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Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Leonard Pitts Jr.

Leonard Pitts Jr. is a nationally syndicated commentator, journalist, and novelist. Pitts' column for the Miami Herald deals with the intersection between race, politics, and culture, and has won him multiple awards including a Pulitzer Prize in 2004.

The highly regarded novel, Freeman (2009), is his most recent book.

President

Mr. So-Called President: Just Who Do You Think You Are?

You’re no longer an emperor, Mr. So-Called President. You’re now what is called a “public servant” — in effect, an employee with 324 million bosses. And let me tell you something about those bosses. They’re unruly and loud, long accustomed to speaking their minds without fear or fetter. And they believe power must always answer to the people.

February 16, 2017
Dylann Roof, White Terrorism

The Double Standard On White Terrorism

Terrorism is defined as the unlawful use of violence to coerce or intimidate a government or a people in furtherance of some social or political cause. But for Rep. Duffy and others that seems to apply only to swarthy individuals with difficult names. When white people do it, it is less likely to be perceived — or reported by news media — as terrorism.

February 15, 2017
Obama onstage for his farewell with wife Michelle and daughter Malia

America Rarely Lets You Forget That You’re Black

I’ve always known African Americans face challenges — discrimination in health, housing, hiring, and a racially biased system of “justice.” But at some level, I had grown comfortable in a nation paced by Oprah, LeBron, Beyonce, and Barack. So when we hit this season of reversal, I was more surprised than I should have been. I had forgotten about being black. Meaning, I had forgotten that for us, setback is nothing new.

February 8, 2017
Muslim-American women fight Trump to save our country

Trump’s Muslim Ban Is An Embarrassment To This Country

Trump’s ban created predictable chaos around the world. Watching the stranded travelers and bewildered families, I kept wishing I could apologize to those whose lives, careers, and plans were thrown into needless turmoil because a minority of American voters chose to invest a fear-mongering man-baby with the awesome powers of the presidency.

February 2, 2017
Trump, Alternative Facts, Lies

‘Alternative Facts’ And Trump’s Running War With The Truth

If we cannot trust these people to tell us the truth on minor matters that can be easily checked, what confidence can we have that they will be square with us on substantive matters where the truth is not a Google search away? What confidence can our allies and adversaries have? The answer is, none. That should scare you.

January 26, 2017
Trump, Democracy

New ‘Sheriff’ Has A Badge — But Doesn’t Have A Clue

Never mind that Trump is really just that guy at the end of the bar who, with beer-lubricated certainty and megaphone volume, tells you how to solve humanity’s most intractable problems. And maybe as he’s speaking, as you’re under the spell of it, it sounds like wisdom. But the next morning, you sober up and see it for the hogwash it is.

January 21, 2017
Outrage and Resistance: How to make Trump a loser

The Great Trumpkin Rises From The Trumpkin Patch

Shock upon shock, insult upon insult, falsehood upon falsehood, Trump has been a daily deluge of the unbelievable and the unthinkable until you don’t even know what to respond to first. The danger is that it comes to seem normal, that you stop seeing how truly bizarre it is.

January 18, 2017
Obama, Goodbye American President

President Obama’s Historic Presidency Comes To A Close

You have performed on the highest, most public stage there is, sir, faced headwinds unprecedented in American politics and nonstop disrespect from the GOP. But you did so with unflappable dignity, unshakable class … and urbane cool. No stench of personal scandal wafts after you as you leave office, and the country is better for your service.

January 15, 2017
seditious libel, Trump, Media

What’s In Trump’s Heart Comes Out Of His Mouth

To hear Conway tell it, some combination of Mother Teresa and the Dalai Lama has been hiding in plain sight all along, except that somehow, Trump’s unruly mouth failed to properly represent Trump’s saintly heart and it’s all your fault, anyway, for believing words and actions have meaning.

January 13, 2017
U.S. first lady Michelle Obama speaks during an event to mark Nowruz on Wednesday, March 11, 2015, at the White House in Washington, D.C. Nowruz is a holiday that is celebrated by more than 300 million people in diverse ethnic and religious communities across the Middle East, Central and Southwest Asia, and Eastern Europe. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS)

Farewell, Michelle Obama, You’ve Made Us All Proud

So, farewell, Mrs. Obama. Please know that, as an American — and particularly as an African American — I am proud of how you’ve conducted yourself as first lady. You, madam, are gorgeous — in many more ways than one.

