking. If news media were more aggressive in calling people out for lying, I predicted, they'd be less likely to do so with impunity.
A few words on the difficulty of voting while black.
As we mark what would have been his 89th birthday, it seems fitting to recall that Martin Luther King spoke to that difficulty in a 1957 speech whose words ring relevant 61 years later. "All types of conniving methods are still being used to prevent Negroes from becoming registered voters," ...Read more
America desperately wanted this book. America desperately needed it, too.
That's why "Fire and Fury," by journalist Michael Wolff, which purported to be a fly-on-the-wall, inside view of life in the Trump White House, shot to Number One on Amazon.com last week after Donald Trump's lawyers tried to suppress it. It...Read more