Keeping an Open Mind

Some of the letters (Inbox, Feb.8) in response to the thought-provoking interview of Vladimir Teichberg '96 (A Moment With, Dec.14) included thoughtful analyses both criticizing and supporting Teichberg's political perspective. Alas, among the published letters there were some soiled with Nativist bigotry and ethnic slurs referring to Teichberg's Russian childhood. Sadly, even the benefits of a Princeton education cannot detoxify an all-too-common, knee-jerk tendency to stereotype "the other."

I myself came to the United States at the age of 9 when my family fled the post-Holocaust, Stalinist, and anti-Semitic currents in 1959 Poland. My debt to Princeton — which provided me with work/study, scholarship, and cultivated my taste for lifelong learning and listening with "the other" — continues. Mr. Teichberg, whether one agrees or disagrees with his political position, is owed as much of an apology for these slurs as was Jeremy Lin for the racial slurs that masqueraded as headlines by some sports commentators celebrating his basketball finesse.

Harold J. Bursztajn '72
Cambridge, Mass.