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Leonce Gaiter
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Leonce Gaiter’s most recent novel, "In the Company of Educated Men," will be published by Astor + Blue Editions in 2013. His historical novel, "I Dreamt I Was in Heaven - The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang," was featured in Harvard Magazine. His noir thriller Bourbon Street was published by Carroll & Graf and is currently available in ebook formats. His nonfiction has appeared in publications from the LA Times to Salon to the NY Times Magazine. Additional writings, fiction and non-fiction, can be found at leoncegaiter.com.

Entries by Leonce Gaiter

Giving Publishing What it Demands -- In a Way I Could Live With

(0) Comments | Posted October 22, 2014 | 1:54 AM

Almost 25 years ago, living in LA and working in the film industry, I decided to write a screenplay. I had abandoned prose writing somewhere in college, having been scared straight out of the writing habit via the tender ministrations of visiting New Yorker short story virtuosi creative writing instructors...

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Black Gain Is White Pain -- How the White Right Justifies Racial Injustice

(108) Comments | Posted September 9, 2014 | 12:15 PM

Talking Points Memo, 8/27/14:

Conservative pundit Ben Stein appeared on Newsmax on Tuesday to discuss the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and challenged the use of the term "unarmed" to describe Brown.

Stein was discussing the shooting with host Steve Malzberg and said...

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Megyn Kelly Didn't Go Far Enough; It's Not Just Jesus. God's White, Too

(12) Comments | Posted December 16, 2013 | 2:57 PM

Megyn Kelly said that Jesus was white. The son of God, she said, was a white man. It logically follows, lest you're deeming Mary a Nubian princess -- that God his father was white as well.

That's it in a nutshell -- the mother lode of the white supremacy...

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It's Absurd to Associate Django Unchained With Black Culture

(215) Comments | Posted January 6, 2013 | 3:48 PM

Quentin Tarantino's film, Django Unchained has as much to do with the history and culture of American descendants of African slaves as Dumbo has to do with the plight of Weimar Jewry. Spike Lee says that it disrespects his ancestors. It does not. It has nothing to do with them....

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The White Right TAPP Dances Black Truths Out of American History

(3) Comments | Posted June 7, 2012 | 1:34 PM

The right's strength is its ability to immerse itself in tribal warmth of sexist, racist, homophobic waters, while simply sprinkling the rest of us with their refreshing mists. And they are refreshing. Admit it. Who hasn't been pricked by the odd racist thought -- when you glimpse the black face...

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Right Wing Rules Black Youths Must Follow to Avoid Deserving Death

(1) Comments | Posted March 27, 2012 | 5:17 PM

Considering the right wing reaction to the death of Trayvon Martin, I thought it might be useful to collect their wisdom and advice for black male youths:

What black youths must never do in order not to deserve to be shot to death:


  1. Wear hooded clothing
  2. ...

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Rufus Buck's Anti-Black History Month History Lesson

(24) Comments | Posted February 20, 2012 | 9:28 AM

For Black History Month, I present to you a very young man who had a dream -- and to achieve it, he murdered and marauded. Half-black and half-Indian Rufus Buck and his gang of four black and Native American teens killed both black and white men, and terrified...

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Denying the Killer Inside Us

(0) Comments | Posted November 23, 2011 | 6:03 PM

I was asked if I feared alienating my audience with the depiction of violence in my latest novel. I was surprised because I had gone through pains to minimize the actual depiction of violent acts. A novel about a real-life group of notorious teenage terrorists who rampaged through Indian Territory...

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Chutzpah! Obama's Black Caucus Speech

(23) Comments | Posted September 26, 2011 | 9:20 PM

President Barack Obama told blacks on Saturday to quit crying and complaining and "put on your marching shoes" to follow him into battle for jobs and opportunity. AP

Follow him? If the President wants anyone to follow him, he had better start leading -- something he has consistently...

