Letter: Bigotry is alive and well in the Oval Office

To the Editor:

In “Architect and Activist,” his letter to the editor on April 5, Ed Chrostowski lets drop that he once met architect Philip Johnson, chatting with him over tea at Johnson’s renowned Glass House in New Canaan. However, this brief encounter does not give him bragging rights of being an expert on Johnson. In fact, the first paragraph of his letter contains three glaring errors that, as an educator at the property, I am concerned could keep some people away. First, the property is 49 acres, not 77 as he claims. Furthermore, it is open to individuals on an easily negotiated website, not just to groups or by appointment, as Chrostowski states. These errors make Johnson’s legacy seem snooty and inaccessible, but in fact, the last I heard, 13,000 visitors, from almost every state, and many countries, tour the property annually and come away feeling privileged for having done so.

Attendance at the Glass House will be just fine again this year, despite Mr. Chrostowski’s disparagement of Johnson and an extreme cherry-picking of his biography. A bigger issue to me is why he, who, speaking for the GOP in an earlier op ed piece and in this recent letter, has made such a festuche over Johnson’s fascist misadventure 80 years ago, when the news supplies daily evidence that Donald Trump, the leader of his party, is a raging bigot. Perhaps the idea is that descrying his former host for long-ago bigotry exonerates him and his party for the same offense in the present day. But Trump’s bigotry far exceeds that of Johnson, as does its impact on American society, and the failure of members of the GOP to address it is degrading the character of the entire party.

Perrie Ridley

Nutmeg Ridge, April 8

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