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Politics

She is 8 Years Old

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

She is 8 years old.

That’s ... what? About third grade? Too young for boyfriends. Too young for R-rated movies. Too young for algebra or a learner’s permit.

But she has already experienced her second shooting.

It happened a little over a week ago in Washington, D.C., outside of Nationals Park where a ballgame was in progress. But you may ...Read more

The Old Union Cannot Be Restored

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Memo to Sen. Kyrsten Sinema:

Your friend would not be pleased with you.

Meaning John Lewis, the Georgia congressman and civil rights titan who died last year of pancreatic cancer. You marked the anniversary of his passing over the weekend with a spectacularly hypocritical tweet, calling him "a personal hero of mine — a man of principle and ...Read more

Ignorance is Death

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

We live in ignorant times.

By now, surely this is obvious beyond argument to anyone who’s been paying attention. From the Capitol insurrectionist who thought he was storming the White House to Sen. Tim Scott’s claim that “woke supremacy is as bad as white supremacy” to whatever thing Tucker Carlson last said, ignorance is ascendant.

...Read more

Democracy Worth the Trouble Every Time

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

It was, let us say, an interesting weekend for democracy.

Call it a tale of two cities. One is Dallas, where thousands of so-called “conservatives” -- the word has less meaning by the day -- gathered in support of Donald Trump and his ongoing efforts to delegitimize a free and fair election that he lost. The other is Havana where thousands...Read more

They Fear Nothing Quite So Much As The loss of Whiteness and Its Privileges

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Here you go:

I have forgotten more about race than most people have ever known.

Apologies if that sounds like braggadocio, but there’s a point that needs making. I’ve spent the better part of 40 years researching and writing about the history and dynamics of race in America — and 63 years living them. I know this terrain well.

Yet until...Read more

Every Morning is a Miracle

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Nearly two weeks later, it has become a tragedy in slow motion.

The search for why it happened seems to piddle forward at a crawl. The hope of finding survivors is frozen in place. Even the rise of the death toll feels laggard, its upward creep sluggish yet terribly inexorable. At this writing, 32 people have been confirmed dead, but there are ...Read more

Why Did You Kill My Brother?

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Editor's note: While Mr. Pitts is away, Mr. Koehler is filling in for him.

For Derek Chauvin, nine minutes and twenty-nine seconds have turned into twenty-two and a half years — the prison sentence he recently received for the murder of George Floyd.

Chauvin famously knelt on George Floyd’s neck last year, as he lay handcuffed and ...Read more

Time For a New 'Good Neighbor Policy'

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

“America is back,” President Biden announced repeatedly in meeting with allies in Europe. The question, of course, is back for what? Biden has sensibly insisted that we must “build back better” at home and abroad. Our neighbors to the south in Latin America offer a clear opportunity to show that is true. Now more than ever, it is time ...Read more

No Mystery Why Conservatives Find Education Dangerous

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

I owe a lot to Gary Mahoney.

He was the campus conservative back in the middle ’70s, when I was a student at the University of Southern California and we went at it hammer and tongs a few times on the opinion pages of the Daily Trojan. I no longer recall the details of our disagreements. What I do remember is realizing that he was good and ...Read more

Has Our Democracy Hit An Iceberg?

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

One wonders sometimes if the Democrats really get it.

As needed voting-rights reform goes down in flames because some of them thought it more important to defend the filibuster than the ballot, there arises an uneasy conviction that the party does not quite grasp the gravity of the moment, the urgency of the emergency.

The filibuster is a ...Read more

The Right to Bear Arms Does Not Extend to Black People

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Conservatives have a special purgatory for uppity black women who dare question America’s founding myths.

New York Times journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones — her Pulitzer Prize-winning “1619 Project” centralized slavery in America’s origin story, a heresy that inspired laws banning her work from classrooms — now lives there. And she’s...Read more

'Allow Teachers to Teach the Truth'

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

The morning bell rang at Republican High (”Home of the Fightin’ Pachyderms”) as students shuffled in. Gretchen Niedermeyer dry swallowed a couple of pre-emptive aspirins and reminded herself as she did every morning that she was just 16 months and — a glance at the calendar — seven days from her pension.

“Good morning, class,” she...Read more

Something is Wrong

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

A few words about the makers and the takers.

That, as you may recall, was the formulation once favored by Fox “News” and other organs of the political right to describe the dynamic between those at the top of the economic pyramid and those at the bottom. The poor — characterized as scavenging animals by more than one conservative — were...Read more

'The Right to Vote is Fundamental to Our American Democracy'

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Dear Sen. Joe Manchin:

It has only been 56 years.

As Americans, we are pleased to call ourselves one of the world’s oldest democracies. We are actually one of the world’s newest. Democracy, after all, is government shaped by the will of the people. But until 1920, roughly half the people were not allowed to vote, disqualified by dint of ...Read more

After Democracy Dies

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

So what will you do after democracy dies?

Who will we be after democracy dies?

After democracy dies, will we remember the country we had? Will we remember all that we lost? How will we explain what we allowed to happen?

Will we be ashamed after democracy dies?

After democracy dies, maybe we’ll be haunted by the fact that we had a chance to...Read more

Where Black history is Concerned, America Specializes in Not Knowing

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

It’s not just Tulsa.

From the 2019 premiere of HBO’s “Watchmen,” which introduced many Americans to a racial atrocity they’d never heard of, to all the recent media attention — CNN, the New York Times, NPR — marking this week’s centennial, the Tulsa Race Massacre of May 31 to June 1, 1921 has lately been inescapable.

As well it...Read more

He Was a Vietnam Vet Named Greg

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

It’s not every day you interview someone who tells you he wants to kill himself.

He was a Vietnam veteran named Greg, a man with haunted eyes and a soft voice filled with the horror of his experience in Southeast Asia: the jungle rot, the lost friends, the children rigged to explode when some unsuspecting GI scooped them up.

Greg limped from...Read more

The Crisis That Did Not Bring Us Together

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

There is no such thing as the united States.

As an era of medical mask mandates draws to a close and we begin to ponder lessons learned, that one should top the list. Not to overstate the case.

To our credit, we are a nation that has always united in times of national crisis. When Pearl Harbor was attacked, when the Russians launched Sputnik, ...Read more

'Isn’t It Time We Moved On?'

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

You didn’t see what you thought you saw.

You got it wrong, you misunderstood. Your memory is playing tricks.

But who can blame you? It was so long ago. We’re talking way back on Jan 6.

That’s four whole months. That’s a third of a year! Who can remember back that far? Goodness, what kind of stuff did people wear? What were the big ...Read more

'What’s Going On' Still Feels Urgent, Still Feels Now

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Fifty years ago.

Left-wing terrorists exploded a bomb at the U.S. Capitol.

An Army officer was convicted in the massacre of civilians at My Lai.

Vietnam chewed up another 2,414 American lives.

And across the country, needles were lowered for the first time to the grooved surface of a certain spinning vinyl disc, and there came the murmur of ...Read more

 

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Andy Marlette Bill Day Gary Markstein Jimmy Margulies Dave Whamond Clay Bennett