From the Left



What we get wrong about civility

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Civility gets a bad rap these days.

One need look no further than our head of state for confirmation, but it could be argued that Donald Trump is no more capable of civility than he is of humility, justice, good faith, wise counsel or any other virtue we'd wish our leaders to have. The rest of us -- we can be better.

What disconcerts is that ...Read more

'Respect your local police -- or else?'

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Let's get two things straight right off the bat.

The first is that, in the last few years, no one has protested police wrongdoing more vociferously than African Americans.

The second is that no one has had more reason.

Those reasons include Darrius Stewart, Oscar Grant, Jordan Edwards, John Crawford III, Tamir Rice, Philando Castile, Michael ...Read more

An open letter to all of you privately disgusted Republicans

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

This is an open letter to all of you privately disgusted Republicans.

It's prompted by the fact that in the last few days, two of your colleagues have come forward to share with us your angst.

One was actually an ex-colleague, former GOP Rep. Charlie Dent. He told CNN that you continue to support Donald Trump because pressure from the base -- ...Read more

Here's how to combat the evil being done in our names

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Oh, there's no place like home for the holidays.

We know because Perry Como reminds us incessantly every year about this time. And because the airports become madhouses and the highways parking lots, so many of us trying to find their way back to that place where you are safe and known, that place where they'll always take you in, home.

Here ...Read more

Why is Trump not a national emergency?

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Let's talk about what Fiona Hill said.

The former White House Russia adviser testified last week in the House impeachment investigation, one of a number of nonpartisan civil servants who came forward to shed light on Donald Trump's attempt to strong-arm Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky into investigating a political rival. Their cool ...Read more

'This is America. ... And here, right matters'

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

In her diary entry for July 15, 1944, Anne Frank wrote words that would harrow and challenge generations not yet born: "I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart."

Less than a month later, "people" would discover Anne and seven other Jews hiding in a secret room. "People" would pack her in a ...Read more

'But he's naked!'

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

The following rewrite of one of Hans Christian Andersen's best loved tales is presented with apologies to the author, who did nothing to deserve it:

So off went the Emperor under his splendid canopy. Everyone in the streets and the windows said, 'Oh, how fine are the Emperor's new clothes! Don't they fit him to perfection? And see his long ...Read more

Barriers zigzag across America like a scar

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

A few words about walls.

Unsurprisingly, the one Donald Trump is trying to build on the southern border -- the one he swore Mexico would pay for -- has proven, like most things he touches, an embarrassing failure. First came news early this month that smugglers have been able to cut through the barrier with a simple reciprocating saw, available...Read more

Evan Halper's own personal hell

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

You may trust that Evan Halper is in his own personal hell right now.

It's a place to which all good journalists go when they make mistakes. Which is to say, it's a place to which all good journalists eventually go. If the error is relatively small, one may spend a day there. If one makes a bigger blunder, one might pack for a weeklong stay.

...Read more

Election 2020: Act with foresight or regret with hindsight

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

I'm here to offer you an action list.

With last week's balloting behind us, we now have just less than a year before one of the most momentous elections in American history. As voters in 1860 had to decide between Union and secession, we face a stark choice of our own: America or Trump. There is no middle ground. This is democracy at its ...Read more

The kids may 'OK' this Boomer to their heart's content

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

"Every generation blames the one before." -- Mike + The Mechanics

So I guess "OK Boomer" is a thing now. And I gather I'm supposed to be offended by it. Certainly, some people seem to be.

The saying -- a dismissive eye roll from Generation Z to their elders -- is suddenly all the rage. It appears on hoodies, headlines, tweets and memes, this ...Read more

Social media platforms and the fate of truth

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

It may be too much. And also too little.

Meaning last week's announcement by Twitter that it is banning all political advertising over concerns that the medium gives politicians too much reach, too much power to deceive. News of the ban, which takes effect later this month, comes as that other social media giant -- Facebook -- struggles with ...Read more

Donald Trump got what he deserved

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

They let Donald Trump out of his bubble Sunday. It did not go well.

Granted, every president lives in a bubble, due to security concerns. But Trump lives in a bubble within a bubble, one that has less to do with protecting him from assassins than with protecting him from reality. That's why his public appearances are largely confined to ...Read more

Women are not the ones who need fixing

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Women are not the problem.

There has always been something grotesque about the idea that they are. But to embrace that idea in the #MeToo era is not just grotesque, but clueless. It suggests that you slept through a reckoning that has shifted the Zeitgeist.

So somebody please tell Ernst & Young ...Read more

Too many of us have not courage, but cowardice

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

When, at Mamie Till's insistence, the coffin was opened, she saw her son's right eyeball sitting on his cheek, dangling by the optic nerve.

Let that single grisly detail stand in for all the rest. Let it speak to the savagery two white men unleashed upon the body of a 14-year-old black boy named Emmett Till.

On Saturday, a new marker was ...Read more

If we can't be free within ourselves, then we cannot be free

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

"If you're white, you're all right. If you're brown, stick around. If you're black, get back." -- African-American folk saying

I was about to give a speech -- I can't remember when or even where -- when this teacher brought a student up, hoping I could help her.

The teacher was white, and her student was a black girl, perhaps 13 or so, of ...Read more

Why, when we see black people, do we so often see what isn't there?

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

The beam from his flashlight reflects off the glass, so we can't see what he saw.

But in a sense, we don't need to see what Fort Worth police officer Aaron Dean saw to know what he saw, peering through that window. He saw something fearsome, a threat to life and limb. All this in the person of Atatiana Jefferson, a 28-year-old black woman, who ...Read more

It can happen here

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

I was maybe 10 years old when this happened.

Mom is driving, I'm in the back seat. It's night. She's trying to cross Vermont, a busy L.A. thoroughfare, from a side street. Southbound traffic is jammed, but a guy in a truck makes a hole and waves us through. We've almost cleared the intersection when a car, speeding northbound, clips us. We go ...Read more

The thing about forgiveness

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Here's the thing about forgiveness.

It's not just something you extend to someone else. It's also a gift you give yourself, permission to lay down the heavy burden of grudges and rage. And if you're a Christian, it's an obligation -- albeit a hard one -- of faith.

One can believe all that, yet still be deeply conflicted by last week's act of ...Read more

How the times have changed

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

You may, if you are old enough, recall a TV actor named Foster Brooks.

He was a guest star on such classics of boomer kitsch as "The Monkees," "The Munsters" and "The Mod Squad." But if you do remember him, it's likely for one thing only: his imitation of inebriation. Brooks made his slurring, stammering "funny drunk act" a TV staple, back when...Read more


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