You'd think it would be the one thing we could all agree upon.
Life grows ever more complex. Planetary overheating threatens a future of floods, food shortages and mass migration. We carry supercomputers in our pockets. Robots are taking our jobs.
So you'd think, for all the partisan and ideological rancor in this country, the one thing upon ...Read more
Perhaps you've heard of white fragility.
The term was popularized by sociologist Robin DiAngelo in her 2018 book of the same name that seeks to explain why white people often find it so hard to discuss race, why the subject frequently makes them angry and defensive. Well, a textbook example of that fragility recently roiled social media.
Jeffrey Epstein didn't commit suicide.
He was murdered by Hillary and/or Bill Clinton. Or he was assassinated by the Russians. Or Donald Trump killed him. Or he isn't dead at all, having been spirited into the Witness Protection Program, where he presumably now shares an island mansion with Tupac Shakur and 84-year-old Elvis Presley.
Take your...Read more
Teenagers were invented in the late 1950s.
If that's an exaggeration, it's not as much of one as you may think. While there had -- obviously -- been teenagers before, it wasn't until the leading edge of the Baby Boom reached that milestone that the word took on its modern meaning. In the heady prosperity of those first years post-war and post-...Read more
Nine people shot dead in Dayton, 13 hours after 22 shot dead in El Paso, six days after three shot dead in Gilroy. And tears and disbelief and funeral preparations, candlelight vigils and a search for meaning, and talking heads on cable news and T-shirts and hashtags touting resilience in the face of pain: "Dayton Strong,...Read more
Ed has had enough.
"I'm simply tired, tired and tired of hearing about race," he wrote last month in an email. He signed himself a "former racist" and in a postscript, wanted me to know that he used to have "a black friend" with whom he ate breakfast on workdays.
Take Ed as an example of the pushback that comes when you grapple with America's ...Read more
If you are a regular here, you may have heard this story before. But it bears repeating.
In 1958, George Wallace ran for governor of Alabama against John Patterson, a fire-breathing segregationist. Wallace, though also a segregationist, was considered enough of a racial moderate to be endorsed by the politics/fromtheleft/leonardpittsjr/s-2255840">Read more
"Hold tight to your anger, don't fall to your fears."
Bruce Springsteen, "Wrecking Ball"
It never should have come to this.
The first responders who, on a September morning 18 years ago, rushed into toxic clouds that once had been the World Trade Center never should have been put through bureaucratic hell. Sick and dying because they answered...Read more
You had to become an "honorary white."
That was the status South Africa used to bestow upon black performers from the United States who visited the apartheid regime. The O'Jays, Tina Turner, Ray Charles and Eartha Kitt were among those who received that designation, allowing them access to hotels and restaurants from which black Africans were ...Read more
Here's how The Southern Poverty Law Center defines a hate group.
It is, they say, "an organization that -- based on its official statements or principles, the statements of its leaders, or its activities -- has beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for ...Read more
Dear Donald Trump:
Years ago, I got to visit Kwethluk, an Alaskan town of fewer than 900 souls. It is an isolated place where the people, most of them Yup'ik and Eskimo, live on what the tundra provides: ptarmigan, moose, seal, salmonberries. I remember standing upon that snowbound landscape and marveling that I was further than I'd ever been ...Read more
A man named Josef Buzhminski told this story at the trial of Adolf Eichmann.
It happened on July 27, 1942, at the fence of the Jewish ghetto in Przemysl, Poland. Buzhminski was watching from hiding as an SS man named Kidash seized a Jewish woman and her 18-month-old son. "She held the baby in her arms," Buzhminski said, "and ...Read more
The Vindy announced its death about a week before Jeffrey Epstein was arrested. Though the timing was only a coincidence, the juxtaposition speaks volumes about the state of American journalism.
Epstein, as you likely know, is the billionaire money manager who was taken into custody Saturday in New Jersey on charges of sex trafficking. This ...Read more
A few words about my sexism.
Nerd that I am, I keep a book diary, i.e., a list of the 40 or 50 books I read and listen to each year. In 2016, while perusing said list, I made a discovery that startled me: there were almost no women on it.
That year, I plowed through 46 books by the likes of Stephen King, Walter Mosley, Bruce Springsteen and ...Read more
I had no intention of telling this story here.
Independence Day is Thursday, and I thought I might talk about the meaning of freedom in the age of Trump. Refugees are imprisoned in squalor on our southern border, the government balking at providing them toothpaste and soap, and I thought I might talk about the diminution of ...Read more
While Mr. Pitts is away Rev. Jackson is filling in.
In the last week, Donald Trump suddenly reversed two major decisions. He announced he would not begin mass deportations of those who are living in the country illegally, which he previously threatened to do, and he pulled the plug on a bombing attack on Iran, even as the military jets ...Read more
While Mr. Pitts is away, Clarence Page is filling in.
Democratic presidential front-runner Joe Biden is taking heat and light for his recent switcheroo on abortion rights. But Biden is hardly alone in his inconsistency on this volatile issue. Some of us remember how now-president Donald Trump made a famous abortion switcheroo too.
Ms. Sanchez is filling in while Mr. Pitts is away.
Surfing conservative websites, it didn't take long to find this nugget of backward thinking, courtesy of American Thinker:
"The sexual revolution that was kick-started by the advent of birth control in the early 1960s has done irreparable damage to Western civilization."
If you had any...Read more
While Mr. Pitts is away Bill Press is filling in.
Why all the talk? Why all the debate? Why all the angst? The case is clear. He deserves to be impeached. So don't wait any longer. Rev up the engines. Start the hearings. Impeach him -- now!
No, I'm not talking about President Donald Trump (not yet!). I'm talking about Attorney General ...Read more