In response to:
San Francisco State from the August 1, 1968 issue
To the Editors:
Over a year ago, Dick Fitzgerald got eleven of his cronies to write you, accusing the San Francisco State History department of being racist for not rehiring Fitzgerald and two other white men. That these men had been employed on a previously agreed upon one-year basis, a policy followed before and since by the department, was left unmentioned. Being on the East Coast when the letter appeared, I called the editor of the NYR and took thirty minutes to explain the situation. He asked me to make a brief statement in writing, which I did; it appeared in August 1968.
Now, a year later, Fitzgerald is again making a bid to have his name indelibly inscribed in the annals of radicalism with the imprimatur of the NYR. This self-styled martyr, who has modestly labeled the episode “the Fitzgerald case,” is welcome to his glory, but not at my expense. While I recognize the futility of trying to set the record straight in a periodical dedicated to the proposition that nothing is as it appears to be, still I would like it in writing that the kindest comment which can be made about “the Fitzgerald case” is that its creators have well-developed imaginations.
Joseph E. Illick
Associate Professor of History
San Francisco State College
December 4, 1969