October 12, 2013
Dear Mr. Rattray,
Regarding Jason Gutterman’s letter (Oct. 10), in response to my own, in the last issue of The Star, I believe he is as bad a writer as he is a disgrace to the reputation of the School of Visual Arts.
Mr. Gutterman offers a tired rehash of some of my past reversals and egregious public missteps. I would like to address just one. In February of this year, a New York Post photographer accused me of calling him a racial epithet. Soon afterward, I was invited to appear at the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, which informed me that they were investigating the incident as a hate crime.
In that meeting, I proposed that G.N. Miller, the one-time New York City police officer turned paparazzo, had a camera which, like most equipment favored by his profession, was capable of both still and video shooting. Was there a tape in existence? The answer was yes. On that tape, there was no recording nor any other proof whereby I uttered any such word.
The Manhattan D.A. did not charge me with anything. Mr. Miller either lied or was the victim of some auditory hallucination. For me, the only silver lining in the entire situation was to walk the streets of New York in subsequent weeks and hear people, African-American and otherwise, assure me that they would not believe that I could ever do such a thing.
To be falsely accused of something is indeed painful. That noted, I maintain that Mr. Gutterman is a fool and a coward. As proof, I offer both his letter and his occupation.
I don’t think giving money to charity or posing for photos defines anyone, but I’ll take my contribution to this community over Mr. Gutterman’s without hesitation.
P.S. Throughout his letter, Gutterman never answers the only relevant question: Why? Why bring that out here?