To the editors:
Sorry guys but I'm not taking this [Hot Type, June 9; Our Town, June 16]. Who told that turkey down in Hicksvill Illinois that he could decide for me what to do with my tax money? Nobody asked me. Do you know how I have to scramble to get those dollars I send to you?
I have a tax number and I collect your money for you at art fairs all over the state. I step right up and pay on time, every time. I pay state taxes every day of my life. I don't pay to provide salaries for politicians who want to use the American flag to bamboozle their constituents into thinking they're great guys.
I didn't like the flag on the floor and still don't like it, but as an American it is my duty to defend to the death the student's right to express his feelings.
Scott Tyler desecrated the symbol of The United States. State senators who cut funding to the arts in retribution desecrate the reality.
Let those who would wrap themselves in the flag and attack the basic meaning of The United States Of America go back to those countries where censorship of unpopular ideas is the way of life. Leave America to the real Americans who will defend the rights of any citizen to express any opinion no matter how repugnant.
I can never agree with Mr. Tyler's installation but I will defend his right to his opinion and the public expression of that opinion. I cannot do otherwise as I am an American. My family came to this country in 1646 to escape what I see happening today in Illinois. I shall not run. I shall never stop fighting for the freedom of others even though I may strongly disagree with them.
I applaud The Art Institute Of Chicago for its brave expression of patriotism. In its defense of Mr. Tyler's work, it has shown the invalidity of his statement.
Like most Chicago artists I have had a long standing love/hate relationship with The Art Institute. In my case this has lasted for over forty years. I thank Mr. Field and the directors of The Art Institute for their brave action. This has been your finest hour and I, for one, shall never forget it.
I shall not allow the petty bourgeois barbarians in Springfield to deprive you of my tax dollars. I have no way of knowing what they would have sent to you out of my meager income for the year but it is my intention to send a check to The Art Institute to more than make up for my part. Having contributed in the past, I know that I shall receive a thank you and a receipt. These shall be sent along with a copy of this letter to my representatives in The State Legislature. This action may be merely symbolic but then, that's what this whole thing has been about.
Richard V. Sebring