Alan Chartock | I, Publius: (Not so) fictional feedback from the I, Publius mailbag

GREAT BARRINGTON — Here are some made up letters that are representative of those I do get:

Dear Doctor: You are such a Trump hater. What has he ever done to you? You and your phony liberal crowd can't see that the president is your friend and he is against all the freeloaders, including all those Medicaid moochers. Why can't they go out and earn a living? There are plenty of jobs out there if people will just do them. I hope this will set you straight.

Just sign me, Prudence from Pittsfield

Dear Prudence: Thanks for your most recent letter. Obviously, we disagree. In fact, I do believe that this president is the very worst disaster that this country has ever, and I do mean ever, experienced. This country has been on a tragic trajectory since it started importing human slaves. After the Civil War, the southern states passed all kinds of obstacles to full economic emancipation of people of color. Lynchings were not uncommon. Your thinly veiled letter tells the sad tale of racial bigots who create their own mythology. First, you keep the black and the poor down and then you decry them for not getting up. Our prisons are filled with people of color and our police have been killing young black men at a very alarming rate. Then, when our sports players "take a knee" in protest, you call them un-American. As for Trump, the man has no concern for those who were not born with his advantages. At some point he will have to meet his maker and I can only believe that won't be a pretty place for him to be.

Sign me, Angry Alan in the Berkshires


Dear Chartock: Do you really think that we care about anything you have to say? Now you've been on this very unreasonable and unfair crusade against the Berkshire Museum and their correct decision to sell their outstanding and valuable art so that the museum can continue. I have a very wealthy friend who used to be a fan of yours. She told me that you were out to destroy the museum. There are many top politicians in Pittsfield who are supporting the museum and don't you dare tell me that they are hoping to get campaign money from one of the well-heeled people on the museum's board. That's not the way things work in the Berkshires. This is not New York state! Put another way, "Go back where you came from." Remember, you'll never be a native in the Berkshires.

Mark me down as Lassie from Lanesborough

Dear Lassie: Thanks for taking the time to write. First, as to my Berkshire status, you are right on that one. We arrived full time in the Berkshires in 1970. I will never be a native (as if that's important) but my kids are since they were both born in Fairview Hospital. If that's all you've got, I feel sorry for you. As for the museum and the sale of the art to pay their way, including their salaries, they are horribly mistaken. They need to get the community on their side. Instead they have alienated thousands of people. They should get out there and raise money the same way that Tanglewood and Jacob's Pillow do. It is not too late to change their ways and save the day. The people will rejoice.

Sign me, Alan in Great Barrington


Dear Alan: How many times are you going to write that column about the cement hazards on Great Barrington's sidewalk? Signed, Howard in Housatonic.

Hi Howard: You know how much respect I have for you. This time you are wrong. I did write a column about how the curbs in Great Barrington were so sharp that people were getting flat tires. As long as the town keeps doing dangerous, stupid things, I'll keep writing columns calling them out.


Alan Chartock, a Great Barrington resident, is president and CEO of WAMC Northeast Public Radio and a professor emeritus of communications at SUNY-Albany. The opinions expressed by columnists do not necessarily reflect the views of The Berkshire Eagle.


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