O. Ricardo Pimentel

O. Ricardo Pimentel

O. Ricardo Pimentel has been a journalist for about 40 years. He was most recently the managing editor at Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service, was editorial page editor for the San Antonio Express-News in Texas and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel before that. He has also worked in various editing and reporting positions in newspapers in California, Arizona, Texas and Washington D.C., where he covered Congress, federal agencies and the Supreme Court for McClatchy Newspapers. He is the author of two novels and lives in Wisconsin.

A child waves an American flag during a Fourth of July celebration with frontline workers and military families, Sunday, July 4, 2021, on the South Lawn of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Chandler West)

Hands off our national myth, er, story – the dynamic driving anti-wokeness

By: - November 30, 2023

Legitimacy and the fear of losing it.   That’s at  the root of efforts to whitewash teaching that would otherwise tell stark, uncomfortable truths about U.S. history and the impacts that linger today.   I’m referring here to the legitimacy of American exceptionalism.   There are many who demand homogeneity even on what we agree is our national […]

Milwaukee residents gather to stand in solidarity with Palestinian residents, as the Israeli government conducts an assault on Gaza. (Photo | Isiah Holmes)

Conflict and agony in the Middle East

By: - November 14, 2023

If you are progressive and conflicted about the Israeli-Hamas war, be comforted. Your discomfort could be a sign that you have not consigned yourself to a black-and-white, knee-jerk mindset for a problem with multiple layers of complexity. If you’ve been paying attention to the backlash that virtually any response to the conflict generates, you know […]

President Biden in Wisconsin

Tell me if you’ve heard this: Two senior citizens run for president 

By: - November 1, 2023

At 70, I’ve slowed down some. Well, a lot.  And, yet, I could be president.  This is not hubris. Not “could” as in there is any remote possibility that I will ever be president or want to be. But, “could” in the sense that saddled with that job, it would not be beyond my physical […]

Demonstrators and immigrants protesting with We Are Human sign

Confessions of a birthright citizen

By: - October 10, 2023

I am an invader.  Actually, the son of “invaders.” But with presidential hopefuls Donald Trump, Vivek Ramaswamy and Ron DeSantis having taken aim at the 14th Amendment’s explicit creation of birthright citizenship, it’s clear that “invader” by association is enough to lump me in.  I’m the U.S.-born son of Mexican immigrants. My parents emigrated separately, […]

Hawaiian fire damage

Forget about ‘wokeness’: Republicans must wake up to the climate crisis

By: - October 3, 2023

Lahaina on the Hawaiian island of Maui is not the first U.S. city to be laid waste by wildfires.  It also isn’t the first incident in which scientific consensus points to climate change as a major cause. Yes, typhoon-induced winds contributed, but climate change made the confluence of those events so deadly. And climate change […]

Boy selling newspapers--black and white photo

We are losing the values good journalism taught

By: - October 19, 2021

Everyone should be a journalist. The problem is, few people understand what journalism really is, yet everyone with a social media account is a self-styled journalist these days. Hence the rampant embrace of myriad crackpot beliefs. We are all familiar with  these fact-free notions that have stained our collective consciousness like red wine on white […]

Thousands of white flags on a field representing COVID deaths

Debate on COVID vaccinations is reminiscent of smoking bans

By: - August 10, 2021

This notion that one’s “rights” are more important than the health and well-being of others has a long history. Our problem with the unvaccinated is just the latest manifestation. Right. Americans are belatedly lining up in impressive numbers to be immunized against COVID-19. And, still, at about 60% of the population, not enough are doing […]

WASHINGTON, - JUNE 06: Demonstrators march past the Lincoln Memorial during a protest against police brutality and racism takes place on June 6, 2020 in Washington, DC. This is the 12th day of protests with people descending on the city to peacefully demonstrate in the wake of the death of George Floyd, a black man who was killed in police custody in Minneapolis on May 25. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

What’s behind the outrage about critical race theory 

By: - July 13, 2021

The following headline appeared in the satirical publication The Onion in 2011: “Judge Rules White Girl Will Be Tried as Black Adult.”  Here’s a sure bet: Even those who denounce critical race theory get the joke. They know they wouldn’t want to be tried for any crime as a Black man.  At a very basic, […]

US map made out of guns gun control NRA

Legally purchased guns are killing us

By: - May 26, 2021

Many have said it: Gun violence is a stain on the American character or, as President Biden said in April, an “international embarrassment.” No two words demonstrate just how deep is the stain than these: legally purchased. You may have noticed. These words get high placement – deservedly – in many of the news accounts […]

Focus in on sign at protest: You have no right to take away my Right to Vote

New voter restrictions fit a long pattern

By: - April 6, 2021

In this current debate about whether to expand or restrict voting, each side is probably  spot on about the basic motivations of the politicians on the other side of the argument. GOP legislators say expansion, such as expressed in a sweeping measure in Congress, H.R.1, intended to achieve nearly universal voting, is a power grab […]

U.S. President Donald Trump stands in the colonnade as he is introduced to speak to March for Life participants and pro-life leaders in the Rose Garden at the White House on January 19, 2018 in Washington, DC. | Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Adios, Donald Trump

By: - January 8, 2021

Donald Trump is responsible for Wednesday’s insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. This is obvious. He is as much cause and effect as fire causes charred, burned-out buildings.  Our president the arsonist … of democracy. But, unlikely as it seems, this final act of arson engenders a faint hope within my breast. It is a hope […]

Demonstrators and immigrants protesting with We Are Human sign

After a bitter election, forgive and forget?

By: - November 16, 2020

There is sweeping the land a plea for everyone to forgive and forget after perhaps the most bitter presidential election in at least the last 120 years.  I am, frankly, not in the forgiving mood. President Trump is assuredly not our first racist president. But he is the first in this modern era to have […]