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Leonce Gaiter's historical novel, "I Dreamt I Was in Heaven - The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang" was published September 2011. His nonfiction has appeared in The Huffington Post, The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, The Los Angeles Times, and in national syndication. His thriller "Bourbon Street" was published by Carroll & Graf and is currently available in ebook formats.
Wednesday, September 7, 2011 Learning to Evade the "Black Tax" on Our Stories
I wanted to explore this group and their extraordinary turn of the century milieu, but I didn't dare. How could I so baldly invoke stereotypical Black Buck in the form of a young half-black, half-Indian man who was hanged for the rape of a white woman? Did I dare tell a story in which a black male turns his fury outward at his oppressors as opposed to turning it inward on himself?
Saturday, July 9, 2011(1 comments)
With Traditional Publishing Dies the Passive Writer-Victim
Writers used to sit passively and wait for publishing conglomerates to anoint them. Today, with the dissolution of traditional publishing, writers have to do more. We need to learn the tools of our trade just as musicians have to learn to navigate recording devices and playwrights have to know theater techniques. The day of the passive writer-victim is over.
Monday, June 7, 2010(8 comments)
Obama's Presidency Can't be Transformative; He's a Democrat
Time has passed and it's time to deal with it: Obama is not and will not be a "transformative" president. Never wanted to. Never will. He accepts that some progressive ideals are beneficial, but hasn't sufficient conviction to fight decidedly for them. In that, he represents his party. In that, polling says that he is a typical Democrat.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010(2 comments)
Our Media is "Post-reason," and We Dutifully Follow
The web is a visual medium. It grows more similar to television while it severs ties to traditional reading and increases its dominance of our political conversation. It is the bitterest of ironies that a format once touted as heralding a new era of enlightened participatory democracy is picking up where television left off and doing infinitely more to erode traditional American democratic ideals than to promote them
Thursday, May 13, 2010(5 comments)
Arizona, Ethnic Studies and White Christian Perfection
If Arizona's white legislators want to erase ethnic-specific education, they should close every school in the state, for most of their curricula are white-specific. But of course, the goal is to ensure that black and brown children continue to see the world only from the majority's point-of-view, continue to -see the majority through the traditional American Christian prism--closer -to God, good and pure--clean and right.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010(3 comments)
Bettye LaVette: The High Priestess of Love and Death
With her album "Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook," Bettye LaVette proves herself one of the best singers alive. If you're looking for some disposable, distracting background music, keep going. It's not here. This is the tent in the carnival it kind of scares you to enter. It's the gypsy woman who, from the look in her eye, you fear knows too much and might tell you something you dread to hear.
Wednesday, April 7, 2010(1 comments)
Bob McDonnell Blows the Racist Dog Whistle Really Really Loud
Let's consider: We are regularly invited to "celebrate" black history month (absurd as the idea may be in its conception and execution). Virginia's Governor Bob McDonnell did not ask his state's citizens to "celebrate" "Confederate History Month." He simply "declared" its existence, leaving the celebratory aspect aspirated to the level of the dog whistle (an apt metaphor considering his audience).
Thursday, March 25, 2010 Tearing Down the Walls: In Praise of Joe Henry
If you don't know him, check out Joe Henry. He is a shockingly talented man making music that can make you giddy. He is a shockingly talented man who can break your heart.
Sunday, March 21, 2010(2 comments)
The White Right to Call Me "Ni**er"
The deeper point--the ones the tea partiers haven't courage nor the brains to see--is that our technological age has laid bare a core fact of American life: that our corporatist state uses white men and women just like it uses black, brown and yellow ones--as cannon fodder. There is little "upward mobility." Your children probably won't live as well as you, much less better. They stole your future itself
Thursday, February 11, 2010(3 comments)
Obama: Averse to Leadership and a Lousy Politician to Boot
Obama is akin to the Captain on a ship under attack who turns to the crew, bloodied bodies all around, and tells them to do what they think best. It's time for the verdict. Obama ran a great campaign, but he is no leader, and he's an abominable politician.
Saturday, June 20, 2009(5 comments)
Note to O'Reilly: Women Deserve Protections-Fetuses Don't
The woman's rights/pro-choice crowd needs to stop accepting the right-wing frame for this debate. When asked if fetuses deserve rights, the answer is: Women deserve rights-including protection from people who would force them to use their bodies in ways they know to be harmful to their well being, their loved ones, and their lives.
