Over the years, I’ve had friends and acquaintances say they’re afraid to send letters to the editor for fear of being subject to criticism for sharing their views. I understand that anxiety. I just don’t happen to subscribe to it for myself, however. Which brings me to what this letter is about—a teachable moment.
The Sept. 9-15 issue of the Record Pilot carries a letter which masquerades as a political support piece for Tony Gallo’s candidacy for mayor when in fact the letter is really nothing more than a display of personal invective against me.
Evidently, the letter writer doesn’t like things I write in support of my friend, Reggie Spinello. I believe Mr. Spinello is the best and most effective mayor I’ve seen in the 40 years I’ve been around here, 20 of them as a Glen Cove resident.
You have to wonder if the letter writer speaks for the Gallo campaign when he goes into the paper and launches a personal attack on me. Has he done that at the behest of Mr. Gallo or is it something he thought of himself?
Now, here’s the teachable moment thanks to the Gallo supporter. If I were to become a shrinking violet because somebody tried to bully me into silence with the kind of personal attack the letter writer has published under the guise of support for his candidate, then he’d be proving that it’s okay to be fearful about sending in a letter to the editor. It’s not okay.
The attack letter has given us an opportunity to have a teachable moment about bullying. And here it is: The way you deal with written bullying is the same way you should deal with physical bullying—smack ‘em right back in his pernicious pen.
So to the author of that nasty, ill-conceived letter of personal offense, I say consider your pen smacked sir, and many thanks for spelling my name right.
—Michael A. Levy