Last week, the North Bay Bohemian published an essay that tried hard to trash Gaye LeBaron. The popular weekly tabloid trashed only its own reputation instead.

The article by Peter Byrne, "The Shame of Santa Rosa: Whiteness, and the Culture of Lynching" (March 16, 2022) insinuated LeBaron is a passive racist and a cheerleader for murderous cops and vigilantes. Extraordinary accusations must be backed up with extraordinary evidence you'd think, but apparently the Bohemian does not agree.

In response I wrote a letter-to-the-editor which the paper did not publish online or in print, so I'm making it available below as an open letter to the Bohemian. I am not allowing comments on this posting because shouldn't be a forum for "atta boy" or "you suck" remarks or flame wars. If you want to comment on my opinions, please do so on FaceBook, Twitter or elsewhere on unsociable media.

This incident leaves me personally saddened. Thirty-odd years ago I wrote often for the Bohemian's predecessors, The Paper and the Independent, as well as writing a column about the early internet for the current publisher's flagship weekly the San Jose Metro. Despite this article I have great respect for the Bohemian; Will Carruthers' recent series on the eye-popping shenanigans by directors of the SMART rail line represents some of the best investigative reporting you'll find anywhere.

Some of the things in my letter may not make much sense without reading the original Bohemian article, so read it if you must. But do so with a warning that whiplash injuries may result; the essay careens wildly through all sorts of unrelated points, past and modern, all to deliver a message which seems damning only to its author.



 The rest of this article can be read at the website. Because of recurring problems with the Blogger platform, I am no longer wasting my time formatting and posting complete articles here. I will continue to create stubs for the sake of continuity, but will be publishing full articles only at

- Jeff Elliott


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