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 resident waits in line to vote at a polling place in Milwaukee for the April 7, 2020, primary election. Residents waited sometimes more than two hours to vote at this site, one of the few polling places open in the city after most were consolidated due to a shortage of poll workers fearful of contracting COVID-19. Photo by Scott Olson | Getty Images

The bigger story of Wisconsin’s pandemic election

By: - April 21, 2020

There is a certain satisfaction — on the order of that joyful dance that Snoopy of Peanuts fame has gifted us — when a bully is thwarted.  One contemporary example of bullying is when an outnumbered group games the system to impose its will on the more numerous simply to maintain power. In political parlance, […]

President Trump Signs the Families First Coronavirus Response Act President Donald J. Trump is joined by Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin as he displays his signature on H.R. 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, Wednesday, March 18, 2020, in the Oval Office of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

Coronavirus endangers our democracy

By: - April 5, 2020

There is now stirring another virulent illness that can, if we don’t take effective countermeasures, also course through our already plagued nation. It, too, has deadly potential — for our democracy. It seems that the overtly partisan are putting up antibodies against accountability and doing it by essentially claiming – you guessed it – rank partisanship […]

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at a Super Tuesday campaign event at Baldwin Hills Recreation Center in Los Angeles, California. Biden is hoping his make- (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Uncle Joe is not so bad

By: - March 10, 2020

A few years ago, I wrote an “Uncle Fred” column. I was seeking an explanation for why Donald Trump could be attracting so much support, even though he was saying and doing outrageously offensive things.  Partly, I reasoned, it was because many Americans have an Uncle Fred in the family. You know, the guy who […]

Teen activists at Milwaukee's climate march 2019.

Stranger than fiction: how we are responding to climate change

By: - February 3, 2020

In a manuscript I’ve tried to sell — agent rejections piled high — a subplot involves a time in the near future when a wildfire consumes Prescott, Arizona, killing hundreds.  This shocks the conscience of the nation so much that an influential climate-change denier in Congress changes his mind and his heart. He becomes a […]

Sign reads: "Say no to the new Jim Crow" at march on voter suppression

Call voter purging, voter ID & gerrymandering what they are

By: - January 24, 2020

Here’s a distressing conclusion driven by relatively recent events: We tolerate or excuse behaviors by our institutions that we normally won’t abide in individuals. We shouldn’t. Most of us would not want to engage with a person who spouts the “n” word with abandon or otherwise acts out the racist and ignorant rot from which […]

Person reading Fake News article via Mike MacKenzie, CC

Fact-based truth matters 

By: - December 15, 2019

To the uninitiated, it must have sounded like a journalists’ version of debating how many angels can stand on the head of a pin. Or should that be pen? The debate at some conference long ago went something like this: What’s more important in journalism, reporting facts or reporting truth? Most journalists, it seems to […]

Older man on the beach (photo by Rudy Anderson from Pixabay)

‘OK, Boomer’ is not OK

By: - November 17, 2019

I rise today in defense of Baby Boomers. There are vitally important Boomer accomplishments. Such as… OK, give me a second.  Hold on. Um, I’ve got nothing. And, still, “OK, Boomer” is not OK. In case you haven’t heard, “OK, Boomer” is the ready retort whenever a Boomer says something that some member of a […]

Help wanted ad (Creative Commons 2.0)

One answer to the labor shortage: end ageism

By: - October 24, 2019

You’re welcome, Wisconsin. I’m a Boomer and I’m working.  Now, now, stop. I’m blushing. No need to thank me so effusively.  We have a win-win here. I get to continue doing something I love (and supplement my retirement income) and you get to claim one early victory in what will become an increasingly frantic effort […]

A family of Polish berry pickers in a field--historic photo from Liibrary of Congress

Wisconsin should continue to welcome immigrants

By: - September 20, 2019

One of the more refreshing features of Wisconsin, and Milwaukee in particular, is the broad appreciation for the ways in which different ethnic groups  enrich a community. Other places where  I’ve lived and worked don’t celebrate their diverse ethnic groups. In California, Arizona and Texas there are Mexican and Mexican American communities, with a few […]


Words far beyond dog whistle fertilize hate

By: - August 4, 2019

If you’re human and not numbed by the horrifying repetition, each mass shooting stirs some measure of outrage and empathy. If the mass shooting targets a specific group and you are a member of that group, trust me, the feeling is far more pronounced, more visceral. Millions of Latinos like me awoke Sunday morning, the […]