Letter: A few facts about Du Bois, Columbus

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To the editor:

In response to Patrick Fennell's Oct. 3 letter "Board, Du Bois group insult Italians," I have a few comments:

• 15,000 to 20,000 years before Columbus, stone-age humans crossed the Bering Strait and populated North and South America.

• Vikings came to North America at least 500 years before Columbus set foot in Hispaniola. I am half Swedish on my mother’s side, so this means something to me.

• The W.E.B. Du Bois Legacy Committee is not “forcing Americans and especially veterans” to do anything. They are simply celebrating the fact that W.E.B. Du Bois is Great Barrington’s native (and most illustrious) son.

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• It is true that Du Bois became a communist at the age of 93. Who cares? (He was treated very badly during the McCarthy witch hunts.)

• There is no such thing as “Italian blood.” Human beings have four blood types, A, B, AB and O. Each can be RHD positive or RHD negative (eight total).

• Du Bois studied at the University of Berlin in the 1890s. To imply that he was a fan of Hitler is laughable.

• I am a veteran myself (nine years in the U.S. Army) and I strongly support the work of the Du Bois Legacy Committee and the Great Barrington Select Board. Kudos to Kate Burke for her letter of Oct. 3 ("G.B's Step toward social equality, healing").

Michel Paul Richard,

New Marlborough


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