From the Left



Vote blue, no matter who?

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Vote blue, no matter who.

That's the fall election mantra of Democrats desperate to cleanse the White House of its current occupant. But here's the question some African Americans are now asking: What if the "who" is Michael Bloomberg? What if the former New York City mayor is the man chosen to contend against Donald Trump? Shall we vote blue ...Read more

Who gets to tell what stories?

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

People keep asking me about George Simon.

They want to know why I created him and if it was hard to do. One person told me I was "brave."

I wasn't trying to be brave. I was trying to write my latest novel, a World War II story called "The Last Thing You Surrender." But, you see, George, one of my protagonists, is white and I'm not. And at book...Read more

GOP playing the game by different rules

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Let's try a thought experiment.

Suppose your friend invites you to play Monopoly. But suppose she insists on a set of special rules applicable only to her. Like when she lands on your property, she only has to pay half the required rent. And for every house she buys, she gets one free. And when she passes "Go," she gets $500.

How legitimate ...Read more

Why is it always sex?

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Certainly, if it's moral failures you're after, you can take your pick.

Just last weekend, after all, Republican senators finally admitted that Donald Trump is guilty of the offenses for which he was impeached. They conceded this as they prepared to acquit him. Sen. Lamar Alexander assured us the president learned his lesson and won't do it ...Read more

Hillary Clinton was right

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Surely you remember the "basket of deplorables."

That was Hillary Clinton's 2016 characterization of some Donald Trump supporters. Observers saw it as a major gaffe, and conservatives erupted in hot, "How dare you!" indignation at the idea there was anything deplorable about voting for a lying, racist, misogynistic, vagina-grabbing, deadbeat.

...Read more

'Kobe is dead'

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

"Kobe is dead."

Those were the first words out of my middle son's mouth when I answered the phone. I paused, waiting for the punchline to this really bad joke. He said it twice more. My mouth fell open. Was he serious? It felt like words had become disconnected from meanings.

I put him on speaker, went downstairs calling my wife. "Marilyn, did...Read more

Hell was a place called Auschwitz

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

This week marks 75 years since Soviet troops stormed the gates of hell.

Hell was near a Polish town called Oswiecim. Hell was a place called Auschwitz.

Seven and a half decades later, the murder factory has all but passed from living memory, been swallowed by that great maw called history. So perhaps it feels distant to you, far removed in ...Read more

Trump's acquittal will have an asterisk

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Dear Mr. So-Called President:

A few words in advance of your upcoming acquittal.

That that's how your impeachment trial will end is, as we all know, a foregone conclusion. The proverbial fix is in.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told us as much in December when he announced he was coordinating with the White House on your defense. "I'...Read more

You create diversity by creating diversity

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Dear Stephen King:

I hope you'll indulge me as I try to explain something I suspect you still don't quite understand. Namely: why so many of us were so disappointed with your take on the lack of diversity in this year's Oscar nominations. As the white-dominated and male-centric list of contenders was announced and women and people of color ...Read more

Past time for slavery, in all its permutations, to end

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Last week, the Mississippi Supreme Court upheld Willie Nash's sentence: 12 years for possession.

Of a cellphone.

Read it twice, if you want. It won't make any more sense the second time around.

Nash, it should go without saying, is African American. And his victimization by Mississippi "justice...Read more

What in the world just happened here?

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

So what in the world just happened here?

That's the question of the moment as we struggle to get our heads around the latest head-snapping episode in the bizarre presidency of Donald Trump. In the last few days, we've seen: 1) a U.S. drone strike in Iraq, killing Qassem Soleimani, commander of Iran's elite Quds Force; 2) Trump's justification ...Read more

John Lewis, the conscience of the nation

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

My favorite picture of John Lewis is a mugshot.

It's from Mississippi in 1961, one of the earliest of an eventual 40-plus arrests he would undergo in the cause of freedom. Facing the state penitentiary in Parchman, Mississippi, and the many hells that portended for a black man in the Jim Crow South, Lewis looked into the camera ... and smiled. ...Read more

Today's the day I say goodbye to Stephen King

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

I'm here to say goodbye to Stephen King.

Not that he's going anywhere. Indeed, I imagine he's at his desk even now, devising a fiendish fate for some schmuck unlucky enough to be a character in a Stephen King novel.

But whatever that fate may be, I will know nothing about it -- not this year, at least. I will be similarly ignorant of whatever ...Read more

Militarism: The delusion lives

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

The annual defense budget, passed recently by both the House (377-48) and Senate (82-8), came in at $738 billion for 2020, up from last year a sweet $22 billion.

War hits the motherlode every year.

"The money just isn't there" ...Read more

A few of the things I hate about Donald Trump

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Pity poor Republicans. They have only one argument left to defend Donald Trump for abusing the powers of the presidency by inviting a foreign power to intervene in an American election, the one transgression our Founding Fathers feared most. Even now that he's covered in disgrace as only the third president in our history to be impeached, it's ...Read more

Gary's first black mayor helped launch a post-civil rights era

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

He was the last of the firsts.

That's probably how Richard Gordon Hatcher, one of the nation's first black elected big-city mayors, most often will be remembered.

Hatcher died December 13 at age 86 in Mercy Hospital and Medical Center in Chicago. He was elected mayor of Gary at ...Read more

Sexual predator Weinstein is living the good life, ankle monitor notwithstanding

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

While Mr. Pitts is away Carl Hiaasen is filling in.

Harvey Weinstein, once one of the most brash and powerful men in Hollywood, has lately been having issues with his ankle bracelet.

The shunned former movie producer is wearing a court-ordered monitor while he awaits trial for allegedly raping one woman and forcing another to let him ...Read more

Letting our values out of their cage

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Editor's note: While Mr. Pitts is away Robert Koehler is filling in

My God, they put Jesus and his parents in cages, as though that's what U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents would do -- you know, keep the spirit of love and compassion from entering the United States of America.

Are they suggesting there's an equivalence here between...Read more

Envisioning a united world

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Let's bomb Iowa! Or maybe Texas or Michigan or Nebraska . . .

Oh wait, I got confused for a second. Those places are part of America and we love them. We would never bomb them. These are places we would bomb: Guatemala, Indonesia,...Read more

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


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