A word for young people, people of color and, in particular, young people of color:
The Republicans are scared of you.
Maybe you find that hard to believe. Maybe you wonder how the party can be scared of you -- or of anybody -- given that it controls all three branches of the federal government and most of the nation's state houses. You're ...Read more
What if the end of the world came and nobody noticed?
It's not quite an idle question.
You see, something remarkable happened last week. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a group of scientists working under the aegis of the United Nations, issued a report on our planet's health. ...Read more
Here's what gets me about progressives.
They never seem to realize that they are the majority. Yet on issue after issue, the polling consistently shows that they are.
Abortion? Sixty-four percent of Americans support Roe v. Wade.
Guns? Sixty-seven percent want stricter laws.
Taxes? Sixty-one percent say the rich need to pay more.
Health ...Read more
The other day, a woman confessed to me that she's a Republican.
Republicans may bristle at the verb, but it's used advisedly. The lady admitted her party affiliation the way you would some personal failing. "I don't tell a lot of people," she said, "but . . ."
In fairness, her reticence might have been in part because we met in a blue state. ...Read more
Let's get something straight: Men are not the victims here.
It is a foolish and offensive line of reasoning, so naturally it has caught traction on the political right. Indeed, for some, it is an article of faith as the confirmation of would-be Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh becomes ever more deeply mired in accusations that, as a high ...Read more
Give the Republicans credit: they worked hard to create the appearance of enlightened compassion.
Meaning, of course, Thursday's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing into claims by psychology professor Dr. Christine Blasey Ford that, 36 years ago, when she was 15 and he 17, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh drunkenly tried to rape her. With ...Read more
The 9/30 Leonard Pitts column has been updated to reflect recent actions by the Senate Judiciary Committee. The sixth graf has been rewritten. Use updated version.
Gina Sosa is not impressed by attempted rape.
"What boy hasn't done this in high school?" she asks. "Please, I would like to know."
Since she asked so nicely, I went on Twitter, looking for men who managed to get out of school without committing attempted rape. Turned out to be pretty easy. I found lots of them.
A guy named Phil said: "It was...Read more
"Judge not, and ye shall not be judged." Jesus preaches that in the book of Luke.
But then, Jesus never had Twitter. Or, for that matter, Instagram or Facebook. He never had, in other words, one of the social media platforms on which millions of us routinely judge other people every day. It's a habit we might do well to reconsider.
Not that ...Read more
Ari Fleischer wants to know if we're being fair.
"How much in society should any of us be held liable today when we've lived a good life, an upstanding life by all accounts, and then something that maybe is an arguable issue, took place in high school? Should that deny us chances later in life?"
Fleischer, a former spokesman for President ...Read more
"Where have you gone, Bob Woodward? Our nation turns its lonely eyes to you."
I asked that question in January, repurposing a Paul Simon lyric to implore the dean of American political reporters to help us make sense of the mess that is the Trump White House. On Tuesday, Woodward finally came through.
That was the release date of his latest ...Read more
When the history of this era is written, when future generations wonder how a mostly educated and largely literate nation became mired in "truthiness," when they ask how we became so mentally muddled that we lost the ability to identify facts and the capacity to care, they'll find many culprits.
They'll blame Fox "News" for ...Read more
For a man who places such a premium on loyalty, Donald Trump inspires remarkably little.
Bad enough his administration is a sieve, embarrassing accounts of bungled phone calls with foreign leaders and cheeseburger-fueled rants with cronies regularly showing up in the news. Bad enough top aides keep fleeing his White House like it's on fire. Bad...Read more
Colin Kaepernick is staring at you.
It's a black-and-white image, a portrait taken from a distance that feels painfully close, even intimate. Kaepernick, the reviled and revered NFL quarterback who has been unemployed and unemployable since he sparked a movement of athletes and others kneeling during the national anthem to protest police ...Read more
Dear Donald Trump:
Do you ever think about your own funeral?
The question is not meant to be morbid or to wish ill upon you. But given how churlishly you have behaved after the death of Sen. John McCain -- was it really that hard for you to issue a laudatory statement and lower the flag in his honor? -- it feels appropriate. Besides, it's only...Read more
A few words about the political integrity of John McCain.
Integrity was, of course, the byword of the Arizona senator, who died of brain cancer Saturday. The trait was most famously displayed in a POW camp in Hanoi when his captors, hoping for a propaganda bonanza from this son and grandson of four-star admirals, offered him his freedom. McCain...Read more
Editior's note: Robert Koehler is filling in while Mr. Pitts is away.
"He owned the gun legally and had a concealed carry permit."
In an otherwise neutral and informative article, this reads like a bit of legal fetishism. Another human being is dead, oh so needlessly and pointlessly, thanks to a moment of lethally armed ...Read more
Editor's note: Mary Sanchez is filling while Mr. Pitts is away.
The credits were rolling, Spike Lee's latest offering to cinema, the Cannes Film Festival sensation "BlacKkKlansman," was concluding in a Midwestern premiere.
A man seated next to him leaned over to Lee's co-writer Kevin Willmott with a confession, followed by a denial.
"Reality is for people who can't handle drugs," according to an old hippie slogan from the '60s. Today I would update that line to say that reality is for people who can't handle conspiracy theories.
Back when Barack Obama was president, we saw the rise of "birthers," people who couldn't wrap their heads around the reality that the nation's ...Read more
The Queen is dead.
Aretha Louise Franklin, a preacher's daughter from Memphis who was broadly acclaimed the greatest singer of the last half-century -- indeed, one of the greatest singers in the history of American song -- died of pancreatic cancer Thursday at her home in Detroit, surrounded by family and friends. She was 76.
Singer Aretha ...Read more