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Dear President Paxson, Your Intolerance of Veterans is Unacceptable

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

 

Giovanni Feroce

Dear President Paxson,

I woke up this morning to very disturbing news regarding Brown University, located right here in our capital city of Providence.  This comes after a steady rise of intolerance that has festered on many college campuses and prominently more than once on Brown's campus in the past few years.  I call on you and the rest of your administration to immediately denounce such extremists intolerance and more importantly to formulate and implement a dialogue that consists of civil discourse.  I will gladly make myself available for any such discussion.

It is with sadness that we mourn the passing of journalist Gwen Iffil this week, but it is exactly her words that are so appropriate on this issue.  She was a passionate voice for a plea for civility in this nation.  

She once wrote, “And, yes, civility is something we prize on both NewsHour and Washington Week. I always tell audiences that we see more value in light than heat. Sometimes the only way to have a discussion is to have a debate, but the only way to learn something is if the debaters make an effort to listen to each other."

I struggle to understand how someone like myself, who grew up in a very low income household here in West Warwick, worked three jobs at a time for most of my life since age 12, served my nation for 24 years in the military through three wars, created directly and indirectly thousands of jobs, and am responsible for charitable contributions north of $10 million dollars, can wake up to this kind of news. 

You need to be held accountable, not the students.  Leadership is not easy nor assignable.  

President Paxson

You have a responsibility and in order to continue to lead responsibly, you need to call out those that are intolerant and demand that they reach out to our veterans and apologize for the fear they have created in the military community.  At last count there are over 20 million veterans and over 80 million direct family members.  That is roughly one out of every four Americans that have received your campus community's threat.

I work hard every day and dream about how I will be able to donate to institutions of higher education to include Brown.  I will tell you emphatically, that I and I am sure many others will be meeting with our estate planners to reevaluate where to direct our hard earned money if we feel that you house a community of hate.

As a proud immigrant who calls Rhode Island home, I refuse to allow your campus to stain the fabric of our community and more importantly our great nation that I have stood up for and defended, the United States of America.

I am hopeful that you understand the importance of seizing this moment as an opportunity to bring our community together.

Very Respectfully,
 

MAJOR Giovanni Feroce (RET)

Chairman and CEO

B E N R U S

39 Pike Street

Providence, RI 02903

www.BENRUS.com

 

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