From the Left



Tell Us Something We Don't Know

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Tell us something we don’t know.

Maybe that’s an ungenerous way to respond to a study on an important social issue by a respected, nonpartisan think tank. But, if you’ve been paying any attention at all, that may be your instinctive reaction to last week’s report from the Washington-based politics/fromtheleft/leonardpittsjr/s-2731582">Read more

Are We Different From Them?

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

We are different from them.

Instinctively, that’s what you’re thinking, right? Not that you don’t have reason.

The news out of Iran that a 22-year-old woman named Mahsa Amini mysteriously died in custody after the nation’s “morality police” hauled her in for some violation of their oppressive dress code for women is appalling. As ...Read more

We Believe Herschel Walker

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

When people show you who they are, believe them the first time.”

-- Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou, meet Herschel Walker, Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate.

Here he is on the Inflation Reduction Act: “A lot of money, it’s going to trees. . . . We’ve got enough trees. Don’t we have enough trees around here?”

And on ...Read more

This is Not About Immigration

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Immigration is the last thing this is about.

If conservatives really wanted to fix immigration, they could have done so years ago. Certainly, the broad outlines of a workable overhaul have long been obvious: a combination of hardened border security, a guest-worker program, streamlining the process for immigration and creating a pathway to ...Read more

What do the Book Banners and Burners Fear?

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

There are a few things you should be asking yourself right about now.

Meaning you students who find yourselves living in places where self-appointed guardians of public morality have been busily banning books. This includes Texas, where Gov. Greg Abbott wants to jail librarians who allow students access to novels he deems “pornographic.” ...Read more

America in Winter

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

President John F. Kennedy committed America to landing on the moon in a speech on Sept. 12, 1962. It was spring. The calendar said otherwise, yes. But, as has been argued before in this space, Kennedy presided over a season of ...Read more

How Yesteryear's Moral Panic Becomes Today's Soft Sell

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

I’ve been meaning to write this one for years. It was the potato chips that finally made me do it.

Not just any old Lay’s or Ruffles, mind you. No, I’m talking about a new-to-me brand of chips (on its website, the Miami-based company says it has actually been around for 25 years) I recently saw at a checkout counter. Rap Snacks, they were...Read more

Trying to Persuade Trump Republicans is a Waste of Time

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

MAGA Republicans think Joe Biden is being mean to them.

You read that right. Followers of Donald Trump, a man who denigrates his rivals as SOBs, sickos, dummies, losers, wackos and scum, a man who has accused Biden of corruption and cognitive decline, say they are affronted at the way Biden has treated them.

House Minority Leader Kevin ...Read more

Good Luck Getting a Glass of Water in Jackson

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

There is no water in Jackson, Mississippi.

Not at this writing, at least. At this writing, the nearly 150,000 residents of the state capital have been advised that even if they are able to coax some of the precious liquid from their taps – water pressure is feeble...Read more

Captain Florida the Opportunist

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was walking down the street when he heard it — the blood-curdling sound of children being ruthlessly exposed to diversity.

Faster than you can say, “political hack,” he ducked behind a handy mango tree. Moments later, gone was the mild-mannered governor of a great southeastern state. In his place, clad in the ...Read more

'Quiet Quitting' -- Not Just for the 'Silly Season'

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Just as I was wondering whether various crises were coming too fast to allow our usual "silly season" of oddball late summer news, an appropriately weird-sounding social trend popped up on social networks and intriguingly struck a nerve.

It's called "quiet quitting."

Put simply, it refers to the act of taking your job seriously but not too ...Read more

Right to Register and Vote is Not a Partisan Issue

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Editor's Note: While Mr. Pitts is away, Rev. Jackson is filling in.

The right to vote, Dr. Martin Luther King taught in his famous “Give Us the Ballot” address, is one of the “highest mandates of our democratic tradition.” Democracy is founded on the right of citizens to decide via popular, free and fair elections who should ...Read more

Every Vote in America is Now About Abortion

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Editor's note: While Mr. Pitts is away, Ms. Sanchez is filling in.

The pro-choice jubilation that overtook the state of Kansas is beginning to subside, as all victorious celebrations eventually do. What's less clear is if the revelers fully grasp that they're still running against howling headwinds.

This is despite the overwhelming ...Read more

Democracy Not a Partisan Issue

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Editor's note: While Mr. Pitts is away, Mr. Jackson is filling in.

While the United States champions democracy across the world, our own democracy is under siege. Nothing is more fundamental to democracy than the right to vote – yet there is no explicit guarantee of the right to vote in the U.S. Constitution. The U.S. ranks near the ...Read more

The FBI Raid is Terrible News for Trump. Why is Trump World Unable to Contain its Excitement?

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

"When you're attacking FBI agents because you're under criminal investigation, you're losing."

That 2016 tweet from Trump campaign adviser, and future White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, then referring to Hillary Clinton and Democrats, took on a special irony on Monday, as former President Donald Trump and his allies spent much...Read more

Eastern Kentucky deserves better leaders

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Editor's note: While Mr. Pitts is away, Mr. Jackson is filling in.

The extreme weather that is savaging various parts of America hit Eastern Kentucky last week when unprecedented flash floods wiped out homes and devastated communities, taking at least 37 lives, with hundreds still missing." The region was hit by 8 to 10 inches of ...Read more

Dare We Hope?

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

“Dare we hope?”

That was the rather plaintive response of a man on Twitter when news broke that Kansas voters had rejected an attempt to remove the right to abortion from their state constitution. We are talking about a fire-engine-red state. It went for Donald Trump in 2016 and repeated the error in 2020. In fact, Kansas has supported only...Read more

Bill Russell Was 'An Arrogant Negro' To The End

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Back in the day, his FBI file dubbed him “an arrogant Negro.” But then, people often mistook principle for arrogance whenever African Americans insisted on justice.

Sometimes, they still do. As recently as 2017, after all, much of white America vilified NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick for kneeling during the national anthem in protest of ...Read more

The Year (Bleep) Got Real

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

“There’s a choice we’re making. We’re saving our own lives.” -- from “We Are The World”

Yes, this is early.

That ritual where the columnist assigns the year a theme doesn’t usually begin until December. But the view from this pew is that, where 2022 is concerned, said theme is already clear.

In recent days, this has begun to ...Read more

Let's Talk About the Nazis

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

We’ll get to the Nazi flags in a moment.

First, however, let us turn to Merriam-Webster for clarification of a point recently made in this space that left a few of you vexed. It came in a passage that noted the right wing’s attempted takeover of state voting apparatuses and contended that because of it, 2024 could be the last meaningful ...Read more



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