January 7, 2017
Trump TV, Media, Journalism

News Media Must Take A Moral Stand

Yes, news media must strive to be fair, to hold all sides to rigorous account, to offer a balanced view. But occasionally, there comes a point when pretending to moral equivalence between those sides is a lie, an act of journalistic malpractice. No one ever had to remind Cronkite or Murrow of the need to speak the truth when the truth was plain and the moral imperative clear. No one should have to remind this generation of journalists either.

January 4, 2017
Walter Scott

Deadlocked Charleston Jury Is Another Big Letdown

A panel of 11 white people and one African-American could not find it in themselves to hold Slager accountable for this summary execution, could not bring themselves to say that this black life mattered.

December 7, 2016
Bad year for journalism

A Very Bad Year For American Journalism

Some of the criticism about the media is certainly deserved. Sometimes, news media are too timid. Too obsessed with ephemera. And, yes, biased.

December 3, 2016
is a recount justified?

Is A Recount Justified In This Election?

A recount three weeks after the fact cannot avoid the appearance of dirty tricks. Indeed, if the results in any of the states in question were overturned at this late date, Donald Trump’s supporters would suspect malfeasance — and be justified in doing so.

December 1, 2016
Fake news has real consequences

Fake News Will Have Real Consequences

The right wing has led us so far down the rabbit hole of its alt-right alt-reality that we now face the very real prospect of military and policy choices hinged on things “people are saying” or tweets from those who are “too busy” to check facts.

November 26, 2016
Thanksgiving is more than one day

Thanksgiving Is More Than Just One Day

You may expect better in America only because here, you have the freedom to demand better — and to work toward better. That’s all ‘America’ means.

November 24, 2016
Trump unleashed hatred

Trump Needs To Own The Hatred He’s Unleashed

The Southern Poverty Law Center says it recorded 447 incidents of hateful intimidation and vandalism in the first five days after the election. Many perpetrators explicitly invoked Trump.

November 19, 2016
Protests outside Trump's new Washington DC hotel

At The End Of The Day, Trump’s Still A Bigot

I have no idea how to “heal” woman hating and no desire to “come together” with the Klan. So what now? Well, now those of us who feel the same way must make it a priority to get off our assets and vote in 2018. And in the meantime, resist.

November 16, 2016
Ethics Panel, Trump, GOP

Trump Presidency Means Mourning In America

The state of the Union is not good — not just because Trump was elected, but because so many of us looked past — or embraced — his bigotry and misogyny to do so.

November 13, 2016
This election decides who and what we are

An Election That Defines Who And What We Are

This country finds itself facing an electoral decision starker and more portentous than any in modern memory. We don’t just choose new policies on Tuesday, or even a new vision. No, we choose identity. We decide who and what we are.

November 7, 2016
Chase Coleman - what happens when white men are scared

What Happens When White Men Are Scared Of Black Men

How many times have black people bled because white men were scared? Of retribution or uprising. Of robbery or rape. Of social equality and the loss of place and prerogative. Of blackness itself.

November 2, 2016
Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump reacts to balloons, confetti and electronic fireworks as he stands with his son Barron (L) at the conclusion of the final session of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. July 21, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

For GOP, Defeat Is Not Enough

The damage to GOP credibility is profound. So the crazy must be rebuked emphatically, refuted in a way that leaves no doubt: We are better than this. That’s what’s best for the nation. Defeat is not enough. Let there be humiliation. Let there be pain.

October 28, 2016
Trump tweets

Maybe Donald Trump Should Run For ‘Whiner-In-Chief’

“Why’s everybody always pickin’ on me?” — The Coasters from “Charlie Brown” Donald Trump has a victim mentality. If the term sounds familiar, it’s because it has long been the preferred conservative riposte when black people complain of being strangled by housing discrimination, economic injustice or police brutality. The likes of Bill O’Reilly and Rush […]

October 23, 2016
Prison system

‘13th’ Offers Searing Exposé Of Mass Incarceration Of Black Men

In “13th”, the director of “Selma” draws a line from Appomattox through convict leasing, through lynch law, through the Southern strategy, through mass incarceration, through the commodification of black bodies and black misery by private prison entrepreneurs.

October 21, 2016
Guantanamo, Obama

‘Civilized’ Nation Can’t Justify Torture

Chances are you haven’t thought about Guantanamo Bay – that American gulag – for a long time. Not everyone has the luxury of forgetting.

October 18, 2016