Born and raised in Kansas City, Mo., with family roots in Mexico, Mary Sanchez brings an uncommon perspective to the issues that tend to divide Americans into groups of “us” and “them.” A reporter foremost, Sanchez has spent years covering immigration, schools and other volatile beats for The Kansas City Star.
Now an editorial columnist for the Star, Sanchez understands that Latinos in the United States — now the largest minority group in the country — make up a number of diverse and complex communities. Sanchez knows that commentary on immigration, culture and politics needs to reflect that fact — the one-size-fits-all approach no longer works.
Across the United States, some Latinos are prospering and gaining political power, while others are running up against a changing mood in the American public. Making sense of all these currents requires more than just retelling stories or sharing of thoughts. It requires a reporter’s instinct for discovering how issues play out on the street, at work and in the lives of ordinary people.
Mary Sanchez strives for this cross-cultural analysis in her writing. She pushes readers to an understanding of the issues from all sides, and provides an incisive, compelling voice to illuminate these issues in new ways.
His mother began drinking as a ten-year-old. Her prepubescent cocktail of choice was half beer and half soda. As a young teen out partying with the man who’d father her children, she drank pints of gin and whiskey. Jean Ann Patton was an addict who drank... Read More
In a matter of weeks, the swell of Latinx pride and anticipation surrounding the release of “In The Heights” has turned and swiped at the film’s creators. Racism is like that. Never doubt its power; sly and capable of infecting just about anyone and any endeavor.... Read More
America is pushing toward policing reform, with or without Republicans. Not swiftly, not without debate, and not without public protests. But it will happen. There is simply too much momentum for either political party to revert to the status quo before George Floyd, before Michael Brown,... Read More
More than 40 years before Black Lives Matter emerged as a movement, Alvin Sykes was doggedly questioning police brutality in cases famous, and not. Sykes convinced the federal government to reopen unsolved 50-year-old civil rights era murders, scores of cases in Mississippi and other southern states, solving some and providing long awaited... Read More
Religious conservatives are clearly confused and agitated. After all, they gave it their best effort, endlessly admonishing about “Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.” They were insistent that love is only love when it occurs between a man and a woman. But despite decades of... Read More
The biracial daughter of immigrant parents stood before a bilingual Latina Supreme Court justice and swore allegiance to the nation. If that’s not what you saw at the inauguration, then your perspective is likely shaped from experiences different from mine. Sonia Sotomayor administering the oath of... Read More
Very soon Betsy DeVos will slip away from her stint in government and escape back into the philanthropic networks that spawned her. President-elect Joe Biden is making good on his promise as a candidate, vowing to replace DeVos with someone with experience teaching; someone who knows... Read More
Because bible-pounding has become a favored tactic of politicians, it was only a matter of time before one of the cabinet choices of the incoming Biden administration would set off screeds of fire and brimstone. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has become the target. Becerra has... Read More
Sometimes I worry about the soul of our nation. Politicians of all stripes go on boastful rants about their “Christian-centered” family values. Meanwhile, horrific orders — to other people’s children — are carried out on their watch. That’s key. They are other people’s children. And quite... Read More
PARIS — When U.S. President Donald Trump was diagnosed with COVID-19 last week, it wasn’t long before the chaos began. Those who lament the lack of transparency and the mixed messaging from the White House regarding the president’s condition are missing the point. This is Trump’s... Read More
The nation is screaming Black Lives Matter. The president keeps communicating that they do not. Among the latest evidence of the disconnect is the fact that a federal judge halted President Donald Trump’s version of how policing will reform. The reason is damning. In this moment... Read More
How cruel is America willing to be to other people's children? We're about to find out. Are you OK with allowing your tax dollars to fund detention centers where Central American children will be locked up indefinitely, simply because the Trump administration claims that it can't... Read More
You have to hand it to Ken Cuccinelli. As President Donald Trump's wingman on immigration, in a scant few days he managed a trifecta of arrogance, ignorance and hubris. It was a performance one can only call Trumpian. Cuccinelli, the acting director of U.S. Citizenship and... Read More
Say this for Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos: She's consistently elitist. She's also consistently obtuse, which often is the demeanor of the entitled. DeVos simply can't be bothered to consult studies that don't comport with what she already believes or to consider input from members of... Read More
The black silhouettes posted to BlueHelp.org are immediately recognizable as police officers. Nameless and faceless, each outline represents an officer who took his or her own life. Three police suicides are listed for February 11, the day that the Kansas City Police Department announced the death... Read More
President Donald Trump neglected to mention gun violence in his State of the Union address. The following day, the congressional stalemate over what to do about the killing and mayhem played out at a House Judicial Committee hearing on gun violence. Most of the news coverage... Read More
There are a lot of ways to build a wall, as Donald Trump can attest. Although it's quite possible that even the president doesn't fully grasp what a cadre of lawyers, policy makers and advisers are accomplishing on his behalf. He's simply too focused on his... Read More
Donald Trump should have realized that his presidential clout was weakening when a GoFundMe account became the leading source of funds for his long-desired "big, beautiful wall." The social media effort, started by an Iraq... Read More
Perhaps it was all those holiday wishes for "Peace on earth" and "Goodwill to mankind" that crept into the mind of retiring Sen. Orrin Hatch. In his farewell address to Congress this week, the Utah Republican floated an... Read More
"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder." Most Christmas seasons, the Bible passage from Isaiah prompts only the best of humanity to come forth with abundant blessings for the baby Jesus. Read More
When FBI released its report "Hate Crimes Statistics, 2017" earlier this week, Srinivas Kuchibhotla's name was nowhere to be seen. Yet his widow, Sunayana Dumala, knows his murder in Olathe, Kan., was a hate crime. She... Read More
President Donald Trump, in a pre-midterm snit, is obsessing over his fear of brown babies. It's not surprising. After all, this is a president who manages to label any group of Latino migrants as "very bad people." It was only... Read More
Kathleen Sebelius might as well be spitting into the Kansas wind. Don't try this. People who have stood against the blistering gales of the prairie can attest to the futility. And yet Sebelius, a former Kansas governor and U.S. secretary of health and... Read More
One deftly worded tweet. That's all it took for a 19-year-old college student to school GOP pooh-bah Mike Huckabee about voter demographics. Huckabee, a former Arkansas governor, likes to let loose his stilted wit on Twitter, and the other day he chose to mock pop star... Read More
When Barack Obama was asked about the future of the Democratic party in a final White House interview, without hesitation he said one name: Missouri's Jason Kander. Obama likely recognized that Kander had the zest and charisma to enthrall voters, and that he could do so ... Read More
Hell hath no fury like an entitled man scorned. America met that man on Thursday, in all his caustic glory. He's federal Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, now well on his way to becoming the next U.S. Supreme Court justice. Read More
For all their well-learned politesse, the Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee have scarcely been able to conceal their determination to get Christine Blasey Ford out of their hair. Read More
President Trump's callous disregard for his fellow citizens is well known to people of a certain hue, shall we say. It was in full display this week in his insistence that only a few dozen Puerto Ricans died as a result of Hurricane Maria, whereas nearly 3,000 ... Read More