From the Left





The Capitol's Confederate past is still present

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

WASHINGTON -- Eleven Confederate statues still stand tall in the Capitol. Let the ghost of the "Lost Cause" be gone for good as the nation undergoes a wrenching racial awakening.

Oh, no, says Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. He refuses to "airbrush the Capitol."

Call me a Yankee, but I have no love for men who praise men who took ...Read more

COVID-19 is prompting a societywide recalculation

From the Left / Jim Hightower /

Laissez-faire ideologue Ronald Reagan used to delight in mocking the very idea that government should provide health protection, food aid, income support or other public assistance to people in need. The Gipper derided "big government" as both a hopeless bungler and an insatiable beast that devours individual freedom, quipping that, "The nine ...Read more

Basketball would distract us from the serious issues we face. And that would be great!

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Dear Dwight Howard:

So I hear you’re not sure you want to come back and play basketball. Your team (also my team), the Los Angeles Lakers, was considered a championship contender before the season was abruptly halted by the coronavirus pandemic. Now comes word the NBA plans to resume a modified schedule on a closed campus at Walt Disney World...Read more

In his own right: amid a pandemic, Joe Kennedy III turns heads

From the Left / Jeff Robbins /

The inhabitants of Chelsea, Massachusetts, have known tough times for a long time, long before the COVID-19 pandemic hit them hard. Almost half of Chelsea's population consists of recent immigrants, largely from Latin America, and almost 1 in 5 lived below the poverty line even before the virus struck and wiped out the economy. Massachusetts has...Read more

The virus slightly cools the planet. Can it do more?

From the Left / Froma Harrop /

Some say the pandemic has become a permanent ally in the fight against climate catastrophe. It has jump-started a drop in the burning of fossil fuels, and that will continue. Others say this is short-term thinking: The public may abandon its concerns over global warming as it tries to climb out of the economic hole left by the COVID-19 lockdowns...Read more

Our Civil War never ends. It’s not even intermission

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Sometimes I think that maybe the Civil War is over. But then something comes along to remind me how, in many minds, the war never really ended. Once it was fought with swords, now it’s with symbols.

Conflicts break out over flags, movies, statues, stock car races and the names of military bases. The good guys still appear to be winning, as ...Read more

Who profits from racism

From the Left / Robert B. Reich /

Jamie Dimon, chief executive of JPMorgan Chase, took a knee last week before cameras at a branch of his bank. Larry Fink, CEO of giant investment fund BlackRock, politics/fromtheleft/robertbreich/s-2374071">Read more

Don’t say, ’I am not a racist’

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

This column is presented as a public service.

A few days ago, Greg Glassman, the founder and CEO of CrossFit, set off an uproar by belittling the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police. In a Zoom call with gym owners, he bristled at the idea of memorializing a man whose killing outraged the nation and the world.

“We’re ...Read more

An open letter to Los Angeles Times executive editor Norman Pearlstine

From the Left / Ted Rall /

Dear Mr. Pearlstine: Last week, you issued a statement acknowledging the role your newspaper has played in the racist oppression of people of color, according to the "LA Podcast." "The Los Angeles Times has a long, well-documented history of fueling the racism and cruelty that accompanied our city's becoming a metropolis," you wrote. You ...Read more

This is a campaign year of less wisdom and less wit

From the Left / Mark Shields /

In the nine presidential elections between the 1952 victory of Dwight D. Eisenhower and George H.W. Bush's 1988 win, just two Republicans won the White House: Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan. One man was indispensable to the winning campaigns of these two very different Republicans. His name was John P. Sears, and as a young 25 year-old lawyer, ...Read more

Why is he going to Tulsa on Juneteenth?

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

America is being rocked by passionate protests reflecting all the pent-up anger of those who have been the victims of racism since the day they were born: the guys who are guilty until proven innocent, suspect because of the color of their skin. I'd be angry, too. I've been researching policing since the early 1980s, when I joined a task force ...Read more

‘Defund the police’ is bold, but it might just bring necessary change

From the Left / Clarence Page /

When my youth consultant, aka my son, told me that the Black Lives Matter movement had come up with the slogan #DefundThePolice, I thought sarcastically, “Great, what a terrific gift to President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign.”

Full disclosure: I said the same thing about the name of Black Lives Matter itself. In both cases, I soon ...Read more

The colors of romance aren't what they were

From the Left / Marc Munroe Dion /

"I have black friends." "I don't see color." "All lives matter." "I never owned a slave."

Yup. Yup. Yup.

You're a leader in the civil rights movement. Accept the thanks of a grateful nation.

"Shoot a few of 'em. They'll stop rioting." "Send in the Army."

Yup. Yup. Yup.

You love the troops, the flag, law and order, and death. Accept this ...Read more

One day the whole nation will take to its knee

From the Left / Bill Press /

Is George Floyd today's Emmett Till?

Is the nation moving beyond, oh God, its third manifestation of "legal" racism? The first manifestation was, of course, slavery, which was eliminated via the Civil War. The second manifestation was the Jim Crow/KKK era, with its lynchings, black vote suppression, unending segregation and unquestioned white ...Read more

Defund the police? Stop abusing the language

From the Left / Froma Harrop /

You know you have a stupid declaration on your hands when you have to explain what some on your side really mean. Such is the burden of Democrats trying to limit the damage from the childish demands to "defund the police."

Oxford's U.S. dictionary defines "defund" as "prevent from continuing to receive funds." To the educated ear, ...Read more

Conventions may be fun, but they are not worth risking your life

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

Modern conventions don't decide anything. On occasion, there are votes that matter -- not on the roll call for president but on the seating of all-white delegations, or the inclusion of reproductive freedom and gay rights in the platform.

The candidate and his staff decide everything. They decide who speaks and what they say (yes, speeches are ...Read more

7 Days in June: War and Peace

From the Left / Jamie Stiehm /

WASHINGTON -- In June light, the American president waged war against the people. In a mass mobilization, the people won a peaceful victory, wresting the nation's meaning from the maw. Two female leaders made all the difference.

I heard it first from a fighter pilot named Smash. Active duty military must never be deployed at home. That's un-...Read more

George Floyd, me, you ... and a Donald Trump coup!

From the Left / Jim Hightower /

Viewing the video of George Floyd's gruesome murder, one word in particular from him stuck in my head, one painful human utterance that conveys the horror of it all. "Mama," Floyd cried out in desperation and disbelief as his life was cruelly and senselessly suffocated in yet another brutal white-on-black slaying by so-called officers of the law...Read more

’How can they be called good cops?’

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

For two weeks now, outrage has convulsed America: pundits, preachers, protesters, and at least one “severely conservative” GOP senator all raising their voices to condemn police brutality.

Yet, here’s the startling truth: No one has made a stronger case against the police than the police.

There is not space enough to talk about it all ��...Read more

Trump's ship of fools springs a leak

From the Left / Jeff Robbins /

It wasn't the best of weeks for President Donald Trump. On Friday, he proclaimed it a "great day" for George Floyd, who had been murdered by Minneapolis police the week before. "Hopefully George is looking down right now and saying 'This is a great thing that's happening to our country,'" said Trump as Americans took to the streets in all 50 ...Read more