From the Left



Under unchecked power, no one is safe

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

They did not have to die.

That's the bitter truth. Katie Sasser and her friend John Hall would likely still be alive if cops and prosecutors in Glynn County, Georgia, had done their jobs. But they were more interested in protecting one of their own. So Sasser and Hall were shot to death in June by Sasser's estranged husband, Robert C. Sasser. ...Read more

Tired of having to explain ourselves

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

For barbecuing.

For selling bottled water.

For napping in a dorm.

For mowing a lawn.

For smoking.

Perhaps you recognize the list. If not, be advised that it represents a few of the slew of recent high-profile episodes in which police have been called out on black people for reasons so trivial, nonsensical and stupid as to beggar belief.

...Read more

Now I know how the Gipper felt

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

"I didn't leave the Democratic Party. The party left me.'' -- Ronald Reagan

Now I know how the Gipper felt.

Once upon a time, you see, I thought I was a little bit conservative. Mind you, I could never side with the right on social justice matters like the treatment of LGBTQ Americans, African Americans and women, where they have always been ...Read more

Some professions are more than professions

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

This one feels different.

And what does it say about this country when one has seen enough mass shootings to become a connoisseur of them? But yes, what happened last week in the newsroom of the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis does feel different. It feels too close for comfort.

Part of it is that a colleague lost his brother and that a...Read more

The Supreme Court's worst decision ever

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

At one point in Justice Sonia Sotomayor's ringing dissent from last week's Supreme Court decision upholding Donald Trump's ban on travelers from a group of nations, most of them with Muslim-majority populations, she recounts his many insults against followers of Islam. Though most of us can likely...Read more

What happens when the social covenant is torn?

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

We're not here to talk about civility.

Granted, that was the inescapable buzzword last week as the left wing rose in pointedly uncivil protest of the evil being perpetrated by the Republican Party and the moral monstrosity who is our president. GOP...Read more

Not how justice is supposed to work

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

So it looks like Charles Rhines is going to be executed -- and it's probably because he's gay.

Well, not only that. There's also the matter of his committing an especially heinous murder in 1992. Rhines, caught burglarizing a doughnut shop in Rapid City, South Dakota by an employee named Donnivan Schaeffer, stabbed the 22-year-old in the ...Read more

Immigrant children are real children

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

"Illegals" have faces.

This is what Republicans are learning to their chagrin amid mounting international outrage over the new policy of separating immigrant children from their families at our southern border. For years, the party has pretended otherwise. It has denied undocumented immigrants their personhood, casting them instead as an ...Read more

What if God were one of us?

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

What if God were one of us?

Singer Joan Osborne famously asked that question in 1995. In her Grammy-nominated hit, "One Of Us," she envisions the author of all creation as "a slob like one of us, just a stranger on a bus trying to make his way home."

The idea of eternity contained in mortality was controversial. But it turns out that ...Read more

Petaluma High learns censorship doesn't work

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Here's an axiomatic truth:

If you want to make sure people see or hear something, ban people from seeing or hearing something. That predates the internet, as any former teenager who ever hid under the covers listening to "Louie Louie" with the volume down can surely attest.

We are talking about a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. If ...Read more

Few tears for Aaron Persky

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

There will be few tears for Aaron Persky.

California voters gave the Superior Court judge his walking papers last week. Persky, the state's first judge to be recalled since 1932, became a target of national fury two years ago when he sentenced Brock Turner, a Stanford University student convicted of sexually assaulting a young woman after she ...Read more

Republicans brought it on themselves

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

He's a Republican, of course.

Meaning South Dakota State Rep. Michael Clark. On Monday, Clark, being presumably of sound mind and body, suggested on Facebook that maybe racial segregation wouldn't be such a bad idea. A businessman, he wrote, "should have the opportunity to run his business the way he wants. If he wants to turn away people of ...Read more

Black lives don't matter

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Black lives don't matter.

It is a message that has, for centuries, been woven like thread into the fabric of this nation.

It was there when the Supreme Court said black people had no rights white people were bound to respect, there when Nazi POWs were seated at a Southern diner while black soldiers were sent to the kitchen, there when federal ...Read more

RFK and the nation we might have been

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

It made my mother scream.

That's what I remember. I had been lying dozy in bed, but at the sound of her, I scrambled into the living room. She was standing before the television watching an image of chaos in a hotel ballroom.

Although I grew up in the 1960s, very few of the signal events of that tumultuous decade managed to penetrate my ...Read more

This time, the joke was on Roseanne Barr

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

I told you so.

I'm sorry, maybe that's petty, but I can't help it. For over a month now, I've felt like a man caught in a feedback loop, doomed to joust till the end of time with readers upset with me for writing that I would boycott the hit reboot of Roseanne Barr's eponymous sitcom because of her support for that sentient sack of racism and ...Read more

Trump supporters speak

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

We're going to try something different today. Rather than pontificate yet again upon the motives of Donald Trump's supporters, I'll let a few of them explain themselves in their own words.

Here, then, is "Robert" with a comparative analysis of the 44th and 45th presidents:

"President Trump has accomplished more positive things for this nation ...Read more

'I was wrong' -- the three hardest words in the English language

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

They might be the three hardest words in the English language: "I was wrong."

Three simple syllables, but many of us find them unpronounceable. As in a Twitter critic who referred to me as "her" the other day.

"Her?" tweeted I. Whereupon, she launched into this tortured explanation of how my beard and name were not enough for her to determine ...Read more

For some, 'faith' has little to do with Jesus

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Today, we will discuss one of the most pressing threats to American Christianity. Meaning, of course, American Christians.

Yes, that's an overly broad statement. All those Christians whose faith requires them to live the Good News, to feed the hungry, to house the homeless, speak for the voiceless and welcome the stranger, surely do not ...Read more

A grisly tale that should never be forgotten

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Fair warning: this story will disgust you.

But this week -- Saturday, to be exact -- marks 100 years since a singular act of barbarism in tiny Valdosta, Ga. And the tale of what happened there demands to be recalled.

It began when somebody killed Hampton Smith, a white plantation owner. Suspicion fell on Sidney Johnson, an African-American ...Read more

How did we ever forget this song?

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

It's like listening to a song you used to know.

It's an old sweet song, a hymn of hope and possibility. It's a tune you haven't heard in far too long.

That's how it is when Rev. Dr. William Barber speaks morality. It's not just that Barber, pastor of Greenleaf Christian Church in Goldsboro, N.C., and organizer -- with Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis --...Read more


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