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Politics

Cruelty is the point, but is it evil?

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

We meet, my friends, in the face of evil.

In popular culture and historical memory, of course, evil has many faces. It is Darth Vader raising a lightsaber and Dr. Doom glowering from behind a metal mask. It is Charles Manson grinning his lunatic's grin and Adolf Hitler ranting himself into a frothing rage.

But in everyday life, evil is seldom ...Read more

The right has adopted the notion that education is the enemy

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

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

The 'peculiar institution' is no artifact of the dead past

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

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.

We're...Read more

Jeffrey Epstein didn't commit suicide

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

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

A message of hope on Woodstock's 50th anniversary

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

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

And again. And still

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

And again.

And still.

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

To be African American is to be perpetually exhausted by race

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

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

Trump framing election as a referendum on white people

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

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

It never should have come to this

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

"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

Honorary whiteness must be one powerful drug

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

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

Is the GOP a hate group?

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

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

America is not Donald Trump's house

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

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

Failure to stand up for the truth, suggests not an open mind but an empty one

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

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

What will we do in a future without newspapers?

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

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

Opening up to women's stories

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

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

The meaning of freedom in the age of Trump

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

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

Trump did the right thing

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

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

War begets war . . . and nothing else

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

While Mr. Pitts is away Robert Koehler is filling in.

Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran . . .

Thanks, John McCain! Let's mix a little humor in with war. It's so much easier to take when we do. By the way, have you noticed that we're always on the verge of war?

"The bombing will be ...Read more

On abortion, voters still lean to the wobbly middle

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

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.

Biden...Read more

The right is coming for birth control, too

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

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

 

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