Monday, January 19, 2009(1 comments)
At Obama's Rise, Praise King's Movement, and Bury It
The fact of being a half-black man raised exclusively by whites and often in brown-skinned, culturally unique environments (Indonesia, Hawaii) helped Barack Obama win the Presidency. This strange background also prevents him from acting as a direct model for most American blacks. We don't have white parents and guardians or non-American fathers. However, we can adapt his model to suit our needs.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009(6 comments)
Blacks, Gays and the Myth of the Saintly Oppressed
Underlying the black/gay divide in the post-Prop. 8 world was the illusion that minorities minorities are somehow naturally predisposed or sociologically obligated to display fewer negative human traits than straight white men. But that's a gross, convenient myth. Oppression does not enlighten. It degrades.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008(22 comments)
America Can't Handle the Truth; But it's Coming Anyway
With the economy in freefall and American livelihoods and ways of life in sincere jeopardy for the first time in a generation, much of the press and the American public aren't making the adjustment from the trivial "get rich quick" economic Bubble Years to the new pre-depression. Unfortunately, denial won't solve the problem. It just makes the fall all the more shocking.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008(2 comments)
A Somewhat More Visible Man
Rivers of black blood have been spilled. My parents and theirs fought and died to rip their rights from the majority's avaricious grasp. To justify their illegal hold, the majority belittled, dehumanized, brutalized and sometimes killed me and mine. So I have often wondered what it might mean to feel fully American. Today, I, a black descendant of African slaves, get a glimpse...
Tuesday, October 21, 2008(2 comments)
Black Blindness on Proposition 8
According to a SurveyUSA poll, 58% of black voters support Proposition 8, which would enshrine irrational fear and rank bigotry into the California Constitution in order to deny gays the right to marry. Black support is 10% higher than support of any other ethnic group. This is ironic, to say the least.
Monday, September 22, 2008(1 comments)
The Elephants Among Us Chickens
Conservatives like Andrew Sullivan and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson are starting blame homeowners believe homeowners must take "personal responsibility" for their mortgage troubles as they rescue the Masters of the Universe who netted billions from the housing bubble.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008(2 comments)
McCain/Palin Flash Rove's Racial Gang Signs
Fifty percent of this year's Republican playbook is typically divisive Rove Culture Wars. The other fifty percent is all about racial signs and symbols. By allowing the sons o' Karl Rove to tap right wing ideologue Palin as his VP, McCain has now fully assembled the un-American (read: non-white) shredder through which he hopes to shove Barack Obama.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008 Katrina + 3 Years: The 'Nigga' in New Orleans
Three years after Hurricane Katrina, the slow recovery and threats of yet another flood prove that some accomplishments in which the black community rightly takes great pride are so tainted by history that they are irredeemable. Parts of New Orleans, like the word "nigger," are among them.
Monday, August 18, 2008(1 comments)
The Evangelical Jesus Cure for Unforgivable Blackness
The subtext to Obama's appeals to white Evangelicals flirts with one of the oldest and most pernicious underpinnings of the idea of white supremacy. The Jesus whom black slaves were taught to worship and submit to was unquestionably white, as was God the Father who begat him.
Friday, August 15, 2008(7 comments)
The Shelf Life of John McCain's Honor
I am violently sick of the media dancing around John McCain's increasingly dishonorable conduct and the outrageous sense of entitlement with which he justifies his campaign. John McCain is a dishonorable liar who once honorably wore a uniform. To hide his lies behind his medals dishonors not only the service he claims to prize--the one my father served all of his life--but also the country he seeks to lead.
Sunday, August 3, 2008(1 comments)
If Race is Not Welcome, are Blacks?
If race, its place in American history and the American present are all unwelcome topics, it only stands to reason that the people at whom the word "race" is most often focused--Afro-Americans--are equally objectionable. We are, after all, the reason that the caged beast exists. Our very skin is the source of all of that discomfort.
Friday, July 4, 2008 David Broder's Twisted 4th of July
David Broder discusses a report on the state of American identity and American ideals. He takes solace in the past, but willfully ignores the warning signs surrounding us right now.
Monday, June 30, 2008 The African American Patrotism Quandary
Patriotism is more complex for African Americans. That's why some require irrefutable patriotism proofs from black politicians that they do not demand of white ones. For blacks, "love" just may not be the right word to proceed the word "America."