Commentary: Tear gas, then handcuffs: I am a newspaper journalist who was arrested for doing my job

Politics / Op Eds /

I kept thinking how jarringly, beautifully blue the sky was -- an odd setting for a day where anguish, fear, and rage spilled onto Philadelphia's streets over the death of George Floyd, a Minneapolis man killed at the hands of police.

As anger again erupted into chaos in the city Monday, I volunteered to cover the protesters and the police, and...Read more

Commentary: Biden, leave it to others to condemn Trump's abuse of religion

Politics / Op Eds /

You don't have to be religious to be offended by President Donald Trump's decision to stage a photo op in front of St. John's Episcopal Church. Trump holding a Bible outside the historic "church of the presidents" was just as grotesque as his previous forays into public professions of religiosity.

Remember his claim that "nothing beats the ...Read more

Jonathan Bernstein: The real takeaway from Joe Biden's big speech

Politics / Op Eds /

Former Vice President Joe Biden went to a church in Delaware on Monday to listen to voices of protest, then gave a speech on Tuesday in Philadelphia about what has happened in the country since George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis. Both appearances told us a lot about what a Biden presidency would look like.

Awhile ago, I called Barack Obama'...Read more

Commentary: Protesters who try to ban cameras miss the point of the First Amendment

Politics / Op Eds /

"No recording allowed! Stop recording now!"

It took a moment to register that the bullhorn admonishment was directed at me. I'd just parked my car and walked up to the edge of Oz Park near Lincoln Park High School in Chicago, where a couple hundred young people were gathered on a hill for the start of a march downtown to protest the killing of ...Read more

Sandy Banks: As protests roll on, demanding the justice that leads to peace

Politics / Op Eds /

I've been searching for something hopeful to latch on to in the week since we watched George Floyd dying on a Minneapolis street, handcuffed and pinned to the ground by a policeman's knee.

But each ray of light I could find wound up with a troubling dark side.

I was encouraged when all four officers involved in Floyd's death were immediately ...Read more

Commentary: Black Lives Matter. Do buildings?

Politics / Op Eds /

Does the destruction of buildings matter when black Americans are being brazenly murdered in cold blood by police and vigilantes?

That's the question that has been raging on the streets of Philadelphia, and across my architecture-centric social media feeds, over the last few days as a dark cloud of smoke spiraled up from Center City. What ...Read more

Editorial: You're either anti-racist or a menace to society. Which one are you?

Politics / Op Eds /

If you have awakened from a comfortable sleep wondering how we as a nation got here, it is clearly time for deeper reflection. With the video documenting George Floyd's death after more than eight minutes beneath a Minneapolis police officer's knee, the veil has at least for now been lifted from the plague of police violence that too many ...Read more

Editorial: There is no excuse for government-sanctioned violence against the free press

Politics / Op Eds /

Journalists know that when they cover chaotic and dangerous events, a press credential is a thin shield against the bullets flying and batons swinging around them. But as protests have spread around the nation in recent days, journalists have become the targets themselves because they are journalists.

That is troubling on a number of levels. ...Read more

Commentary: Looking for a miracle? Yours might be waiting in an animal shelter

Politics / Op Eds /

Recently, an Ohio man was feeling ill. Thinking a nap might help, he lay down. But soon, he was awakened by a scratchy tongue licking his face and paws pressing against his chest: It was Bear, the feisty longhaired black cat he had adopted from an animal shelter just over a year earlier.

According to a post by the shelter, "Bear knew something ...Read more

Editorial: Protesting injustice is your sacred right as an American

Politics / Op Eds /

Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech or the rights of the people to peaceably assemble or "to petition the government for a redress of grievances." These crucial First Amendment protections also limit state government action, thanks to the 14th Amendment, and embody essential values that created and have sustained this ...Read more

Michael Hiltzik: History lesson? After Hoover's military attacked peaceful protesters, he lost reelection

Politics / Op Eds /

On Monday evening, National Guard units accompanied by other federal law enforcement detachments fired rubber bullets, flash-bang grenades and tear gas canisters into crowds demonstrating across the street from the White House against police killings of unarmed black people.

This was done evidently at the behest of the Trump administration so ...Read more

Noah Feldman: Can Trump send in the military? Probably, yes

Politics / Op Eds /

At a hastily arranged Rose Garden press conference on Monday, President Donald Trump announced his intention to invoke the Insurrection Act of 1807 to send federal troops into the states unless governors were able to "dominate" protesters using National Guard soldiers. Then, after the Secret Service fired tear gas and rubber bullets at what ...Read more

Will Bunch: The president of the United States declared war on America on Monday night

Politics / Op Eds /

The moment we've been dreading since that escalator ride down Trump Tower five years ago this month -- that's been slowly building brick by brick as Donald Trump tore down the rule of law, abused the presidency to enrich himself and grabbed the bully pulpit of the White House to divide America with racism, sexism and xenophobia -- finally came ...Read more

Commentary: Trump wants armed conflict. Don't give it to him

Politics / Op Eds /

America is in peril. The days and hours ahead could define our nation, in the same way that the turmoil of 1968 did.

On Monday, President Donald Trump took another page from the authoritarian playbook, threatening to deploy active-duty troops to quell the unrest that has roiled dozens of American cities. Even by the depraved standards he has ...Read more

Editorial: The media can't just ignore Trump's outrageous tweets. Here's why

Politics / Op Eds /

President Donald Trump, for better or worse, could be the most unfiltered president in the nation's history. His public comments often meander and crisscross and, within a span of seconds, contradict themselves. Then there's his Twitter feed, a sandblaster through which he spews a torrent of insults, innuendo and outright lies attacking critics ...Read more

Editorial: Examining the World Health Organization

Politics / Op Eds /

The World Health Organization, under pressure from member countries, has agreed to an independent probe of how it handled its international response to the coronavirus, but such an investigation must be thorough and transparent if the organization hopes to repair its damaged reputation.

Despite reports in late January of an increasingly deadly ...Read more

Editorial: George Floyd case forces needed US reflection on racism

Politics / Op Eds /

As a nation, we must wake up to, speak out against and stop the racism that black Americans experience and fear every day.

We must acknowledge that more than six decades after the birth of the civil rights movement, we remain a grossly unequal society in which people of color -- especially black men -- face disparate treatment because of the ...Read more

Commentary: What the George Floyd unrest and COVID-19 are revealing

Politics / Op Eds /

George Floyd died after a police officer pressed his knee on his neck until he stopped breathing, and riots have now erupted in cities across our nation. We can blame those police officers who participated in Floyd's murder, and we can blame those looters who have moved well beyond peaceful demonstrations. But real solutions to these problems ...Read more

Commentary: The fabric is fraying: Redemption is becoming a thing of the past

Politics / Op Eds /

Some years ago, I interviewed Andrew Young, the civil rights leader, former mayor of Atlanta and former congressman and ambassador to the United Nations -- a wise and brave man. Something he said shocked me.

He said: Atlanta is a city more easygoing and tolerant than most, a melting pot, an incubator of pluralism. But it could turn into a ...Read more

Editorial: Here's how to hold police accountable: Don't let their unions give money to prosecutors

Politics / Op Eds /

Amid reports from across the country about escalating clashes between protesters and law enforcement, it's worth looking underneath the images for the roots of the outrage. It is the extrajudicial killings of unarmed people by police, and not the protests against them, that too often spark the cycle of violence and death in the United States. It...Read more


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Mike Smith Joey Weatherford Bob Gorrell Chip Bok Bill Bramhall Nick Anderson