Readers Write: Penner not a racist; loves seeing his name in print

The Island Now

This letter is directed to Matthew Zeidman, who finds the letter “Reparations Are Not Kosher,” by Larry Penner, “disgusting.”
Mr. Zeidman, ever since I cracked open an issue of the Bronx Times about a year ago and saw Mr. Penner’s name on one of his opinion pieces I have gotten back into writing letters to the editor, which for personal reasons I abandoned a dozen years ago.

In fact, if you scroll through the “letters” section in this newspaper, you will see about half a dozen or so letters I have written in rebuttal to Mr. Penner’s various opinion pieces.

There is something you need to understand about Mr. Penner, Mr. Zeidman. Mr. Penner is addicted to seeing his name in print. Since he is addicted to seeing his name in print, he simply submits letters in bulk and does not pay a terrible amount of attention to detail.

For every good letter he has written 10 of them are ludicrous, lack detail, or directly contradict another opinion piece. A full recitation of this would fill 100 of the whatever space my letter has been allotted, so I will provide two examples.

One letter Mr. Penner had published denounces the choice of Pete Buttigieg for Transportation Secretary due to lack of experience. In another publication, he denounces the choice because Buttigieg is not a Republican.

In a letter published last year in this publication, Mr. Penner is in favor of building an intermodal bus station in Flushing to facilitate transfers between buses from the city and Nassau County to the subway. Yet other letters of his have mercilessly lambasted the MTA for mismanaging projects and money.
Whatever issues you may have with Larry Penner’s letter on race it contained facts and concrete examples. Your letter does not, Mr. Zeidman. That is not to say that I disagree with some of what you are saying.
Whatever issues I may have with Mr. Penner, he is an American, covered by the First Amendment. He is entitled to his opinion.

You too are covered by the First Amendment. If we censor letters because they contain something that is about an uncomfortable subject or an opinion we disagree with, we are headed toward a very slippery slope, one in which the eventual victim will be Freedom of Speech.

Nat Weiner

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