Woonsocket’s Dionne defends his character

Woonsocket’s Dionne defends his character

How does one defend themselves from such a vicious attack on my 50 years of public service calling me a racist, anti-semite, anti-women, anti- ones lifestyle, and anti-immigrant, when the record is clear that the record is the opposite.

My mother was an immigrant from Poland through Ellis Island and father from Canada, which indicates that I certainly would not be anti-immigrant, unless it is a person who is illegal. I have a grandson who is in the Philippines on vacation for one month meeting the family of his lovely girlfriend. I look forward to them in the near future giving us our first great-grandchild. Thank God he lives in Michigan.

In 2014 in the Induction booklet of the Rhode Island Heritage Foundation the page on my contributions included chairman or co-chairman of 60 fundraising activities that had raised in excess of $3 million for people in need. In a 40-year span, I served as president of 11 different organizations, served on the board of 10 nonprofits and maintained active memberships in 13 civic, fraternal and religious organizations.

My 39 years of Milk Fund served people of all colors under the guidance of the Woonsocket Family & Child Service since 1932, and one of my many boards of having the honor to serve on, which included persons of colors.

As a councilman, I submitted and received support for the naming of Al Costa Park in Fairmount. Al was my mentor, boxing coach and respected by all who knew him. He was a person of color and a friend. White nationalists do not name parks after people of color.

I appointed the first African American to the Fire Department who is in his 28th year of service. The first female to the Fire Department, now retired, two African Americans to the Police Department, a third female to the Police Department, the promotion to a female to sergeant in the Uniform Division, and later promoted her to lieutenant with her retiring as a captain. Why? Because diversity and fairness, and contrary to a comment that I had to make these appointments because it was my job, I had the authority to choose one out of the the top three each time a vacancy occurred, so if I didn’t want a minority it would not have happened under my watch. The Police Reserves which is formed of over 40 citizens included people of color of different cultures, again for diversity.

The attack on my character without a basis of evidence, except for a sentence I made without the knowledge of the crazy definition of white nationalist, has become outrageous. So Americans like myself, who have served this country and are proud of our heritage and happen to be white, are now restricted to call ourselves American nationalist.

I am not now or have ever been a white nationalist and resent this vicious attack.

John R. Dionne


Dionne is a former city official and current WNRI radio host