An exchange over Trump's executive order on travel
The following is an open letter to URI President David Dooley and the exchange that followed:
Dear President Dooley:
It is absolutely outrageous that you have announced that you will not enforce President Trump’s immigration order! This is absolutely disgusting! Your statement further enforces the idea, that rather than being a university where ideas are exchanged and discussed, URI has turned into a propaganda center for Leftwing Socialist thinking. No longer is the school a place where all views are considered.
You, of all people, the president of URI, should not be actively defying the President of the United States when it comes to matters of National Security; particularly during a time of war. Nor should you be inflaming both faculty and students in such an unpatriotic manner! If you have taken this action because you fear Rhode Island politicians and their impact on your job security, then show some courage. Protest them and, if necessary, quit! On the other hand if your actions are genuine because you believe in open boarders then see a psychiatrist.
Your quote, “Our force will not act as agents for ICE or anyone else," is just plain dumb! So much for campus and community security!
While I was not present for your diatribe before the students and faculty, the Providence Journal report exposes you as a rabble-rouser!
C. Christopher Sirr
Thank you for sharing your opinion and concerns regarding statements and activities at the University of Rhode Island. As I have stated previously, at the University of Rhode Island, we are committed to freedom of expression. This commitment is built on our shared values of mutual respect, inclusion, and support for all those who are a part of our community.
I recognize you do not agree with some statements made by university leadership, students, faculty, staff or others. The university has always been and will continue to be a safe place for our community to express their positions and ideas and seek to understand and learn from one another.
Thank you for your message.
David M. Dooley
Dear President Dooley:
Thank you for your reply. It is appreciated.
You are absolutely correct when you state the University is committed to freedom of expression. All universities should encourage such values, to a point. Hopefully they would not encourage behavior akin to shouting “fire” in crowded theatre. This is tantamount to what happened at URI and more so in universities across the nation.
However, as well intentioned the commitment may be, “built on our shared values of mutual respect, inclusion, and support for all those who are a part of our community,” there is no accounting for public safety. Or is that included in “shared values?” Perhaps the omission results from an extraordinary concern for political correctness. My definition of political correctness is: (An action or inaction exceeding the values of traditional politeness, courtesy, public welfare and common sense leading to the ultimate demise of the society for which such action or inaction purports to protect.) Imagine the following example.
You, I surmise, may at least be part Irish, as am I. In any event the accuracy of my assumption should not detract from the illustration. Let’s assume that IRA made threats to national security. Also assume the dangers were, in the view of the Trump Administration, severe. And assume conditions required President Trump, in accord with the Constitution, to place a temporary halt on immigration and visitation from Ireland. By exercising this responsibility he would have performed his Constitutional duty. Now such an action would cause many people disappointment and inconvenience. Professors, scheduled to speak at URI, returning exchange students, families coming for weddings and numerous other persons with various plans would be prevented from coming to the United States. There would be many unhappy people and associated community disruption.
When the President takes an action designed to protect the citizens of The United States, should Americans of Irish extraction or citizens of Ireland take offense? I think not. Should they be allowed to exhibit their displeasure? I think so. Should they be allowed to block the execution of the order? I think not. If there was evidence or suspicion that some Irish students or professors were making bombs in the dorm would the administration provide sanctuary by looking the other way; all in the interest of protecting the community? Or would disclosure be deferred to a time when the first bomb went off?
As a citizen of WWII would you not convey any evidence or suspicion about a naturalized German neighbor whose activities suggested espionage or sabotage? Would you abandon your sanctuary doctrine and report your observations; even if the law did not require you to do so? Somehow I think you would. Therefore why are you so concerned about offense to non-citizens and their allies and not be willing to exercise caution in the name of citizen defense? “Our force will not act as agents for ICE or anyone else”
In conclusion and in your defense, there has been much misinformation promulgated by the mainstream press regarding the efficacy of warnings regarding the magnitude of worldwide Muslim Terrorism. So your position is somewhat understandable. Therefore I would humbly suggest that you might find an article, in the “Weekly Standard” of 6 February, titled “The Final Obama Scandal” by Stephen F. Hayes & Thomas Joscelyn, invaluable reading. It is an account documenting the “deceptive narrative about the al Qaeda threat” emanating from the Obama White House. This story, alone, should cause you to reconsider your position regarding President Trump’s immigration suspension and concerns for national security.
Editor’s note: Mr. Sirr is a former member and chairman of the Warwick School Committee and has been active in the city’s Republican Party.