Press Releases

CAIR Decries Rhode Island City Council’s Decision to Honor ‘White Nationalist’

UPDATE: Mr. Dionne has since contacted CAIR to explain the “white nationalist†quote misrepresents his views and that he rejects white supremacy and racism of any kind. CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper joined Mr. Dionne on his radio program on Monday, Feb. 3, during which Mr. Dionne issued a clear repudiation of any form of bigotry.

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 1/30/20) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today decried a decision by the Woonsocket City Council in Rhode Island to maintain the name of a self-declared “white nationalist†on an athletic field.

Following a heated debate, the council voted 5-2 on Resolution 20 R 12 requiring that the John R Dionne Track and Field will not have its name changed in the event the field is upgraded or moved. Since the 1986 naming of the field, Dionne has publicly declared himself a white nationalist on his daily radio show and defended President Donald Trump‘s comments on the White supremacist rally in Charlottesville. Dionne served as a city councilor from 1977 to 1987.

On his radio program, Dionne said: “I would consider myself white nationalist. I consider white nationalist as somebody that’s proud of being American, proud of our country’s heritage. That’s what a nationalist is. Proud of America.â€

SEE: Woonsocket City Council Passes Resolution Honoring Self-Admitted White Nationalist

WNRI radio host John Dionne identifies himself as a white nationalist on the air

Possible Dionne Track Name Change Sparks Heated Debate

“Mr. Dionne is free to hold white nationalist views – however offensive or bigoted – but he does not deserve the privilege of having a public facility named in his honor,†said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper. “Public recognition should be reserved for those who bring our nation together, not divide it along racial or ethnic lines.â€

Hooper noted that CAIR has reported an unprecedented spike in bigotry targeting American Muslims, immigrants and members of other minority groups since the election of Donald Trump as president.

Yesterday, CAIR called for hate crime investigations of racist graffiti incidents in Virginia and Vermont.

SEE: CAIR Calls for Hate Crime Probes of Racist Graffiti in Virginia and Vermont

Earlier this week, CAIR call for an expanded hate crime probe of racist graffiti at the University of Richmond in Virginia after learning of two additional cases in which students were targeted for their national origin.

SEE: CAIR Calls for Expanded Hate Crime Probe After New Virginia Victims of Racist Graffiti Come Forward

CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.


CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726,; CAIR National Communications Coordinator Ayan Ajeen,


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