Inside Opinion

What's on the minds of Tacoma News Tribune editorial writers

NOTICE: Inside Opinion has moved.

With the launch of our new website, we've moved Inside Opinion.
Visit the new section.

Tag: Walter Backstrom


Walter Backstrom, R.I.P.

Walter Backstrom

When you’re dead, you never call and you never write. I should have noticed a few weeks back when Walter Backstrom stopped ringing me up to pitch an idea for a new column.

I found out in a roundabout way last week that he died April 22 in a homeless shelter, reportedly of a heart attack. People who follow our Monday guest columnists may recall that he was one of our regulars in 2009. He had an unusual perspective as a black, Christian conservative; his pieces were weighty, eloquent and moving.

Walter addressed the broadest of themes: morality, education, youth, civil rights, growing up black, illustrating them with personal experiences and observations. He brooded on the state of humanity, the nation, the schools, the family – all the big stuff.

The homeless shelter is the part that bothers me. Read more »


TNT guest columnist makes a national splash

Walter Backstrom – one of our Monday guest columnists last year – had a big day today. He wound up finishing 16th in the first round of The Washington Post’s “America’s Next Great Pundit” contest.

This is a big deal. The Post solicits 400-word sample columns from the entire country; Washington Post editors then pick their favorites. Now regular readers get to vote here on the finalists; the winner gets a three-month contract to write a weekly Washington Post column.

As a black conservative, Backstrom offers an unusual take on social problems. His highly ranked sample is a condensed

Read more »