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Learning to Evade the "Black Tax" on Our Stories

(3) Comments | Posted September 7, 2011 | 1:18 PM

It was a story I almost didn't dare to tell.

My first exposure to the multi-racial gang of black and Creek Indian marauders who rampaged through Indian Territory in the summer of 1895 was a photo taken soon after their capture. They stand expressionless and staring directly at the...

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The Help: Redemption, and Genuflecting at the Altar of Ourselves

(2) Comments | Posted August 29, 2011 | 11:30 AM

"How are these characters redeemed?" is a question I often get. I feel as if I'd just slapped a puppy when I have to reply, "They aren't. They come to realizations, but they are not made pure or whole again. Damage has been done." The frequency with which I'm...

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The Publishing Industry Redefines a "Pig" and Then Slaps Lipstick On It

(1) Comments | Posted August 17, 2011 | 3:52 PM

Great sighs of joy mingled with the steam from fat free mochaccinos as the Books section of the New York Times declared "Publishing Gives Hints of Revival, Data Show." The lede assures us that, contrary to the "doom and gloom" prognostications, the publishing industry saw significant net revenue...

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Aggressively Managing Pricing and Distribution in the New Publishing Landscape

(1) Comments | Posted August 9, 2011 | 1:04 PM

These days, books are too expensive, and pricing is one of the publishing industry's most perversely quirky aspects. To compete, small and self-publishers need to be more aggressive with pricing than the major houses. I learned the hard way how difficult that can be.

Traditionally, publishers set a retail price...

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With Traditional Publishing Dies the Passive Writer-Victim

(20) Comments | Posted July 8, 2011 | 1:44 PM

It had been a longtime dream; I had thought about it and wanted it since childhood. But then, with my dream in hand, my only response was a small nod and a sotto, "oh, alright." Akin to a tepid "how nice." My book was to be published by a well-regarded...

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Obama's Presidency Can't Be "Transformative" -- He's a Democrat

(2) Comments | Posted June 8, 2010 | 11:27 AM

Frank Rich wrote a progressive line that is becoming as clichéd and hilarious as the conservative's "I am not a racist, but..."

The line is: "If Obama is to have a truly transformative presidency..."

The line assumes (or accepts the statement that) Obama wants to provide a transformative...

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Our Media Are "Post-Reason," and We Dutifully Follow

(4) Comments | Posted May 25, 2010 | 12:04 PM

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 (remember...

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The Legacy of White Christian Chauvinism in Arizona's Ethnic Studies Bill

(26) Comments | Posted May 13, 2010 | 2:01 PM

As I sat in a pew in Catholic church, I stared up at the enormous crucifix suspended from the ceiling on which a distinctly white man gazed theatrically toward the heavens. I looked around at the other black folks sitting around me in the pews, and realized that even then,...

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Tea Partiers Battle Racism Claims -- Far Too Late

(1) Comments | Posted May 5, 2010 | 11:45 AM

About 39 percent of Republicans think Obama should be impeached, and 29 percent aren't sure. This might be because 63 percent think he's a socialist, and only 42 percent think he was born in the United States.
- Ezra Klein, Washington Post, Feb. 2, 2010
It's not true that... all...
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Bettye LaVette: The High Priestess of R&B, Too Long Ignored

(11) Comments | Posted April 20, 2010 | 6:02 PM

I've thought a lot about what it means to be Afro-American, i.e., born to the culture of American descendants of African slaves. We Americans, black and white, have been taught to reduce it to a set of personal ticks (speech patterns, handshakes, musical taste) and socio-economic caste. Yes, black Americans...

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Bob McDonnell Blows the Racist Dog Whistle Really Really Loud

(1) Comments | Posted April 6, 2010 | 7:43 PM

Think of it a "Black History Month" for proto-Klansmen. It's like a Freshman Young Republican hanging a confederate flag from a second story dorm room window as a right wing career builder.

Let's consider: We are regularly invited to "celebrate" black history month (absurd as the idea may be...

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